Boundary Waters

7:56 a.m. on May 6, 2014 (EDT)
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I've wanted to do a trip up there for years. Now it's happening! I am going with a group of guys who go up there every September for a week.

The group leader is already telling me I have to stop thinking like a backpacker.

And he's telling me to get dry sacks for all my gear. Any recommendations?

I'll need sacks big enough for my synthetic 15F sleeping bag, hammock, tarp, underquilt, & clothes. I'm thinking 2 or 3 bags????

10:45 a.m. on May 6, 2014 (EDT)
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Goose,

Dry bags are important for whitewater trips on rivers. For the BWCA, the standard way to carry gear is in canvas packs like Duluth packs.I paddled there in 1988. People line them with heavy weight plastic bags and fold or secure the top. Dry bags are awkward and expensive. Your chances of a capsize are slim if you know how to paddle. Duluth packs can always take one more thing. Rent some when you get up there.

11:06 a.m. on May 6, 2014 (EDT)
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Hi Goose,

I am certain you will have a great time. I have done a lot of canoeing in Quetico when I was young, sometimes for the entire summer and always solo. The area is quite nice especially in September when you plan on going. I have since expanded my repertoire to the northern parts of Canada including the Arctic and Alaska. I keep my gear simple using old fire hose bags “acquired” decades ago from a former job. These are essentially the Duluth bags Ppine mentioned; large canvas bag, leather shoulder straps and tumpline. They were free and needed a bit of sewing and patching but then I enjoy improvising and making use of materials at hand rather than purchase (at a high price) prefab equipment. To make a long story short, I have never used dry bags; just can’t justify the duplication of gear. I also have never placed plastic bags in the Duluth packs, prefering instead to have everything wrapped neatly in a tarp in the canoe. Of course canoeing is not backpacking but there is a lot of overlap and I have always gotten by just fine without use-specific gear.

10:12 p.m. on May 6, 2014 (EDT)
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Hmmmm....he mentioned we would be using Duluth bags, but he specifically said I needed to get a couple of dry bags.

I'll ask him about it, but I have a mindset of "His trip. His rules." In other words, if the trip leader has agreed to let me go along, then I go by his equipment list, and his trip instructions.

So when I come up north, North, I will follow you like one of the 12 disciples! :D

And thanks, ppine! I've never whitewater rafted, but I'm pretty capable on flat water. I use to take inner-city kids on day-long trips down the Illinois River.

11:04 p.m. on May 9, 2014 (EDT)
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I was up there when I was 18 back in the 80's. Wood lake was where we portaged, canoed and camped. Saw a moose for the first time and caught walleyes like crazy and smallies like crazy.

12:19 a.m. on May 10, 2014 (EDT)
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Goose...you can keep thinking like a backpacker (it improved my paddling game). When I canoe I use an old 60L-70L Kelty with cushy shoulder-straps and hip-belt. I do use one (using multiples is not worth the expense) cheap lightweight Sea-to-Summit dry-bag inside my pack to store my sleeping insulation + toiletries + electronics + dry clothes...but I spend a lot of time on rivers with larger rapids and downed-trees...so a little extra precaution seems appropriate. Still...I have probably only needed this level of protection a few times in 20 years...and every year I go with folks that routinely use nothing more than their packs and trash-compactor bags with no problems.

12:21 a.m. on May 10, 2014 (EDT)
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Goose...you can keep thinking like a backpacker (it improved my paddling game). When I canoe I use an old 60L-70L Kelty with cushy shoulder-straps and hip-belt. I do use one (using multiples is not worth the expense) cheap lightweight Sea-to-Summit dry-bag inside my pack to store my sleeping insulation + toiletries + electronics + dry clothes...but I spend a lot of time on rivers with larger rapids and downed-trees...so a little extra precaution seems appropriate. Still...I have probably only needed this level of protection a few times in 20 years...and every year I go with folks that routinely use nothing more than their packs and trash-compactor bags with no problems.

September 18, 2014
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