BWCAW Spring 2019 – Planning Starts Now!

Time to start planning that spring Boundary Waters Wilderness Adventure!

Time to start planning that spring Boundary Waters Wilderness Adventure!

I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts that I’ll be heading back to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness May 2019.  From right now that is only five months away and I’m already very excited for this trip.

It will not be a solo a trip this time around.  The person going with me is somebody I have known for about twenty-three years.  His name is Tim, and we’ve hunted pheasant together a few times over twenty years ago.  Sixteen years ago we went to Canada together (he still tells stories about that trip).  We’ve ice fished a few times over the past ten years, fly-fished a couple times… our outings together are usually few and far between.  But we’ve known each other a while.

Tim is the owner of Prescott Bait Company.  He sells his own line of plastic fishing baits.  Check out his online business here: Prescott Bait Company.  Some of you may have seen him featured on midwest outdoor TV programs and even heard him being interviewed on local radio and podcasts.

BWCAW Spring Trip Planning

Let’s take a moment to recap.  Here is some basic info on the BWCAW:

  • It’s over 1,098,000 acres
  • It extends over 150 miles along the Canadian border, next to Canada’s Quetico and La Verendrye Provinicial Parks
  • It borders Voyageurs National Park to the west and Grand Portage Monument to the east
  • The BWCAW contains well over 1200 miles of designated canoe routes and over 2000 designated camp sites
  • Only a limited number of permit holders are allowed into the BWCAW each year, and only through specific entry points

Permits for the 2019 season will not be able to be reserved until January 30th at 9am.  Yes, I know which entry point my buddy and I are planning to use.  On top of that we know the lakes we plan to paddle on and have a pretty good idea what campsites we want to stay at.  BWCA.COM makes certain aspects of trip planning easy.

Like my trips this past year in 2018 It will be more along of the line of base camping.  Day trips from camp will be plenty as there are several lakes in the overall vicinity to be checked out.  The primary focus of the trip will be fishing, relaxing, and exploring, and just getting away from the modern world.

A Buddy Style Trip, But With Solo Canoes

We’ll be driving up together of course, but mostly have our own separate gear for the entire trip.  I plan on bringing and using my Old Town Guide 119.  Tim plans on renting a solo canoe from an outfitter near our entry access point.  As of right now his plan is to rent a Nova Craft Pal 16.  I used one of those on a trip last year and thought it was a pretty good canoe overall.

My Old Town Guide 119. Stable, durable, and can haul my butt and a lot of gear.

My Old Town Guide 119. Stable, durable, and can haul my butt and a lot of gear.

Like I said we’ll both have our own gear, but will likely double up on certain items like a camp saw, hatchet, cooking tarp, and cookware.  The plan is to eat well, fish, lounge, and explore.  Ya know… get away from the entire world… no phones, no internet, no Democrats, no Republicans, no ass-hats, no news.  Peace.  Quiet.  Nature.  Almost near perfect solitude.

Tent Or Hammock Sleep System?

I am pretty much all set for this trip.  There is nothing I need to buy.  I upgraded most of the older kit the past couple years and don’t think I will need anything new for a long time to come.  However, I am facing a bit of a dilemma when it comes to the sleep system I plan to use; my Luxe Tempo two man tent or my hammock.

My Luxe Tempo 2 Man Tent - without the rain fly. Plenty of room for me and some gear.

My Luxe Tempo 2 Man Tent – without the rain fly. Plenty of room for me and some gear.

Both systems are complete.  I have everything I need to be comfortable using either system.  Because I will be going in mid May it can be fairly cool during the nighttime and it would be prudent to utilize an under-quilt if I use my hammock.  That means the space of my hammock sleep system will take up just as much as my tent kit in my pack.  So in regards to space and weight either system would take up about the same amount.

How to choose?

I have to admit sleeping off the ground is fantastic and very comfortable.  But there is something to be said about being enclosed in a tent and not hanging under a tarp – especially when the weather turns crummy.

My Jungle Blanket! Warm and compact.

My Jungle Blanket! Warm and compact.

As of right now I have yet to decide which sleep system I will bring along.  Both are great and have advantages over each other.  I just need to make up my mind.  Either way I decide to go, I will for sure be bringing my Snugpack Jungle Blanket to cover up with… I love that blanket.

Overweight Outdoorsman?

I haven’t lost really any weight since April.  I’ve been hovering around the 260 to 265 pound range, down from 325 pounds when I went on a diet this time last year.  I would like to drop another 30 pounds before the May BWCA trip.  So stay tuned for updates as I go back on a tighter diet than what I have been on since the summer.

2019 And Getting Outdoors!

2019 is going to be a great year.  I have a couple trips planned already involving my canoe.  I’ll share more about some of the other outings as we get into 2019.

For the short term I plan on some winter outings up north around my cabin.  I am also working with my wife to make my own wool pullover bushcraft/outdoorsman shirt.  She is guiding me along on that project, slowly but surely, and I hope to have it complete in January 2019.

Stay tuned-

 

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