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08/26/2017 11:04AM  
New Trip Report posted by CharChar

Trip Name: Mom & 2 young sons.

Entry Point: 38

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08/26/2017 01:24PM  
Thanks for the report. It sounds like it had some challenges . . . but everyone is eager to go back?
distinguished member(2059)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/26/2017 02:33PM  
Great report. You should feel great about your accomplishment and pat your boys on the back! If you would have told me where you planned on going, how long it was going to take you, and who was going, I would have bet anything that you wouldn't be able to do it. I would have told you that you were crazy. Your boys are really incredible. You tackled some tough portages and paddled a lot of open water. I planned that same route last year and attempted it. We were 4 grown men, we made it to Cherokee on the first day and opted to base camp and backtrack out on day 4 instead of doing the Sitka portage and taking that route out (and all of our equipment worked fine).

I use a sawyer filter in my gravity system which is extremely easy to back flush at least daily to clean. I also bring a small spare stove. You can pick one up on amazon for under $10 and it only weighs 4 oz. or so. It's uses isobutane and is extremely small. What type of stove did you have that caused the problems?

Take the boys again next year and pick an easier route to show them another option, especially the 9 year old. Once he sees how easy it can be, explain to him that he already tackled one of the tougher loops, I think he will be hooked.
Let them plan the route and you will get less complaining and more buy in, especially at this age. My boys love to camp but I could never convince them to work that hard, or to be that isolated. They are now 21 and 23 and the younger one would like to try a BWCA trip finally. We went last year and stayed at Sawbill and paddled around the lake for a few days. There were permits available and we had everything that we needed but he just didn't feel comfortable. It rained every day that we were there and it was in the 40's and 50's for a high temp. and we didn't have warm clothes or gear with because it had been in the mid 90's for a week before we arrived. The last time prior to that he had a bad canoe experience. When he was 13 our canoe capsized and we both went for a swim. It was in early summer and the water was pretty cold still. We were just out for a paddle on a river and didn't have any extra clothes or gear with us. It happened around 7:00 p.m. and it took us another hour to paddle back to the car and the temp was dropping quickly as the sun went down. We were both pretty cold. It was another 30 minute drive back to the cabin. He can't seem to put that behind him.
08/26/2017 05:23PM  
Nice report. Keep bringing those young ones. We need more young people to enjoy the wilderness and pass it on. The first trip is always the greatest challenge. Everything is easier from here on out!
08/27/2017 09:17AM  
I think maybe my report was too negative, because the boys definitely want to go back and they were the ones pushing the long days for one reason or another. The 9yo does not want to go back, however, without his little sister whom he just adores and kept dreaming about (how cute is that?) They really had few complaints about the portaging or length of the trip, the workload they disliked was cooking dinner, doing dishes, and stuffing the bags for some odd reason. My knuckles are raw from all the bags I stuffed. They disliked the cold, but loved the lack of bugs. They still want to go in August again next year, just pack more warmth items. But I think you are right with providing another option. If we go when it is warmer and they can swim all day, I think that might be the winner. Plus, I would consider taking a 4yo only to a base camp.

The stove I was using was the MSR Pocket Rocket. It was a fuel issue, it was Coleman and got too cold. I had read a review about that earlier that I should have heeded and at least brought a back up canister, but hay, I knew we were good with starting fires.

The water issue was actually predictable and had been predicted. I borrowed my sister's back up system because she needed the better one the same week. She told me that it was quite possible the filter needed to be replaced, but I decided to chance it and took the 20 pills she had as well as backup. We were never in danger of not having water, just not good tasting water which is what the Tang was for.
member (43)member
08/27/2017 10:02AM  
Hi, it was great to get back home to Nebraska last night at 9:30 p.m and look on the BWCA and see your story. Dan and I were wondering about you guys after we left you at Long Island portage area. I was in AWE of you!!! Dan and I were very impressed with your good nature with the boys and how you involved them in figuring out what to do when the darn beavers had blocked the way! The boys are just great little adventure's. Thanks for sharing the experience with them and sharing it with us. Glad you made it out safe. Hope to see you in the future. Ruth
08/27/2017 12:01PM  
Good job. You can tell from the boys' faces: it came out well.
distinguished member (280)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/27/2017 12:19PM  
Nice report and this is a trip the boys will remember forever. Did you pick up your permit at the Tofte Ranger station around 3p.m. Sunday? I think we may have watched the movie and verbal quiz with you. Our group of 5 was 2 young men and a woman in their late 20's and 2 older guys. We went in Monday and came out Saturday. We stayed Mon/Tue nights on Long Island then west to Tusc and south to Alton.
08/27/2017 03:03PM  
I'm glad to hear they want to go back. I'm sure the second trip will be better with a stove that works, a filter that filters, and appropriate clothing for the weather. You can tell them I don't like cooking and washing dishes either ;). And I don't do it; check out freezer bag cooking for your next trip! And I don't have to hang a food pack either, which is another chore I don't enjoy.

