Boundary Waters Outfitters

Boundary Waters Outfitters
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Rules & Regulations

The following are the rules you need to know before you go.
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Boundary Waters Canoe Area
BWCA info, wildlife, trip routes, photos...

Canoe Trip Outfitting
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Non-Profit Groups
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Boundary Waters Fishing
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Guided Trips
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Quetico Trips
information on trips into Canada...

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Boundary Waters Rules & Regulations

Please remember to "Leave No Trace"

You must enter the BWCAW at the entry point and on the entry date shown on your permit and may not re-enter on a different date using the same permit.

Permit and stubs become invalid when the trip leader exits the wilderness.

Nine (9) people and four (4) watercraft are the maximum allowed together in the wilderness.

You may not exceed the limit at any time or anywhere (on water, portages, campsites) in the BWCAW.

Smaller groups increase your wilderness experience and decrease the impacts.

Use latrines at designated campsites.

Latrines are not garbage cans and should be used for the intended purpose only. Personal waste items such as cigarettes, cotton swabs, or plastic feminine products should always be packed out and should never go into the latrines.

If you're not near a latrine, dig a small hole 6 to 8 inches deep at least 150 feet or more back from the water's edge. When finished, fill hole and cover with needles and leaves.

Bathe and wash dishes at least 150 feet from lakes and streams. All soaps pollute water including soaps labeled "biodegradable."

Cans and glass bottles are not allowed.

Containers of fuel, insect repellent, medicines, personal toilet articles, and other items that are not foods or beverages are the only cans and bottles you may keep in their original containers.

Dispose of fish remains well away from shorelines, campsites, trails and portages.

Fires are allowed within the steel fire grates at designated campsites or as specifically approved on your visitor's permit.

Food may be packaged in plastic containers that must be packed out with you.

Bringing a small camp stove may be a better idea because it heats food more quickly, has less impact than a fire, and comes in handy during rainy weather.

Due to the potential fire danger, fire restrictions may be put into effect. Check on current conditions just prior to your trip. You may be required to use a camp stove if there is a campfire ban.

If you build a fire, burn only dead wood found lying on the ground.
Collect firewood away from campsites by paddling down the shore and walking into the woods where it is more abundant.
Wood easily broken by hand or cut with a small folding saw eliminates the need for an axe.

Drown your fire with water any time you are going to be away from your camp or at bedtime. Stir the ashes until they are cold to the touch with a bare hand.

Camp only at Forest Service designated campsites that have steel fire grates and wilderness latrines.

Make camp early in the day to ensure finding an available campsite.

It is illegal to cut live vegetation for any reason.

You may camp up to fourteen (14) consecutive days on a specific site.

Only watercraft and equipment used in connection with your current visit may be stored and left unattended.

All equipment and personal property must be carried out with you at the end of each trip.

Leave archaeological, historical, and rock painting sites undisturbed.

The use of metal detectors is prohibited.

No other motorized or mechanized equipment (including pontoon boats, sailboats, sailboards) is allowed. All other lakes or portions of lakes within the BWCAW are paddle-only. Motors may not be used or be in possession on any paddle-only lake. Motor-powered watercraft are permitted only on following designated lakes.

Dogs impact wildlife and barking intrudes on the experience of others. Dogs must be under control at all times. Dispose of fecal matter 150 feet from water sources, campsites, portages, or deposit in a latrine.

Discharging a firearm is prohibited within a 150 yards of a campsite or occupied area in an unsafe manner or location that places people or property at risk of injury. State game laws apply in the BWCAW. Fireworks of any kind are illegal.

On these lakes or portions of these lakes, the possession of one additional motor no greater than 10 horsepower is permitted, as long as motors in use do not exceed 25 horsepower.

Basswood (except that portion north of Jackfish Bay and Washington Island)
Saganaga (except that portion west of American Point)
East Bearskin
South Farm

Mechanical assistance is only permitted over the following: International Boundary, Four-Mile Portage, Fall-Newton-Pipestone and Back Bay Portages into Basswood Lake, Prairie Portage, Vermilion-Trout Lake Portage.


BWCA Information:

Boundary Waters Information
How to plan a trip
BWCA permits & entry points
BWCA canoe routes
Boundary Waters fishing
Area wildlife
Boundary Waters photos
BWCA rules & regulations

Outfitting Packages:

Canoe Trip Outfitting
Outfitting Specials
Explorer Kevlar Package
Ultra-Light Canoe Package
Non-Profit Groups
Fishing Trips
Family Packages
Guided Trips
Food & Canoe Packages
Partial Outfitting


Menu - food for your trip
Overnight Accommodations
Reservations & Deposits
BWCA Permits & Fees
Entry Points & Trip Routes
What to Pack

Quetico Trips:

Quetico Trip information
RABC Permit Information

Canoe Trips
in Action...

heading out at sunrise
heading out at sunrise

camp on Bald Eagle Lake
camp on Bald Eagle Lake

paddling across Insula Lake
paddling across Insula Lake

bull moose on Island River
bull moose on Island River

pushing off from the portage

about to load up on Lake Four

guest picture from their trip

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Boundary Waters Canoe Trips

How to Plan a Trip
Step 1: What to see and do
Step 2: When are you going
Step 3: Plan your route
Step 4: Reserve entry permit
Step 5: Outfitting Needs
Step 6: Transportation
Step 7: Accommodations
Step 8: Final Touches

Web Cam

Farm Lake Cam

View of Farm Lake

web pages:
Boundary Waters Outfitters in Ely Minnesota home page About UsContact Us
Boundary Waters Canoe AreaHow to plan a TripBWCA Entry PermitsBoundary Waters Canoe RoutesFishingWildlifePhoto GalleryBWCA Rules
Canoe Trip OutfittingOutfitting SpecialsKevlar Explorer Package Ultra-Light Canoe PackagePartial OutfittingNon-Profit Group Packages Family Canoe TripsFishing TripsGuided Trips
Trip MenuOvernight Accommodations ▫  Transportation ▫  Reservations & Deposits
Quetico TripsRABC Information ▫ Links

A word from Boundary Waters Outfitters

Thank you for visiting our website. We at Boundary Waters Outfitters are dedicated to our mission and to providing quality Minnesota Vacations to all who visit us here in the Northwoods. It is our pleasure to serve you in anyway we can, whether it is planning a BWCA canoe trip, arranging a stay in one of the lakeside cabins at our full-service resort or helping you purchase just the right piece of gear for your next adventure. Ely Minnesota and the Northwoods is our home and we are eager to share it with anyone who has the desire to experience all it has to offer. With so much to see and do...from fishing, to exploring, to sunsets, the wildlife, to all the little canoeing and camping tips we have picked up over the years, we are here to help you make the most of your Boundary Waters vacation. Thanks again for visiting our website and please let us know how we can help you with your Boundary Waters needs.
-Boundary Waters Outfitters owners and staff.