Gear Page

The Gear We Use
A basic list of gear included in each outfitting package is at  the bottom of the page as well as a few words about what you might want to bring along.

 
 
Canoes
We no nah Spirit II Tandem

A true “do everything Canoe”. As  Andy, our own self proclaimed expert on everything, once said: “Spirit 2’s are great, you could put an elephant in a Spirit 2 and he’d be fine”.  Well, we don’t rent to a lot of elephants but if we had to, it’s nice to know we could.  These canoes track well and ride dry, empty or loaded.  At 42 pounds they’re also easy on the back.
spirit II
Souris River Quetico 17 Tandem andQuetico 18.5 Three Person

Souris River canoes have built a huge following due to there stability and seaworthiness.  When the wind picks up, and the whitecaps start crashing, you’ll be happy that you’re paddling a Souris.  They are also legendary for there durability.  Not that it will matter as you smoothly make your wet exit at each landing, carefully avoiding every rock, like all outfitting clients do. 
Souris River Quetico 17 Complete Outfitting
Nighthawk Leo

Nighthawk Canoes is a small brand based in St. Paul.  Each canoe is hand made, and their designs are made to be user friendly and stable, while still retaining enough speed to get you where you’re going.  Nighthawk is a new name on the scene, and what better way to get a feel for one than taking a BWCA trip in it.
Nighthawk Leo Canoe
Bell Magic Solo

The Bell Magic is fast yet stable.  It can carry a full load comfortably, and is just a joy to look at.  Anyone who has a deep appreciation for canoes will love this boat.

 

Tents
Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Outfitter Grade.

The Taurus Outfitter was designed to be weather proof, fool proof, and bombproof.  Dome tents stand up to harsh winds and with a full coverage fly they stay dry in a downpour.  The large vestibules leave ample room for gear storage, opening up more living space inside.  A front and back door is always nice, whether for late night bathroom breaks or when a moose comes through the front (disclaimer:  The first scenario is much more likely than the second).  Alps Outfitter tents come with sturdier poles, floors and zippers to make sure they can withstood heavy use.
Alps taurus outfitter
Taurus 4 fly

Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2

The Zephyr is lightweight, packs small,  but still has ample headroom and weather proofing.  Two doors and a free standing design give you more options when pitching, and large vestibules let you maximize you inside floor space.  We use this tent as a solo rental, giving you plenty of room to spread out when you sleep.
Alps Zephyr 2
Alps solo tent
Hennessey Hammock

Hammocks are great for solo trippers, third wheels, or that group member who snores all night.  By staying off the ground, you eliminate the chance of sleeping with a root in the middle of your back.  If you’re interested, make sure you give one a try at the outfitters before your trip. They aren’t for everybody, but for anyone who sleeps primarily on their back and is looking for a little more comfort, a hammock is a great way to go.  

 

Hennessy Hamock
Gear
Gear Packs: Kondos Outdoors

We use various sizes of Kondos packs.  Made in Ely with outfitters in mind, these packs are simple and bombproof and have an excellent reputation among trippers and outfitters alike.
Kondos Packs

Food Packs: Cooke Custom or Kondos Insulated

Our food packs are insulated with a half inch of closed cell foam.  This means you can keep fresh food longer.  We use three different sizes to accommodate all size trips.  Both CCS and Kondos have a reputation for durability and comfort, and are designed and sewn right here in Minnesota.
kondos insulated food pack

Cooke Custom Sewing Barrel Packs

Barrels are a great way to carry your food.  They lock up odors so bears and other animals won’t be attracted to camp.  Their hard sides keep food from being crushed, and they are completely water proof.  With the CCS barrel pack, they are also comfortable to carry.  Simple and durable, these barrel packs let you haul your barrel comfortably, and even have room under the flap for a few small items you might need during the day, like rain gear.
CCS thinks of everything, and the packs are very well built and designed.  For those looking to bring  multiple days of fresh food, we still recommend our insulated food packs.  But if your menu is mainly dry and you want to avoid the hassle of hanging, a barrel pack might be for you.

