What Kind of a Canoe?
There are some people who say, "You have to have a kevlar canoe for the BWCA." While I most often paddle a kevlar canoe on my Boundary Waters Canoe Camping trips I don’t think everyone has to paddle one.
Kevlar canoes are great for BWCA canoe trips when there is going to be alot of portaging. They are lightweight for carrying and make portages much easier for those without alot of strength and endurance.
It’s also great to paddle a kevlar canoe when you’re planning to travel alot. The kevlar canoe is made for speed and paddlers in a kevlar canoe can get places pretty quickly. Their streamlined design and almost weightlessness make paddling a kevlar a breeze.
There are however a couple of times when you may not want to paddle a kevlar canoe in the Boundary Waters. For an inexperienced paddler the kevlar canoe may feel less stable than a wider canoe. If a beginner is looking for a solid, safe canoe then an aluminum or royalex canoe may be a better choice. Also, if a person isn’t planning to portage at all then the advantage of the lightness of the kevlar canoe no longer becomes important. And if a person is planning to spend alot of time fishing then the royalex or aluminum canoe allows more room for gear and could be the better choice.
I prefer to paddle and portage kevlar canoes and for most people they are the best canoe for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. However, you don’t have to have a kevlar canoe to enjoy the BWCA even if you’re planning to portage. Some folks swear by their 100 pound sturdy boats and as long as you’re in the Boundary Waters that’s all that really matters.