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Boundary Waters vacation

Mechanicsburg...
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Boundary Waters vacation

considering late July 2014 family vacation to Boundary Waters. Thinking of a 7d canoe trip. What should I know, consider, be forewarned about?

KathyK

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1. Re: Boundary Waters vacation

I would first off figure out who is in your group and whether your group is self-sufficient or if you will need an outfitter to set you up with food. Personally, I like being completely self-reliant (with the exception of an outfitter dropping me at my entry point and picking me up. I think it's part of the mystique to plan meals on your own and imagine creative ways to pack the right amount of food and pack it light (like pancake mix with dried fruit in baggies mixed with water -- filtered of course -- from the lake).

Second, I would figure out which part of the BWCA you want to see. Large lakes, small lakes, better-rated campsites. Would you plan to have a base camp and venture out each morning from that one camp? Or will you be on the move with a different camp site each day (which allows you to see more but carrie a risk of not having your pick of sites for a given night and sometimes not finding an open site in your area if it's a busy day (like later in the week).

Figuring out which part of the BWCA you want to target also determines whether you want to go in through Ely or via the Gunflint Trail out of Grand Marais. Both are great. both towns are great. Lots of great entry points on either route in.

Have you been on similar trips? Do you have plans/gear in the event of rain? Are you there to fish mostly or sightsee or both? Just trying to get your mind acclimated to the type of thinking necessary for such a trip.

Edited: 2:27 pm, December 18, 2013
Mechanicsburg...
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2. Re: Boundary Waters vacation

how about bugs/mosquitos?

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Boundary Waters vacation

By July the black flies will be less bothersome, but mosquitoes will still be in the mix. But there are things you can do to minimize the problem. First off, long nylon pants while in camp. While ca noeing you'll want shorts. I really like the pants with bottoms that zip off.

DEET should be in your repellent spray. and you should be burning something in camp that puts repellent out into the air. You will still get mosquitoes, but it's part of being out in the wilderness.

Also, it's really in camp (and on shaded portages) where you will encounter mosquitoes and gnats. Black flies get you in the canoe, but as I said, in July they are minimal. So be startegic about your campsie selection. Look for camps on a point, where breezes keep the bugs away. It's the campsite on a flat shoreline in the woods that have worse skeeters.

Keep long sleeves and pants on in camp. Keep the repellents gonig and you will be fine. I would bring a head net just in case you hit a bad pocket and you're trying to work on something where you need concentration (like cleaning fish or doing dishes or cooking).

On another note, find a good outfitter and they will ask you all the right questions -- what is your goal for the trip (fishing and what type of fish, small vs large lakes, waterfalls?, seclusion, etc) and give you good advice. Any outfitter can rent you a canoe. The good ones put you on the best spots (including campsite and fishing spots).

To find an outfitter, you need to figure out Ely or Gunflint Trail route in. And then we can help you with outfitters in either area. You really can't go wrong with either.

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