Test Your Kayak Deck Compass at the Boundary Waters

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Your kayak deck compass can navigate the Boundary Waters of Minnesota with ease.

Do you like to see and experience lakes and rivers in the warm summer sun? Kayaking the Boundary Waters is equal parts adrenaline, adventure, and love for the outdoors. Now that it’s warm out, it’s time to get your kayak and plan your multi-day trip through the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.

Kayaking is an amazing way to experience the this landscape that you wouldn’t normally have access to. You can cover more miles by kayak than you ever could by foot. And while there are always different items that are must-haves on a river trip, we highly recommend adding a kayak deck compass to your list.

What are the Boundary Waters

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Northern Minnesota is home to one of the wildest places in the U.S.: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). This area straddles the Canada-Minnesota border and is home to roughly 1,100 lakes and various stream systems. The other 80% of the Boundary Waters holds the largest uncut forest in the eastern part of the country.

There is so much to explore within the Boundary Waters’ border including amazing animal viewing like black bears, timber wolves, various birds, and deer. Prehistoric pictographs by Native Americans can be found left on cliffs from many years ago.

Permits and Access

One of the best, and most popular, ways to explore the Boundary Waters is by boat. With over 1,200 miles of waterway routes, it only makes sense that visitors pack their canoes and kayaks full of camping goods. In 2007, it was estimated that about 94-percent of visitors used non-motorized boats to explore the wilderness area.

Exploring the Boundary Waters by kayak or canoe requires a permit that you must get in advance if you want to overnight paddle between the months of May and September. The coolest part about this permit is that it is for an indefinite period–the only rule is that you cannot exceed 14 nights at one campsite. But with over 2,000 backcountry campsites, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Plan a Kayak or Canoe Trip

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A multi-day trip by kayak takes a substantial amount of planning. First, you will want to pick an entry-point into the area. Once you have chosen an entry-point (depending on where you are driving from), you will be able to plot the rest of your multi-day paddle from there.

Just like backpacking, you’ll wear the same dirty clothes for days on end, so don’t fret about packing too much clothing. Always remember, less will be lighter to carry. As for food, you should bring only what you can carry and paddle. If you carry a cooler pack for perishable food, you can pack a decent amount. 

The Boundary Waters are vast and wild, so having and map and compass on hand is key. A kayak deck compass will continually show you which direction you are headed as you spend long days paddling through the Boundary Waters’ stream ways.

Taking a plunge into the Boundary Waters is a sure way to get your feet wet in a multi-day paddling expedition. Don’t forget to reserve your permit!  

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