BWCA Canoe trip with 1 year old Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Fonta
Guest Paddler
 
01/25/2022 01:56PM  
Hi,

Looking for advice on trips this summer for my husband, our one year old and me. We tented and canoed day trips last summer. Looking for a 2-3 overnight paddle weekend trip.

Any and all advice welcome about canoeing/camping with little ones. :)

Thanks!
 
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MoosilaukeJohnny
member (17)member
 
01/25/2022 04:54PM  
Canoe trip with one year old? My recommendation is to base camp...put in at Seagull Outfitters and paddle for two to three hours west- there is a wonderful campsite on the north shore with its own protective cove, with a fantastic beach, gradual sandy drop-off for swimming perfect tall trees for a bear hang, and great tent site possibilities. Your kid will love this...and so will you! Have fun and please....do not overextend yourself with a one year old (I speak from experience). Your child will thank you for this!
outsidethebox
distinguished member (158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/25/2022 07:52PM  
So this retired pediatric nurse of 25 years looks over at his soon to retire pediatric nurse practitioner of 25 years spouse and asks what she thinks. Slowly shaking head. I agree. The chances of this going well are less than slim to none. Shall I call my pediatrician brother...nah-no pediatric professional would support this "thought".
01/25/2022 08:33PM  
It can totally be done! I might suggest going into EP Slim out of Ely. They're long narrow lakes which shouldn't produce too much wind. Portages are straightforward until you get to the BIG 600 rod one, which I'd just avoid all together.

Hopefully, Tuscarora Borealis will chime in. He has tripped NUMEROUS times with his daughter Aurora who was MONTHS old during their trips. I feel like Canoearoo and Ducks have tripped with their one year olds too.
TuscaroraBorealis takes a 2 month old to the BWCA!

There is a board on here, Canoeing with Kids. You should join it, and ask questions there too :).

01/25/2022 08:34PM  
outsidethebox: "So this retired pediatric nurse of 25 years looks over at his soon to retire pediatric nurse practitioner of 25 years spouse and asks what she thinks. Slowly shaking head. I agree. The chances of this going well are less than slim to none. Shall I call my pediatrician brother...nah-no pediatric professional would support this "thought". "

Your opinion has no supporting comments. I say "Why not trip with a baby!" It'd be like bringing a sack of potatoes that poops often.
Unas10
distinguished member(1440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/26/2022 05:48AM  
We car camped regularly with our kids when they were that young. If you are willing to portage all the necessary baby stuff, go for it. At that age, the kid won't remember anything long term, but will become more used to being out side and less apprehensive about it. It will also build your skills and confidence to continue tripping with a young child. Getting kids interested in outdoor pursuits can never start too early.
01/26/2022 07:05AM  
My experience has been. Be prepared for lots of tripping by your 1 year old around camp. A new walker coupled with a mine field of roots, rocks and uneven ground makes staying upright a constant challenge.
eyepaddle
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
01/26/2022 07:08AM  
That's awesome that you're planning to start early! I'm not a "pediatric nurse" but I have 3 daughters who have all been canoe tripping since they were in diapers. We laugh about the days when we packed diapers and pull-ups into and out of the BW. You'll have a great time - just keep your expectations reasonable, take lots of pictures, and know that you're doing an awesome job setting your kid up for a lifetime of outdoor adventure! Our first trip with a toddler we put in at Lake One, camped at the near end of Lake Three. Good Luck!
ockycamper
distinguished member(896)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/26/2022 08:51AM  
My thoughts on this one go back to when my kids were 1 years old. My son was in to everything. He also cried a LOT at night.

Your challenges are going to be bugs (you can't put deet on a 1 year old) and there will be black flies and mosquitos. Just as you child proof a home for an exploring one year old, how do you "child proof" a site in the BWCA. Everything will tend to go in their mouths.

