Solo Trips in the BWCAW–for Introverts and Adventurers

Solo travel is a growing trend within the tourism industry. And it’s not just for introverts. 

Introverts are people who are more interested in their own thoughts and ideas. They may also be shy, reserved, and enjoy spending time alone. But extroverts can enjoy spending time alone, too. 

According to surveys, one out of five travelers around the globe are solo travelers–adventurers every one.

With proper equipment, planning, a healthy respect for the wilderness, and a confident attitude, a solo wilderness trip is an adventurous and rewarding experience.

Traveling solo through the BWCAW, whether on the water or hiking the trails, is a great way to get in touch with the inner you. It will also get you close to the sights, sounds, smells, and wildlife that make the BWCAW the magnificent place it is.

As a solo traveler in our wilds, you can be confident of finding an available campsite that is adequate for one person/one tent. The solitude of solo camping and the less noise from your camp may allow more wildlife viewing opportunities. 

Here, for beginners and solo veterans, are some tips for making your solo adventure in the BWCAW enjoyable and safe:

  • Get some experience camping solo in a more settled environment before your adventure. Work out the bugs and gain confidence–a theme we’ll keep stressing.
  • If you’ll be canoeing, get some experience on the water in a solo canoe. If you don’t have access to a solo canoe and water at home, plan to spend a day or two at Rockwood to get used to handling, loading, and paddling a solo canoe. 
  • At home, load a backpack and lug it around, especially if you’re going to be hiking during your trip.
  • Get maps of the area, study them to plan your route, and bring them with you to assist in navigation. 
  • Have a planned route, let someone know your course, and stick to it. This adds to your confidence, knowing someone else knows where you are and when you expect to be out.
  • Know what the weather can be. Here in the BWCAW, temperatures can rise or fall by 40 or more degrees Fahrenheit in a given day. Bring rain gear and some warm duds.
  • Know what the weather can mean for your plans. Wind and waves can make for dangerous waters. Know when to hunker down.
  • Rockwood Outfitters offers an inReach satellite texting device with an emergency SOS feature, a website so those left behind can follow your solo progress, and two-way texting. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone, which makes it an excellent GPS. You may use it for daily check-ins or keep it packed away for emergencies.
  • Always, when you’re on the water, wear a proper PFD. You will be out there alone.
  • Stay organized when you’re camping. Bring in only the essentials you will need for comfort and enjoyment. 
  • Remember to leave your campsite, portages, and trails in better condition than you found them.
  • Finally, consider using a quality outfitter, especially if you haven’t done many solo trips. These outfitters can get you fully equipped, from a water purifier to a BWCAW permit and everything you need to have a safe adventure–even if you’re an introvert.

A solo canoe trip can mean more work. You’ll be paddling with half the labor, doing all of your cooking, catching and cleaning your fish, and carrying all the gear yourself. But the freedom you’ll enjoy is priceless.

We have several solo canoes at Rockwood, so we can help you find the one that is best for your wilderness outing. We also have a unique outfitting package for the solo adventurer, offering you a canoe and paddle, all your camping equipment, and all the food you’ll need. It is all completely organized and packed for your solo trip.