Last fall we did our first family backpack and my oldest liked it so much she wanted to go again right away the next weekend! Who am I to argue with that, right? So off we went again.
Our October was unusually warm here in northern Minnesota. The fall colors had peaked and many trees were bare, but there were still some great sections of gorgeous orange maple forest and golden aspen.
This time we didn't have friends to come along. To bad as the kids hike much better with friends along.
My wife carried our one year old and a few small items in the child carrier, and myself carrying the camping gear in my giant old Lowe Alpine 90L backpack. That thing is a beast, even when empty. On the first trip I had tried a slightly smaller pack and had to cram everything in so tight it was very annoying and not good for the gear.
My wife vetoed the tarp or leaving behind the inner tent, so we used the Hex 3, which fits the four of us easily. We used a rectangular bag with zipped on bottom sheet for my wife and girls and I slept in a single bag.
We parked at Lutsen ski area and hiked up the Superior hiking trail. We hiked over 2 miles and camped in a random spot in the maple woods on top of Mystery Mtn. This was almost all uphill so quite a big hike for my just-turned-four year old.. The weather was great, a bit cloudy but it never rained. On Sunday we hiked down from Mystery Mtn, up Moose Mountain and then took the gondola down to the ski area parking lot again. This was about 2.5 miles and some very steep uphill so the instigator of the whole thing got rather tired by the end. We found out she can ride on top of my shoulders with the backpack as a backrest. This only works for a short distance, 100 lbs is a bit much to carry very far! The promise of a Gondola ride at the end was a good motivator for her though.