Lastly is the crying. Sound carries a long ways in the BWCA. If you child starts crying at night you won't be the only ones up.
PointMe2Polaris
senior member (99)senior membersenior member
 
02/16/2022 04:51PM  
This non pediatric husband of 23 years looked at my beautiful non pediatric wife of 23 years and said; "A 1 year old in the Boundary Waters - No worries here." :-)

Normally, I try to push people to the Ely side of the boundary waters due to bias, but I think for your purposes, I'd strongly suggest the Eastern side. I'd definitely recommend EP 38 Sawbill: Perfect for a 2-4 day trip with a small child. You put in on Sawbill and can stay on sawbill. Also, Alton is just an easy 30 rod portage away with some nice camp sites as well (Check out the northern most site on this site's interactive map). This would allow quick access to set a base camp on day 1. For your full days you can go in any direction for some nice day trips. I'd highly recommend daytripping up the Kelso River to the Doleman Rock. A nice and relaxing paddle with beautiful views.

While this can be somewhat of a busy area, I think you can't go wrong here for Jr's first trip into the BWCA!

God Bless!
Darin
WonderMonkey
distinguished member(781)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/16/2022 06:40PM  
Step 1 - Canoe to grandma/grandpa's house.
Step 2 - Leave child on doorstep
Step 3 - Ring doorbell
Step 4 - Paddle away quickly
Doublelung76
member (15)member
 
02/16/2022 08:12PM  
Natives raised all of their children in the bush,you ain’t doing something that hasn’t been done since the beginning of time,enjoy it,they grow up fast!
Porkeater
distinguished member (209)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2022 08:25AM  
outsidethebox: "So this retired pediatric nurse of 25 years looks over at his soon to retire pediatric nurse practitioner of 25 years spouse and asks what she thinks. Slowly shaking head. I agree. The chances of this going well are less than slim to none. Shall I call my pediatrician brother...nah-no pediatric professional would support this "thought". "

Condescend much?
ockycamper
distinguished member(896)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2022 08:47AM  
the thread seems to be ridiculing the two that were nurses, but they bring up a valid point. The Boundary Waters is not car camping. In 16 years of tripping we have had several canoes capsize (in very cold water), cuts and other minor injuries, guys come down with some type of sickness, sprained ankles. etc.

We have taken boys up there as young as 7 years old and they loved it. But they could all swim. . .just like everyone else we take up there. They were also old enough to know what the rules were.

We have had every type of weather, all types of bugs, and moose in the camp every year for the last 4 years.

I think some are missing the point that the BWCA is not a state or county park with mowed lawns, smooth trails, bath houses, etc.

One last thought. . .you can't put those diapers in the privy. You will be hauling out all those diapers with you.

I took my kids camping too. . .from the east coast all the way to Yellowstone. I will take my grandkids camping as well. But they are/were old enough to follow rules, could all swim and were part of the camping experience.
02/17/2022 10:33AM  
OP musta given up this trip idea? Good for her/him.
WonderMonkey
distinguished member(781)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2022 10:40AM  
WonderMonkey: "Step 1 - Canoe to grandma/grandpa's house.
Step 2 - Leave child on doorstep
Step 3 - Ring doorbell
Step 4 - Paddle away quickly"


To be clear, I wasn't saying don't take your child. It was weak attempt at some humor. Yes, very weak. Take the good advice of people here in this thread as well as doing some searches, some great threads on this here in the past.
4keys
distinguished member(835)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2022 12:20PM  
If you want to take a 1 year old in, it can be done. Others have done it, and there are probably pages of tips out there.

Some things to consider tho.
How will you store used diapers and carry them out?

If it rains do you have something to entertain a 1 year old in a tent/tarp for several hours?

Can the 1 year old walk the portage, or will you have to carry him?

Does the child like being in lake water? If the canoe tips are you a strong swimmer & able to care for child in the middle of a lake?

You have to decide if the extra work is worth it. The trip needs to be enjoyable for the adults as well as the child.

We took our kids for canoe rides when they were only a few months old. But we were able to leave the water when they got too antsy. We car camped and took day trips. We did not take them overnight into the BW until they were old enough to follow directions, walk, we’re potty trained, and could swim.

THEGrandRapids
distinguished member (348)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2022 03:25PM  
Do it now because if you wait they won't be able to go until they are 2, or 3 or 12 years old and you'll never be able to go in with a 1 year old, until your second child.

