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Poem: Boundary Waters Recipe

Boundary Waters Recipe by Tim Stouffer

Halfway thru July
a dance on lily pads
sunset, three-quarter dark;
comet sweeping
over painted night.
Wilderness breathing deep;
cattails, loons and froglings
singing in the breeze.
Nothing needs
but a paddle to stroke
and solve a puzzled peace.

Photos by Jordyn Stocks

©Timothy James Stouffer 07152020
All Rights Reserved Ely, MN
#elystreetpoet

Leave No Trace(s) by Steve Piragis

Hello Canoe Trippers, From Ely Minnesota


We get away most summers, Nancy and I, in August and September to the Quetico. Along with a bunch of day trips to the Boundary Waters from May to July, we get a pretty good feel for what’s going on out on the portages and campsites. This year was different (in a lot of ways). We just completed a 4 night trip to the Little Indian Sioux country on the west end of the Echo Trail. It was enlightening. You could see it was busy from the lack of permits available online. In reality, it is busy out in the woods too. I say, good for us that we’re finding wilderness as a solace to the pandemic and the social upheaval our age.

It’s a time unmatched in history. Wilderness in the big sense and in the neighborhood sense is where people can escape,seeking quiet and contemplation. Thankfully we still have that escape. Thankfully too, we have the infrastructure in place ready to give us a reprieve from all that we have endured over the past months. Now, we have to take good care of it.


Lots of the folks we saw last week were first timers. I’d guess they have had a canoe trip in mind for years and just got up one day during the crazy pandemic and said Let’s Go. These are the groups you see using the bent paddles backwards. They are the ones who you might worry about if the water and weather was cold like October but you know will somehow survive in June or July or August. They are having fun and they are relieved to be away, in the wild, far from the city and the fear of walking into a haze of the breath of an asymptomatic carrier. With the wind blowing even a chance encounter with a group on a portage seems pretty innocuous. They, the green horns, the newbys and along with all the rest of us old timers are at peace this week in a slightly too busy wilderness. There’s a certain bond we sensed this year among the paddlers we encountered this year in canoe country.

Not to place blame, but, we also saw some evidence at our campsites of people not respecting the wilderness or at least not knowing wilderness etiquette. Our camp had a few big red pines hacked up pretty good with an axe. We found a pickle bucket with two cans of food hidden behind a rock where someone just decided to dump the evidence and hit the dusty trail. There was left over ramen noodles in a pile in the woods, too much for dinner and ramen in the lake near shore and toilet paper along the trail to the latrine, a remnant of midnight calling falling short of the destination.


I was under the impression that Leave No Trace was by now genetically en grained in all Americans. Obviously we need to work harder to educate. We, with the experience, have to teach it and set standards and watch out for the uninitiated. I don’t think there’s anything wrong when seeing people in a group of 10 on a portage to remind them of the 9 person limit. There’s nothing wrong with offering advice on great campsites and qualifying it with a strong suggestion to leave it better than when you found it please.

Let’s take the new campers under our wings and offer what the Forest Service video can’t, a kind suggestion on what matters; wilderness manners. It took decades to instill this ethic in all of us from the old days. Now, we start over with a new crop of seekers of the secrets of the wild who are yet to join the club and Leave No Trace. Sig Olson wrote articles about this very topic in the 1940’s when cans and bottles and bough beds and pioneering projects were rampant in the Boundary Waters. We’ve come a long way but the scars of one person with an axe will last for another 100 years so again it’s time for all of us to work harder to protect what was left to us.

Steve Piragis

Poem: This is our home

This is our home…


Said the loon that your phone recorded,

Said the black bear that swam across the lake,

the wolf said as she howled to her pups over on the high ridge. 

The cute chipmunk and red squirrel and pine martin all chittered excitingly from the red pines that creak and sway — reciting the same. 

Spring peeper frogs and throaty bull frogs,

Woodland jumping mouse, deer mouse and Northern grasshopper mouse voices join in solidarity with the bubbled agreement

from pike, walleye, crappie, trout, bass, perch, lake trout and lawyers (bourbot variety)…


This is our home.


Chickadees and white throated sparrows chime in,

Red backed voles and red bellied snakes don’t say much nor do the shadows of raptors flying high above but it is their home too. 

The moose bellows, the deer stamps, the fox and the fur bearers silently share. We live here too, It’s our home that you’re visiting.

The camp robber, Whiskey Jackjoins you in your camp, looking for something.

