BWCA Top ten tips for new people Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Listening Point - General Discussion
      Top ten tips for new people     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

06/10/2021 08:04PM  
I searched for this but only found during winter or with kids or some other specification. So if I am correct this is kind of new and with the influx maybe beneficial to some. Anyways my top ten tips are in no order. Would love to see your top tips.

1. When planning be prepared to go further than you think for a campsite and maybe think of one of the beaten path.

2. Plan for wind on large lakes. Make sure you are comfortable paddling and if not do it early.

3. Don't be scared to go slow on portages. I double every portage and rather enjoy the walk.

4. For actual over a fire cookers, if you might encounter a fire ban make sure your food is edible without fire.

5. Be mindful of who you are with. If they are new don't be afraid to bring extra stuff that might make it more enjoyable.

6. If going to a popular area and you want a fire you might need to get in the canoe to find firewood that is dead and down. Think of it as a scenic trip.

7. Think of worst case scenarios and how you will handle them. You never know and it is best to have a plan even if that plan sounds terrible to execute.

8. I highly recommend a tent that has a complete rain fly. I have done many trips with the old tarp bottom and a fly that only covers the top only to wake up in puddles. It is best to avoid that.

9. Plan on wind delaying you. If you are on a large lake and you have 3 to 4 footers rolling you might be best to stay put until it calms down.

10. Bugs... bring a head net. Even if it seems out of season they take up hardly any room in your pack.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
missmolly
distinguished member(7307)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/11/2021 05:38AM  
11. Sound carries on water. Talk accordingly.

12. Practice carrying a canoe before you go.

13. Bring food that is varied. I've done a few trips that were too bare bones and I ended up obsessing about food.
 
JWilder
distinguished member (341)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2021 06:38AM  
1. Join this community and read everything.

2. Commit to an entry day and purchase ONE permit. ONE.

3. Enter on your designated day.

4. Give other groups space on the water and on portages. This includes steering clear of of occupied campsites when paddling and fishing.

5. BE QUIET. ALL THE TIME.

6. Secure your food; thus protecting your group and wildlife.

7. Respect the environment and LEAVE NO TRACE.

8. Slow down, be flexible and have alternate plans. Expect the unexpected and adapt to the ever changing situation.

9. Live in the moment; listen, observe, enjoy.

10. Keep a journal of your experiences; good, bad, what worked and what didn’t, things you learned.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(892)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2021 08:42AM  
1. Bring a map and a compass and learn how to use them. GPS will fail when you need it most.

2. Orient the map in the direction you are traveling.

3. ALWAYS know where you are on the map. Always.

4. Repeat 1-3 above.

Mike
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2021 09:05AM  
1. Don’t peel birchbark from live trees. It NEVER grows back.
2. Leave your camp cleaner than you found it.
3. Do not cut branch’s or standing trees in camp of any size.
4. Sound travels. Nuff said.
5. Be respectful of nature, you are in their residence.
 
Boppasteveg
distinguished member (115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2021 09:25AM  
Try to avoid bringing electronics. I do bring a weather radio but that gets turned on only if there is a big concern. Learn to read natures signs. A change in wind direction tells much. One year we were the only group camping on a lake but heard music coming from the next lake! Yeah...sound travels .
 
jwmiller39
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
06/11/2021 09:49AM  
Bring more food and snacks than you think you will need. You burn a lot of calories in canoe country and I'd rather have more food than I need and not need it than wish I brought more food.
 
06/11/2021 09:51AM  
No loose stuff in the canoe. Everything in a pack or lashed to your canoe. Your portage should look like this. Pull the canoe up, unload your pack(s) and paddle, away you go.
 
06/11/2021 09:52AM  
Don't fall out of the boat :)

Leave your nails and hammer at home.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(892)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2021 10:03AM  
Blatz: "No loose stuff in the canoe. Everything in a pack or lashed to your canoe. Your portage should look like this. Pull the canoe up, unload your pack(s) and paddle, away you go."

