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Trip Planning
Last updated by eagle98mn on 9/1/2016 12:33:02 PM


If this is your first time (or your 50th time) to the Boundary Waters, you should consider hiring an outfitter. There are many outfitters in the area. They are very experienced in helping people plan canoe trips. Their services range from renting canoes to full-fledged outfitting and guiding. They can help you with any or all of the steps below. If this is your first trip to the BWCA (especially if it is your first canoe trip), I would highly recommend talking to an outfitter. Their knowledge and services will greatly enhance your experience, and you will probably enjoy your trip a lot more. See the list of outfitters for more information.

The basic steps for planning a canoe trip are:

  1. Decide when and where you want to go (see Route Planning)
  2. Reserve a permit
  3. Review the rules and regulations (BWCA Rules and Regulations)
  4. Buy the necessary maps
  5. Make sure your canoe is licensed
  6. Obtain a fishing license (if desired)
  7. Plan, prepare, and pack the food
  8. Pack your gear (Suggested Gear List)
  9. Pick up your permit the day before or day of your entry date
  10. Drive to the entry point and enter on the day on your permit
  11. Have fun!

The Superior National Forest has a publication titled 2013 BWCAW Trip Planning Guide that is a good reference in addition to the steps and information that are outlined here.

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