What is it that you brought?

Before you leave your home

Pack some respect. Bring some dignity,

Compassion for those that paddle after.

For those that call it home. 

Leave it better than you found it. 
There’s no maid service in the wilderness.

©Timothy James Stouffer 06252020 All Rights Reserved Ely, MN #elystreetpoet

Poem: Beaver Dam

Beaver Dam

by John Looney

The water on “my side” is down to a trickle
furtively crawling through the sticks and mud wall,
up above, roughly four feet now, today;
A flat pool stretches dark and far. 
Dragonflies skim the surface,
algae drifts with yellow pollen
and clumps of white cottonseed
caught in the liquid clutches of June.

I can sit up higher and see the point of the V trailing away from his wall,
Like me he has punched the clock
on a day’s work done. 
I need to portage again, it seems
this dam is too big to slide over. 
I wonder at the stillness on the other side,
wonder at the darkness that swallows even the bluebird blue sky.

I feel like slapping my tail.

It feels like home.

©Timothy James Stouffer 06252020 All Rights Reserved
Ely, MN #elystreetpoetPhoto by John Looney

Poem: The Pine Cone Crunch

By Tim Stouffer

Pine cone crunch…

is that a new Blizzard flavor?

At the local D.Q. after a canoe trip,

or the lego-like-walk to the latrine in the dark;

hazarding the path without your sandals

cause you forgot your glasses

in the food pack that’s hung high in the branches?

Is it some extra protein in the chicken chow mien

rehydrating over the burning pyramid of dry birch?

Is it the debitage pile from the resident red squirrel

that lies here, but also there.

And over there.

Is it the scintillating

smell that’s deep in the woods if you leave the path

even for a moment to follow the trail of a chattering chickadee

or scout the shade for Lady Slipper footprints?

Is it worth every moment it took to get here?

The bight along the shore that you read incorrectly on the map

and the bite of the yoke on your shoulders

and the bite(s)

all around the soft part of your neck and ears.

That much and much more.

©Timothy James Stouffer Ely, MN All Rights Reserved 06182020 #elystreetpoet

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Crooked Lake Fishing Trip Report

Crooked Lake Fishing Trip Report, May 26th– 29th, 2020

By Eric Glasson

For the last six years, a group of my high school and college buddies have ventured into the Boundary Waters to chase fish at the earliest opportunity – fishing opener weekend. It has become a tradition, which we were very disappointed to break this year.  2020 was the first year since we began in 2014 with a trip to Disappointment Lake that we couldn’t make our BWCA fishing opener trip happen. Unfortunately, the Boundary Waters was closed to overnight travel due to Coronavirus closures and the unnecessary risk to visitors and safety personnel, and our group decided it was not a wise idea to travel, so the trip was canceled.

Fortunately, I had a Mudro Lake permit in my back pocket for Tuesday May 26th. I had booked the permit right away when permits became available back in January, knowing that it might be one of my only opportunities other than fishing opener weekend that I might be able to get away during the busy season.  As manager of the retail store, I can rarely take more than a few days off at a time between Memorial and Labor Day to make trips happen.  

Here’s some insider information if you’d like to visit the BWCA when the weather and water are starting to warm up, there are not yet clouds of pesky insects, the fish are incredibly active and feeding and there are very few people visiting the BWCA; go the two weeks after Memorial Day weekend.  The BWCA sees a huge spike of visitors Memorial Day Weekend, then it slows down for 2-3 weeks before picking up again leading into late June and the Fourth of July.  

Simple Places

Simple Places by Jeffrey Hancock

simple places need to be preserved
photo by Steve Piragis

My head screamed in pain at camp.  

It had been a long and demanding previous three days as I wrapped up work, prepared to leave, made the trip, and connected with my wife and kids for a 3-night adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).  I had left from Kansas the day before after spending the previous night packing for a new adventure, of which I had no experience with.  The plan was to meet in Minneapolis, catch them on an incoming flight after a two week visit in Vermont with grandma, shovel down some dinner, dash to a hotel bed and awake early the next morning for the five or so hour drive to Moose Lake.  The plan worked out great, but I underestimated the mental toll of changing all those gears along the way.

At Moose Lake we geared up, settled up on rented canoes and permits, and struck off across the water to arrive at our first camping spot of the evening.  We had finally made it…Wilderness.  It was about seven o’clock when we landed camp and I was spent with pain in the brain.  About forty-eight hours earlier I had been at a desk doing what engineering business owners do and in a mental state far different than I expect of myself in the woods.

