BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

March 18 2018

Entry Point 19 - Stuart River

Stuart River entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 28 miles. Access is a 480-rod portage to the Stuart River.

Number of Permits per Day: 1
Elevation: 1237 feet
Latitude: 48.0955
Longitude: -91.9887
Stuart River - 19

Stuart River Solo report and packing list

by paddlinjoe
Trip Report

Entry Date: September 25, 2015
Entry Point: Stuart River
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 1

Trip Introduction:
A question about packing lists on the Trip Planning forum inspired the format of the attached report. I do create packing lists, but they are also repositories for random thoughts, and post trip notes of things I want to consider next time. Sometimes I will even jot memories and observations. By the end it it quite a hodgepodge. This is a sample of what that ends up looking like. Some things are logical, others, completely random. Regarding this particular trip.... Typically I take a fall trip with a long time friend, he was not able to go in 2015, so I went solo. On all other solo trips I've taken, I moved camp every day, just enjoying the process of paddling and portaging. This was to be a reflective/sedentary trip. My mother in law was about to have her jaw removed and rebuilt with a piece of her leg in and effort to battle an aggressive bone cancer. Ultimately the cancer would take her life in April 2017. Even though she was not remotely interested in camping, every Christmas she had made a point to order something from Piragis or REI for my trips. I was carrying many reminders of her as I paddled.


BWCA 2015 Joel Peterson in BWCA . 9/25/15-9/28/15 4 Days/3 Nights

First Thoughts

- Did a better job of taking video

- need another battery for camera

- liked using a tent, but load was heavy

- part of that was 5 lbs of books, not a good idea

- Buy a two person tent?

- Enjoyed the radio

- need a better book on tape

- can take ½ of the stuff out of Ziploc Bag #1 too much “backup of backup” stuff there

- loved the trangia stove, get another gas bottle or two.

- Learn to fish. caught two, want more.

- base camping was a fun way to do things as well

- dehydrated meals worked well, still brought too much food and didn’t eat as much as expected

- did a better job with just bringing three snack foods and no lunches though

- I would still like to find a light wool button down shirt for fall

- Did I bring too many clothes, need to think about that

- Never leave rain pants at home in the fall again. Look at upgrading them

- Liked my walking stick, need to sand, stain and Poly it for day hiking

- put a aluminum sheet with trangia stove system for resting on fire grate.

- Get a better air mattress.

- Bring a small roll of paper towels

- Rain coat dried nicely hanging in the tent during the rain at night.

- For 4 day solo, bear barrel is big and makes the rest of the stuff pack tight(ursack?)

- Fewer clothes and less food make tent a viable option even with bear barrel

- Need a better large water redo input than the 2 1/2 gallon plastic jug, it had a bad plastic after taste.

- Make a bailor

Trip Notes (I am writing my thoughts 5 months after the fact, farther away from trip in time than Normal. It was a crazy busy time for this trip, but I am glad that I went. Audrey was recuperating from her broken hip only to have found out she had cancer in her jaw. Surgery was scheduled for October. Mackenzie’s college stuff was also taking a lot of time as well. I mention these things because I was wondering why it took me so long to sit down and write some thoughts about the trip, because my memory is a little fuzzy on things like what food did I actually bring, eat and enjoy etc...:

Drove up early Friday morning - First portage is long (480 rods?) but not horrible. It is part of what keeps that area a low traffic one. Meet one canoe of two guys duck hunting. They had stayed in the PMA area I think that is White Feather Lake (little lake to the east before getting to Stuart lake)

I really enjoyed the river travel on Stuart. I think this is when I did the “How Great Thou Art” recording on the river. (Could have also been my day trip)

Upon arriving at the lake on Stuart, checked out the closest island camp site. Looked good, but had time to paddle across the lake to the north west camp site. Liked that one even more. I used a tent instead of the hammock this time. Maybe because I had less food so more room ( I think I used my Granite Gear pack and don’t remember space being an issue. ) Maybe I put clothes in my daypack to make better use of space.

