Family paddling the BWCA

“The Boundary Waters is one of the fifty places in the world everyone should visit in their lifetime.” --National Geographic Traveler Magazine

            Back when my camping clothes fit more loosely, I measured the success of a canoe outing in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) by the mileage covered. The more miles paddled in a day somehow added to the value of the trip.

            That was pre-kid thinking.  Canoeing with youngsters in the BWCA is about quality, not quantity.


Unmystifying Maps

         Not too long ago I had a flat tire and therefore went to the Tire Store to get it fixed. Leaving it safely in the hands of the Tire Guys, I turned around to leave and was stopped in my tracks when a middle-aged guy said, “You’re Hurricane Bob! From the magazine.” 

BWCAW: Lake of the Woods to Lake Superior

Mary and Joy like things that have a beginning and an end and are challenging.  This was for Mary Tuchscherer and Joy Zasadny to paddle 360 miles BWCAW last August.


Birch Bark Expedition


by Dave Simpkins

Trails Editor


Birch bark canoes, sled dogs and living near Grand Portage has brought Erik Simula as close as a person can get to the lives of the early voyageurs and Ojibwe people.


Last summer, he learned firsthand what it is like to paddle 1000 miles over 108 days, as he fulfilled a lifelong dream of paddling the Arrowhead in his handmade birch bark canoe with his 40-pound sled dog Kitigan.

Traditional Gear


His 14-foot canoe was made in the Ojibwe-Anishinaabe old tribal form, weighing 45 pounds dry and 65 pounds wet. It was made of local white cedar framing, split black spruce roots and white birch bark for the hull and pine resin mixed with charcoal and bear grease for sealant. He harvested much of his bark and made repairs along the way.


1812 S 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN, 55454