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Boundary Waters Fishing Tips

by Tim Stouffer

Jigging for Walleye in the Boundary Waters

Jig fishing is a time-honored nearly failsafe method for fishing for Walleye in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It has many different incarnations and can lead to a variety of angler modified or inspired choices when it comes to personal preference.  In short it is versatile and adaptable and requires a very limited number of parts to reach success.  I like vertical jig fishing because with a little patience and of course (luck?) the right location, you can do two things well: 1) Have Fun and 2) Catch Dinner.

Traditional “ball jigs” combine a spherical weight with a hook and when the hook is tipped with bait it is a simple combination that allows an angler to take the bait down to wherever the fish are or might be.  This combination allows one to fish the rocky shorelines, fallen trees, weed lines and shale piles by casting if they want to change the pace or tire of jigging.

Vertical jigging off the bottom allows your bail on your spinning reel to be open while you rest the line on your finger.  Walleye often nibble or have light mouthed touches (not always — there are plenty of times they suck up your jig with force) and this approach allows you to play a little line out subtly before you set the hook.  You can also close the bail and just wait for the tell-tale bobbing of the end of your rod, something that gets the blood pumping really fast.  Fishing vertical drop offs, where the depth of the lake changes dramatically is a good place to start.  Jigging near tips of points, and over top mounds or rises in the middle of lakes is a good option for jigs as well.

We promote non-lead alternatives in an attempt to promote Loon health.  Our state bird can easily be poisoned by lead jig heads and sinkers, as they often ingest them accidentally, mistaking them for food or rocks.  Tin and Bismuth make a slightly larger but no less effective jig.

Color choices can get you into many a long conversation with older more experienced anglers and those who are just superstitious, or rely on a favorite.  We have a variety of water colors in the Boundary Waters lakes, from crystal clear to dark and tannin stained.  It pays to have a variety of colors in your tackle box.  Many people would never try darker colors, however I’ve personally proven to myself that fish must see darker colors differently than we do because black, dark blue, red have performed well for me even in darker waters.  Traditional choices are yellow, chartreuse, pink, white or glow and orange.

The ideal choices to bait your jig hooks with are leeches, minnows and nightcrawlers.  However, live bait is increasingly difficult to keep alive during wilderness trips that extend past a couple of days or if the weather is warm such as it is in the later weeks of July and much of August. There are a number of artificial and plastic baits that mimic the visual and swimming performance of minnows, leeches and worms.  There’s even a company called of all things, Magic®, that package preserved Emerald Shiners.  These shiners are traditionally a favorite bait on some Minnesota lakes where for years and years anglers have used frozen shiners that they preserved. These preserved minnows have an anise scent to them.  Jigging up and down tipped with an Emerald Shiner seems to some to indeed be Magic.

It’s hard to beat a twister tail on the end of a jig.  White, green or black seem to do an excellent job of exciting fish and mimicking minnows, leeches and worms.

Jigs have the downfall by nature of not being weedless and hanging up on rock piles and getting stuck.  That’s why it always makes sense to take along more than you think you’ll need.  It makes sense to give yourself color options and even take along some different sized jigs in case the wind comes up (the Walleye Chop isn’t famous for no reason… they like the wind, they despise direct sunlight (look at their eyes — wouldn’t you) and they also like fast moving water (fishing the tail end of rapids often produces).  Tiny jigs and bits of Twisty Tails or colored fluff are excellent baits for crappie, trout and panfish.

I have to confess that I really enjoy bobber fishing and often I’ll employ a jig at the line underneath my bobber and just let my patience drift.  There’s nothing quite like watching that red and white ball go under, and then go deeper.  Wham!!! Dinner!

Just a side note because sometimes you want options.  When I first moved to Minnesota I came across a rig called a Winkum Spin-N-Float.  There’s a little float and a spinner attached to the same leader line as the perfect sized simple Walleye hook.  Where this rig attached to your line you attach either a sliding weight or a few of Water Gremlin Lead Alternative Sinkers.  You bait the hook with a nightcrawler or your preference and the float keeps it up off the bottom while the spinner attracts attention.  Toss is out from your campsite and leave it sit while you wait for the end of your rod to bend down!  When I’m not jigging or casting a countdown Rapala® or Mepps® spinner, I’m using one of these.

