Boundary Waters Podcast
Brian Knutson

Boundary Waters Podcast

This podcast is all about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is a place to hear stories from the people who visit this amazing outdoor playground. It is also a venue to learn more about the gear that helps adventuring in this unique setting be all the more enjoyable.

On this podcast, we invite you to join the adventures as well.

If you have a story you’d like to share on the Boundary Waters Podcast, contact us at

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May 16, 2022
Episode 66 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast

It went from fishing opener to lake opener as ice lingered on the east side of the Boundary Waters in the middle of May.

Many area lakes, from the end of the Arrowhead Trail to the Middle Gunflint Trail, still held their ice on the day before the 2022 fishing opener in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s fishing opener for walleye, bass, trout and pike was Saturday, May 14.

As the ice lingered, many groups canceled their Gunflint expeditions on this year’s fishing opener. The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast did not.

This episode, featuring Matthew Baxley, Joe Friedrichs and Kevin ‘The K-man’ Kramer, tells the story of how it all went down.

May 1, 2022
Episode 65 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast

Lake Saganaga at the end of the Gunflint Trail is an easy place to get lost.

Sag, as the lake is often called, is both the deepest and largest lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It’s 280 ft. deep in certain pockets, and is spread across nearly 19,000 acres.

And while Sag might be challenging to navigate for even the most experienced paddlers, sometimes getting turned around can lead to magical experiences.

Nicole Erickson and Michael Kelly know all about this, as we learn in today’s episode.

Also in this episode, podcast hosts Joe Friedrichs and Matthew Baxley trek to the BWCA to drill a hole in the ice on the same weekend overnight travel permits are required to start the 2022 ‘paddling season.’

April 15, 2022
Episode 64 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast

Emily Ford is a Duluth resident who skied across the border lakes of the Boundary Waters during the memorably cold, snowy and windy winter of 2021-22.

Ford captured national attention when she skied across Wisconsin the previous winter.

What motivates someone to embark on solo expeditions during the winter?

Learn this and much more about Emily Ford in this episode of the podcast.

April 1, 2022
Episode 63 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast

It’s the end of the ice fishing season for lake trout in the Boundary Waters.

The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast team had a good year of ice fishing. In this episode, Gunflint Trail resident Mike Seim talks with Joe about a variety of topics related to lake trout in the BWCA.

Also of interest, a recent study out of the University of Manitoba in Canada shows some lake predators are changing their behavior due to climate change, which may have a wide-ranging effect on lake trout and the entire ecosystem of certain lakes in Ontario and northern Minnesota.

Matthew Guzzo is the lead author of the study. He shares some additional perspective on lake trout throughout the episode.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Werner Bahner-Würth.

March 17, 2022
Episode 62 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast

Canoecopia, the world’s largest paddling expo, returned in 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Madison, Wisc., based event in 2020. It was a virtual gathering in 2021.

The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast was back at Canoecopia this year. Old acquaintances surfaced from the crowd. New friends were made as well. It was a time of connection.

This episode was recorded in its entirety at Canoecopia 2022.

Special thanks to Aubrey from Redbudsuds, and Nashville musicians Caitlin Evanson and Jerry Vandiver, for sharing their music on this episode.

March 1, 2022
Episode 61 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast


It can be the downfall of any winter trip to the Boundary Waters. The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast team, along with Erik Dickes and Josh Dix, found this out firsthand during a recent trip to the edge of the wilderness on snowmobile, and then on skis and snowshoes after crossing the wilderness line.

After encountering bad ice and slush, foul moods settled in on some members of the party, while others remained patient. Then the lake trout moved in. And things changed.

February 18, 2022
Episode 60 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast

The quiet of winter remains across the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as cold temperatures and significant snowfall blanket the region. By looking at the woods and frozen lakes such beauty can be appreciated simply and plainly, but it’s more challenging to know what is happening beneath the ice.

Chel Anderson is a botanist and plant ecologist. She lives near the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior and keeps close tabs on daily changes happening with the local woods and waters. She spoke with podcast host Matthew Baxley about what’s happening under the icy surface of the lakes in the Boundary Waters.

February 2, 2022
Episode 59 WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast

With permits now available for the 2022 paddling season in the Boundary Waters, it’s time to start thinking about gear and trip planning. One place to do just that is Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin.

Darren Bush, owner of Rutabaga Paddlesports in Madison, and organizer of canoeing expo Canoecopia, joins the podcast in this episode to talk about the return of an in-person event for 2022.

The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast attended the last in-person canoe expo in 2019. The pandemic has either shut down or let to virtual events the past two years. Learn about what to expect for Canoecopia 2022 in this episode of the podcast.

December 28, 2021
WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast Episode 55

The collection of outfitters who provide assorted gear, canoes and guidance for the many visitors to the Boundary Waters each paddling season is a world full of hard work, long hours and repetition. It’s also a world of connection. And many of those connections are made by those who work for the outfitters on the edge of the wilderness.

In the final episode for Season 4 of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast, we hear from the summer staff at some of the outfitters along the Gunflint Trail. It’s the ‘Trail Kids’ episode of the podcast. And for hosts Matthew and Joe, it’s a time to reflect on their own experiences working on the Gunflint and how it brought them into a sense of connection with this place… The Boundary Waters.