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Posted by: BillConner
Posted on: Mar 22nd, 2014 at 2:06pm
Your source of the 24 hours is interesting. I'll stick with as soon as possible upon leaving the wilderness but nothing sanction by the government. I agree about checking in and always have as soon as I can get to station and recommend it.  I'm surprised by the number of people who claim they don't.

I get bemused by the combining of permits and RABCs, etc. Better to think of then as all separate tasks.  Crossing into Canada, Crossing into US, entering the Q,  entering the BWCAW, fishing in Ontario, fishing in Minnesota - six different governments and other than park rangers enforcing fishing, no crossover.  I remember asking a Q ranger if they wanted to see RABC on my first trip, would have thought I asked them to carry my gear.

In researching this, came upon (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links); Very useful site for the potential Q traveler.

WFA is good - I'm just repeating because it's no cost this time and the repetition makes it stick a lot more.  Was I think $160.  Our Troop is paying $120/person for whomever in the troop - Scouts and Scouters - wants to take it. n Were there  not now a waiting list to outsiders, I'd offer it up here.
Posted by: portage dog
Posted on: Mar 22nd, 2014 at 1:45pm
Bill - the 24 hour 'rule' is what the Customs and Border Protection agent at the Ely CBP station had told us. I have looked around on the sites for State Dept., US Customs and Border Protection, and the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative pages and have not found a definitive answer to "when".  I suspect as soon as reasonably possible it perfectly acceptable - basically what you had been advised.  As for people never checking in, I'm sure there are many.  I would never recommend that (under the 'do whatever your career can stand' philosophy) and especially not with a Scout group - wrong example to set with young minds.  Plus, you just never know when things are going to catch up with you.  Looking forward to hear what you find out at your first aid course.

I took a course last year for our Scout trip to the Q in June through Wilderness First Aid ( (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)) and it was a really great course.  Their cert. is two years, cost was $240.  They teach only in the Mid-Atlantic states.  I'd recommend a wfa course to anybody - an ounce of prevetion. 

Thanks Solus, for pointing out the Enhanced Driver's License/Enhanced ID card is valid.  I overlooked that and it is all over the CBP site regarding the WHTI.  There are many more states and provinces issuing those now. 

I think the bottom line is to do your research and check the official US and Canadian sites.  It is so available on the web, there is no excuse.

Posted by: BillConner
Posted on: Mar 21st, 2014 at 11:57am
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Well, I did do it just a year ago for Philmont, but while I earned a three year cert, I felt I did not have as good of understanding as I probably should so when the troop sponsored this one, I decided to go again. We have just one Scout, and I will work harder next time to recruit Scouts because its much more likely an adult will require first aid than a Scout.

At the CPR/AED class,  this past week, I confirmed what I thought that car accidents to and from an event are the biggest cause of Scout injuries and deaths but for the adults, its heart attacks.  Now were thinking about carrying an AED on weekend campouts.
Posted by: Puckster
Posted on: Mar 20th, 2014 at 11:46pm
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I'm taking a Wilderness First Aid class in a few weeks and the teacher is a US Border Patrol agent and Scouter and I plan to try to get him to help get me a more definitive answer on reporting.  We'll see.
I took a wilderness first aid course from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the Wilderness Medicine Insitute (WMI).  Best training I've had in decades.  Lots of hands on practice via simulations. 

Let us know what you think.


Posted by: BillConner
Posted on: Mar 20th, 2014 at 10:43pm
Fallguy wrote on Mar 3rd, 2014 at 3:32am:

Where did you find the 24 hours?  I've called several offices - Washington, Chicago, International Falls, and Ely - and not one person in that part of government would commit to anything other than what the law says - immediately.  I got some to sort of suggest they might ordinarily overlook any time between when you entered the US and when you "left the wilderness" is long as you reported soon after that.  I figured if I took several days to paddle to an EP after a trip through the Q, it was fine.

You can get an I68 as well and never have to report.  Figured if I ever did my fantasy Lake of the Woods to Grand Portage trip I'd do that and a sat phone and be 100% legal.  (I hope that isn't politically incorrect to say - since it suggest there are people that cross the border illegally.)

And the Rangers don't care about RABCs.  I've never needed mine, but always had them.  And based on posts on another board, I'd estimate half the people never check in with the US Customs.

I'm taking a Wilderness First Aid class in a few weeks and the teacher is a US Border Patrol agent and Scouter and I plan to try to get him to help get me a more definitive answer on reporting.  We'll see.
Posted by: zski
Posted on: Mar 16th, 2014 at 12:02pm
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you could take a poll "how serious is db's kid?"
my vote is 80+ %
Posted by: db
Posted on: Mar 16th, 2014 at 6:06am
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Since all these types of questions seem to congeal into one big blob anyway...

How 'bout minor children by land? Passport? Just my smiling face? My kid keeps mentioning it and I'm honestly not sure how serious she is.
Posted by: Old Salt
Posted on: Mar 15th, 2014 at 7:51pm
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Since this is a common question, it might be a good idea to pin this somewhere.
Posted by: Solus
Posted on: Mar 3rd, 2014 at 8:39am
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If you have a passport you do not need another form of ID for a RABC.

The enhanced license is sufficient to clear US customs.
Posted by: Fallguy
Posted on: Mar 3rd, 2014 at 3:32am
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Posted by: portage dog
Posted on: Mar 2nd, 2014 at 9:20pm

Go to (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links) and look for the CANPASS Remote Area Boader Crossing (RABC) and it will list the requirements.  You will need one primary form of ID (passport, passport card, birth cert.) and one secondary (driver's lic.) to get your RABC permit.  You don't necessarily need a passport according to the list to get the RABC or to enter Canada (just the permit - you should take ID as well....).  It is really pretty simple - just fill out the form and mail it in. 

You will need to stop at the Prairie Portage Ranger Station (or LacLaCroix or Cache Bay) to pay your camping fees, etc.  Any other point of entry would be via Ontario and you would have to go through Canadian customs and no RABC is required for land crossings - whole 'nother ball o' wax.

You do NEED either a passport or a passport card to re-enter the US, however.  Check the state department website.  You are required (by law...) to check in at Customs just outside of Ely w/in 24 hours upon returning.  Probably not a good idea to skip that part. 

Posted by: Fallguy
Posted on: Mar 2nd, 2014 at 8:31pm
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What is the status for remote crossing into Quetico from the Boundary Water? Do need a passport to get the remote crossing permit or will the new Minnesota enhanced driver license work? Thought I would ask here before I start with Canadian customs. :question