Once again, my fishing choices revolve around simple, classic choices that can appeal to a variety of species and produce time-honored results.  Walleyes in Minnesota seem to bite on vertical ball head jigs more than just about anything else.  If you don’t include Mister Twister® Tails in your pack, you should.

As one of the anglers, Mark, who replied to my last fishing blog said, “I usually paddle into the wind on a lake, and then toss one of my white twisters out and drift with the wind across the lake and usually have caught at least one northern or walleye using this method.”  You see what I mean, jigs are versatile and adaptable.  They allow you to develop your own style and catch fish the way you are most comfortable.

Boundary Waters Fishing: Go To Lures by Tim Stouffer

I often find Original Floating® Rapalas® in various conditions in the bottom of old tackle boxes that I buy.  Since I was a little kid, one of my passions has been antiques.  I gravitate towards old tackle boxes and (avoiding rusty hooks) love to dig through them looking for treasure.  Aside from remnants of melted plastic worms, the single most popular discovery is some form of lightweight balsa Rapala® Floating Minnow.  Sometimes this will include foil-sided early models with embossed stars from when they were still made in Finland.



This got me to thinking… why do I find so many of these?  Why are they always in such a state of disrepair and not pristine?  Why do their newer counterparts show up nearly as often in Perch, Silver and Blue, Firetiger and Orange?  And, perhaps an even better question, what do I consider my “Go To” lure when on a Boundary Waters Canoe Trip?  Not necessarily my favorite lure, because if I’m perfectly honest Mepps® Spinners are my favorite because they were my Dad’s favorite and who doesn’t enjoy a bit of flash?  Usually walleye, definitely Pike and the Smallmouth love em.  Let’s face it though, they aren’t minnow shaped, don’t swim or look like a minnow except in the heat of the moment.



Most predators are attracted to anything that closely mimics their natural prey.  Wounded or erratically swimming minnows.  Or, when wounded ones aren’t on your radar, something that looks like what you’d expect to be swimming in the water.

Live bait is difficult to keep alive during the Summer months when the temperatures rise.  It’s hard to transport and care for even when it is cooler outside.  Most of us use artificial baits on extended trips longer than a couple of days.  Most anglers have favorite colors and like to change it up according to the season.  I prefer perch colors early and late in the year and will switch them out for Firetiger and Silver and Blue and crawdad brown and orange imitators during the heat of July and August.

Whether or not I’m going up to Quetico Park in Canada where barbless hooks are a requirement, I always pinch the barbs of my hooks off.  Often on a Rapala® that means crimping down 9 hooks for the three trebles, at least six, depending upon the model.  Fish tend to flip and writhe at the exact moment you are reaching into the net or for their mouths.  At that point you are in danger of embedding multiple hooks into your hand or arm and believe me you don’t want that to happen.  You especially don’t want those hooks to have barbs on them when they are driven deep into your thumb.

From the beginning Rapala® has tank tested and tuned by hand each of the lures that they produce.  This is how you know that every model you pull of a new box or old tackle box will accurately mimic the action of baitfish.  There are many different models available and I plan on highlighting a few of our favorites that produce well in the Boundary Waters.  You can plan your wilderness tackle box accordingly and tweak what you take along in your canoe to your taste.



Shallow Fishing for Northern Pike, Walleye, Bass and Trout is an ideal beginning to the season.  For this the Original Floating® Minnow is very hard to beat.  Fish where you know baitfish will be: in warmer waters, near new weed growth just underneath, casting near structure like downed trees and shallow rocks.  Add weight like a pinch on sinker of some sort (we recommend non-lead alternatives because lead poisons Loons and other wildlife) perhaps a foot above your Original Floating® Minnow and you’ve just extended the season and reason for this lure.  Now you can troll at mid-depth with it.



If you like to hunt for large fish, you can use Husky Magnum® or Floating Magnum® Rapalas both as floating surface models as the Lilly Pads and grasses grow out of the water or off of a “bottom bouncer” a weighted wire that bounces off the bottom and allows you to fish large lures way down deep.  This is a classic up north way to troll deeper waters but requires heavier rods, reels, line and leaders.  The point is, as you are starting to imagine, that Rapala® makes a lot of lures, but each one has multiple uses!



While we’re on the subject of Big, one of our Outfitting Crew’s favorite lures is the Deep Tail Dancer®.  Made to head down to the thirty foot range they seem to attract a great deal of attention from Lake Trout and larger fish in particular.  They come in some fantastic color options.  They’re a little bit like an overgrown version of the Fat Rap®, which has also been a favorite of Walleye and Pike for many years.