Great advice. Many groups spend a lot of time at the end of portages relashing all their loose stuff to their canoe, like each portage is a new discussion of how to reload the boat(s).

Mike
 
yellowcanoe
distinguished member(4909)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/11/2021 11:57AM  
Pack in large bags BUT
only what you are comfortable carrying.
Practice at home. Then cut down the load by half. Portages aren't sidewalks.

And no bare feet.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2021 12:33PM  
Wear your PFD all the time in the canoe even when your partners choose not too.
100% of drowning victims did not plan on drowning the day they did.
 
06/11/2021 12:42PM  
tumblehome: "Wear your PFD all the time in the canoe even when your partners choose not too.
100% of drowning victims did not plan on drowning the day they did."


I was wondering when this would come up and was surprised it took this long. But thank you for posting. I'm reminded of an old Rutabaga Paddlesports bumper sticker - "Don't drown. It'll ruin your day".

Great thread. I'm taking several rookies in again this year and plan on sending them the link to this.

 
06/11/2021 11:56PM  
1. Get on the water early. There is almost no such thing as too early. It will help you with 3 things:
A) The wind often picks up as the day wears on. If you're crossing big water, you want to do it in the morning, the earlier the better.
B) You're more likely to get a desirable campsite, or any campsite at all.
C) You're more likely to see wildlife.

2. Have a gear list (use BWCA.com for ideas) and check off items as you put them in the car/trailer.

3. Be careful to tie your canoes down very well. I've read many stories about people losing a canoe on the drive up. I've experienced it as well. It's a very sickening feeling to have a canoe blow off your vehicle, and could potentially kill someone.

4. Check your oil, radiator fluid, and tires before your trip. Make sure you have a jack, tire iron, and spare tire. I would bury your keys and wallet in a ziplock bag, some where near your vehicle, and not bring them into the bwca. Even if you capsize, if you can find your way back to your vehicle, at least you can get home.

5. Bug spray. The bugs at various times, can be brutal. They can change from one campsite to the next, or one portage to the next. Head nets are cheap. We keep one handy.

6. Your destination, is much less important than your safety. Wear a PFD, and if it feels too windy to be safe, it probably is. It's better to find shelter, and wait out the wind, than capsize. If the water temps are 60 or colder, capsizing can be deadly, even with a life jacket on.

7. Many trips have ended with a bad hatchet injury. You really don't need one.

8. Keep a clean camp, and protect your food from Bears. Many trips have ended early, because a bear took their pack. And sometimes that is fatal to the bear as well. If they become a repeat offender, they have to be put down. Protect yourself and the bears.

9. Don't wear cotton. It's very slow to dry, and heavy. Blue jeans take forever to dry out, once they get wet. I don't recommend them.

10. Don't skimp on rain gear, and bring some warm clothes. The weather can drop 30 degrees quickly. It can be cold, even in July.
 
06/12/2021 10:04AM  
MikeinMpls: "1. Bring a map and a compass and learn how to use them. GPS will fail when you need it most.


2. Orient the map in the direction you are traveling.


3. ALWAYS know where you are on the map. Always.


4. Repeat 1-3 above.


Mike "


Super important, especially number 2 IMO
 
06/12/2021 01:56PM  
#1 Practice with your gear Load your packs, put them on and walk around for 20 min. If you can't shoulder your pack alone or can't walk with it without struggling you need to make some changes.
#2 Make sure your paddle is right for you, length, and style.
#3 DON'T carry more than is safe on a portage. You are not on a sidewalk, being overloaded could cause a trip ending fall or worse, snap off the tip of your fishing rod
#4 Head lamps are the greatest thing since sliced bread which, by the way, you should exchange for tortillas or maybe pita, they keep better.
#5 Everything gets wet.
#6 Go back and re- read every post. There will be a test and it will count. Dismissed.
 
