Boundary, a scenic canoeing trip in the Boundary Waters

August 8-12, 2018 Ely, Minnesota

Days: 5   |   Group size: 9 (Only 1 left)   |  Lodging style: Camping + limited restroom & shower facilities 

Join Geek Adventures and ZenFounder on an awesome Boundary Water canoe trip.

Embark on a luxurious portaging experience. We're headed to the boundary waters in Minnesota this summer for fun, adventure, relaxation, and great memories.

The Location

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) spans over a million acres of glaciated bedrock, lush pine forests, and thousands of island-dotted pristine lakes just south of the Canadian border in Northeastern Minnesota. Extending nearly 150 miles along the International Boundary adjacent to Quetico Provincial Park, wilderness travelers find solitude, adventure, exceptional fishing, and a special connection with nature.

The hallmark of this region is a network of primarily small and medium size lakes and rivers connected by portage paths. Great glaciers left behind these lakes, and a rugged topography of exposed bedrock, granite cliffs, rocky shorelines and sand beaches.

The 1,200 miles of BWCAW canoe routes are historic travel ways of native peoples. You will step back in time traveling the historic routes of the native Sioux and Chippewa people, as well as early explorers, French Voyageurs, trappers, and prospectors. The BWCAW appears mostly untouched by human hands – there are no roads, signs, docks, cabins, or lodges. And motors are prohibited in the interior of the BWCAW.

The US Forest Service manages the BWCAW, and visitors must obtain an entry permit and follow certain rules and regulations.

An awesome partnership between


Day 1 (Aug 8) – Wed

Arrive at MSP airport by 1pm in time to travel to Ely for the evening… and let the adventure begin! Once in Ely (our launch point), we’ll grab some dinner (included), get some trip information from our guides, and enjoy the hospitality of our outfitter’s rustic bunkhouses to rest up for the journey ahead!

Day 2 – Thurs

It’s time to hit the water! We’ll grab an early breakfast in Ely, and head to the outfitter to receive our gear and final routing information. So that we can see as much as possible, we’ll receive a motor boat tow to the Minnesota / Canada border where we’ll canoe up the Knife River, have lunch on the water, and set up camp in time to explore, light a fire, and enjoy the evening together.

Day 3 - 4

We’ll have a casual wake-up and make breakfast at camp, then it’s time to round up the gear and set out for the next campsite. We’ll have lunch on the water, and even take a short hike to a waterfall on day three. After we make our way to the campsite for the evening, we’ll set up camp, feast on dinner, and relax and recount our adventure by the fire!

Day 5 – Sun

On day 5, we’ll wake up for an early breakfast, pack things up, and take the short journey back to the motor boat tow. Then it’s off to grab a bite in Ely, and head to the airport in the Twin Cities to say our goodbyes around 5:30p.

What's Included

All gear, transportation to and from MSP, meals, and lodging during the scheduled itinerary are included in the ticket price.

You will travel with the best trail-tested, quality gear used by the most savvy wilderness travelers.

Our outfitter will provide high quality ultra-light Kevlar canoes, camping equipment, and delicious camp food for our canoe trip! They’ll also provide expert routing and trip planning assistance and show us how to use all the gear.

All transportation, meals, lodging, and park permits are included.

In short, this trip is all-inclusive. When we say that, we mean it. Leave the details to us, and enjoy yourself! All you need to bring is a short list of clothing on a few odds and ends (you’ll receive a packing list when you sign up).

What’s not included

You’re responsible for getting to and from MSP airport.

Cancellation and transfer

All tickets (including add-ons) are non-refundable but are transferable to another party for the same event. Please contact us if a transfer is needed. In the case of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances out of the control of the organizers, event may be postponed and/or location changed to a comparable location.

If the trip is canceled due to lack of interest, your ticket will be refunded in full.

Please note: By purchasing a ticket, you agree to the code of conduct. Harassment or actions that make others feel uncomfortable will not be tolerated. Such violations will result in expulsion from the event without refund.


We’ll spend the night at bunkhouses in Ely on day 1.

Then, look forward to some awesome campsites. We’ll be camping with high quality gear (all provided by our outfitter), and our campsites will be next to the water with beautiful scenery. The supplies provided will make for a luxurious camping experience. Complete with camping stoves, coffee presses, and sleeping pads… we’ll have everything we need to completely enjoy the camping experience. We’ll also have three awesome meals each day. To see what meals will be provided, check out the food section!

Not an experienced camper? Not a problem at all. As long as you’re willing to participate and learn, this is the perfect opportunity for your maiden camping voyage.


We’ll choose meals from the following menu options once all RSVPs are in. You definitely won’t go hungry!


