Canoe Country Wilderness Canoeing
by © Lee Hegstrand


Packing lists for one week: (summer travel)


Items to wear

  • shorts or long pants (pack the other).
  • T-shirt or item
  • hat (water repellent treated)
  • heavy polypropylene blend or wool socks
  • trail boots of choice
  • bandanna (optional).
  • Items to pack
  • "chamois skin" or a light-weight long sleeve shirt
  • three pair heavy polypropylene blend or wool socks
  • hooded rain jacket and pants
  • lightweight sneakers to wear in camp
  • lightweight nylon/spandex swim suit
  • two T-shirts and three underwear changes
  • lightweight (nylon) shell wind-breaker
  • medium-weight wool or synthetic fleece Jac-shirt
  • long johns for spring or fall trips (in the summer this is optional)
  • Sport bras

Equipment for each party (all amounts in proportion to party size)

Kitchen equipment

  • camp stove(s), fuel - check operation of stove
  • plate, cup, fork and spoon for each camper
  • spatula
  • two large cooking spoons
  • two-quart pot plus two smaller nesting pots inside
  • 10 inch non-stick fry pan
  • coffee pot/ tea kettle (optional). Use instant coffee, wet coffee grounds must be packed out.
  • pot lifter
  • dish wash items (steel wool, biodegradable soap, dish cloth, "chamois" towel for drying)
  • quart-size shaker bottle
  • fillet knife
  • condiments
  • hot pads
  • soap bar to coat pots and pans or place soot-covered pots and pans in their own bags. Stove use will avoid this problem.
  • paper towels
  • measuring cup
  • strainer for straining dishwater (a section of rolled-up "butter-fly” netting)
  • butane lighter
  • wire whisk

General equipment

  • tent (extra stakes) - check for leaks
  • ground cloth
  • nylon tarp (used as a sail and for rain protection in camp) with set-up ropes attached. Use at least an 8x10 foot size.
  • sleeping bag
  • self-inflating (or foam) sleeping pad
  • repair kit (duct tape, nylon strapping tape, liquid aluminum if using aluminum canoes, clothes mending kit & spare buttons, super glue, eye glass repair items, multi-purpose tool such as a Leatherman, and a pad patch kit)
  • 50 to100 feet nylon 3/8 inch bear rope, light-weight cording and string
  • folding saw
  • first aid kit (mole skin, antibiotic, anti-diarrhea, small scissors, elastic bandage, pain relievers included)
  • trowel (Quetico only, for digging latrine)
  • toilet paper (double bagged)
  • fire grate stored in a bag (only for Quetico cooking, BWCAW campsites have fireplaces with grates)
  • large sponge or plastic milk jug with the bottom cut away for canoe bailing (strapped under a seat)
  • water sack or collapsible water bucket
  • spare paddle
  • life vests
  • clothes pins and line
  • spare zip-lock plastic bags of various sizes
  • water filter and a halide treatment method to purify large amounts of water
  • map sets
  • day pack for each canoe party (optional)
  • bungee cords or straps to fasten fishing rods to gunwale
  • "chamois" towel to wipe off wet tents and canoe seats
  • alarm clock (optional)
  • playing cards, travel cribbage board (optional)
  • spare 11 and 30 gal. plastic bags
  • rescue/signal items (mirror, whistle, small flare)
  • fire starter
  • 2 bottles of biodegradable soap, one for dish washing and one for hand/clothes washing
  • bow and stern painters (about 25 feet each)
  • camp chair such as a Crazy Creek brand (optional)
  • wind-proof matches & butane lighter
  • sharp hatchet
  • camp pillow

Personal items (in pocket, canoe, day pack or personal stuff sack)

Pocket items

  • butane lighter
  • compass
  • one two-ounce bottle bug dope (at least 30% DEET content)
  • map of the day
  • chap stick
  • pocket knife (multi-purpose type is best)
  • handkerchief (optional)

Day pack items

  • water container
  • camera, film & extra batteries (optional) Expensive cameras should be stored in a waterproof bag. However, this is a dilemma, since wildlife appearances are usually sudden and brief - keep the camera as handy as possible.
  • fishing gear (optional)
  • head net for bad insect times (optional)
  • (polarized) sunglasses (security strap highly recommended if you wear corrective glasses)
  • sunscreen
  • binoculars (optional)
  • another two-ounce bottle of insect lotion
  • insect after bite
  • Stuff sack items (packed inside the large personal pack)
  • mini-flashlight/head lamp with spare batteries
  • toiletries are kept in a small bag [toothbrush/paste, comb, hand lotion, nail clipper, dental floss, safety pins, hand towel (a "thirsty" cloth, i.e., chamois is best), and biodegradable soap].
  • small paperback book (optional but nice for camp-bound days)
  • small notebook and pencil for a journal (optional)
  • playing cards
  • feminine hygiene products

Fishing Items

  • Fresh line on reels, lube reels
  • Sharpen hooks
  • Tackle box
  • Filet knife and glove
  • Knife sharpener
  • Stringer
  • Hook extractor/pliers
  • Fish batter & cooking oil
  • Fish locator & spare batteries
  • Superglue and spare rod tips
  • Spool of line
  • Short handle or folding handle landing net
  • Live bait

Other Items and considerations

  • Canadian RABC permits
  • Ontario and/or Minnesota fishing licenses
  • Health and vehicle insurance info
  • Itinerary and phone numbers left with someone at home.
  • Personal medications
  • Personal identification (birth certificates for minors crossing into Canada)
  • Spare contact lenses
  • Boat license on canoe if supplying own canoe
  • Hide key on or near vehicle to avoid carrying a key on the trip
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle as trailhead break-ins are not uncommon.
  • USFS Permit and reservations confirmations
  • Get fresh and frozen foods
  • Cooler and ice for traveling
  • Bag of toiletries, clean clothes, and shoes for return trip
  • Travel alarm
  • Cable and lock for canoe to secure it when traveling over night

Entry > Discover Wilderness > Canoeing Information > Packing List - Gear list



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