I’d decided to do more of a base camp/day trip, which may also be why the tent was used. With an additional day, I may have done a loop towards Agness, and through Boulder Bay on Lac La Croix, Dark, Rush, Fox and back to Stuart. In either case, having the tent to myself made it feel like I had lot of room. This also meant that I could unpack everything from my pack and keep it in the tent. I know I didn’t set up the tarp the first night, but eventually it was set up. The temperatures for the trip were quite comfortable. It was relatively cloudy (at least at night because I was not able to observe the lunar eclipse) I only remember having rain on the last evening.

I did bring my ipod and listened to Moby Dick. Also brought along the yellow radio from Audrey. I listened to a Twins game or two, some public radio stuff, and most memorably, the Vikings

Saturday - I travelled around the lake and enjoyed doing some fishing from shore and the canoe.

Bring Permit Letter Kawishiwi Ranger Station in Ely Contact Information: Address: 1393 MN-169, Ely, MN 55731 Phone:(218) 365-7561

St. Louis County Sherrif’s office Information: Address: 209 E Chapman St, Ely, MN 55731 Phone:(218) 726-2340

Route Plan: Maps: Voyageur Map 1, Fisher F16 (Purchase DONE), Option A: A 4 day loop up through LIS north to east loon, step lake, etc. aggressive route with a day for rest/layover in the middle.

Option B: Lake 29 entry where Mike Gronseth went in . Start at Ojibway enter BW at North Kawishiwi. Head SW to Gabro loop through that area back up NE.

Option C: Stuart lake EP 19 Travel to Stuart Lake on first day, likely spend all three nights at the same Campsite

Actual Route: Option C: Stuart lake EP 19 Travel to Stuart Lake on first day, likely spend all three nights at the same campsite

FOOD Plan Bring small container of olive oil to supplement evening meals, energy and flavor.

Dehydrate as much as possible

Days Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday Breakfast McDonalds Sausage biscuits and gravy Sausage biscuits and gravy Oatmeal

Supper Chilli (Dehydrated)- crackers Stew (Dehydrated)- crackers Chilli (Dehydrated) - crackers BK bacon cheeseburger

Food Comment. I think it worked well to only prepare breakfast and supper and then eat snacks as hungry. If I were going for a longer trip, maybe plan to bring a “lunch or two” in case there is a day when I just need more. Otherwise, good portions. Not as much left over food.

Try Sausage Biscuits and gravy mix from BWJ website

Breakfast Oatmeal 4 Instant Sausage, biscuits and gravy (Dehydrated Sausage, powdered country gravy, bisquick) Or check out Spam Scramble Hashbrowns, Durkee Fried Onions, Spam (Rehydrate Hashbrowns add oil and Fry in pan as a scramble (recipe also suggested adding cheese powder from mac-n-cheese meal) Bisquick for pancakes or biscuits, The Bisquick packets worked well. I think I used both for Sausage biscuits and gravy as well as with the beef stew.

SNACK BAG (Day Bag lunch has all snacks bars in Day Pack)

- Von Hansen’s Beef Jerky ½ lb. (Original Flavor) (Very Good but pricey)

- Dried Apples (Excellent. (Cin. Sugar sprinkle)

- Cranberry Gorp Mix

- Granola Bars (10)

- Drink Packets (30 at least 20 orange)

- Coffee, or Mackenzies Honey Lemon Ginsing with honey added.