CCS Barrel Pack
Stove: Primus Gravity EF

Small and reliable, the Gravity EF runs off of pressurized fuel, so there’s no nasty flare up while lighting.  The stove comes with a piezo lighter for easy ignition, and a preheating coil for enhanced performance in cool weather.  We also like how the burner sits on its own base, making it less likely to tip, and easier to change fuel with a hot stove.
Stove: Primus Two Burner (extra option)

A simple, lightweight solution for larger groups who plan on doing a lot of cooking.  Runs on the same fuel as our single burner stove.
Primus Two Burner
Cook Kit: Primus Stainless Steal

Any cook kit that is going to get used as much as an outfitters needs to be durable.  We wanted to make sure that our last customers of the season have the same quality gear as our earliest customers, so we opted for stainless steal, the gold standard for durability.  Primus pots add a nice touch by putting fill lines on their pots, taking some of the guess work out of campfire cooking.
Primus stainless steel cook kit

Paddle:  Sawyer or Bending Branches wood bent shaft.

Lightweight and efficient, a bent shaft paddle will add comfort and ease to a long day of paddling.  The bend allows you to keep the paddle face vertical in the water longer, and to paddle at a higher cadence more easily.  On a canoe trip you use a paddle more than anything, and a comfortable paddle can make or break a long day.  In this regard we think the warm, soft feel of wood is unmatched.
Bending Branches outfitter
Sleeping Bag:  Alps Mountaineering Desert Pine w/ Micro Fiber Liner

A good, all around mummy bag that can be used spring to fall.  We have both regular, long, and wide styles to make sure you sleep comfortably.
Alps sleeping bags
Sleeping Pad:  Thermorest Trail

This pad is self inflating and light weight.  We only use full length sleeping pads, ensuring a comfy bed while on the trail.  We chose these pads over others because of their comfort and packed size.
thermorest trail
Dry Bag:  Seal line 30L Dry Bag

These bags keep your clothing and other camping essentials dry and make it easier to find items that have been packed away.  In addition to a dry bag, we line all of our packs with thick poly pack liners.  Nothing is worse than wet gear and we hope to provide you with the tools necessary to avoid it.
sealline baja bag
Personal Floatation Device:  MTI Journey

Your PFD only saves you if you’re wearing it, so it was important for us to make sure that our outfitting PFDs would fit all kinds comfortably.  The Journey has a low profile while maintaining plenty of floatation, and won’t restrict your movement when paddling.  It is also very adjustable. This means it will fit over your clothes when it’s T-shirt weather, as well as when you’re bundled up fighting a howling gale.
MTI Jounrny
 
 
 
 
 
 
Complete Outfitting includes:
Kevlar Canoe w/ paddles and PFD’s
Alps Taurus Outfitter Tent
Kondos Gear Pack w/ Poly pack liner
Kondos Pack for personal items
Kondos or CCS Insulated Food Pack

w/ pack hanging system

Seal line Dry Bag for clothes
Thermorest full length sleeping pad
Alps Mountaineering Sleeping Bag
Primus Stove w/ fuel
Cook Kit
Camp Kitchen w/ utensils
Dining Fly (tarp) w/ rigging rope
MSR Water Filter
Water Container
Camp Saw
Matches
Toilet Paper
Rain Poncho
First Aid Kit
Headlamp
Maps w/ Map Case
Food from Our Menu

Canoe & Gear Includes:

Kevlar Canoe w/ paddles and PFD’s
Alps Taurus Outfitter Tent
Kondos Gear Packs w/ Poly pack liner
Kondos Pack for personal items
Seal line Dry Bag for clothes
Thermorest full length sleeping pad
Alps Mountaineering Sleeping Bag
Primus Stove w/ fuel
Cook kit
Camp kitchen w/ utensils
Dining Fly (tarp) w/ rigging rope
MSR Water Filter
Water Container
Camp Saw
Matches
Toilet Paper
Rain Poncho
First Aid Kit
Headlamp
Maps w/ Map Case
Canoe & Food Includes:
Kevlar Canoe w/ paddles and PFD’s
Kondos or CCS Insulated Food Pack

w/ pack hanging system

Food From Our Menu
Optional:
Cook Kit
Camp Kitchen w/ utensils

Base Camp Package Includes:

