As a follow up to a successful family canoe camping basecamp experience at the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in 2017, and to have something constructive for Devin & Evie to do before school started back up, I decided to take my two youngest on a proper canoe trip albeit sized appropriately for a 6 and 13 year old.
This will be Evie’s 3rd canoe camping trip, having been on the Granite River in the BWCA in 2016 and last year’s family trip. This is Devin’s 3rd canoe camping trip as well; in addition to last year’s trip which was his first, he also accompanied me and my oldest kid on a long weekend on the WI River in June. This marks my 5th BWCA trip (3rd time to the end of the Gunflint Trail) and 12th overall overnight canoe camping experience.
Our route is fairly simple and usually well populated – put in at the Sea Gull Lake public access and make a loop through Alpine, Red Rock, Saganaga, Gull, and back to Sea Gull. According to BaseCamp the optimal route is 20 miles. This doesn’t include having to account for conditions on the lake (waves, wind), day trips, foraging for firewood, searching for open campsites, or multiple trips across portages. Granted, none of our portages are very long, the longest being Sea Gull to Alpine at 100 rods (about .25/mi). We are not lightweight travelers, however, so each portage has to be walked back and forth at least two times by everyone, with our first portage requiring 3 trips by the end of the trip we’re down to two trips to complete a portage.