DRob1992
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
06/12/2021 06:17PM  
Some very great tips given here. I like this thread a lot! Many of the tips already listed are also part of my top 10 tips as well. I'd like to direct this tip specifically towards kids/younger people visiting any remote area where there are no motors, electricity, etc. Be prepared to get a little bored, homesick, and to miss your favorite foods. It can be a little tough on your first trip in terms of craving a juicy burger or wondering what your best friends are up to (fear-of-missing-out). But always remember - you are in a unique place where being entirely disconnected (or very close to entirely disconnected) will most definitely make you more grateful for all those little things that we take very granted. Upon return to civilization, you'll find yourself truly thankful for a hot shower, more appreciative of your cell phone, and generally happier overall.
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2021 06:54PM  
Wear sunscreen. The sun reflects off the water and so you get hit twice with those burning rays. A bad sunburn can really ruin a trip.

Filter or treat your water and drink plenty of it.

Waterproof packs or stuff sacks are worth the money.

Bring decent rain gear. Cheap ponchos or garbage bags will get torn.

Make sure someone in the group is good at navigation. Getting lost stinks. And definitely pay attention to the advice from MikeInMpls! Wise man.
 
gotwins
distinguished member (211)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2021 09:11PM  
Take a compass and map and use them both at all times. I like to have my map in a map case, could be a simple ziploc bag, or my ccs map case. This map sits on the bottom of the canoe between my legs, doesn't matter if i'm in the bow or stern. When departing a portage, I always take a bearing to the next portage/campsite/etc. I'm heading towards. That bearing is set on the compass and placed in the bag with the map. Orient both the proper way and paddle across. Sort of like a GPS in a car, I just follow the needle. Cross check your route as you pass points/islands/campsites, etc. Learn to read the terrain, most portages are at the low spot on the horizon, often where water moves in or out of a lake.
 
MHS67
distinguished member(1458)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2021 09:24PM  
MikeinMpls: "1. Bring a map and a compass and learn how to use them. GPS will fail when you need it most.


2. Orient the map in the direction you are traveling.


3. ALWAYS know where you are on the map. Always.


4. Repeat 1-3 above.


Mike "


In all the times I have been to the BW the only time I have had to help people was to help them find a campsite and above all help them get un lost. So I agree with MikeInMpls.
 
martian
distinguished member (116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2021 08:34AM  
I'd advise tying your canoe down while in camp. The overnight storms gust front could easily place your lightweight canoe across the lake. Could make for a long swim.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13897)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/13/2021 08:43AM  
1) Use a GPS for navigation when traveling, with a map and compass backup.
2) for your groups water needs get a gravity filter setup.
3) pack lite, two changes of clothes. Then go swimming with your clothes on and hang up to dry.
4) use waterproof compression bags for clothes and sleeping bag.
5) bring a first aid kit
6) no flip flops, you need a good pair of hiking shoes, and a pair or water shoes.
7) one small Plano box is enough for fishing tackle.
8) basketball net for an anchor.
9) test your gear at home before the trip.
10) leave trip itinerary with people at hone.
 
goatroti
distinguished member (293)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2021 08:57AM  
Go out and make mistakes. We all did. It's the best way to learn.
 
lundojam
distinguished member(2594)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2021 11:02AM  
1. pay attention to: the weather, your body, group mood, and your surroundings.
2. stay hydrated. Over-do it.
3. wear shoes
4. Have a plan A, B, and a C. Be ready to scrap any and all.
5. A day that is too hard is more difficult to deal with than a day that is too easy. Plan accordingly.
6. If you get a crappy night's sleep, everything else will be affected. Plan accordingly.
7. You are on vacation. Plan accordingly.
8. Forget the hatchet/axe in the car. The risks far outweigh the rewards in my opinion.
9. Get up very early.
10. Think of a responsible adult that you know. Then, as you do through your day making choices, ask yourself what that person would do. Would Todd cut this tree down? Would Mary run these rapids? Would uncle pete tell the group to be quieter? Would Dad try to find a campsite in the dark? Stuff like that.
11. Don't be scared of stuff. The only things to be scared of in the BWCA are drowning, the wind blowing a standing dead tree on to your tent, lightning, and injury. You usually have control over all of those situations, barring plain old bad luck (which can get you anywhere.)
 
