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Lessons and tips from an annual family camping and fishing trip with Ali UpNorth

In this Northland Outdoors podcast, Ali UpNorth shares details about her family's trip to Lake Kabetogema and tips for families looking to get outside with young children.

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DULUTH -- Every year, Ali UpNorth and family head north to Lake Kabetogema for a camping trip near the U.S.-Canadian border. Mainly though, it's a fishing trip within Voyageurs National Park.

This summer, with a 2-month-old and a 2-year-old, the family went during a heat wave, which made Ali hesitant to go. But she says it was a success.

"So this is tent camping on an island," Ali says. "Everything you take in, you have to take out. You have to kind of plan accordingly. With the heat, we managed by finding shade and we lucked out with a really nice breeze.

"I packed plenty of clothes for the kids, but honestly, my baby stayed in just a diaper most of the time to keep him cool enough. My daughter swam quite a bit to stay cool. And we did mostly dock fishing and really only got out fishing one time in the morning before the heat was too much. "


Ali Juten enjoys some relaxing time while camping with her family at Lake Kabetogema. Submitted photo

Ali says she receives questions on how to pack for a trip, especially with kids. For the baby, Ali brought a portable bassinet, while the family used a toddler portable trundle bed, blanket and pillow.

Tent camping with an infant can present some challenges in the summer heat, but shade and a breeze made it manageable for Ali Juten and family. Submitted photo

Other useful items for a summer trip include a pop-up baby tent for the boat, pop-up play pen with a sun shade, a wagon to haul gear from the boat and battery-operated fans.

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Ali Juten enjoys time on the boat with her baby when the family took a recent camping trip to Lake Kabetogema. Submitted photo

"One thing I did learn is that with a 2 year old, bed time is later because of the excitement, the sun still being up," Ali says. " Although we didn’t get to fish much, when we did go out in the boat, the one fish that we brought to the boat was caught by my 2-year-old. And that was the perfect scenario."


Ali Juten and her family take an annual trip to Lake Kabetogema. Submitted photo

Another question she often receives is how to include children into outdoor activities so you can continue doing what you love with them.

"You can only do it if you have the mindset that your activities might look a little bit different than they did before," Ali says. "And usually it's for the better."

Ali is an outdoor writer and marketing consultant living in Northern Minnesota who loves fishing, hunting, and outdoor adventures. To learn more about Ali, visit her website and Instagram page .


As director of digital content development for Forum Communications, Wagner oversees digital training tools for newsrooms, audience engagement and niche content areas.
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