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   Group Forum: Canoeing with kids
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distinguished member (243)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/09/2018 10:20AM  
Hi! First time post! Long time reader (really not that long, but have browsed the site many times and short time reader didn't make sense to say)

How do you guys actually "carry" your infants while canoeing? Laying in the bow? Laying in front of the stern paddler? I'm also envisioning some sort of sling rocker going from gunwale to gunwale. I see a few pictures of infants on the forum. We are headed up the Gunflint with our first child in September. He will be 2 months old. Planning on a 4-5 day basecamp trip of some sort, but no concrete plans yet.

Any other tips for having the infant in the canoe is also appreciated. We plan to use a snow suit in lieu of a sleeping type bag.

PS- Tried using the search function and went back a dozen pages looking for an answer or similar thread, but nothing was easily apparent. Redirect me to an old post if there is one.
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08/09/2018 01:55PM  
Search out posts * by TuscaroraBorealis in particular, I believe. IIRC they've been bringing kids since they were practically newborns. I think the general method involved making a nest of sorts up in the bow. Seems to me it would be drier up front than amidships or in front of the stern seat. At least in my canoe that's where all the water tends to collect!

* Edited to say TB's trip reports might be more informative than actual threads on the subject, although I know it's been occasionally discussed. Might be a good subject for a sticky.
08/10/2018 02:08AM  
brule bay baby trip report by TuscaroraBorealis is a great trip report that will give you great info with photos

another trip report when she's 3 months old

TuscaroraBorealis does check in on this forum once in a while. Hopefully he stops in because he can give you great advice. For now.... you can get good info from reading the two trip reports above. They did 2 trips with their daughter by the time she was 3 months old.
distinguished member(2457)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/10/2018 10:51AM  
Babies are easy. I bought a foam pad for the floor, a baby rain suit and a baby life jacket. I have a water proof blanket I put across the top of the canoe to block the sun. I also had a small unbrella to clamp on the canoe but found that to annoying to use.
08/10/2018 07:44PM  
Do you have an Ergo baby carrier?
distinguished member (243)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/12/2018 10:02AM  
Yes. We have an ergo carrier. Also bringing a fold up bassinet (fairly small and light), snowsuit to be used as sleeping bag sack.

Any other infant specific gear? Their lives are fairly simplistic- eat, sleep, poop.

A side bar- I’ve read many “bringing kids to bwca” threads and so often I read that if the kids won’t remember then parents are only bringing them for themselves. My wife is taking an infant and toddler development class right now- one quote stuck out to me- if their bodies grew as faster as their brains did in the first month- they would weigh 100 pounds in a month. While sight might be limited to infant depth and range, smells, sounds, fresh air- so many things can go into the development of their lives. And to be honest, I want this trip to prove from the get go that kids can be sails and not anchors. Excited to be apart of the board and learn from other experiences, as well as share my own.
distinguished member(2457)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/13/2018 07:56AM  
My 14 year old has been on 28 bwca trips... started when she was 6 weeks old
My 12 year old has been on 27 bwca trips started when she was 6 months old
My 9 year old has been on 19 bwca trips started when he was 5 months old

For them canoe camping is a way of life, a lifestyle. We live on the river and own a pond. We canoe way more than just the BWCA. Canoeing is who I am, so it is now what they know :)
distinguished member (243)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/24/2018 11:26AM  
While we didn't overnight in the BW, we stayed at Trails End for a week. With the wind forecast and low overnight temps, we wanted to be near the car just in case it got too cold for our 9 week old. He camped like a champ! We managed to do a 6 mile loop on Seagull and did a day trip into Grandpa lake, 230 rods! Was a great trip- after the initial 1/2 mile paddle with him screaming because he didn't like the life jacket, the rest went fine. And to think we resolved ourselves to not seeing any wildlife, we ended the trip seeing a bear and moose. It can be done!

Our next task- a winter to plan for a crawling/ walking toddler on next years trip.
09/25/2018 06:45AM  
Awesome!!!!!!!!!! One of the keys to tripping with kids of any age is to be flexible. You adjusted the plan based on conditions had a great time. Way to go!!!!!
member (45)member
05/13/2019 11:49PM  
Hi, this is Vickie, the mother of TBs child. We traveled with her in the bow for the main reason of I would be able to tend to her and allow TB to continue to paddle from the stern. We used a garden kneeling pad to lay her on in the canoe to provide Insulation from cold canoe bottom, to help keep her dry as no doubt water will get in the canoe and it doubled as a changing pad on land as well. I also put an unsealed zip lock baggy over her feet. I duck taped a cheap plastic tarp, cut to shape, over the bow to protect protect her from the sun/rain during travel. In camp, we used a plastic foldable bouncy seat and a pea pod pop up tent. The pea pod was awesome to have. She slept in it in our tent (didn't want to smother her with our sleeping bags) and it worked great to protect her from the sun/bugs when sitting in camp. A Little quilt like gunny sack blanket works well for heat retention. Most infant clothing is cotton and it takes longer to dry. I packed in 6 changes of clothes for her and still found I had to wash her clothes every day just to ensure she always had something cleaner and dry. Her first trips I nursed her. Her subsequent trips when she still needed milk I would purchase dry 2% milk from the Hispanic food section at Walmart. As she grew and started walking the most valuable items were sock, socks and more socks and a one piece rain suit from Oakiwear (great quality).

Hope this helps.
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