GRANITE GEAR/MAIN PACK (Carabineers (2) and Liner) (DP = Day Pack)

- Sleeping Bag( Green fall bag, can always unzip and just lay it on top of me)

- Blue Bi Fold Crazy Creek Chair- nice for the back in camp

Toiletry Bag (Blue airline):

- Tooth Brush/Paste

- Floss

- Headlamp

- AAA Batteries, 2 AA batteries as well for radio

Clothes – Blue Stuff Sack or smaller white one from Dad. (IP = In Pack)

- Socks (3 wool)(IP 2 pr)

- Boxers (4), REI's exoficio boxers (IP 4 pr)

- Long Blue Underwear Top (1)/Bottom (1)

- Quick Dry T Shirts (Short 1, Long 2)

- Pants (1) - Kuhl , BWCA Shell Pants

- Blue raincoat and rain pants DP - Gloves (Wool Fingerless, Leather Work Gloves)

- Hats (Black Duluth, BWCA,Henschel)

- Shoes (2 Pair) (Danner Boots, Black Addidas)

- Blue Polar Fleece pullover

- Toying with getting some type of button down wool(ish) shirt in place of blue polar fleece maybe next time

- Black Polar Fleece Vest put in truck bring tbd

- Black/Grey Northface Jacket (or a wool or synthetic shirt to take it’s place)

- Black PolarTech Jacket (Bring in Car and see what weather report is like)

Equipment: blue or red compression sack

- blue 3-person tent

- Noah Rain Fly

- Rope (3 50' Sections)

- Tent stakes

Food: - Bear Barrel (Move to Equipment Pack) If food volume is low, think of items to put in here. Will the trangia stove fit through the top?

Mesh Cook Set Bag

- Trangia stove and pot set

- Stove

- 2 1 liter bowls

- teapot

- fryingpan/lid/plate

- pot holder (one review suggested having two. I think I have a second one.

- aluminum plate.

Utensil Roll

- Dish Soap (Dawn)

- Campsuds

- Red Spatula

- Black Spatula

- stainless spoon and fork

- 3M scrub sponge (1)

- Lexon Table Knife, Spoon, Fork

- Salt and Pepper shaker

- Metal Pot Holder

- Filet Knife

- Grohmann Belt Knife

- Multipurpose Knife Holder for Skeletool

Blue utensils bag for muddy shoes, keep rest of bag clean.

In Ziploc Bag # 2 (Catalog and pare this down put in front flap?)

- ½ roll paper towels (forgot it, missed it)

- small nylon sack with drawstring for putting a rock inside for throwing bear pack rope. should be large enough to fit bail sponge listed below. “fist sized”


- Sawyer Filter Bag

- Water bottles (2) (that is what the water filter bag produces)

- First Aid Kit (Front Pocket)

- Reading glasses

- Sun glasses

- Rain Gear bag (Main)

- Toilet Paper (Side Pocket)

- iPod with a couple good books / real book

- Matches

- Lunch/snack food

- Camera in black waterproof hard case


- Small Binoculars (used more than I expected)

- Fishing Rod

- Fishing Tackle

- Folding Saw

- hatchet

- Fish net

- Anchor bag

In Ziploc Bag # 1

- Parachute Cord

- Fire Dragon Blow Tube

- Hand Towel

- Duct Tape (On Pencil) ( cut pencil in half)

- Sewing Kit

- Matches

- Bungee Dealee Bobs

- Hand Wipes (clean toilet)

- Kleenex

- hand sanitizer

- space blanket


- Band-Aids

- Butterfly Band Aids

- 2 MaxiPads

- Advil/ Tylenol (Only items used from first aid kit. that = a fun safe trip)

- Sudafed

- Desatin

- Benadryl topical

- Benadryl Oral

- Needle & Thread

- Antiboitic Ointment (Neosporin/bacitracin)

- Tums

- Matches (1 Container)

MISC. Loose Gear

- Paddles(2)

- PFD (Emergency Kit Whistle, Antler Flint/Steel, Space Blanket, Compass)

- Map Case: Voyageur Maps, Permit (in plastic bag), Fisher maps in a plastic bag in Day pack as a backup set.

- Bailer


A friendly face on a portage

An ambitious mushroom

A reflective moment

Launching on the Stuart River

Making breakfast

Quiet morning

Stuart River


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