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tentsChris Walden continues his quest to help others plan and prepare trips to the majestic waters and rugged lands of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

If the canoe is not the most important piece of gear on a BWCA trip, your tent is. Anyone who has sat inside a tent during a rainy night understands this completely. Whether you were wet or dry, you understood the value of a quality tent.

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By Chris Walden

canoetypes

(Shown left to right) Aluminum, ABS and Kevlar canoes.

Continually renting from an outfitter is like golfing with rental clubs. It’s OK the first few times, but you end up needing your own custom gear selected for your own needs. The first – and arguably most important – piece of equipment is the canoe itself. Let’s discuss some of the materials and lengths to consider, and a few other important features to keep in mind. (more…)

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On this trip — Avid outdoorsman, Erik Paulsen and I, along with our two daughters, planned a three-day weekend on Lake Four within the BWCA. We enjoyed all kinds of weather from 50-mph squalls to sunny 60° blue skies. In the BWCA you have to plan for just about everything. The week before it snowed!

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The story behind these pictures…

On this years spring canoe trip to the Upper Iowa river we experienced something called, “Fresh-Air Apnea” a condition sometimes brought on by over-paddling, staying up late and consuming numerous beers by the fire.

What’s the cure? Apparently, a good dose of antiquing, breakfast at the local bakery and an a espresso in the neighboring town of Decorah, Iowa. Everyone recovered and is feeling OK now.

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bwca1By Chris Walden

A few summers ago a friend invited me on on a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a six night trip. I had not been camping in twenty years, and never in a wilderness setting like BWCA. Reluctantly, I agreed. Fortunately, I loved it! I’ve been there a few times since and am eagerly awaiting my next trip later this summer.

Having a good plan is paramount to a successful trip.

I’ve learned a lot about what to do (and not to do) while in the BWCA — some thing’s I wish I would have known before heading out. Having a good plan is paramount to a successful trip. In this series of articles I will to share some tips about wilderness camping.

Articles will include how evaluating your group and planning a route. How to choose a canoe — including: materials, types of canoe, sizes, and just enough technical information to understand rocker and weight distribution and even a video about paddling basics and what do if you capsize. We will talk about tents, tarps, and other necessary equipment. I will discuss choosing a good campsite and how to pack enough food without having too much.

With good plans and correct expectations — you can have great trip. A bad plan can ruin a vacation quickly. Fat Man’s Landing wants you to enjoy your wilderness adventure and we are here to help. Check back soon for the next article.

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Upper Iowa RiverIowacampingcanoeinghikingUpper Iowa River

The Upper Iowa River is a tributary of the Mississippi River located in the northeast corner of Iowa. This weekend we canoed the most picturesque portion, bordering rolling hills and shear limestone cliffs, from Bluffton to Decorah, Iowa.

There’s a wonderful campground just outside of Decorah called, Pulpit Rock Campground. We arrived late Thursday night. Once our tents were assembled, we cracked-a-cold-one and proceeded to sit around the fire-pit swapping stories and conversing about the news.

We didn’t have any firewood so, I placed my Coleman LED lantern in the middle of the fire-ring, which gives-off a yellow glow when set to low. As the cold night air began to take over and the conversation grew wearisome, I quickly scooted off to bed. (more…)

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