chessie
distinguished member (183)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2021 11:22AM  
Great thread with great tips.
I'll add, if not already mentioned:
Go w/ an experienced person the 1st time, or even a guide.
Practice tipping over in your canoe [before your trip], in a safe place, with someone else there. Experience trying to swim fully clothed (if you are disinclined to wear a life jacket, do this exercise not wearing a life jacket).
If you do swamp, hang on to the boat.
Many people swamp exiting/entering their canoe at landings. Practice this, too.
If you plan to bring your dog, don't make this the dogs 1st time in a canoe. Practice w/ your dog. And, bring a dog first aid kit that includes a dog bootie or 2, because your dog will get a cut on her foot, and the bootie will help keep it clean.
Portages are there for a reason, don't think "this looks run-able" if you haven't completely scouted the rapids. Take the portage.

The best advice about 'staying found' has already been given. I'll just add, bring 2 sets of maps, one for the bow paddler and one for the stern. Have both out. Both people should always be oriented to location. If one gets their mental map twisted, having both parties able to study maps and get re-oriented at same time helps. Everyone should carry a compass.
Finally, bring something warm to wear always. 1 set of warm dry clothes and rain gear are essential.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(639)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2021 02:09PM  
I just got back from a brief trip. During it, I was reminded of a notion shared by WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs (also the author of Her Island). He was referring to an ice fishing trip, and talked about the concept of “comfort in discomfort”.

As the canoe and pack burn your shoulders, as you feel hungry and thirsty, or when your shoulders ache from paddling into wind, all of this discomfort will become familiar, and therefore, paradoxically comforting.

Along with all the excellent advice given, that’s what I would share. Seek comfort in your discomfort.

 
06/13/2021 06:16PM  
straighthairedcurly: "Wear sunscreen. The sun reflects off the water and so you get hit twice with those burning rays. A bad sunburn can really ruin a trip.


Filter or treat your water and drink plenty of it.


Waterproof packs or stuff sacks are worth the money.


Bring decent rain gear. Cheap ponchos or garbage bags will get torn.


Make sure someone in the group is good at navigation. Getting lost stinks. And definitely pay attention to the advice from MikeInMpls! Wise man."


After reading a bunch of these, I think this list probably covers my opinions pretty well. I might add wool socks. Not only for travel, but a nice, dry pair for keeping the feet warm in the sleeping bag. (We rarely went in the hottest part of the summer.)

My first trip was nearly spoiled by lack of sunscreen. Back in those days we didn't have anything except the old Coppertone that just amplified your burn. And I wasn't smart enough to cover up and wear a hat until the third day. Can still remember how painful those blistered ears were!
 
06/13/2021 11:41PM  
Spartan2: "straighthairedcurly: "Wear sunscreen. The sun reflects off the water and so you get hit twice with those burning rays. A bad sunburn can really ruin a trip.



Filter or treat your water and drink plenty of it.



Waterproof packs or stuff sacks are worth the money.



Bring decent rain gear. Cheap ponchos or garbage bags will get torn.



Make sure someone in the group is good at navigation. Getting lost stinks. And definitely pay attention to the advice from MikeInMpls! Wise man."



After reading a bunch of these, I think this list probably covers my opinions pretty well. I might add wool socks. Not only for travel, but a nice, dry pair for keeping the feet warm in the sleeping bag. (We rarely went in the hottest part of the summer.)


My first trip was nearly spoiled by lack of sunscreen. Back in those days we didn't have anything except the old Coppertone that just amplified your burn. And I wasn't smart enough to cover up and wear a hat until the third day. Can still remember how painful those blistered ears were!"


Great point about the wool socks. Someone on this site, had suggested to wear them inside my water shoes. Love it. It keeps all that sandy grit, out from between my toes. Normally that grit would get painful as the space between my toes got irritated from the grind. The wool socks keeps my feet warm, and the grit out. I'm thankful for the suggestion.
 
