Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

First Family Adventure Trip
by mzcanoe

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/03/2020
Entry Point: Brant Lake (EP 52)
Exit Point: Missing Link Lake (EP 51)  
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
As our kids have grown, we've been wanting to introduce some camping/adventure experiences into our family rhythm. Our recent move to MN, and a summer with no kids activities, made this year a perfect opportunity to give it a try. This was our first family trip to the BWCA. We brought our two oldest boys along (ages 10 & 12) for our first epic voyage. It had been 20 years since I'd been to the BWCA (Quetico) with my high school youth group. Thankfully my husband had been to the BWCA several times in recent years with college groups from our church so he was well versed on all things needed for surviving outdoors. Leading up to this trip the only tent camping we'd ever done as a family was backyard camping. Our summer vacations typically involve hiking in state parks so our kids are great hikers and love the outdoors, but we always stay in a hotel-vacations with 4 small kids and a tent never sounded like that much fun. We joked leading into the trip that maybe we should have started with camping in a state park, but we decided to jump in with both feet. We also left our 5 & 7 year old with the grandparents to do some RV camping. We began planning our trip in June and it was obvious at that point that we were going to be up against some "crowds" this year so we tried to pick a route that would get us a little off the beaten path. As mentioned previously, our kids are hikers so the thought of portaging was no big deal for them, it was the canoeing that they weren't quite so sure about. After reading a few trip reports we decided to try to make it to Little Saganaga via Brant. Here is our adventure.
Day 1 of 6
Monday, August 03, 2020 We spent the day at Tetagouche, near Silver Bay, so we could enjoy some special time with our younger two kiddos. Late afternoon we handed them off to the grandparents and headed up 61 to Grand Marais.

We arrived just after a rain storm and right in time to grab a quick dinner and a "before" photo by the lake. We then headed up the Gunflint trail to Hungry Jack Lodge where we spent the night in the campground. It was cold (low 40's) and misty and we were all freezing cold. Definitely not the weather we were expecting for August. We had warm clothes packed for our trip, but decided to tough it out over night rather than digging to the bottom of our perfectly packed packs. In hindsight that might have been a poor decision. . .