Pack List

Printable Pack List

In collecting the items below keep several concepts in mind:

  1. Imagine yourself in the wilderness. You know your body’s response to hot, cold, sun, bugs and dampness. Pack what your body needs.
  2. Be creative in order to pack small and lightweight, yet do not compromise your need to stay warm and dry.
  3. In selecting clothing items remember that cotton will not keep you warm if it is wet. Wool or synthetic pants, shirts, socks and jackets will keep you safer, warmer, drier and more comfortable.
  4. Remember the importance of low bulk and layering so that you can make adjustments for temperature change and exercise levels. Keep in mind that perspiration can also lead to discomfort, chills and even hypothermia. Typical summer temperatures in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area are: Daytime 45- 90F, Night 35- 60F.
  5. Please note the items Wilderness Wind supplies are listed on the fees page.

Clothing for the canoe trip (based on a 5 day trip)

  • Shoes (one pair of lightweight hiking boots or shoes with good traction-these are important for ankle support while portaging, and a pair of tennis shoes or lightweight shoes for at the campsites)
  • 2-3 pairs wool or synthetic socks (decrease by one for shorter trips)
  • 2 pairs of pants (at least one of these should be quick-dry) (decrease by one for shorter trips)
  • 1 pair shorts (with pockets is preferred, quick-drying nylon is best)
  • Swimsuit
  • 2-3 T-shirts (decrease by one for shorter trips)
  • 1 long-sleeve wool shirt, fleece or sweater (or something like Polartec or polypropylene)
  • 1 lightweight wool or synthetic shirt (to prevent sunburn or bug bites yet light enough to canoe in).
  • 3 pair underwear (decrease by one for shorter trips)
  • Belt (optional)
  • Hat with full brim (important for sun and rain protection)
  • Rain gear (pants and hooded jacket, ponchos do NOT work well for canoeing)
  • Wool or Fleece hat (nights and early mornings can be chilly, this is a wilderness essential)

Camping Gear

  • Sleeping bag (Synthetic and compressible – 12″x22″ when rolled or stuffed)
  • Nylon stuff sack and several heavyweight garbage bags to waterproof sleeping bag
  • Optional: small flashlight, pocket knife, waterproof matches or lighter, mosquito repellent, Zip-lock plastic bags and extra garbage bags to waterproof and organize clothes
  • (Note: WW supplies one fully waterproof dry bag per person. The bag is large enough to contain necessary clothing)

Personal Items

  • Biodegradable soap (most camping stores have it in small bottles)

    Partial jaw reeled in while fishing

  • Small hand towel and wash cloth
  • Toilet paper (for canoeing days only)
  • Small note pad and pen
  • Bandanna, sunglasses, lip balm, sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste, other toiletries–pack small.


  • Fishing gear
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and waterproof case
  • Reading book or sketch book

Please Note

  • Additional clothing for spring and fall trips: Fleece, wool or neoprene gloves, hat, medium weight long underwear, and a warmer jacket or fleece
  • Remember extra clothes and bath towel for your return to basecamp
  • We request that people leave their watches at camp. Time can affect and determine activities and attitudes. We encourage campers to listen and respond to their physical and spiritual rhythms and needs.
  • For more assistance packing, feel free to view this Wilderness Wind packing essentials video
  • Printable Pack List