Stumpy
distinguished member(1749)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2021 11:51PM  
I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage.
 
06/14/2021 08:24AM  
Stumpy: "I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage."


It is tough to pick a top ten :) But I think everyone has different opinions on what is more important than others when thinking about them. So I thought maybe get a thread that contains multiple perspectives for anyone who searches. For instance yours about firm boots on portages is not something I do (I wear keen sandals) but I do totally get why that would be high on some peoples list.
 
06/14/2021 09:19AM  
Sunscreen has been mentioned. I remember a trip in the late 1990’s where I sunburned my lips - I looked like I had had a real bad collagen job done. Ever since I always am sure I have and use lip balm with sufficient SPF. Not necessarily a top ten item, but it sure was on that trip.
 
Argo
distinguished member (248)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2021 10:03AM  
Not sure these are "Top-Ten" tips but I'm late to this discussion and much has already been said...

1. Camo is overrated in my opinion. If you are contemplating buying new gear as a newbie, avoid camo. It's just a recipe for losing stuff around camp or overlooking packs and gear at portages. Orange and chartreuse are loud colours for a reason. When we capsized last year we found our orange-bordered map case two hours later and over 1km away. We were never able to find even one of my son's black, spongey flip-flops.

2. If it's stable-fly season, each paddler should have a personal dollar-store fly-swatter.

3. A good way to identify personal gear that could get mixed up with a camping partner's (such as cutlery) is with a dab of nail-polish.
 
06/14/2021 10:55AM  
deerfoot: "Sunscreen has been mentioned. I remember a trip in the late 1990’s where I sunburned my lips - I looked like I had had a real bad collagen job done. Ever since I always am sure I have and use lip balm with sufficient SPF. Not necessarily a top ten item, but it sure was on that trip."

Chapstick! Nothing worse than chapped lips out there lol
 
heavylunch
distinguished member (163)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2021 03:19PM  
Most forgotten items or items worth their weight in gold when you need them.

Toilet paper
Camp stove fuel
Medications
Sunglasses
Sunscreen/Chapstick
Emergency Stitch Kit with lidocane if someone in your crew is fluent and/or licensed for such things.
At least 1 set of maps and a trained navigator per canoe.
Rain jacket and rain pants
 
DRob1992
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
06/14/2021 03:24PM  
x2jmorris: "Stumpy: "I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage."



It is tough to pick a top ten :) But I think everyone has different opinions on what is more important than others when thinking about them. So I thought maybe get a thread that contains multiple perspectives for anyone who searches. For instance yours about firm boots on portages is not something I do (I wear keen sandals) but I do totally get why that would be high on some peoples list."


I've done numerous portages barefoot. Wouldn't recommend it by any means. I think good footwear for portages is relevant to crappy weather conditions when portages may be slick and muddy.
 
06/14/2021 04:52PM  
My top ten tips for newbies.

1. Follow the rules.

2. See #1

3. See #1

4. See #1

5. See #1

6. See #1

7. See #1

8. See #1

9. See #1

10. See #1

Bonus rules...

Have respect for the people you encounter and for nature. And if you can't, go home and don't breed anymore.

Have some common sense. Stupid people suck!!!
 
Stumpy
distinguished member(1749)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2021 01:12AM  
DRob1992: "x2jmorris: "Stumpy: "I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage."




It is tough to pick a top ten :) But I think everyone has different opinions on what is more important than others when thinking about them. So I thought maybe get a thread that contains multiple perspectives for anyone who searches. For instance yours about firm boots on portages is not something I do (I wear keen sandals) but I do totally get why that would be high on some peoples list."



I've done numerous portages barefoot. Wouldn't recommend it by any means. I think good footwear for portages is relevant to crappy weather conditions when portages may be slick and muddy."


I don't think we've done the same portages
 
chessie
distinguished member (183)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2021 01:16PM  
heavylunch: "Most forgotten items or items worth their weight in gold when you need them.


