I thoroughly believe that introducing children to the BWCA will change their lives. There are so few places left of pure solitude. We brought our son on a 10-day canoe trip when he was six years old, and our daughters now demand to make it our summer vacation every year. I recommend a five to seven day trip - enough time to go a distance into the wilderness, and more importantly, time to detoxify and acclimate to the natural beauty. *And time for the kids to withdraw from technology. It's funny, after a few days, you'll find the kids playing with chipmunks, watching eagles catch fish, and listening to loons for entertainment. As my grandpa told me when I first went on a canoe trip as a tween-ager: "I just wanted you to look up at the stars and feel small in a big world - and know that something bigger is in control." Ever since then, I've sought the solitude of the wilderness.
There are many places to start out your adventure and many resources to help you figure it all out. Perhaps narrow down your launch site to the Gunflint Trail or Ely. Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint side is highly, highly recommended. The Gunflint is more remote and has a wilderness feel to it from the very beginning. In Ely, your accommodation options are endless and the town is absolutely awesome - you would want to plan at least a day roaming around the shops there. Ely.org or elyminnesota.com are good resources.
As far as prepping for the actual canoe trip, you have two ways to begin: One, by having everything prepared for you by the outfitter. Or two, planning and packing it all yourself. If you've never done it before, go with option one. The resorts in these areas are well equipped and won't forget a thing for you! The downside is that it can be more expensive. If you already have a lot of camping gear, you can youtube suggestions for gear, meals etc. There's no such thing as being over prepared so if you chose to pack yourself, plan it out weeks in advance.
It may seem daunting, but trust me, there's no vacation more worth it. Feel free to message me with questions! Also, check out the aurora borealis forecast for northern lights before you go!
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