Boundry Waters canoe trip, need input/advice
Smart phone with a lot of spare batteries and Navionics mobile app would probably suffice if you don't want to buy a Garmin. If you're never bought spare batteries on Ebay, they're a lot cheaper than buying local.
I'd also canoe some before going on a trip like this if you haven't been in a canoe much. Paddling in waves is a skill, and dumping your tang and vodka to the bottom of the boundary waters would be unfortunate.
First, if you do not have a canoe, rent one at home and use it a bit. Have some one show you how to put it up on your shoulders and carry it. I am not being a jerk, it is easy. . . if you know how or it will wear you out if you don't. Typically, we rent Duluth packs from the outfitter. They handle the gear well. We used to land,empty the canoe, put on a food pack on our back, a smaller gear pack on the front, then grab a canoe for the first leg of a portage. Drop the stuff at the other end and come back for the rest, if there is some.
Many, maybe most of the camp sites have about 2" of soil on top of rock. That's the way it is. If you have a boy scout kinda tent which needs stakes to hold it up, you may have tough times.
Keep a clean camp. . there ARE bears there and there are moose, both of which can hurt you. There are usually lots of smaller pike in the shallower bays. . tasty !
Transfer the booze into a plastic water flask. Way lighter. Something like Everclear or gin / vodka makes a good drink and you don't need a lot of it. Try not to get plastered, you will act like a jerk (I always do) and if you get hurt out there, not only are you in deep trouble, but you cause someone else to help save you and put their live and time at risk.
Make certain you have at least one long sleeved shirt and bug repellent, cause you will likely need it. A pair of shoes that drain well are great cause you WILL get wet feet in and out of canoes, then carrying the stuff. A pair of dry camp slippers make a nice evening treat.
Have a map and a compass and know how to use them. Keep track of your journey cause that place is big.
Above all. . . take it easy and smell the roses . If you make it a go like hell week, you will have far less fun.
be safe Chuck