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Boundary water trip

Qustion for people that have gone to boundary waters…
Outfitter we are using will supply with a bear bag and rope to hang the food ( food is included with our trip)…what about personal packs…( we plan on using one campsight ( in this case our troops will be split up into 3 groups and three different camp sights) …one group will stay at the camp sight and work on camp skills and fish the other two groups will take day trips and return to there camp sight each day)…I have heard and read several different things about personal gear 1. Hang them each day…don’t hang them but keep them away from tents ( all food and snacks will be kept in food bag which we will hang) …or do we just hang the small day packs the kids will have ( contain bug spray, sun screen tooth paste hand soap) would be interested in hearing about those that went to the boundary water via the boys scouts and private out fitters…thanks

Scouts BSA and Minnesota DNR (Living with bears in Minnesota | Minnesota DNR) have specific guidance on how to manage “smellables” in the backcountry. Some things to realize. As far as bears are concerned people represent indicators of food. Camping in a well used fixed location provides opportunity with a good chance of success. Hang the “smellables” well away and downwind from the tents. Prepare and consume food away from both, and downwind as well. It may be useful for the individuals to use bear cannisters for personal items rather than hanging bags.

I confess that I have not been to the boundary waters area, but what I describe has worked in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. On the AT in the late 1970s I saw what was left of a Chevrolet Vega parked at a scenic overlook after a bear went through a window after a cooler. It happened in daylight.

Good Luck!

I haven’t been on the US side of Boundary, only the Canadian side, but it was all pretty much the same results. Our outfitter sat the leaders down (including PLC) to discuss the different strategies, so you might talk with yours about specifics. They’ll know about current patterns & ideal practices for their area. For instance one year they warned us they’d had a bit of a drought so berries were harder to find, meaning the bears were taking more risks. They hadn’t been spotted in any of the regular sites but to be extra cautious, etc.

In our case, any food being stored was hoisted into a tree at least 200ft from camp but only at night or when not occupied with people making noise. When we did have people in camp during the day (and awake) we didn’t bother. Or if we didn’t have a tree (some islands didn’t have any), we put it into a canoe and anchored it a ways out from shore using ropes and some pretty large rocks. Considering the large supply of food, we didn’t bother with bear canisters. Scouts with snacks on them stored them with the main supply every night, but otherwise kept them in their own packs and the packs were kept in or near their tents (their choice) without issue. Bug spray, we didn’t worry about hiding away as they didn’t have a food smell. But options were a bit more limited then, so chemicals like Deet. I have no idea what bears think of Lemon Eucalyptus.

That may not be ideal practice now so I highly recommend talking to your outfitter.

Have fun up there, and look out for the mosquitoes the size of Buicks! When it starts to get dark, listen for The Hum.

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Thanks for the post daniel

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