BWCA Gear List

PMA Gear I used on trips for this website

Gear I use on trips for gathering data for this website. This gear list is mostly aimed at visiting Primitive Management Areas but is plenty good for trips to anywhere else in the BWCA too.

Canoe Stuff

I use either a Savage River Wee Lassie or a Mohawk Solo 13 canoe for my BWCA solo adventures.

Savage River 11' 6" Canoe (weighs just over 16 pounds). Made of kevlar/carbon. Canoe is similar to the Mohawk in dimensions, but much lighter because of more advanced materials (carbon/kevlar composite). Not nearly as hardy as the Mohawk though. This canoe easily handles the lakes of the BWCA (using common sense of course). This canoe is particularly good for visiting rugged areas like primitive management areas (PMA's). I use the same paddle with this canoe as I do with the Mohawk Canoe below.

Mohawk Solo 13 Canoe (weighs 36 pounds with portage strap). Use this canoe for shorter and easier trips when fewer portages are expected. This canoe has a lot of lakes, rivers and streams under its yoke. Has dents, scratches and heavily worn surfaces splattered over the entire boat, but it keeps on going. Use an Expresso Plus 14 and Bending Branches Special. Paddle weighs less than 2 pounds.

Personal Flotation Device
McKenzie and Fisher Maps for planned canoe route

Electronics (about 3 pounds total)
GoPro Hero 3A+ (white model) camera mounted to headstrap and GoPro Hero 3+ Silver
Samsung WB211 35x Optical Zoom Camera
iPhone 6 Plus (backup pictures and videos in case I lose, destroy or sink other cameras)
GPS: iPhone 6 Plus with Gaia GPS app. You don't need a cellular signal to use this.
Anker Astro E5 15000mAh Dual USB Port Charger (can recharge an iPhone 6 Plus about five times)
Anker 2nd Generation Astro E7 25600mAh Multi-USB Port Charger (can recharge an iPhone 6 Plus about 8 times)
Batteries, cables and microSD chips (about 500 GB worth) for all devices (fully charged and cleared before each trip)
Deeper Fish Finder with the iPhone app. This device has no wires and sends the sonar images to the iPhone via Bluetooth

Containers (about 2 pounds total)
JanSport Backpack (basic kind used by kids to carry books)
Two 8 inch by 16 inch by 8 inch, lockable, plastic, clear container to hold all electronics (they fit inside JanSport backpack)
Small, hard clear plastic lockable container that fits inside the above container (this holds batteries and microSD chips)
Collapsible cooler with frozen cooling bricks to keep my grub edible (stores garbage when empty)—Fits in JanSport Backpack too

Clothes (about 6 pounds total)
Levi’s Jeans (jeans are good protection from sharp branches and rocks; bad if they get wet when it is cold though)
T-shirt (grubbiest t-shirt I own because it is only gonna get grubbier)
Rotten New Balance running shoes (these shoes have seen a lot of swamps)
Athletic socks
Baseball hat (has bolt mounted in visor in order to attach GoPro camera sometimes; gets some strange looks too)
Rain poncho (kept in JanSport backpack unless I need it)
Polyester/Fleece pullover if it is colder part of the season
Nylon pants (for when jeans get soaked and it is cold out; I don't like using these because they don't hold up well bushwhacking)

Food (day trip only) (about 8 pounds total -- mostly the Diet Pepsi weight)
Couple sandwiches, candy bars, grapes, apple, cheese and crackers (nothing that needs cooking)
Diet Pepsi (enough for whole day - 6 bottles; I like my Diet Pepsi)

Food (multi-day – never more than 4 day trip) (about 15 pounds total -- half of this is Diet Pepsi)
Couple sandwiches, candy bars, grapes, apple, cheese and crackers (nothing that needs cooking; enough for each day)
Diet Pepsi (2 per day because of weight issues)
Sawyer Mini or LifeStraw (attach to empty Diet Pepsi bottle or drink straight from lake; one of the best camping devices you will ever own)

Survival/Miscellaneous Gear (about 10 pounds total)
Matches (in Ziploc)
Lighter (in Ziploc)
Toilet Paper (in Ziploc; real drag when this gets wet)
Wrapped up Reflective Thermal Blanket
Fishing gear (about 8 lures in tiny box)
Fishing pole (duct taped into canoe)
Duct tape (one of humankinds greatest invention)
Bug spray (100% deet only). Use 100% deet so you only need a very tiny, light bottle
$25 Target 2 person tent (weighs 4 pounds) – only on multi-day trips
$8 fleece blanket (very warm and light and dries easy – only on multi-day trips. You don't need a sleeping bag in the summer)
Bubble wrap (for sleeping pad; get the heavy duty kind so you don't burst your bubbles)

For a solo day trip, my total gear weight, including the Savage River Wee Lassie canoe is about 39 pounds.

For a four day trip, my total gear weight, including the Savage River Wee Lassie canoe is about 60 to 65 pounds.

PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
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