Looking to make the most of your trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA)? You’ll have to come prepared well equipped for the adventure ahead. Some the must-have items include the following:
Canoe and associated equipment – Since motorboats are not allowed in these waters, you’ll have to have a canoe. Bring your own, borrow one, or rent one prior to your journey. • Fishing gear – Fish are abundant in the BWCA where the water is clean and pure. Be sure to research the hot spots for the type of fish you’ll be going after. • Tent, sleeping bag, roll pad, quality wool camp blanket – You’ll be able to pack quite a bit of goods within your canoe. High-quality sleeping gear and protection from the elements is necessary. A merino wool camping blanket provides excellent resilience against the cold and the wind. Many campers often bring two thick wool blankets to put on top of the roll pad and also on top of the sleeping back for additional warmth and comfort.
Water filter and water bottle – Staying hydrated is key to a successful BWCA experience. Paddling across the lakes in the hot sun can do a number on the body. Be sure to drink plenty of water. For convenience and ease of light packing, bring a water filter and keep refilling the same bottle.
Waterproof Camera or GoPro – You’ll see some pretty amazing things on your paddling trip . . . from sunsets, eagles, idyllic reflections on the lake etc. Be prepared with a good camera to capture these moments. • All-weather clothing – The elements can change quickly in the north country. Pack lightweight all-weather clothing that can protect you from wind, rain, and sun. Also, protect your skin from the sun and pack plenty of sunscreen!
Bug spray – Bugs are in abundance around the BWCA. Especially those pesky mosquitos . . .the Minnesota “state bird”! Bug spray also keeps those wood tics away. • Dry food – Dry food is a quick and easy water to get all the nutrients you need without packing the whole refrigerator. • Headlamp and/or flashlight – Aside from the stars at night, a flashlight or headlamp will be the only light you will have. Enjoy your BWCA experience and make to “leave no trace” behind and keep the BWCA a clean and healthy place for all to explore for many years ahead.