How much clothing should I pack for a ten-day trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area?

I'm going into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a ten-day trip. On previous excursions I've taken too many clothes and too few clothes, but never found the perfect mix. How do you pack clothing for a long trip? Greg Flower Mound, TX

Aug 11, 2009
Outside Magazine

The Windstopper Tech Fleece


Well, figure out what you need for the coldest day, the warmest day, and the wettest day. Then add a few pairs of clean underwear. Presto!

The key is to layer. If I were going on a ten-day drip during the summer, I would start by deciding what I would need when it was warm. That would be a light synthetic T-shirt (Patagonia Capilene 1 T-shirt, $39), and a light pair of shorts (ExOfficio Amphi Shorts, $50).

Temp drops a bit? I put on a warmer layer, like the Icebreaker long-sleeve Atlas Half Zip ($65) for the torso, maybe the Cap 1 tights ($40) for the legs.

Cooler still, add a fleece jacket (Mountain Hardwear Windstopper Tech Fleece, $185), and some pants (Arc'teryx Gamma LT, $169). I might also add a down sweater, such as MontBell’s Ex Light Down jacket ($160). That’s for here in Washington—maybe not so good in humid Minnesota. Add instead a heavier wool layer.

Then, when wet, some rain gear. REI’s Shuksan ($299) is fantastic; they’d go well with Marmot’s PreCip Full Zip Pants ($90), which aren’t as breathable as the Shuksan jacket but would be fine when sitting in a boat—and could double as an extra warm layer.

Then, as I say, add some changes of underwear, and you’re off!

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