Welcome to the BWCAW blog of Ely Outfitting Company and Boundary Waters Guide Service!

See our websites at ElyOutfittingCompany.com and BoundaryWatersGuideService.com.

We are a Boundary Waters canoe trip outfitter, Quetico outfitter, and guide service in Ely, Minnesota. This Boundary Waters blog shares photos, stories, humor, skills, and naturalist insights from guiding in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Most entries are from our founder and head guide, Jason Zabokrtsky. He is the Boundary Waters Blogger.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fishing Licenses Available Again


As of this morning, the Minnesota government is back up and running. Fishing licenses are for sale again, both online and in person. Perfect time to plan your Boundary Waters vacation and do a little (or a lot!) of fishing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Successful Women's Guided Canoe Trip in the Boundary Waters


I just finished guiding a great group of three ladies in the Boundary Waters. These women have known each other for years. They were always a little jealous of their husbands' canoeing trips, and thought this could be their chance. We were out for three days, and enjoyed excellent, sunny weather. We were surprised to see a handful of other women's groups. It appears that more women are getting turned on to what the wilderness can offer. Some of those young women were part of a youth group out for eleven days (you go, girls!).

My three ladies proved themselves to be very quick learners, taking to the paddling and steering well. We portaged the couple of trails to our destination lake without too much trouble.

Roxanne and Jean had heard stories from their husbands, and put forth a great effort. Jean paddled like a rock star, and Roxanne kept us laughing. Sunn, originally from China, was a champ at carrying packs or the canoe. She kept us engaged with stories of her interesting childhood.

These ladies expressed feelings before the trip like many of our guided trip folks, feeling a little less than confident upon starting but inspired nonetheless. With a great attitude and plenty of teamwork, our group of four succeeded! These women had in mind taking it easy (can't beat a hammock in the shade!) and seeing what this wilderness area is all about.

This baby loon with its parents put a smile on all of our faces on our afternoon trip...


... as did this late-blooming wild iris we found hiding on a shady shoreline.


Women's Trips are a great way to get out there, be part of nature, get to know your friends better, meet new people, and find yourself in a new light. We are offering a Women's Group Trip this September 7-11. This trip is a perfect way to experience the Boundary Waters as comfortably as possible and meet other adventurous women. Cost is a very reasonable $620. More information can be found on our website here. We'd love to have you and your friends come along with us!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Newest Book on Dorothy Molter


The authors behind the latest book on Dorothy Molter, the Root Beer Lady of Knife Lake in the BWCAW, are having a Book Release and Signing Party at the Dorothy Molter Museum. Come on out this Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blueberries are Ripening in the Boundary Waters

I fixed my first batch of pancakes with fresh blueberries while camped on Crooked Lake in the BWCAW this week.  Delicious taste of the North Woods!

Monday, July 4, 2011

What to do with your camping plans when the Minnesota state parks are closed for a government shutdown.

When life hands you a lemon... make lemonade in the Boundary Waters!  Enjoy the individual lemonade mix packets we outfit for BWCA canoe trips (shown above).

You can have an even better camping vacation during the Minnesota government shutdown by switching your plans to a camping and canoeing vacation in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely, Minnesota.

Because the BWCAW is federal,  it is 100% open during the Minnesota government shutdown.  If you'd planned to camp in a state park that is now closed, we can help you have an even better camping and canoeing vacation in the Boundary Waters.  Even if it's last minute, we can talk you through some BWCAW options.  And we have all the necessary gear and supplies for a successful BWCA trip!

More info at www.ElyOutfittingCompany.com.



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kids and Watercolor in the Boundary Waters


Josie (age 10, from Wisconsin), painted these pictures while on a BWCA canoe trip this week with her younger brother and parents. Her savvy mom packed along a backpacking style watercolor kit for her kids.

Sure enough, they found plenty of subjects to paint.  The above Bald Eagle perched contently at the top of a tree right in their campsite.  The loon painted below also approached them.  It came within about a paddle's length of their canoe - close enough to see the loon's deep red eyes and how big the birds really are.

Thanks to Josie for sharing her watercolors!  And thanks to her whole family for joining Ely Outfitting Company for an outfitted canoe trip.