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Superior National Forest is one of those beautiful gems that never disappoints! Having the right gear will make your trip a lot more enjoyable and could be a life saving safety decision.

First of all you will need the proper permits to enter the BWCA. You can enter the lottery on (usually starts November and ends mid December) you will also have to choose the location to pick up your permits. The earliest you can get the permit is 24 hours before your entry day.

My Fiancee Heather and I had the pleasure of visiting the BWCA the week of June 17 thru 22nd, 2017. We entered through Fall Lake (Entry Point 24) there is a nice boat ramp and a safe place to park your vehicle at the campsite lot. Fall Lake also has a ton of outfitters if you need a bunk house the first night. We stayed at Packsack canoe in Ely, MN on Fall Lake (Very nice folks).

After we got loaded and underway our Kayak journey started on Fall Lake. We trekked North entering Newton Lake after portaging Newton Falls. Then we paddled up past Pipestone Falls after the portage there as well. Beautiful rapids, the White Water Team would love! That night we camped on Pipestone Bay near Wegens point. We stayed there 3 days and would take day trips out to see the falls, find Bald Eagles and go Fishing!

Very good Smallmouth fishing on Pipestone and Basswood Lake near the Islands and off rocky points. The Smallmouth were up on beds and would hit bright colored crankbaits hard. I also had luck with Swim and jerkbaits on Northerns. Top water frogs would work up near some wild rice patties. Walleye were a little slow. Some of the locals were having luck with leeches and would wind troll spoons across 15-20 foot rock walls.

Overall it was an amazing trip! I highly recommend trying it with a Kayak! Very different experience than a canoe. Much more FUN!!!

The Orion 25 cooler was great. It kept our Ice for the 4 days we were on the water no problem, we even brought 12 eggs and Ribeye steaks and no issues with bears or other critters.

For portaging the Railblaza CTUG’s worked great!!!! we had no issues with the rocky path.

I also listed some items below that are essential.

Group Items –


Map or Maps – Waterproof preferred

Tents (Stakes, Poles) – Shared

Rain Fly

Ground Cloth


Bear kit – food pack suspension system.

Extra Paddles – One Per Canoe

Food bag or drum

Fire starter


Lightweight campstove or burners ( I use a Jetboil and its awesome)

Fuel for campstove/burners/lantern

Pots and pans for cooking


Cooking utensils

Dish sponge

Coffee press, coffee pot, or instant coffee

Sponge with scrub pad

Camp saw/ Ax

Bungee cords

Big tarp

Water filter / Iodine tabs

Fillet Knife


Repair gear – duct tape, super glue, leatherman, thread, needle

First Aid Kit

Plastic Cutting Surface/Board

Lantern with fuel and mantels


Cooking Oil

Fish Breading

Bow and Stern Lines

Below are some personal items needed as well.

Necessary Personal Items

PFD – Life Jacket

Rain gear

Glasses or contact lenses

Duluth Pack, Dry Bags, and/or backpacks

Sleeping bag

Compression or Stuff Sack for Cloth and Sleeping bag.

Camp Pillow

Thermarest or other mattress

Flashlight or Headlamp

Extra clothing, sock, long underwear


Jacket/Fleece for layering

Compact Towel

Winter Hat and gloves

Water bottle / Nalgene

Pocket Knife

Trash bags and zip locks (keep things dry and seperated)



Toilet Paper

Camp Cup



Hat (with brim)



Insect repellent!!!!!

Biodegradable soap (Must wash dishes/self 150 feet from water)

Any necessary medicines

Drivers/fishing license (Minnesota) $50 for Husband/Wife MN permit

Have a great time in the beautiful North Woods!