I am planning a trip for myself and my 7 year old son. It will be a short 2-3 day trip. My question is which month would be better July or August as far as bugs and weather. I have only ever been there in May and early June. I want it to be warmer when I bring him for the first time so we can swim and play in the water. Also any thoughts on a good location out of the Ely area. Is there any lakes that have sandy sites. Thanks in advance.
I would vote for August. I have never had to deal with serious bugs in August but have had some real encounters with mosquitoes in July. Of course where you are camping makes a huge difference as does the weather.
I just came back from a three day trip with my 6 year old and she loved it. I am sure yours will have a great time too.
I have a few questions for you:
How much canoe experience does he have? How long do you want him to travel? How good is he at portaging?
I don't know of any sand but off hand Little Indian Sioux North is an option I would think about.
He has canoed a bit on lakes here in Wisconsin. No portage experience. We just canoe for fun and fishing. I plan on doing a trip or two canoe camping around home first before taking him to BWCA. I figure I will just plan and pack for me carry everything.
Thanks for the replies I was leaning towards August this just confirms my thoughts.
There is great advice about bringing youngsters, on this site. Do a quick search and you will have nights full of reading.
I took my son up the first time when he was eight. We stayed three nights. I gave him his own Mason pack. I believe it weighed 20# with his clothes, sleeping bag, thermarest, pillow, water bottle and trail mix. But every child is different and you know your son best. Let him carry the load around home a little to see what he can carry.
The best advice I have taken is to remember it is "your child's trip". Have fun planning..
"Do Not Let What You Cannot Do Interfere With What You Can Do..." -John Wooden
I have taken church youth often and find the last week in July to be great for kids for a few reasons.
1. Traditionally it is a week that has little all day rains-then further into late summer, fall you get the weather patterns start to change and more all day rains are possible. This is no guarantee but I have had good success with weather in the 5 trips we did during the last week in July.
2. Bugs are usually not a big deal. At dusk they can come out, but it is about the same as in August. Because the days are still a little longer in July you have plenty of daylight before dusk so more time outside before driven to the tents. Many nights the breeze keeps the bugs manageable anyway. The kids have never complained about the bugs that week. Bring bug repellant to be safe.
3. Berries will be closer to peak than in August. Kids love picking and eating berries and they should be everywhere and ripe. The later into August the fewer will be around.
4. There is not a big difference in size of group or permit availability. Both times are very popular.
Either month is fine but if I were planning a trip for youth I would choose the last week in July.
"When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known."
Sigurd F. Olson
There is an old saying among gardeners that goes like this: "prune whenever the shears are sharp." In other words, do it whenever it works out best for your schedule. You will have pros and cons for either month so it will even out whichever you choose. The one constant is the fact that you will have a great time and secure many lasting memories. Hopefully, it will be the first of many such trips for you and your son.
August hands down for bugs. If you want to swim, Bogs late-July suggestion is good. I've been twice in late August and while it was great for bugs, it's not comfy for swimming. One of my late August trips it was windy and about 50 degrees the entire time. It was probably in part due to the drought, but in 06 I went on a 11 day trip and we had rain once. The bugs were bad, especially the flies, but we were able to swim every day, which I think makes a trip nicer because you always feel clean.
I don't think that I will ever go back in July. We went in on the 23rd this year and it was 90 degrees plus, and humid almost every day. It was great for swimming, but was kind of crummy for anything else. I'm leaning towards mid August or even a early-mid September trip for next year. Have fun planning your trip!
I don't think you can go wrong with either month for a short trip with a kid. Ticks aren't a nuisance once you get into July, and it's a great time to swim and fishing in the evenings can be great. And if you're there during the Blueberry Arts Festival in Ely, it's one more thing to do with your kids before or after your trip.
One thing about August though - the Perseid meteor showers. Fantastic.
I would suggest August - less bugs. Try getting a tow from an outfitter on Moose lake. Take the tow to the portage to
Splash/Ensign. It is a short and easy portage to give the kid a taste of what portaging is. You can then camp at one of the many sites on Ensign with plenty of fishing options. Ensign seems to be a great lake for small mouth bass and walleye.