Boundry Waters canoe trip, need input/advice

6/19/14 @ 4:06 PM
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l88m22vette
l88m22vette
USER since 2/22/10
So some friends and I are prepping for a canoeing/camping trip to the Boundry Waters in July, we are going to hike/portage/canoe to the site, camp three nights, and head back out. We plan a night before and after for some fun (and a bed with a hot shower), maybe restaurant, casino, stripclub, etc., and I'd like some input on both the canoeing/camping aspect along with the before and after. I've camped a lot but never canoed much, and am unfamiliar with the area itself aside from knowing we will be in the middle of nowhere. We will be renting the general equipment since this is our first time on a trip like this, so water filter, their hardware and supplies, etc. A few thoughts: - should I get an emergency beacon? I know they are like $100 and satellite-linked, I'm sure I'm being paranoid but it sure wouldn't hurt - we will be fishing, normal lake gear along with my heavier fly stuff, but I usually catch-and-release and we'd like to catch dinner at least once, so I need a filet knife, but what else, anything fancy? - we are carrying/portaging everything, does anyone have a trick for bringing drinks? Beer is a no-go because of weight and garbage, I've never looked into powered alcohol, my thought was bring a few Everclears with KoolAid (we will be renting water filters) - whats the best way to clean? I usually bring a big pot, boil water, and clean stuff like that, and we are avoiding anything that produces garbages (plasticware, etc) - just generally, what is cool to do? before/after? We debated Canada but that's extra hassle and we don't really have that much time. Basically, Chicago to north MN, camp, drive halfway home into WI, have a night, get home next day. Thanks for any help everyone!
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Displaying 1 to 8 of 8 Posts
6/22/14 @ 10:07 PM
JethroBodine
JethroBodine
USER since 12/21/01
I've never done a trip like this, but I never would without a portable GPS with spare batteries.

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.

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6/22/14 @ 8:39 AM
Foundry Rat
Foundry Rat
USER since 1/21/10
For drinks Vodka and Tang. Your H2O filter supplies the water for OJ. If you want to splurge for the first night in, bring frozen steaks and wrap in clothing or sleeping bag as a cooler. Double bag them. Pack all clothes in plastic bags before putting in backpack. If everything gets wet, your clothes are still dry. Pack needles. You'll have thin braded line for thread. Pack a small roll of duct tape. Duct tape can be used to repair a canoe or tent. Once applied on a dry canoe it will stick and waterproof. Have fun, Rat.

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6/20/14 @ 4:44 PM
LUV2HNT
LUV2HNT
USER since 11/3/03
We made this a family vacation when I was a kid. 1 set of clothes for travel up. Leave a set in vehcle for travel home. 1 set you wear and another set to change mid-week. set= 1 pair of socks, 1 underwear, 1 pants, 1 shorts, 1 t-shirt. 1 sweatshirt for the week. Plenty of bug dope and sunscreen. Camera, COMPASS (GPS needs batteries)and topo map of area your in. Don't count on fish for meals, have alittle something just in case. Wife and I went up in 1994 before kids and thought we would have plenty of fish from previous experiences... water levels were down and fish were hard to come by. We would use dry Ice in a styrofoam cooler to keep things frozen for 3 days. Looked into this for my family of 4 and for what permits and gas would cost me I could rent a cabin someplace in Vilas for a week.

Have fun.

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6/20/14 @ 1:06 PM
fishmunkee
fishmunkee
USER since 3/20/02
Put everything you want to take along out on the bed or table. Now put at least half of it away and pack the rest. Even then I generally don't use half the stuff I bring especially tackle. Vodka with powdered gatorade or lemonade works for cocktail hour. Know how to get a hook out of your finger! Don't ask how I know. Take a light landing net. Take a light tarp with ropes to set up for shade/rain. It will make life much more enjoyable if it rains and you don't want to sit in your tent. Dehydrate food yourself at home instead of pre-made meals.... it will taste way better. Take frozen steaks... they thaw in your pack and are ready to grill that first night to celebrate. Aluminum foil, butter and salt/pepper are your friends for cooking fish. HAVE FUN!

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6/20/14 @ 9:53 AM
JamesD
JamesD
USER since 2/16/04
I'll pare it down to one suggestion.....keep it light. I paddle into the Canadian equivalent; Quetico, for a week every August and have portages from one lake to the next down to a science. It all starts with packing light. Think swimming suit and sunblock. Renting kevlar canoes can be a life saver too. Most of my experience with those that insist on bring electronics (other than a small camera) is laughable. Leave that stuff behind. Don't be the winner of the heaviest pack contest. Lots of good suggestions in the previous posts. Most who go on these trips want to go again. Winners of the heaviest pack contest do too. They just pack half the stuff on the next trip.

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6/19/14 @ 8:04 PM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
I have not gone to the bWCA but I'd like to sometime soon. I've been looking into it.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=bwca+advice

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6/19/14 @ 5:35 PM
chuckc
chuckc
USER since 3/21/14
I will make a few suggestions.

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 Tounge Out Tounge Out

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