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The Ultimate Canoe Trip Checklist

Use this helpful list to plan your canoe trip to the Boundary Waters or Quetico. (Items in bold type and with an asterisk generally come with our complete outfitting package and are also available for rent individually.)


The Sooner The Better:

  • Select your route and entry point*
  • Reserve travel permit*
  • Get RABC permit for Quetico
  • Reserve outfitting and launches
  • Make flight arrangements to Minneapolis or Duluth
  • Arrange for a rental car
  • Arrange pre and post-trip lodging*
  • Make plans for eating along the way
  • Purchase fishing licenses and trout stamps (sold at our store)
  • Purchase canoeing maps*
  • Check out vehicles, racks, trailers, and trailer lights
  • Get current license on canoes
  • Get current rabies certificate for pets going to Canada
  • Sharpen knives
  • Oil footwear
  • Lubricate and put fresh line on fishing reels
  • Sharpen fish hooks
  • Check camp stove and lantern operation
  • Waterproof tent and rainfly
  • Refurbish wooden canoe paddles
  • Repackage food and gear items to eliminate packaging and prohibited cans and bottles
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
Don’t Leave Home Without It:

  • Permit confirmation
  • Reservation confirmations
  • Fishing licenses (Please bring your social security number)
  • Identification
  • Driver’s license
  • Cash
  • Credit card
  • Phone calling card
  • Health insurance information
  • Vehicle insurance information
  • Tools and jumper cables in car
  • Spare vehicle and padlock keys
  • Fill water containers
  • Get fresh and frozen foods out of refrigerator
  • Cooler and ice for travelling
  • Get live bait
  • Leave itinerary and phone numbers with someone at home
  • Leave unnecessary valuables at home
  • Toiletries, clean clothes, clean towel, and dry shoes for return trip
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
*Bold items with an asterisk are generally included in our complete outfitting packages.


First Things First:

  • Maps*
  • Map marking pen
  • Map case*
  • Compass*
  • Back up maps and compass
  • Satellite Phone reservation
  • Duluth packs or dry bags*
  • HD trash bags to line packs*
  • Stuff sacks and compression stuff sacks*
  • Day pack, fanny pack, or thwart bag
  • Canoes*
  • Yoke pads*
  • Paddles*
  • Spare paddle*
  • Life jackets*
  • Emergency whistle zipper pulls
  • Rescue throw bag
  • Seat pads
  • Duct tape*
  • Knee pads
  • Sponge
  • Bailer
  • Bow and stern lines
  • Cords or bunjis to lash in packs
  • Canoe cover
  • Cartop carrier, rack, or trailer
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
Shelter From The Storm:

  • Tents*
  • Rainfly*
  • Stakes*
  • Poles*
  • Ground cloths*
  • Vestibule
  • Sleeping bags*
  • Mattresses*
  • Dining fly or tarp with grommets*
  • Camp rope or parachute cord*
  • Camp chairs or butt pads
  • Camp pillows
  • Lantern, spare mantles, and fuel
  • __________________________
  • __________________________

Thanks For The Memories:

  • Waterproof camera
  • Fresh film
  • Fresh batteries and spares
  • Pocket tripod
  • Waterproof camera bag
  • Lens cleaners
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
*Bold items with an asterisk are generally included in our complete outfitting packages.


Come And Get It!:

  • Pots w/ lids*
  • Frying pans w/ lids*
  • Utensils*
  • Utensil bag*
  • Plates*
  • Cups*
  • Measuring cup*
  • Bowls*
  • Water bottle for each person*
  • Water bag or bucket*
  • Water purification system*
  • Silverware*
  • Potholders*
  • Pot scrubbers*
  • Biodegradeable soap*
  • Dish towels*
  • Spice kit*
  • Fire starter
  • Camp stove, fuel, and funnel*
  • Stove repair tools and kit
  • Camp saw*
  • Disposable lighters*
  • Waterproof matches*
  • Reflector oven and baking pan
  • Dutch oven
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels*
  • Extra zip lock bags
  • Camp kitchen knife*
  • Bear ropes*
  • Trash bags*
  • Fresh food items*
  • Frozen food items*
  • Breakfasts*
  • Lunches*
  • Dinners*
  • Beverages*
  • Snacks*
  • Desserts*
  • Spices and condiments*
  • Cooking oil*
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
That Rainy Day Feelin’ Again:

  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Fresh batteries, spares, and spare bulbs
  • Paperback book
  • Journal, notebook, or sketch pad
  • Pencils and pens
  • Travel board games
  • Playing cards
  • Binoculars
  • Bird and plant books
  • Hacky sack
  • Frisbee
  • __________________________
  • __________________________

Here Fishy, Fishy:

  • Rods and reels
  • Tackle box
  • Filet knife
  • Filet glove
  • Filet board
  • Ceramic sharpener
  • Stringer
  • Pliers or Leatherman
  • Fish batter and oil*
  • Fish locator
  • Spare batteries
  • Superglue
  • Spare rod tips
  • Spare spool of line
  • Folding landing net
  • Live bait
  • Pocket camera for catch and release photos
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
*Bold items with an asterisk are generally included in our complete outfitting packages.


Dress For Success:

  • Waterproof boots (in warmer months you may decide to use water shoes like those described below instead of boots)
  • Gore-tex socks
  • Water shoes (any quick-draining sneaker or sandal such as those made by Keen or Salomon)
  • Spare laces
  • Socks (we like wool socks for all seasons)
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Swimsuits
  • T Shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sweatshirts or fleece jacket
  • Briefs
  • Sport bras
  • Belt or suspenders
  • Bandanas
  • Windbreaker
  • Rain pants!!
  • Rain jacket!!
  • Waterproof cap
  • Cap with sun visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Stocking cap
  • Pocket or wrist watch
  • Travel alarm
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
Gettin’ Personal:

  • Toilet Paper*
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Hair brush or comb
  • Biodegradeable soap*
  • Towel
  • Chapstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug dope
  • Afterbite
  • Hand and body lotion
  • Pain reliever
  • First Aid Kit and book*
  • Personal medications and medical information
  • Emergency coins and money
  • Pocket knife
  • Sharpener
  • Safety pins
  • Needle, thread, and extra buttons
  • Spare eyewear
  • Pocket mirror
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • __________________________
  • __________________________