Toilet paper
Camp stove fuel
Medications
Sunglasses
Sunscreen/Chapstick
Emergency Stitch Kit with lidocane if someone in your crew is fluent and/or licensed for such things.
At least 1 set of maps and a trained navigator per canoe.
Rain jacket and rain pants"

Amplify SUNGLASSES! I had some pretty serious vision issues after my 1st winter camping trip, without sunglasses.
 
DRob1992
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
06/15/2021 02:00PM  
Stumpy: "DRob1992: "x2jmorris: "Stumpy: "I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage."




It is tough to pick a top ten :) But I think everyone has different opinions on what is more important than others when thinking about them. So I thought maybe get a thread that contains multiple perspectives for anyone who searches. For instance yours about firm boots on portages is not something I do (I wear keen sandals) but I do totally get why that would be high on some peoples list."




I've done numerous portages barefoot. Wouldn't recommend it by any means. I think good footwear for portages is relevant to crappy weather conditions when portages may be slick and muddy."


Maybe, maybe not. What portages have you done?

I don't think we've done the same portages"
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7307)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/15/2021 02:13PM  
airmorse: "My top ten tips for newbies.


1. Follow the rules.


2. See #1


3. See #1


4. See #1


5. See #1


6. See #1


7. See #1


8. See #1


9. See #1


10. See #1


Bonus rules...


Have respect for the people you encounter and for nature. And if you can't, go home and don't breed anymore.


Have some common sense. Stupid people suck!!!"


I love your list.
 
SevenofNine
distinguished member(2460)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2021 07:07PM  
1. Create a checklist of gear you need and Use it.
2. Expect cold and wet any time of the year so bring layers.
3. Expect a headwind any direction of travel on the lakes up there.
4. Have everything that needs to stay dry in a dry sack.
5. Have any loose items in a pack or strapped to the canoe.
6. Have everyone involved in the planning and camping process
7. Get in shape for portaging at least a couple months in advance.
8. Have at least two sets of maps in different packs.
9. A positive attitude goes a long way.
10. Expect things to not go perfectly and don’t sweat it.

11. Go with an experienced paddler if at all possible you can learn a lot.
 
06/15/2021 08:49PM  
Know your limits and stress water safty. Too many drownings this year.

Summer camping and hot temps often you can get by with inferior gear. Meaning raingear,tent and sleeping bag. Never skimp on these any other time. You will pay for it in misery or even worse. Been there done that/
 
EddyTurn
distinguished member (127)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2021 09:56PM  
airmorse: "My top ten tips for newbies.


1. Follow the rules.

"

And what exactly "the rules" are? Is "don't breed" one of them?
 
Stumpy
distinguished member(1749)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2021 11:13PM  
Pinetree: "Know your limits and stress water safty. Too many drownings this year.


Summer camping and hot temps often you can get by with inferior gear. Meaning raingear,tent and sleeping bag. Never skimp on these any other time. You will pay for it in misery or even worse. Been there done that/"


Not even in Summer.... I've seen 40s & spitting rain in mid afternoon, in late July.
 
06/16/2021 12:52AM  
Stumpy: "Pinetree: "Know your limits and stress water safty. Too many drownings this year.



Summer camping and hot temps often you can get by with inferior gear. Meaning raingear,tent and sleeping bag. Never skimp on these any other time. You will pay for it in misery or even worse. Been there done that/"



Not even in Summer.... I've seen 40s & spitting rain in mid afternoon, in late July.
"


Yes I agree with you on that, I have seen like 32 degrees F. in Quetico on June 10th and for a few days in a row. Best motto-the Old Boy Scout one-"Be prepared". Always.
 
06/16/2021 01:01AM  
Monday the low is supposed to be 41 degrees.
 
cmanimal
member (42)member
 
06/18/2021 01:38PM  
Agree on a tripping style for the group that you are with.

The extremes of 30 seconds at the landing and a single portage vs. 20 min reel in and then re-rig at the other end, with an extra portage just for the fishing gear.

These are not compatible, neither is wrong, just not compatible.

