Monday, February 29, 2016

What are the top 3 items you take into the BWCA?

What are the top items you always take into the BWCA and use around your campsite?

Yes, we take a canoe, paddles, life jackets, tents, sleeping bags w/pads and more.  I'm asking what special items do you take?

Couple of my favorites area pliers or multi-tool and Gerber 6 inch blade knife w/sheath that I received as a high school graduation gift. Oh has it been that long that I have owned it...since graduation? These must have items are great for cooking, repair of camping equipment, fishing, etc.

What items do you have to have available around your campsite?

  • 2- 50 ft length of rope - use for hoisting food pack into trees or line for drying wet clothes
  • Collapsible or Sven saw - many times I don't even use a saw as there is usually more than enough small pieces of wood gathered off the ground. No need to take an ax or hatchet. Most people fail to follow correct handling rules and risk a severe cut. Save your fingers by using a saw.


  • One or two burner stove with fuel - size of the group will determine size of stove. 2-4 people a single burner stove will be adequate. 4+ people, go for the two - single burner or two burner stove.
  • Strike anywhere stick matches in a water tight container. I also like to have a small lighter along as a back up and easy to carry in my pocket.


  • Water bottle for each person. Keep hydrated and your trip will be more comfortable.
  • Compass for orienting your map to north. I have my compass on a landyard around my neck for quick use.
  • Map of the area you are traveling. Using a GPS is fine; but batteries wear out, devise may not pick up a signal, or you drop it in the water and now it really doesn't work.  We recommend having a set of maps for each canoe. Keeps peace in the group, allows others to know "where the heck are we?" and to compare locations

Visit Spirit of the Wilderness website at or call us at 218-365-3149 and start planning your 2016 Boundary Waters or Quetico canoe trip.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Happiness effect...spend time in the outdoors

Here is an easy and enjoyable way to increase your creativity; spend time outside in a green space!  

Nature nurtures us...helps us relieve stress and mental fatigue, boosts our mood, and more. People underestimate the "happiness effect" of being outdoors. We don't think of it as a way to increase happiness. We think other things will, like shopping or TV*.

Will you spend time outdoors soon? 

The Boundary Waters is calling you. Answer 
the call.

*National Geographic, January 2016. The Power of Parks.

Friday, February 19, 2016

How has the Boundary Waters Affected You?

How has the Boundary Waters affected you? Many of our guests comment on the positive effect traveling the BWCA has on them.

1865 landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmstead looked out over the Yosemite Valley and saw a place worth saving. He urged the California legislature to protect it. He was convinced green space should exist for all people to enjoy. "It is scientific fact" he wrote, "that the occasional contemplation of natural scenes of an impressive favorable to the health and vigor of men and especially to the health and vigor of their intellect." Don't know about the science basis, but I'm sure it is not only men that receive a benefit.
Join us this summer for another wilderness adventure starting at Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitters, Ely MN

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hibernating or Incubating?

Are you hibernating this winter or incubating on a plan to be in the wilderness such as the BWCA?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Recharge Your Batteries...Travel a Wilderness Area this Summer

Traveling in a wilderness area, i.e. Boundary Waters Canoe Area, is more than canoeing, hiking, fishing, camping, swatting bugs, seeing spectacular sunrises or sunsets. 3 day or more in the wilderness is a "kind of cleaning of the mental windshield" as noted in National Geographic January 2016 article titled The Power of Parks. You recalibrate your senses, experience the moment, produces a difference in your thinking. 

Come get your batteries recharged...experience the BWCA once again this summer.