Boundary Waters Suggested Personal Gear List


Wet Shoes: These can range from an old pair of sneakers, high tech water shoes, or boots. Your feet will get wet when you enter/exit the canoe in the water (WE ONLY RENT KEVLAR CANOES WHICH REQUIRE A WET ENTRY/EXIT; THE CANOES ARE NOT TO BE DRAGGED ONTO ROCKS). These shoes will also be used for portaging, therefore you need something that provides good ankle support. A pair of rubber knee-high boots will work just fine. Rubber boots are also nice for spring and fall trips when the water is cool.

Camp shoes: A lightweight pair of hiking boots, sport sandals, or sneakers.

Comfortable socks: Wool or some type of synthetic fiber works best.

Synthetic long underwear (Top and bottom): (Fall and Spring Trips May & Sept-Oct)

Wind jacket: A Gore-Tex rain jacket can double as a wind shell, but sitting around the campfire tends to put burn holes in them. An inexpensive nylon anorak will save that expensive Gore-Tex for when you really need it.

Wind pants: Quick drying nylon work well.

2 pr shorts

2 long sleeve synthetic quick dry shirts: Great for sun and bug protection

2-3 T-shirts: This is up to the individual. We bring (2)…one we use for paddling and portaging, and one that stays clean for those days that we relax around camp.

Fleece jacket or pullover: Wool will also work, but no cotton sweatshirts.

Rain gear: WATERPROOF!!! We recommend Gore-Tex or a comparable waterproof breathable fabric.

Hat: Very important item. The hat should have a wide brim to provide ample protection from the sun.

3 pair Underwear: Believe it or not, this is not an important item. If you bring shorts that contain inserts, it eliminates the need for underwear. However, if you feel you need to wear them, 3 pair will be sufficient.

Paddling gloves (not necessary, but some people swear by them)

Warm gloves (Fall and Spring Trips May & Sept-Oct)

Fleece Hat: (Fall and Spring Trips May & Sept-Oct)

Warm long pants: (Fall Trips and Spring Trips May & Sept-Oct) A pair of fleece pants are great!

NOTE: This may not seem like a lot of clothing for an extended wilderness trip, but all of the items suggested are synthetic and quick drying. Remember if your not wearing it, you have to carry it, and when it is on your back every ounce counts. If you feel you need to include items not mentioned in this list, bring them along with you and we will discuss it at the pre-trip meeting. You can always leave things in your car once your are in Ely, but if you do not bring them, you are out of luck.


Water filter

Flashlight or head lamp

Extra batteries

Insulated coffee mug (provided with full outfitting)

Water bottle (provided with full outfitting, but if you have a favorite one bring it along)


First aid kit

2 Lighters


Biodegradable Soap

Bug dope: A “DEET” based product is recommended. You can bring Skin so Soft but when the bugs are bad you will wish you hadn’t. For kids, use a 20% based DEET repellant

Small pocket knife or Multi-tool

Sunglasses: I recommend polarized lenses because they allow you to see underwater structure and fish.

2-3 bandanas

Pack towel: A small towel works just fine

Paperback book

Personal hygiene items

Personal medication

Playing cards

Camera with extra film

Pre packed moistened towels

Small Mirror

Dental Floss

Tooth brush & paste

Fishing Gear

We would like to stress that this is your trip and if you wish to bring any of the items that we provide along with your own Personal Equipment Items, feel free to do so. We have learned through experience that the equipment we suggested is sufficient to make your trip comfortable, and enjoyable. If you have any questions about gear selection, route planning, entry or take-out times, or anything else you can think of feel free to give us a call.