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Outdoor Guide: How to Prepare for Your Boundary Waters Canoe and Wilderness Camping Trip

Every year, over 250,000 canoers and hikers make their way to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Wilderness for a truly remarkable outdoor experience. But before a camper can make their trek, they should make sure to have all the necessary gear. Backpacking and canoe trips in the BWCAW are not your typical camping adventure. The experience is a lot more rugged while being in the wilderness for longer periods. Because of this, packing properly and proportionally is key.

So, what are the essential tools and gear you should be taking with you? 

Tools and Utensils: 

It’s important to adapt to your situation while you’re out in the wilderness, so making sure you have the proper tools to stay one step ahead of the game is a must.

Things to bring: 

  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Knife
  • Saw
  • Fishing gear (optional)

Accessories:  

This is the bulk of your pack. The essentials that turn a camping trip into an adventure. These are a necessity for anyone who is going to stay overnight in the outdoors. 

  • Sunblock
  • Water bottle
  • Water filter
  • Insect repellant
  • Cooking utensils
  • Sunglasses
  • Hammock/bedroll

Clothing

The last thing you want when you're stuck out in the wilderness is to be underdressed. Despite this, you should resist the urge to pile in as many pairs of sweatshirts and sweatpants you can in your bag. It doesn’t take much before your pack becomes crowded from clothing. You should always pack light; remember you can rewash your clothes in the wilderness.

Things to bring: 

  • A couple pairs of socks
  • One short and long-sleeve shirt (preferably quick-drying)
  • Hoodie or flannel (something warm)
  • One pair of shorts
  • Two pairs of shoes (one for hiking, one for water if necessary)
  • Raincoat/bottoms
  • Hat
  • Pillowcase or bag to put everything in

If you want to see how to properly pack these items in your Duluth Pack, check out our latest video on YouTube.

All the previous information and more can be found from our friends at, Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. They go in-depth on trip prepping and making sure you have the knowledge and materials you need to have an amazing experience in the boundary waters area. 

The last thing you need to decide is what pack to bring. Duluth Pack offers a huge variety of packs that cover each of your criteria including a line specifically for canoers. If wanting to test a canoe pack prior to purchasing, we recommend Renting A Duluth Pack. Duluth Pack is also the largest cooperator of BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Wilderness) in the world. When we say that we have something for everyone, we mean it!