Visiting the Superior National Forest – BWCAW Part 3

Visiting the Superior National Forest – BWCAW Part 3


[soft folk music] – Welcome to the Boundary
Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. You’re heading into an area
free from technology and modern conveniences. Make sure you’ve got a current
map and a compass. Don’t depend on a GPS. Cell service is rare
in the wilderness, so mobile devices
are unreliable. Be ready to be self-sufficient. The Boundary Waters
is a quiet place, but noise travels easily
across the water. Keep your voices down
when you’re on the water and elsewhere, to increase
your chances of seeing wildlife and to ensure you don’t disturb
other visitors’ experience. The “nine person,
four watercraft” rule applies at all times. Be courteous and allow others
to move on before approaching portages
and other high-use areas, such as waterfalls and vistas. Remember, you must camp
at a designated campsite. Once you choose your campsite, place tents in areas that have
already been impacted. Don’t cut or trample
live vegetation to make a new space. Stay on established paths
to help prevent erosion. Please don’t remove natural,
cultural, or historic artifacts. If you have a campfire, only
collect dead and down firewood. Dry, wrist-size,
and smaller wood burns easier and more
completely. Only use birch bark from trees
you find on the ground and never peel birch bark from
a standing tree. Gather firewood away from
the lakeshore, campsites, and portages. Fires are only allowed in
fire grates at designated campsites. Small campfires require
less wood and are more
easily extinguished. Never leave a campfire
unattended. Before going to bed
or leaving camp, always douse the fire
with plenty of water. Stir the water into the ground
to make sure there are no embers. You don’t want to be
responsible for starting a wildfire in the wilderness. Wildlife depends on unpolluted
water to survive, and the Boundary Waters is home
to some of the cleanest water in the world. Let’s keep it that way by doing
dishes at least 200 feet away from
shorelines and streams. Never wash dishes or yourself
in the lake, not even with
biodegradable soap. Avoid swimming
if you’ve recently applied sunscreen or bug spray. Clean fish away from designated
campsites or portages and leave the remains inland
at least 60 feet covered with leaf litter
or rocks. Don’t leave fish remains
for wildlife to scavenge in the water or anywhere near
a latrine. Bring garbage bags to pack out
all of your trash or any other trash you may
find. Never place food or garbage
in the latrine, including bandages, diapers,
women’s products, or wipes. Burning trash–including food,
paper products, cigarette butts, and tinfoil– harms air and water quality. Releasing unused bait into
the water is also prohibited. Before leaving,
check the campsite again for small pieces of trash. If you packed it in,
you have to pack it out. Never leave food unattended in
camp or other scented items in your tent at any time. Doing so can attract bears
and encourage unnatural populations
of some species. Make sure you have
a bear-resisting container or bear ropes to store
your food. Take one last look at the
current weather conditions and forecast before you leave,
and ask your ranger or outfitter if there are any
fire restrictions, wildfires, or bear activity
in the area. Reach out to your
emergency contacts as soon as possible once
you’ve completed your trip to let them know you’re safe. Thousands of people visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area
Wilderness each year. Reduce your impact by following
these important guidelines. Have a great trip.

3 thoughts on “Visiting the Superior National Forest – BWCAW Part 3

  • Near the end of the video it shows a blue plastic "bear barrel" of food being hung from a tree with ropes. The point of having these "bear proof" barrels is so you do not have to hang them from a tree. You leave them on the ground and the bears cannot get into them.

  • This video is really great, however, I disagree with the hanging of bear barrels. Without bear barrels, food should be hung, but when the food is in a bear-proof container, hanging it is not only unnecessary but also introduces risk (the food falling on someone, falling while climbing the tree).

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