Cliff Jacobson is one of North America’s most respected outdoors writers, wilderness guides, national and foreign consultants, and is the most published canoeing/camping writer of this century. He is a professional canoe guide and outfitter, a wilderness canoeing and camping consultant and the author of over a dozen top-selling books on camping and canoeing— numerous titles have been translated into Spanish, German, French and Turkish with sales approaching one million copies. His video, The Forgotten Skills, details the most important campcraft procedures. Cliff’s methods are proven by the sweat of pack and paddle and are reminiscent of the days when skills were more important than things. A retired environmental science teacher (34 years!), Cliff is respected by educators for his backcountry ethics, water quality, and wilderness navigation curricula. The Wilderness Meal, an outdoor ethics unit he wrote for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNR), is among the most successful environmental education activities of all time. You’ll find a copy in his book, Boundary Waters Canoe Camping With Style.
Dan Disch, USFS Wilderness Ranger
Dan Disch lives in Duluth with his wife, Emily and 11-year-old son, Ben.
He has a B.A. with a major in biology from Carleton College in Northfield, MN. Before his career with the U.S. Forest Service he was sled dog trainer and handler in Finland, MN and a bicycle mechanic in the Twin Cities.
Dan started with the Forest Service in the summer of 2000. Congress allocated funding to help with the immense clean-up operation after the July 4th Blowdown of 1999. He spent 7 seasons working on the wilderness crew out of the Grand Marais office and then transferred to Tofte in 2007. He's been on the Tofte wilderness crew ever since.
Dan love the challenge of wilderness work. The weather, the bugs, long days paddling, working with traditional tools, and of course seeing the beautiful country. Some of his favorite lakes in no particular order: Adams, Beaver, Wine, Cherokee, Little Sag, South, Winchell and Otto.
Nace Hagemann focuses his photography on moose and northern lights around the Gunflint Trail. He will discuss his experiences and wildlife encounters, and is open to answering questions.
Rob Haslam has been leading high school students on wilderness trips with the GCHS Outers club for 28 years. Based out of Geraldton, Ontario, the club maintains hundreds of miles of canoe routes in an otherwise rarely paddled region
Rob Kesselring is a veteran leader of 21 arctic canoe expeditions, 71 BWCAW-Quetico trips and he has paddled over 100 rivers worldwide. He is currently a licensed Guide in the Boundary Waters, Big Bend, and Gates of the Arctic National Parks. He is the author of two books, River Stories and Daughter Father Canoe and has spoken the Expos across the country.
Canadian Sue Plankis is an expert canoeist and citizen naturalist. She earned a masters degree in science and education. She has a forty year history of canoeing and is a former distinguished and certified instructor/trainer. Her mentors include Omer Stringer and Tom Mckenzie. Her grace on the water captivates audiences young and old. A skilled citizen naturalist, Sue has 314 birds on her Minnesota life list and is an avid birder, bird bander, and wildlife researcher.
Kelly has explored the far reaches of the BWCA and Quetico for the past 20 years. As a canoe and backpacking guide for a couple camps along the Gunflint Trail and as an Outward Bound instructor, she has brought many diverse groups into the backcountry. Her outdoor experience also includes dog sledding up in Alaska. She has raced numerous dog sled races in Alaska, including racing and finishing the 2003 Iditarod Dog Sled race.
When not out in the woods or home at the cabin on the Gunflint Trail, Kelly works as a registered nurse in an` emergency room down in the Twin Cities. She has also worked as an RN in the emergency room in Grand Marais dealing with medical emergencies that have come out of the backcountry. Currently, when on the trail, she volunteers as an EMT-B on the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department. In between all of that, she instructs for Wilderness Medical Associates International teaching wilderness first aid, wilderness first responder, and wilderness EMT courses.
Paul became a paramedic in 1984 and spent 10 years working and teaching EMTs and Paramedics in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Paul became and RN in 1993 and has worked in major trauma centers and rural hospital emergency departments. From 2002 to 2012 Paul was at North Shore hospital in Grand Marais. During his time in the ED, Paul has witnessed multitudes of people wreck their vacations (or their lives) through poor planning, bad luck or sheer stupidity.
Paul loves to get outside to bike, paddle, hunt, fish, hike, and watch the sunset. He moved to the Gunflint Trail in 2005 and is an EMT-Basic on the Gunflint Trail VFD. He commutes to the Twin Cities twice a month to work at Woodwinds hospital in the emergency department.
Bear Paulsen feels at home in the wilderness of the boreal forest. He loves to explore northern Minnesota, northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and beyond.He spends most of his time canoeing and winter camping, as these two activities allow him to take extended trips to remote places. He often travels solo so that he can read, write and see lots of wildlife. He has spent a total of nearly one year paddling solo in the boreal forest.
Mike Bartz is the head guide and owner of Border Lakes Tour Company. Mike is a retired conservation officer who has spent over 50 years in the outdoors, wilderness canoe camping, hiking, snowshoeing and XC skiing. Many of those years right here in the border lakes region. He is experienced in wilderness travel and ACA certified in whitewater canoe, level 2 kayak touring as well as NOLS wilderness first-aid. He is a past EMT and served on an ambulance crew. Mike is at home in the bush and he makes sure that every trip is safe, enjoyable and educational.