  • Fresh eggs, fresh bacon, hash browns, ketchup/hot sauce, orange drink
  • Blueberry pancakes, syrup, apple sauce, orange drink
  • Buttermilk pancakes, syrup, apple sauce, orange drink
  • Hot flavored oatmeal, dried fruit, orange drink
  • Biscuits and gravy, dried fruit, orange drink
  • Western omelet, hash browns, orange drink


  • Summer sausage, crackers, granola bars
  • Sliced salami, pitas, granola bars
  • Hudson Bay Bread (A high-energy and hearty oats & honey bar made in Ely. A local favorite!), sausage sticks, granola bars
  • Peanut butter and jelly on bagels, granola bars
  • Hummus on pitas, beef sausage sticks, granola bars
  • Tuna and mayo on tortillas, salt and pepper, granola bars
  • Beans with salsa spices with tortillas wrap, granola bars
  • Trail Mix (Good old raisins and peanuts with chocolate candies and cashews), sausage stick, granola bars


  • Trail Mix – Good old raisins and peanuts with chocolate candies and cashews
  • Trail Mix – Sweet and salty mix of butter toffee peanuts, cajun corn sticks, honey roasted sesame sticks, rye chips, chili rice crackers, almonds, pretzels and cheddar corn sticks.
  • Granola bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Sausage sticks
  • Cookies
  • Hard Candy


  • Fresh Steak or Chicken Breast, baked potatoes, corn, dessert
  • Beef Vegetables and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes, corn, dessert
  • Beef Stroganoff, peas, dessert
  • Chicken a la King with Rice, peas & carrots, dessert
  • Chicken Noodle Casserole, green beans, dessert
  • Biscuits and Gravy, corn, dessert
  • Vegetarian Wild West Chili, corn, dessert
  • Vegetarian Mac’n’Cheese, with or without Tuna, green beans, dessert
  • Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with Buns, corn, dessert
  • Vegetarian Spaghetti with Beef Flavored Bits, dessert


  • S’mores (Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows).
  • Chocolate Pudding
  • Vanilla Pudding
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • Chocolate Pie
  • Lemon Pie
  • Hot Apple Dessert


  • Coffee
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Cider
  • Tea
  • Kool-Aid

Gear list


  • Reliable waterproof rain jacket and rain pants. Ponchos are discouraged.
  • 1 or 2 light weight long-sleeved shirts (at least one made of nylon or poly)
  • 1 warm non-cotton long-sleeved top (fleece, poly, or wool).
  • 1 or 2 t-shirts (at least one non cotton)
  • 2 pairs of non-cotton (nylon or quick dry) pants. Jeans are discouraged.
  • 1 pair non-cotton long underwear tops and bottoms
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • Swimsuit
  • 2 pairs of wool socks. Wool keeps your feet warmer and more comfortable than cotton. For trips longer than three days, add extra pairs of wool socks.
  • 1 pair of cotton socks for camp
  • Extra underwear


  • Wet boots. These will be wet while canoeing and portaging. Old sneakers generally work well. Hiking boots with good ankle support for portaging work well, but keep in mind that they will get totally submerged. Do not use flip flops, crocs, or open-toed sandals. During cool conditions, some people prefer to wear knee-high rubber boots with an aggressive tread to keep their feet dry.
  • Dry shoes. These are your lightweight camp shoes. Tennis shoes, heavy duty closed toe sandals, boat shoes, or moccasins work well.


  • Hat with wide brim for sun protection
  • Bandana
  • Non-cotton knit or fleece warm hat


  • Sunscreen and lip balm, both with SPF protection
  • Sunglasses and lanyard
  • Lanyard for your prescription eyeglasses
  • Insect repellent. At least 25% DEET is effective against mosquitoes, but not biting flies. Insect repellents containing the ingredients MGK 264 and MGK 326 are effective against biting flies. Bring both.

Toiletries (personal items, etc.)

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Prescription medication
  • Small hand towel or washcloth
  • Waterproof camera and memory/film, or a non-waterproof camera with water protection
  • Lightweight reading material, paper, and pencil (Optional)

Q & A

What are the fishing rules in the Boundary Waters?

Live bait, barbed hooks, and lead tackle in Boundary Waters are allowed. You must dispose of fish remains away from shorelines, campsites, trails, and portages. Be sure to pack out live bait and other food leftovers at the end of your trip.

Do I need a permit to fish in the Boundary Waters?

Yep! Anglers who are 16 years or older and are a resident of Minnesota need to have a fishing license unless otherwise noted. If you are not a resident of Minnesota, you will need to apply for a non-resident fishing license.

How should I pack for a trip to the Boundary Waters?

