We’ve done lots of camping over the years. My wife and I have even done some backpacking. As a family though, we’ve never actually gone backpacking together. So this weekend was a first for us. We got some of the gear we were lacking, mostly at REI, and off we went.

We chose Langer Lake. The Sawtooth lakes beckoned, but we knew the traffic on Labor Day weekend would be higher than average, and my friends Greg and Jeff had both mentioned visiting Langer, so we gave it a shot. In the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area, the hike in was only about 2 miles. It starts steep for about the first half mile, but then evens out some. We were all feeling it, but made it and were all well rewarded.

One of the highlights was having about 8 deer visit us as the sun set on Sunday evening. They didn’t mind us being there at all. My wife and I were even surrounded for a bit with deer on all sides, only about 15 feet away. So cool.

We learned a bunch about what worked and didn’t. Some of the gear we got was an epic success, some, not as much. All in all though, it was so much fun. My family is… just the best. I’m in love with the outdoors, and even more so my family.

It was an amazing weekend.