Duluth Pack is lucky enough to be close to one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the United States: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The BWCAW is over one million acres of untouched northern forests, lakes, and rivers: a proverbial playground for any outdoors enthusiast. Duluth Pack’s heritage lies in the manufacturing of canoe packs, and our retail store in Duluth’s Canal Park issues more Boundary Waters permits than any other BWCAW cooperator. The region is very much within the lifeblood of the company.
Whether you have grown up taking family trips to the boundary waters or are fantasizing about your first voyage there, the solitude and excellent scenery and wildlife is appealing to folks from all walks of life. Duluth Pack highly recommends a visit to this beautiful place, but there are some very important things to keep in mind before you dip your paddle into those precious fresh waters.
First, number one, and everybody’s favorite topic of discussion: safety. We believe everyone should get outside and use the outdoors as often as possible but staying safe and knowing the inherent risks and building contingency plans assures that you have a safe and happy expedition. BWCA safety can be broken down into two main categories: skills and equipment.
Some skills you will need to be comfortable with:
- Traveling in and maneuvering your canoe
- How to perform self-rescues and assisted rescues with your canoe (should you or someone in your party happen to take an unexpected swim)
- How to navigate and orient using a map
- Leave No Trace ethics for camping
- What to do in the event of inclement or extreme weather
For safety equipment, some items you will need are:
- A boat with floatation (assures your canoe or kayak cannot sink to the bottom of a lake!)
- PFD (personal floatation device) for every member of your party
- An accurate map of your area
- A whistle
- First Aid Kit
- Clothing to accommodate changing weather conditions (think rain, cold, sun, bugs, etc)
Not only can the friendly staff at the Duluth Pack Store issue your boundary waters permit to you and answer any questions you may have regarding an upcoming trip, but we offer Duluth Pack canoe pack rentals and all the camping gear you need to set up an effective and comfortable campsite
The options are endless for individual camping gear and systems. Duluth Pack portage packs are the gold standard for paddling adventures in the Boundary Waters and you can fill that baby up with all kinds of goodies to make your trip comfortable and memorable. The Duluth Pack store in Canal Park offers all your boundary waters needs including paddles, boundary waters maps, guidebooks, tents, camp stoves, sleeping bags, water filters, sleeping pads, cookware, PFDs (new for 2018!) and all the outdoor clothing and footwear you could ever want. The Duluth Pack team is always happy to answer any questions you may have about gear and help you build your own personal camping system.
If you are eager to learn more about the boundary waters or about canoeing in general, Duluth Pack recommends the following resources:
Leave No Trace ethics for camping: https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles
Boundary Waters website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/superior/specialplaces/?cid=fseprd555184
“Paddle Your Own Canoe” book by Gary and Joanie McGuffinSHOP NOW