Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five Years of Family Backpacking Trips!

We’ve been doing annual backcountry trips as a family since my son was a year old and while it isn’t always easy to bring kids on our outings, it’s definitely worth the extra effort required!

Year one:  Elbow Lake, Kananaskis - Noah age one in the backcountry

In my newest story for Campers Village, you can find out what five suggestions I have for families wanting to see how much fun backpacking together can be!

Year two:  Little Yoho Valley - Noah age two in the backcountry

To read the story, visit the Campers Village website to read my story, How to make a family backpacking Trip Great.  Those following my blog regularly won't be surprised to find out that number one is to bring friends!  Always bring friends.

Year three:  The Point, Kananaskis - Noah age three in the backcountry

For further inspiration, check out these other stories I've written recently for Campers Village:

Trail Tested Snacks for Summer Adventure

Easy Overnight Paddle Trips for the Whole Family (with lots of local suggestions)

Three Steps to Getting a Good Night Sleep in a Tent

Year four:  Back at the Point again in Kananaskis - Noah age four in the backcountry

And from my own blog, check out these stories:

Family Camping Made Easy - Backcountry Adventures (with lots of local suggestions on where to camp in the Rockies.)

So You Love the Outdoors but Don't want to Camp (with lots of local suggestions on how to get into the backcountry in the Rockies - without tenting it.)

Year five:  Overnight Paddle Trip on the Red Deer River - Noah age five in the "backcountry"

This Year's Backcountry Trip

This year's trip wasn't exactly "backcountry" in the sense that there was a road leading to our campground beside the river.  However, we paddled to camp and hence had no vehicle at the campground.  We slept in a tent instead of our comfy trailer and we were at least 10km from our nearest truck.  Backcountry enough for me! 

Not to mention we narrowly missed a huge storm cell that rocked the area (following our river I might add) that was crazy enough to warrant tornado warnings!! Thank God my cell phone had died and I had no idea what was happening around the area Saturday night.

This year's backcountry trip on the Red Deer River

For information on the paddle route we took last weekend, visit the Alberta Parks website for Dinosaur Provincial Park.  We camped at Emerson Bridge Friday night after setting up our shuttle and camped at Steveville Saturday night.  We then paddled to Dinosaur Provincial Park Sunday where we'd left a vehicle conveniently parked beside the cafe and ice cream shop.

Another photo from this past weekend's trip down the Red Deer River
27 km paddled on day one - On a stand up paddle board!!

The map here says it is 30 km from Emerson to Dinosaur.  It lies!  It was 27 km on day one alone.  Add another 10 km or so on day two and it was a tad longer than I had signed up for.  Never the less, we made it. (and avoided the big storm that was strong enough to knock over a cement dinosaur in Drumheller nearby!)

Final shot from last weekend's Red Deer River Trip

We'll get a second shot in the backcountry this September when we head into Shadow Lake Lodge for a couple nights as a family.  And it is 100% my kind of backcountry!  Hike in and then sleep in a cozy cabin with meals prepared for me.  Princess backpacking at its finest!!  There are plenty more ideas like that in my last story mentioned above on loving the outdoors but not wanting to camp.


  1. Great photos! You must have some wonderful memories traveling with your family like that.

    1. Thanks. We do have wonderful memories indeed! And it gets easier every year.

  2. What a wonderful retrospective of Noah's outdoor adventures and what he was up for as grew older! I'm especially impressed with your SUP skills. Great post and photos.

    1. Thanks Gail. Not too much skill required on this particular river we did. Just had to know how to dodge sand bars! :)