I have never been to the BWCA. A good friend of mine has planned a trip for us that he had to talk me into. It is hard to get away in life with the wife and 3 kids (7 to 1). To plan a guys trip is hard. However, for the last month I can not concentrate on anything to long with out thinking about our trip. I have read books and been on this website for countless hours. I have been on the Minn DNR website trying to figure out how the fishing is going to be on the lakes we are going to. Carrying my heavy canoe around the yard to try to get used to that. Anything to try to figure out how to make the trip go well. I think that the BWCA will live up to my expectations as we are going with 3 really good friends - high school and college buddies. I find myself day dreaming about our adventure and falling asleep at night thinking about the BWCA. The wife is getting frustrated and asking why can't you focus on something else besides this trip. The gear purchases are starting to add up. Not any big things just little stuff. You guys know the stuff a leech tamer here, a new jigging spoon for trout there, gota have those yoke pads. I have never been to the BW and I am already planning the next trip with the two older kids, reading the threads on how to travel with small kids. We have finally hit departure month but we do not leave until July 27th. The anticipation is killing me!!!
most memorable quote from a camping trip "Uh Guys... the tent is on fire"
I've actually created an extra folder in my e-mail so I can hide the fact that I'm sending countless e-mails every day from work. Haven't done the canoe but I have been hauling around a pack filled with sand. I too have been wondering if my oldest (6 next year) is ready for this kind of a trip (OK I'm really wondering if I'm up to taking along the extra weight in the canoe = he'll be like a pack that can carry itself across the portages). CAN'T WAIT
You are never lost, late, or lagging behind if you are on an adventure.
The second trip next year ... I will have to try to talk the godfather (one of the good friends that is going on this summers trip) into going. That way we can have one kid in each canoe. He does not have any children of his own so I think that he would enjoy a trip like this. Plus the help of carrying gear! Then if the kids enjoy it, what kid does not enjoy a good adventure, maybe the wife will want to experience this with us. So there I go planning trip number 3. Boy would I have to be a pack mule to carry gear for two kids and a wife or worse 3 kids and a wife. I better get the godfather in on that trip as well, and maybe a nephew. Speaking of nephew they are at a great age for a trip like this!
most memorable quote from a camping trip "Uh Guys... the tent is on fire"
one of the Old Timers said something like "there is some wonderful country back in there"..on my first trip in back in 82 i went by way of the Sioux River--hummmm..not much..lots of Black Spruce..THEN i hit the first carry at the Elm Portage--WOW!!--falls,rapids!!the Red Pines at Loon Lake were WOW--the cliffs at La Croix,WOW..i wowed all the way to Iron Lake and back and have been every year since..there is something about canoe country thats not found on the hiking trails or big water boating or alot of other outdoor sports..your sort of "inside" something...i blab on--have a good trip---
Your oldest IS ready for a trip. My first experience in the BW was when I was 4. Just make sure you've been there before so that you know what to expect. Get yourself caught up on all the necessary readings so that if anything happens (large storm, can't find a portage, gusty winds, etc.,) you know what to do and you don't have to juggle being surprised and confused while also taking care and making sure your kid has an enriching experience.
I haven't gone on this year's trip yet (not until mid-August! Ugh!) and I am already planning on two trips for next year...
Speaking as a wife...I can carry my own gear, thanks. I do have a special pack, bought to fit my frame. I'm petite and "normal" packs do not work for me. I also carry the food pack and all the extra crap. Hubby does the canoe and our other pack. I guess not as much stuff fits into my personal pack because it is smaller than some packs, but I think I do pretty well and carry my own weight. It's pretty proportional, I think: I'm smaller, he's bigger, and we carry our amounts in proportion to that.
I started at age 5, 29 years ago, and 40+ trips later I find myself planning the next trip or the trip after that around the campfire of the trip I'm on. Definitely a disease, but there are worse ones to have. I wouldn't trade the experiences for anything.
Heavy - even though we are from NE Minnesota and have ties to Lake Vermilion, we didn't start tripping until 2007 when the Ham Lake Fire canceled our spring fishing trip at a Lodge on the Gunflint. Now we go twice a year, and can't wait for each trip. We are both in our mid-50's and have a blast. Knowing we need to stay in shape for trips that hopefully will last into our 70's keeps us inspired all year long. Only regret is we didn't bring our boys when they were young. Enjoy your trip!
We are all addicts here so welcome to the club! As far as all the gear you have been purchasing, you can never have too much gear! Have a great trip and enjoy the anticipation. It will be here and over before you know it. Then it's time to start planning the next trip. That's part of the fun and excitement.
C-H-A-L-L-E-N-G-E: Do not let what you cannot do, interfere with what you can do.
I started when I was 8 and now am 46. I've been on 50+ trips and believe me the anticiption is still there. As a matter of fact we leave Sunday for the Cree River in Sask. Two week trip, with my 14 y o son as one of the party. It's our second trip this year, with the third coming in August. The kids, the wife they all go on one or the other.
Get the family involved and then they have a better understanding of the bug you've been bit by.
It doesn't matter where the trip is Canada the BW or whether is a two week job or 3-5 days long, the anticipation and excitement is there just the same.
We know what your going through, I usually have to take a day or two off work before I go to the Gunflint because im completely useless at work. If youve ever driven on a highway cloverleaf and wondered if theres fish in the little runoff pond in the middle of the cloverleaf, then you have BWCA fever, and it never goes away, and anyone that hasnt experienced it will never understand. The only thing that i can compare it too is when I became a born again christian, people would ask me how do you know, and really the only way i can explain is, when it happens there wont be a shred of doubt in your mind you just know. Your first trip will be different than you imagined, but it will be a life changing event if you just let it happen.When ever I see the quote "I took the road less traveled and it has made all the difference", I now know what he meant, have a great trip, and tell us about it when you get back !!
" I want to know Gods thoughts , The rest are details " Albert Einstein.
This is the first year that I am taking my 7 year old. He has been pumped about his new Keen's, his rain jacket, ect. He found a tent at a garage sale for .75 that he has to take with...he even wants to borrow some of the lures that he bought for his dad for fathers day. I leave the 13 for Ely and then put in on Tuesday. I am a stalker of this web page and have really never made a post. This thread interests me. I love kids and BWCA!
I work at night and catch up on the posts from the day. The BW fever..no treatment, but this is a good support group!
It seems like I know Bamabau, Bog Walker, Determined Orange...from all my stalking.
This is my favorite post ever, I'm glad allot of people experience this. My whole year consists of a general longing but the few weeks before a trip I become exceptionally unproductive. I do however manage to browse allot of photos on this website though....
"If I was told I was going to die tomorrow, I would be loading my canoe today"
Welcome to the club. There is no cure, only temporary relief. Relief is had by going to the BW. Symptoms return once you leave. I've been infected with this since 1993 and can think of few things I would rather have more.
Enjoy you trip!
"It's easy to grin when your ship comes in and you think you've got the stock market beat...but a man worth while is a man who can smile when his shorts are to tight in the seat", Judge Smails.