In order to preserve the wilderness experience the BWCAW offers, please follow the following rules (more information available at the US Forest Service website):

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Familiarize yourself with the unique regulations and special concerns for the BWCAW. Cans and glass bottles are not allowed, including soup cans. Package all food into re-usable containers to minimize waste.
  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
  • The BWCAW limits group size to nine people and four watercraft.
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Camping is allowed only on established campsites. Each campsite is equipped with a fire grate and a latrine.
  • Stay on established portages.

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
  • Latrines are for toilet use only, not for trash.
  • When away from a latrine, deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
  • Pack out hygiene products.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
  • Dispose of fish guts 200 feet from water’s edge.

Leave What You Find

  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
  • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches in campsites.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Camp fires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
  • When fires are permitted, use established fire grates located in each campsite.
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. Only dead down wood may be burned. Nothing green or growing or driftwood.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out camp res completely with water.

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. Food should be hung at least 10 feet off the ground and at least 6 feet from adjacent trees.
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
  • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.