Resources ready to help novices have a successful first trip to the Boundary Waters

BWCAW canoeing. (Photo by daakrolb via Wikipedia)

The Boundary Waters canoeing season is underway. Delayed by stay-at-home orders until May 18, the wilderness has since been a popular destination for people looking to get away from home and into the wild, wonderful world of the BWCAW.

bwcaw canoe kids fishing mn
Photo by Austin Fairchild courtesy
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

Ready to escape the crowds and have a life-changing experience? Wilderness trips have been shown to have a positive effect on mental health for kids and adults, relieving stress, increasing creativity, and improving relationships. In 2016, Quetico-Superior Wilderness News covered a study conducted by a Nebraska college professor who gave his students standardized “creativity” tests before, during, and after a trip to the Boundary Waters. It showed a near doubling of creative thinking while in the wilderness.

“Being immersed in wilderness, free of distractions, we begin to notice beauty and wonder—and our creativity is free to flourish,” said Dr. Frank Ferraro of Nebraska Wesleyan University.

If you want to experience the positive effects for yourself, the wilderness awaits.

For Boundary Waters beginners

Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness every summer. Many learn the ropes from an experienced friend or relative, while others hire a guide. Yet lots of people take the leap and learn how to have a successful trip through research — and trial-and-error.

Now is a great time to plan a first trip to the Boundary Waters. Resources abound, including a new publication from the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness for novice campers: The Friends’ Guide to the Boundary Waters.

Click to view the ebook.

“This book is your key to unlocking the wonders of this national treasure,” it says.

While the guide includes comprehensive information for beginners, even experienced wilderness visitors will find useful ideas and information, from handy knots to proper footwear and campfire cooking.

In addition to basic trip planning, the booklet also includes information about several suggested routes to travel through the Boundary Waters’ diverse landscape. Topics include:

  • How to plan a trip
  • Safety in the wilderness
  • Setting up camp
  • Basic canoe skills
  • What to bring
  • And more

The booklet was written by communications director Peter Marshall, an experienced wilderness canoeist who has logged more than 8,000 miles of paddling. View online or download it here.

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