Are Your Kids Too Young To Paddle?

Abby was 8 or 9 months old when we took her on her first canoe camping trip into the Boundary Waters. We probably would have taken her when she was younger if weather or time had allowed us to do so.  We placed her in a Rubbermaid container in the middle of the canoe and tied toys to the handles of it so she could throw them out of the box but not lose them forever.  We provided snacks, toys, songs and she of course enjoyed her time in the canoe.

We’ve camped in the BWCA with her and Josh numerous times since then and each time is magical. There isn’t a perfect age when your kids are ready for a wilderness canoe camping trip. I think it’s more about the parents being ready for the adventure than the kids. Young kids are adaptable, resilient and happy whenever they are “home” which is wherever their parents are. Whether it’s on a sandy beach or camping on a rocky outcropping they will thrive if they know they have their parents.

And talk about thriving. What an incredibly awesome paddling journey this family took together.  I wish we would have done something similar when our kids were little and I wish we could do it now that they are older.  Don’t wait until your children are old enough or the perfect age, whenever you take them canoe camping is the right time.

What an incredible opportunity and story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Have Kids, Will Paddle from Dan Clark on Vimeo.

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