The CountDown® Rapalas® are the best choice for mid-range depth and they lend themselves to great stop-and-go motion when retrieving.  One of my most successful afternoons of Walleye fishing involved casting medium sized Perch colored CountDown® Raps towards an island and counting to five before I began retrieving it in a steady, fluid motion instead of stop-and-go.  I couldn’t cast it too close to the island because by the time I reached five, it would have sunk to snag in the rocks, but with patience in my pocket by the time I reached another five on the retrieve I had a Walleye on.  Time and time again, the perfect size for dinner, one after another.  Ever since then, especially on a hot day, I’ll go back to the CountDown®.



Anytime during the season when you want to get attention quickly, it’s a good idea to move to the erratic swimming motion of a Jointed Rapala.  Your retrieve and depth choices can modify the display of this magical lure even more.  Wounded Baitfish, wounded baitfish, wounded baitfish.  It should be your mantra, especially when nothing else is working.  If you are paddling steadily towards your first (or next) campsite and you want a lazy way to have the best chance at fresh fish for dinner, the Jointed Rapala is often your best bet.



Around camp, you’ll often find panfish.  Usually that also means there’s Northern Pike, the wolves of the northern waters, cruising for big punkinseed and bluegill (not to mention Black Crappie).  Traditional ways to fish for panfish include slip bobbers and tiny “flu-flu” jigs.  I like to put on a piece of night crawler when I’m near home. People love to fish them with a slip bobber rig and small, silvery “crappie minnows”.  Those traditional methods involve live bait. There’s a relatively new version of the fantastic performing Fat Rap called simply the Mini Fat Rap.  They have a compact, tight swimming action that imitates (nearly perfectly) the speed and motion of a fleeing baitfish.  This causes what seem to be instinctive strikes from panfish that you’d expect from its one and a half inch size.  Again, add a weight six to twelve inches up from it on your line and you can create this action at a deeper level, down by where the bigger ones are hiding in the shadows.

Well, that’s why you find so many Rapalas® in old and new tackle boxes up North.  Down South too, for that matter, but for the Boundary Waters and Canoe Camping Trips, it’s hard to beat a balsa minnow that has been hand tuned to catch fish for dinner.  Breakfast too.

You pick the colors, you pick the style, just get more than one, because even if you don’t lose any, your friends will want to use em.  These lures and/or other Rapala® lures are in-stock at our Retail Store, Piragis Northwoods Company at 105 North Central Avenue in Ely, Minnesota on the edge of the Boundary Waters.

Wilderness Camping is not just a guy thing

Thursday, April 19, 2018 Guest Blog by Cara Berzins

Ladies, no matter what hats we wear and titles we carry, I suspect that there are some core things we all want. For example, I carry the titles mom, wife, teacher, writer. I’m always looking for ways to improve how I carry those titles. I think as women we are always looking for ways to grow, and unfortunately, we tend to doubt ourselves and wonder whether we are doing any of those things right. I know I do. 

I believe I know a secret and unexpected way to build confidence and reduce doubt and guilt. This is my story of how wilderness camping shaped my identity and set me up for a happier life. 

CAMPING IN THE BWCAW AS A GIRL

I was 1 year old when I visited the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for the first time. It’s a wilderness camping area of supreme quiet, endless forests, and interconnected lakes stretching across the northern border of Minnesota. Every summer, as a family of 5 and sometimes with friends, we meandered the over 1500 miles of canoe routes traversing more than 1000 lakes. 

Not only did my parents get double takes because they brought young children with them into this utterly remote wilderness camping area, people noticed when two of the three little ones were girls. 

As my sister and I grew, we became increasingly aware that we were a rare breed in the BWCAW. We couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment when we were able to load ourselves up for portages with ease while guys with other traveling groups looked on openmouthed. One of us would help the other slip her shoulders into a large bulky looking canvas canoe pack. Sometimes, to avoid coming back for another trip over the portage we would carry two packs. The other would be strapped on backwards so the backpack part hung in front. (Believe it or not, this method was actually easier because the weight was distributed more evenly!) Then the one carrying the packs would prop up the canoe as the other centered her shoulders under the yoke. Away we went after taking all of 3 minutes to load up. Seeing a teenage girl carry a canoe on her head all by herself was a shock to some of our fellow campers. Seeing how impressed they were was a huge self-esteem boost to me in the years when girls usually feel especially awkward.

