I'm thinking about taking my kids into the BW for the first time this summer. The plan is to keep it simple: just a few nights out of Sawbill. My wife and I are starting to think about how to pull off our paddling. Our kids are 10, 6, and 4. My first thought was that me (dad) and the boys (the youngest) would take one canoe and my wife and my daughter (the oldest) could take a second. But I'm wondering if we tried to pack light if there was a way we could all do it in something like a MNIII?
We were able to fit 3 kids (14, 13 and 9) and our dog a lab in our Mn has a 3rd seat that we made to go all the way across and 2 kids can sit on. We have 5 Duluth packs and the youngest sits on the floor in the front. He could sit on our spring creek portage pad seat but he liked sitting up front with me (mom). But by 15 14 and 10 years of age, we had to switch to 2 canoes. Our kids are older now (16, 15, and 12) and we have to take 2 canoes. The 2 oldest girls can not sit side by side anymore as they are taller than me.
All this to say is you need to test it out a head of time. Can you get a mn 3 and see if you can make it all fit?
Those kids are pretty young. I personally would feel more comfortable if we were all together. Kids that small can’t help much, especially if there’s wind. If you go with two boats, I recommend the boat that has the small kid(s) be one the adult can handle readily alone. And stick to small water. Sawbill might be a good EP for it.
There have been so many times we’ve had to dig in and paddle with everything we have to get across even relatively small lakes when the wind kicks up. If you are relying on kids to paddle, you may have additional challenges.
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