All in all it sounds like it went OK for you despite all those problems and it sounds like they rose to the challenge pretty well for young guys.
08/28/2017 10:35AM  
Hi Ruth! Sorry I didn't chat more, I was so worried about slowing you guys up with all our gear.

Yeah, Mashuga, that was us! For the record, I did use your young, muscular man's wrist size as a firewood size requirement rather than mine. Totally not fair and I can't believe the ranger didn't even crack a smile. Hope you caught some good fish.
distinguished member(583)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/28/2017 11:58AM  
Sounds like an awesome trip!!!
member (43)member
08/28/2017 04:56PM  
We are both sorry if you were feeling stressed about getting out of our way, that is why we said don't worry we are not in a hurry, we all ready had our camp set up we were just taking a day trip. We really enjoyed talking with you guys and you were really moving right along. Glad it was a good trip, I was glad my husband had packed a pair of wool socks for both of us, that made a huge difference on Wed & Thur nite. Ruth
distinguished member (280)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/28/2017 05:40PM  
that was my son and we all got the joke. The ranger was thorough but we all decided that there was a definite lack of a sense of humor. We only caught a few fish. The old guys were supposed to base on Long Island while the youngsters did a loop but they decided we would all stick together so, we traveled every day except Tuesday. It was a very good and enjoyable trip though. I hope you get the kids out again. I took my son on his first trip when he was 13 and he and I have been up 6 more times.
08/28/2017 07:28PM  
If your sons want to go again, you have done it well. You have given them a fine gift that could last forever. Good job!
distinguished member (388)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/29/2017 05:41PM  
You are an awesome mom for setting a good example for your sons! Nice job! Future trips will get better! Marc
Guest Paddler
09/03/2017 04:11PM  
Thanks for a great trip report! My friend and I chatted with you and your boys at your campsite on Cherokee on Thursday morning--we were very impressed with all of you! Sorry about the MSR pocket rocket--I've had one for years and never thought it might fail (but I use MSR fuel canisters, so maybe that makes a difference??). Great job on remembering to bring a backup water purification device. And I agree with you: the Sitka portage didn't seem bad because it was dry. Hope to run into you and your kids next summer at Cherokee again!
distinguished member(672)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/21/2017 10:55PM  
You amaze me and inspire me! You're an awesome mom, leader and role model. Think of all of the wonderful adventures yet to come. Your sons won't forget the memories you are making.
07/02/2018 05:29PM  
Great trip report! Your kids are troopers! I've been tripping with my kids since they were all about that age. My middle kid is not too interested, but my now 24 year old daughter and my 17 year old are my enthusiastic camping buddies. My daughter is an equal on the trail, though she's really small so I have to carry the heavy gear. My 17 year old is big and strong and can portage the canoe and it's really awesome. Keep going with them, and make sure to let them fish! I'm convinced that was my mistake with my middle kid.
distinguished member(2880)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
07/12/2018 07:04PM  
meh. coolest mom. enjoyed the read very much.
07/17/2018 01:01PM  
Just seeing this report now but wanted to give you mad props for making this trip a reality. I would put the number of moms willing to tackle this trip or any BWCA trip alone with 2 young boys at virtually zero, you are certainly in very rare company if you can find another.

I guarantee your boys will remember this trip for the rest of their lives and they will be better off for it.

Incredible job mom!

member (23)member
07/17/2018 07:04PM  
Great MOM :)
Your sons can do anything in life if they think other wise remind them of what they did in the BWCA !!!
07/19/2018 07:53AM  
We just got back from trip #2. I purchased a nice $35 Sawyer water filter contraption that worked the whole time and the same stove made it til the end. We ended up going back to Cherokee via #38 because once you've seen paradise...but we will likely do another entry point next time for variety. I got my husband to come with the 4 yo and brought my sister for the extra needed paddler (total party 3 adults, 3 kids: 13,10, 4 plus dog). Ada Creek was awful on the way in due to the recent rain, but better on the way out. We had perfect weather, were prepared for the bugs, and this time found a private 50 foot sand beach on the east side of Cherokee to base camp. Lovely trip. My husband is not a camper, and really isn't a fan of canoeing, but he is excitedly talking about the next trip. My sister was a workhorse and, even though she lives all the way out in TN, is talking about when she can make it back.
member (39)member
07/20/2018 07:48AM  
CharChar, this is the other half of the Paddelingruth team, I agree about the paradise comment, when you passed us last year on Long island Creek we were just on our way back from Cherokee. Our First trip to the B-Dub was to Cherokee 6 years prier and we just had to get back to see it again.

I bet the boys were exited to show the rest of the family this amazing area and I'm looking forward to your trip report.

On the way home last year Ruth asked if we were going back next year (music to my ears, up to that point we had only gone every other year) so in another month we will be putting in on E. Bearskin for a week.

Well done,
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