The wilderness does not discriminate. When the wind howls and the waves rise into frothy whitecaps, you still need to paddle back to your campsite whether you are male or female, 8 or 80. You need the same bare minimum of gear to survive and enjoy your time in the wilderness. As yet, there is no portage concierge available to shunt these belongings from one waterway to the next. This fact makes it seem like a man’s world. Instead, this very fact makes wilderness camping the great equalizer.

WHY EVERY WOMAN SHOULD TRY WILDERNESS CAMPING

I believe these experiences have shaped my self-image in fundamental ways. 

  1. I feel strong and sure of myself. Traveling for miles powered only by my own muscles taught me to be confident in myself and my ability to handle physically demanding situations. 
  2. I feel a connection with nature that is strongest in this true wilderness, but helps me seek out and find that same feeling even in places where nature is scarce.  
  3. This connection with nature is like a deep seated well of tranquility. It helps me combat anxiety and stress, which gives confidence in my emotional ability to handle demanding situations. 
  4. Being at the mercy of the elements taught me that I can’t expect things to always be easy. It also taught me not to give up when the going is hard.
  5. I learned to think outside the box. Sometimes you need to be innovative and learn to make do with what you have when you are traveling with the bare minimum. (Once we traded minnows for toilet paper from a group of fishermen. Priorities😉)
  6. I learned to distinguish between need and wants. You quickly realize what is needed and what’s not when you have to carry it all for a couple of miles.
  7. The value of cooperation and teamwork is obvious in the wilderness. If you aren’t paddling in unison, you get nowhere fast. If you don’t work together to set up camp, it takes twice as long.

HOW CAMPING FEELS

Some of my happiest memories are times we spent as a family camping. The sound of a paddle swishing through the water, the call of a loon, the lapping of waves, rain on the tent flaps, beavers slapping the water with their tail, various bird calls, the rustle of our feet on the portage, waterfalls thundering, wind rushing through the treetops. How often do we experience these sounds anymore? The effect they have on the mind and body is . . . I struggle to come up with the right word. Invaluable, healing, soothing, life altering.

Nancy Piragis summed it up well on the welcome video for Piragis Northwoods Company. She said, “I never forget a canoe trip. I never forget a day in the woods. But I forget days at home, I forget days in the office. . . Every single time you go out there’s always memories to be had.” You find that life has been reduced to what is right in front of you. No distractions, no rushing, no multitasking. It’s so good for your psyche and your brain.

Humans seem to be built to perform their best when at one with nature. It makes us happier, healthier, calmer. This effect has even been hitting the headlines recently. I especially enjoyed this recent episode of Innovation Hub on my local NPR station. It’s about the scientific evidence that nature is good for us.

One of the saddest side effects of modern living is that people have started to fear nature. And yet nature has so much to give us. They flood their yards with spot lights at night, they avoid uninhabited areas because they are afraid of the animals. For me, the sounds of nature are so soothing, it seems absurd to be afraid of them. I remember when I realized how much people fear nature. I was camping with friends, a single mother and her daughter. She mentioned they might not sleep well because of the noises. That night in my tent I listened with extra attention to the forest noises. Because I was listening so intently and imagining how it would sound to someone unfamiliar with the forest, my senses were all on high alert. Suddenly, I heard a terrifying, unidentifiable rumble. For a few scary moments my mind rushed through a whole series of animals until it finally dawned on me. A jet was flying high overhead! I felt relieved to finally identify the noise. But this confirmed my previous opinion; the creature most to be feared is our own species, humans. No animal noise could sound that terrifying. In the end my friends slept well, and decided they loved camping.

CONTINUING THE LEGACY

My parents gave me a priceless legacy by taking me wilderness camping as a girl. Since then we have camped with my nieces and my daughter. At first the noises and the wildness made them nervous too. But soon enough they feel just as comfortable and at home as they would in their own house. The difference is, instead of being enclosed in walls and under a roof, the lake cradles them under the vast blue sky while the forest sings its lullaby.  

Experience wilderness camping for yourself. If you want to learn to believe in yourself, if you want to connect with nature more deeply than you thought possible, if you want to shake off the built-up stress and pressure of every-day life, then wilderness camping might be just the right thing for your next vacation!

Editor’s note: Piragis Northwoods Outfitting offers a fully guided Women Exploring Wilderness Canoe Camping Trip. We also have Women Guides on staff as well as men, each with excellent experience in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We also have all the gear you need for your trip at The Boundary Waters Catalog and for RENT.