Of course there is a large spectrum in-between, just not all compatible.
 
06/18/2021 02:22PM  
MikeinMpls: "1. Bring a map and a compass and learn how to use them. GPS will fail when you need it most.


2. Orient the map in the direction you are traveling.


3. ALWAYS know where you are on the map. Always.


4. Repeat 1-3 above.


Mike "


Ahhhh.....don't give away my secrets (Hint #2) LOL. People always admire my navigation skills when I go up with them and wonder how I always know where we are and rarely get lost. #2 is the key!! also pick out landmarks that are on the map that you can see if front of you and once you hit that landmark on the map find the next one on your route. It helps keep you on the path. (i.e find an island on the map and then spot it on in real life on the lake.)
 
Basspro69
distinguished member(14031)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/20/2021 12:53AM  
1. Respect the environment and leave no trace.
2. Do NOT forget toilet paper
3. Do Not forget bug spray
4. Bring good rain gear, you can skimp on some things but this isn’t one of them in my opinion .
5. Be quiet you will see far more wildlife when you blend into their environment.
6. If you love to blast your music , feel free to do so with headphones on.
7. If your inexperienced, don’t go off trail, this is serious country and you might not make it back.
8. Make sure to look for widow makers when you set your tent.
9. Wear your life vest .
10. Take some time to truly appreciate this masterpiece that you’re lucky enough to get to enjoy, there are some truly beautiful places in the world and this is one of them !
 
06/20/2021 07:15AM  
Cc26: "deerfoot: "Sunscreen has been mentioned. I remember a trip in the late 1990’s where I sunburned my lips - I looked like I had had a real bad collagen job done. Ever since I always am sure I have and use lip balm with sufficient SPF. Not necessarily a top ten item, but it sure was on that trip."


Chapstick! Nothing worse than chapped lips out there lol"


Oh yes, chapstick could prioritize higher than toilet paper. :) also a high quality sunscreen.

I got sunburned on the tops of my feet and on my thighs. When sitting in a canoe your shorts will ride up higher on your legs and expose some tender skin not used to seeing sun. When it’s breezy out it’s very easy to not even realize you are getting sunburned. Same with ears. If not covered sunburned ears can ruin a few days of the trip.

The worst is sunburned ankles and tops of feet. Try portaging with boots on with peeling red skin underneath sometime. Ouch.

So, if traveling or fishing on a warm sunny day it’s best to prepare those exposed areas.
 
Bearpath9
distinguished member (259)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2021 07:58AM  
I only have one to add to all the good ones on this thread.

1. There is no such thing as a stupid question.
Don't be afraid to ask someone. Whether at an outfitters, at the EP, at a portage, or even on this board. I think that most people will give you an answer without snide comments or derision. We all were "newbies" once.
 
06/20/2021 09:55AM  
Lots of good advice. My big ones for newbies.

1. No matter what you do you will make mistakes. Just learn from them.
2. The first day get an early start. Don’t drive up from the Twin cities and put into the entry point at 3pm. If you get a campsite doing that it will be a miracle. Camps are not reserved and the sites by entry points are at a premium for base campers, groups entering, and groups staging to leave. You can go days without seeing people in the BWCAW but the entry point lakes can also be a zoo :)
3. Minimize loose gear. Rent packs if you need to. People with a lot of loose gear almost always leave something vital behind on a portage or even the landing/entry.
4. Stay found on the map/GPS. GPS units/phones can die correlate your location with an actual map all the time. If you do that you will never be lost. You might be confused about your exact whereabouts but you will have a general idea of where you are at. The biggest mistakes newbies have is they paddle for an hour…then look at the map…then you have no idea where you were/are in correlation to the map.

T
 
Basspro69
distinguished member(14031)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/22/2021 11:43PM  
Stumpy: "I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage."
I disagree with your disagreement
 
06/23/2021 09:12AM  
Basspro69: "Stumpy: "I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage."
I disagree with your disagreement "


I agree with your disagreement to the disagreement!
 