Kevlar Canoe w/ paddles and PFD’s
Day pack
Water Container
Rain Poncho
First Aid Kit
Maps w/ Map Case
Special Day Trip Lunch
 
Gear and Clothing that you might wish to bring

Water shoes / sandals or quick drying shoes for summer months

When traveling with a Kevlar Canoe, you’ll need to get out of the canoe in the water at landings.  In the summer most people prefer to bring two pairs of shoes, one for paddling and one for camp.  Your camp shoes can be nearly anything comfortable, although it’s always nice if they don’t take up too much room or weigh too much in your pack.  While paddling it’s best to wear shoes that are made to be in water or that dry quickly.  Running shoes or lightweight hiking boots work very well.  Water shoes or sandals are also good, although you should make sure they offer enough support for portages since  you usually have to carry some weight on your back.  Sandals can also leave your feet exposed to bugs and your toes exposed to rocks, both on the trail and underwater at landings.  In the Fall when the water is cold many people prefer water proof footwear.  Tall rubber boots keep your feet dry, but can be uncomfortable and don’t offer much insulation.  Bean style boots are a good compromise.  While not as waterproof as full rubber boots, they offer better ankle support and are much more comfortable.  Water proof hikers will not always be tall enough.

Clothing

Weather can vary quite a bit in the BWCA and it’s a good idea to play it safe and prepare yourself for a wide range of environments.  It’s a good idea to avoid blue jeans and other cotton clothing since they dry very slowly and insulate poorly when wet.  Fleece and wool are wonderful materials for top layers because they dry relatively quickly and still keep you warm if they get wet.  Fleece is generally lighter than wool and in some people’s opinion, more comfortable, but unlike wool, fleece requires more caution around a camp fire since sparks can melt small holes.  Quick drying pants are a must for Kevlar canoe travel because of the amount of time you’ll spend in the water.  It’s not a bad idea to bring two pairs of pants and keep one dry, especially if it’s cold.  Good wool socks are hard to beat, and it’s important to keep at least one pair dry for camp.  Dressing in layers will also help keep you warm.  You should also bring clothes that are versatile.  For example, a tight weave light weight long sleeve shirt will help keep you warm, block the sun, and be a line of defense against biting bugs.  And last of all, don’t forget to bring a swimsuit during the warm summer months.

Accessories

A brimmed hat and sunglasses will go far in fending off the sun.  If it’s cold, neoprene or fleece gloves can be helpful while paddling.  Leather gloves add an element of safety to camp chores and cooking.  A stocking hat doesn’t take up much space, but will make you feel much warmer in the cold.

Rain Gear

At Bearskin Wilderness Outfitters we will supply you with rain ponchos if you need them.  But while our ponchos are of a nicer variety, you should still bring your own rain gear if you can.  A good rain coat and pair of pants can save you a lot of grief on a rainy day.  Your rain gear can also double as a good wind blocking layer.

Extras

In the summer most people will want bug spray.  The sun can be fairly harsh while you’re on the water, so sun block is also a good idea.  We supply you with a headlight, but it’s good to bring a flashlight as a back up.  If you’re planning to fish bring your equipment, but try to scale down your tackle box.  Most of the time you’ll only use a few lures, so cutting back on tackle is desirable.  A pocket knife is a useful tool, and if you plan to eat fish you’ll want a fillet knife.  Bring a good book to read.  If you don’t, you’ll be kicking yourself when you’re stuck at camp because of the rain or wind..  A camera will help you remember your trip for years to come.  We send you off with a very basic first aid kit, but please bring any extra safety items you think you might need.  Most, if not all of these items are available for sale at the outfitters.
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