Slim, Crocodile, Gabbro... tons of options out there.

Easy peazy. All of their clothes fit in a coffee can size bag. Diapers are nothing. If you don't want to pack out poop, brush it off into the latrine and just take the diaper. I don't even bother, I just bring the entire thing back. Food? Hardly any. My 3 year old will go on his 5th trip in June, along with his 15 month brother taking the bow on his second trip.

For all the naysayers.... go away. No one cares you think its a bad idea.

Be prepared? Absolutely.

Bring a camping highchair so you can at any point (except in the canoe) strap them in and they are safe if you need all hands on deck for something. A 1 year old won't walk the portage. A 2 year old won't. A 3 year old will for 20 yards.... With two kids, I have triple and even quadrupled portaged, while my spouse and kids single portage. Think I put 6 miles on between the parking lot and entry point last year.

PM me if you have any particular questions.
Dan Cooke
Guest Paddler
 
02/17/2022 10:37PM  
I have friends that have been taking their boy into the BWCAW summer and winter since he was a month old.
Your experience will be shaped a lot by your comfort level of all that goes into taking care of the little one. if you go cloth rather than disposable- use two layers of receiving type blankets for diapers. they have washing style stuff sacks to clean them and receiving blankets dry quicker than actual thick diapers. Bring whatever small toy(s) they enjoy. A small umbrella or fabric to make shade or keep rain off while in the canoe. Closed cell foam pad so they can rest in the bottom of the canoe or on shore. Have fun.
Banksiana
distinguished member(2557)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/18/2022 08:53AM  
Babies float.

Brought my son on a 6 day Q trip (moving every day) before he was one. It was a ball. Best moment was overtaking a group of young men (they were paddling aluminum, we had our massive but quick Sawyer 222) while my wife was nursing in the bow.
jaimed
distinguished member (141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/18/2022 09:45AM  
This is a rewrite of a pretty poorly worded response to an important question. All of life is exercising one's judgment or live with the consequences. Right? I think one would be wise to take seriously the comment earlier from our esteemed member who was a life long pediatric nurse. The've seen it all pretty much. Now, I'm not saying don't take a 1 year old. I'm saying risk/reward equation and Darwin Awards are always to be taken very seriously. The BWCA is a pretty timid place as far as "wilderness" goes. However, if one isn't up to it skill wise, one can and occasionally there are those that lose their lives. Now, you are adding parenting an inherently risky age child to this equation. What I'm saying is you better have BOTH outdoor skills and child care skills honed sharp. A wise quote my older brother used to say to me when we did would do stupid (not illegal) things in our youth was, how will this play on the evening news? Will we be victims, morons or villains? I think that nurse is telling you something important. You may not be viewed very favorably by the authorities is something goes wrong. And, more importantly, you will have to live with it. Is it worth it to you?
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(5058)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/20/2022 02:39PM  
Yes, it can be done! (once hitting the link, scroll down to see photo montage.)

There are certainly causes for concern but, with proper research and adjusted goals I think most anyone would be able to pull it off.
outsidethebox
distinguished member (158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/21/2022 06:43PM  
bobbernumber3: "outsidethebox: "So this retired pediatric nurse of 25 years looks over at his soon to retire pediatric nurse practitioner of 25 years spouse and asks what she thinks. Slowly shaking head. I agree. The chances of this going well are less than slim to none. Shall I call my pediatrician brother...nah-no pediatric professional would support this "thought". "


Your opinion has no supporting comments. I say "Why not trip with a baby!" It'd be like bringing a sack of potatoes that poops often. "


Not simply an "opinion". From the information provided, this will not go well for the child...and not likely for the adults either. Here, in pediatric matters, the adults get what they deserve-the children are the innocent bystanders. This is not a whimsical guess...and I am assuming that the question was asked by parents who are interested in real information about the well-being of their child???? That's all.
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(5058)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/21/2022 07:21PM  
Sometimes, I think parents need to think outsidethebox. :)
 
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