THEGrandRapids
distinguished member (304)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/23/2021 10:05AM  
Captn Tony: "Basspro69: "Stumpy: "I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage."
I disagree with your disagreement "



I agree with your disagreement to the disagreement!"


I view this topic as Top Ten tips "after" trip and canoe safety tips. I think that's what Stumpy is getting to, since a lot of these are probably tips on how to better enjoy backcountry canoeing.
 
Basspro69
distinguished member(14031)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/24/2021 01:58PM  
Captn Tony: "Basspro69: "Stumpy: "I disagree with more than 50% of these comments as being a top ten tip.
I apologize to all , but life situations right now, keep me from the detailed response I'd like to give.
You're good people.
Stick around..... wear a life jacket & firm boots on portage."
I disagree with your disagreement "



I agree with your disagreement to the disagreement!"
Lololololololol
 
06/26/2021 09:10AM  
just some random comments.
if your young , stuff a sweatshirt with cloths now you have a pillow.
pull a rock away from the fire pit before bed , wrap in towel, now you have a friend.
always walk rapids 1st ;)
chapstick is good also sunblock or you could be gold member eating his ear skin.
ziplocks/locking lids keep important items dry etc.-medicine-spices-camera-buttwipe-cigs-weed-(LOL)-left over fish ect.....
never can have enough rope.
or tang ;).
a good size mug with handle available in your canoe.


 
FreeLeo
 
06/26/2021 03:33PM  
Know everyone's limitations and travel and find spots early are some of the best. Also sun protection, sun glasses, sunscreen, spf chapstick are helpful. Pulleys for getting bear bags up and down have been a back saver.
 
brp
distinguished member (144)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/28/2021 01:27PM  
I'll take a crack at it:

1-Get a lifejacket with a few small pockets on it, to put a small tube of sunscreen, a small multi-tool, a compass, medication...anything you might want to easily access during the day.

2-Bring a Jet Boil and freeze dried meals, and then snacks (trailmix, protein bars, dried fruit, jerky..). The Jet Boil/freeze dried combo means your dish duty involves licking a spork, you don't need a fire, your trash is minimal and consists of a mylar zip-lock bag that is shut and clean. You can have Louisiana Gumbo and then Orange Chicken, all for basically no effort. Some people knives, cutting boards, mixing bowls,...it just adds up to way too much junk and the freeze dried usually tastes better anyway.

3-Use waterproof portage packs, such as what Seattle Sports makes. I know Duluth Packs are nostalgic, but the garbage bag liner is just not effective.

4-Bring synthetic clothing, no cotton, I don't do wool either. Cotton is heavy, bulky and does not dry.

5- Don't bring a pillow, just bundle some clothing into a water proof stuff sack and then throw that in your t-shirt to make a pillow.

6-Get a down sleeping bag...they compress soooo much smaller and new down coatings make down the best, you can get them in the 40-50f range for summer nights in the BWCA.

7-Get a hat with a 360 degree brim, and get a string on your sunglasses that prevents them from falling off. Long days on a sunny lake with roast exposed skin and eyeballs. Your clothing will often be wet, which feels nice on summer paddles. Also, sunscreen is kind gross all over your body when there is not a great bathing. option, use lightweight, light colored, long sleeve/legged clothing.


 
06/30/2021 09:51AM  
Remember that the worse trips are the most memorable

If inviting someone along make the trip sound twice as tough as you think the trip will be. This will let you know how committed they are.

Decide up front if this is a travel trip with no or some fishing, or is this a fishing trip with some travel.


 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/06/2021 04:06PM  
I am adding one to my previous list.

Understand the bathroom situation is rugged, especially in the dark. Know how to find the latrine. And if you use toilet paper somewhere other than the latrine, bring a baggy to pack up your toilet paper. (sidenote: this is especially directed to the people who thought it was a good idea to leave dirty piles of TP right behind one of the tent pads on Grace Lake...you can thank me profusely for picking it up for you...GROSS!).
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Listening Point - General Discussion Sponsor:
True North Map Company