When considering equipment, remember to pack a small flashlight or headlamp, a first aid kit, a pocket knife, binoculars, matches and lighter, fishing rods, tackle, fillet knife, and license (If you’re planning to fish). A hat is must-have for sun protection. A waterproof rain jacket and rain pants, waterproof boots and dry shoes are also recommended. Sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent, and toiletries are advised.

How far is the Boundary Waters Nature Area from Minneapolis?

Boundary Waters Nature Area is 225 miles from Minneapolis.

How big is the Boundary Waters canoe area?

The Boundary Waters canoe area is over 1 million acres in size and has over 1200 miles of canoe routes. It also has 12 hiking trails with over 2000 designated campsites.

How many lakes are there in the Boundary Waters?

The Boundary Waters has over 1,000 pristine lakes and streams.

What are the Boundary Waters?

The Boundary Waters, also known as the Quetico-Superior country, is a region of wilderness along the Canada–United States border between Ontario and Minnesota, that equals over 1 million acres in size. It’s one of the most prominent areas of Minnesota.

What is there to do in the Boundary Waters?

Fishing is popular in the Boundary Waters. Fish such as, walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and lake trout are commonly caught in this region of wilderness. Canoeing is the method of transportation, and hiking areas exist in some places along portaging routes.

Are there toilets in the Boundary Waters?

There are two Standard SST (sweet smelling) toilets, one is located in region 9, district: White Sulphur, forest: Monongahela National Forest and the other is located in region 1, district: Moose Creek, forest: Nez Perce. There is a third toilet with a accessible height of 17 to 19

inches above the ground, a backrest lid, and no walls, which can be found in region 9, district: Ely, forest: Superior National Forest. Pit toilets have been installed at 2,200 primitive campsites which are simply risers placed over a pit, with no walls. (Bring your own toilet paper)

What’s the nearest airport to the Boundary Waters entrance?

Ely, MN is 115 miles from Duluth, Minnesota, which is serviced by the Duluth International Airport.

Are dogs allowed in the Boundary Waters?

Yes, dogs are allowed in the BWCA and Quetico Park. In Quetico Park you must carry certification of a rabies vaccination within the last year. Dogs must always be kept on a leash when portaging. You must clean up after your dog around campsites and portages.

What are the Boundary Waters canoe routes?

Some of the suggested routes are Winchell Lake – Base camp or loop, Brule Lake Loop,

Rose Lake Border Route, Long Island Loop , Rose Lake- Base camp or loop, Banadad Lake- Base camp, Alder and Crystal Lakes, Ham Lake to Poplar, and Johnson Falls Loop.

What is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act?

Jimmy Carter signed the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act on October 21, 1978. The Act specifically prohibits logging and provides direction to the Forest Service regarding: level of motorized watercraft use, size of motors, quotas for use, motorized/mechanized portages, snowmobile use, location of resorts, and maintenance of dams.

Sources: USDA, Ely Outfitting Company, Piragis Northwoods Company, Wikipedia

Who attends?

Attendees are self identifying geeks, people working in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and/or people with geeky hobbies. It’s possible to geek out on just about anything. Don’t get too hung up on the definition. If the event sounds fun, you’re good-natured, and you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll fit right in.

Here’s a sample from attendee registration forms

What people are looking forward to

  • Human connection
  • Decompression
  • New relationships
  • Inspiring conversations
  • Networking
  • Great conversations
  • Bonding
  • Awesome people disconnected from the world

Talents people are bringing to camp

  • Art
  • Dancing
  • Music
  • Watercolours
  • Fire building
  • Accelerant application
  • Fire suppression
  • Juggling
  • Stretching
  • Cooking
  • Crafts
  • Photography
  • Lip sync’ing poorly
  • Improv
  • Drumming


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Past attendees from great companies...




Swaati Bhat

"I would highly recommend camping with Geek Adventures, specially if you are a beginner or first timer. One of the best hosts who is friendly, welcoming and makes sure you don't feel left out. I am glad we chose this event as our first camping in the US. I feel confident and am very keen to explore more camping events in future."


Chris Carfi


"Many of us in the technology industry are “in the flow,” seemingly 24/7. It’s critical to to get out from behind our devices, interact with others in actual conversation, and take time to process. With that time to reflect comes creativity and new ideas."


Brad Williams

Web Dev Studios

"I didn’t know what to expect going to Camp Press. What I promptly learned is that was the entire point of the event—doing the unexpected, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, making new friends, having fun and serious conversations, and doing all of this without the normal technology that is always around us." 


Becky Davis

Becky Davis Design

"Like most of us, I work from home. Working for yourself has a lot of advantages, but having a chance to chat with real people IRL on a regular basis is not one of them. Sitting around a campfire with real people disconnected from technology sounds very appealing."


2018-07-08 23:59:00