Bannock — the bread of the backcountry - Rob Kesselring

A hands-on outside demonstration of how to make bannock in the bush. Rob learned how to make bannock when he lived with the Dene first nation people of the far north. Participants will learn how to make it and will taste it. Learn why bannock is the difference between visiting the bush and living in the bush. Cliff Jacobson claims Rob’s bannock is simply the best.






Dark Skies in the BWCA - Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center

Understanding, Predicting, Capturing, Image-Processing of Dark Sky Phenomena.

This presentation will be given by David Coleman and Teresa Maronne.  In a wide ranging discussion we will describe why the BWCA is an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, one of few in the world.  Discussed will be the origin and ways to predict the possibility of auroral and milky way activity, and exactly where it will be in the sky at any given time.  We will describe how to capture these events with good camera equipment (and even with iPhones).  Then we will talk about how to process and share these images once you have returned from your Boundary Water trek.  We will also describe a very special AllSkyCamera on the top of the Chik-Wauk Museum which allows individuals from around the world to monitor our skies in real-time.  Finally both authors will share many of their own examples from travels over the years.  We all leave ample tie for questions and to share stories with those in attendance.



Building the Wood Canvas Canoe -Mark Morgen

The wood canvas canoe was a direct offshoot of the Native American’s Birch Bark Canoe. In the early 1900s, using modern (for the time) materials and leveraging the American public’s thirst for outdoor recreation, several canoe companies began building wood canvas canoes on forms, revolutionizing canoe building. This talk will primarily focus on wood canvas construction techniques and how they differ from bark canoe construction, as well as more modern construction.






CANOEING THE BOUNDARY WATERS —Tips from 1,000 trips - Rob Kesselring

Canoe camping tips and secrets gleaned from decades of wilderness canoeing adventures. Kesselring will pack in as much useful stuff and instructive stories and pictures as time allows. An entertaining, information-packed session from one of the most experienced canoe guides in North America.



Hammock Camping in the BWCA - Danny Warnock



Paddling Into the Past: The Kawishiwi-Isabella Loop 100 Year Later


In the summer of 2022, three canoeists retraced the 100-mile loop US Forest Service landscape architect Arthur Carhart traveled a century before while making the first recreational use plan for the Boundary Waters. Carhart helped halt the construction of a road connecting Ely to the Gunflint Trail by prompting the land use debate around the Boundary Waters that continues today. The paddlers carried a stack of Carhart’s photographs that they attempted to recreate, while passing through storied terrain that was once home to characters like the trappers Wild Bill and Tame Tom. This trip was written up as the feature story for the March/April 2023 issue of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine.




Join us by the waterfront for a Bonfire.



Show starts at 10am



Birch Bark Canoe Building - Erik Simula



Kids Naturalist/Craft Activity



Save the Boundary Waters Campaign - Maddie Fahnline



Panel of Experts

You have questions, and our experts have answers.  This will be an hour long moderated Q&A session with a variety of experienced paddlers. Featuring Rob Kesselring, Clare Shirly of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters, Erik Simula, Jake Rachuy of border lakes tour company, and Nolan Jacobs of Les Voyageurs inc.




Boundary Waters Basics – Jake Rachuy

From equipment essentials to paddling techniques, the owner of a local guiding company will lead you through the fundamental aspects of wilderness canoeing and camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Learn how to stay safe in all types of weather, navigate the many islands and bays of the Boundary Waters, and all the tricks that guides employ to ensure a successful trip.