What You Need For A BWCAW Trip

The items listed here are essential for a fun and safe canoeing, camping and fishing adventure in the amazing Boundary Waters Canoe Area & Wilderness.  Not all of these items are required, this list is provided as a baseline to add or subtract from. Although we supply equipment for your trip, do not forget…

  • 2 pairs of shoes; Hiking boots and camp shoes. Your boots will be used for portaging and canoeing. As for camp shoes choose what you like but make sure they are durable. Also great are canoe/water shoes which are basically heavy duty sandals with boot treads; Keen makes a large selection.
  • At least 3 or 4 pairs of socks.  Hiking socks are preferable. Make sure one pair is heavy for sleeping in cold weather. Also have a lighter pair for warm weather and in camp. Also consider looking into dry socks that, when your boots get wet, will keep your feet dry. Cotton socks should not be worn when using Kevlar canoes – the canoe is made from lightweight material and needs to be floating in the water before you load and unload it, making it necessary to stand in the water. 
  • Clothing; Two sets of clothes including, pants, underwear, base layers, flannel shirt, wool sweater, t-shirt.  Layering is important. Attempt to avoid cotton. Always have a second change of clothes in case your initial set gets wet. Clothing is a personal preference, but make sure you are always properly prepared for the elements as the Arrowhead weather can change in a heartbeat. 
  • At least two pairs of gloves
  • Warm jacket if going into cold weather.
  • Rain gear (pants and jacket)
  • Brimmed hat and stocking hat/beanie
  • GPS; SPOT is an affordable option
  • Compass
  • Medical kit; there are many nice kits out there but we recommend having a Sam Splint and some form of Quick-Clot Trauma kit as additions to your med kit (Basic Med-kits provided for rental by Rockwood if needed)
  • Pocket knife
  • Filet knife if fishing
  • Toilet articles (TP, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
  • Sunglasses (back-up pair is recommended, they like to get stepped and sat on)
  • Flashlight
  • Headlamp
  • Small lantern
  • Extra batteries
  • Camera and/or smartphone on airplane mode for pictures (extra ziplock bag to keep it dry)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent (please research and choose what works best for you)
  • A good book & journal + writing utensils
  • Buff (wonderfully versatile and helpful against insects and sun)
  • Fire starters; stormproof matches, flint & steel, lighters that ignite in the wind.
  • Towel and/or hand towel
  • Carabiners
  • Multi-tool
  • Nite Ize Gear ties (amazing multi use ties, great addition to your trip)
  • Rope and paracord
  • Duct tape (we recommend 1 inch gorilla tape)
  • Head net for bugs
  • Handkerchief
  • Emergency whistle and/or mirror
  • Water bottle such as a Nalgene
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spare ziplocs and garbage bags
  • Fishing gear
    • Two rods (always good to have back-ups in case they break or get stepped on)
    • Two reels
    • Stringer
    • Tackle (bobbers, sinkers, hooks, bobber stops, leaders, fishing line)
    • Fishing Lures; Dependent on what you plan to fish for. If needed consult Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters for recommendations, and to see what we have in stock.

Here at Rockwood we can outfit your BWCAW adventure. Here is a list of the equipment that we can supply.   

  • Canoes
  • Canoe seats
  • Paddles (included w/ canoe rental) *Bending Branches paddles available for upgrade
  • Life Jackets (included w/ canoe rental)
  • Food Packages (includes three meals and two snacks per day per person)
  • Tents
  • Tarps; preferably one large enough to cover your camp grate area for your group to sit rain free + a small emergency back-up.
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads 
  • Maps
  • Map cases
  • Water filtration
  • Insulated Food Packs
  • Bear Barrels
  • Food Packs
  • Granite Gear & Kondos canoe packs
  • Duluth-style canoe packs
  • Dry packs
  • Compression sacks
  • Clothing sacks
  • Camp Stove
  • Camp Stove Fuel
  • Cook kit with Utensils and Cutting Board
  • Mess kit (plate, silverware, bowl, cup)
  • Camp Griddle
  • Coffee pot
  • Coffee cups
  • Cleaning kit (towel, washcloth, soap, scrub pad)
  • First Aid Kits
  • Camp Saw
  • Ropes, Matches, Lighters, Toilet Paper, etc
  • Fishing net
  • Rod holder
  • Live bait (worms and leeches upon request)

Remember to pack as light as possible because you will have to carry it.  Leave a set of clean clothes in your vehicle for the end of the trip. Change into them after taking a hot shower here at Rockwood. Stay warm and stay dry!