Winter is wilderness at its most wonderful, its most wild. Experience the towering pines laden with snow, the thundering groans of the frozen lakes, the secretive tracks and trails of wildlife, the thrill of skiing. At Piragis Northwoods Company we rent winter gear and tents you can trust.
*** Forest Service Winter Rules and Regs at the bottom of the page ***
“Are you CRAZY it’s frrreeeezzzing out there...”
We like to be comfortable wherever and WHENEVER we camp. Our lightweight winter canvas wall tents and ultralight packable woods stoves mean safety and comfort. There’s no reason to quit camping just because the temperature drops.
Traditional Winter Sports
Skiing, Snowshoeing, Fishing and Camping have long been practiced in northern climates. Explore the winter wilderness during a time of extreme beauty when snow blankets the ground and the stars shine bright. If you’ve never snowshoed or x-country skied, rent our equipment for a day trip and discover the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters in a whole new way!
Winter Gear Rates
Adult Skis $25/day
Cross-Country skis made for performance and mobility.
Youth Skis $15/day
Full-performance x-country youth skis.
Kids' Skis $10/day
Try the little ones out early on the ski trails.
Adult Snowshoes $20/day
Our tried and true snowshoes with sizes to fit every adventurer. Crampons built in for good grip on ice too.
Youth Snowshoes $15/day
Lightweight, quality shoes made especially for youth.
Ski Boots Only $10/day
Skis/Poles Only $15/day
Satellite Phones $15/day plus $3/minute used.
We rent satellite phones for your adventures year round. Please remember to reserve in advance.
DeLorme InReach $10/day plus $.50/text
Stay in touch with loved ones at home. Please reserve in advance.
Sleeping Bag (includes pads) $15/day
Winter rated bags proven to withstand all that Northern winter nights can throw at you.
Ice Auger $10/day
Drill holes, fish through the ice and catch dinner.
Pulk Sled $25/day
Pack all your gear in a sled with a quality harness system. Pull it with ease as you snowshoe or ski to camp.
Wood Stove (medium or large) $25/day
Keep your tent warmer than you do your house with our ultra-lightweight, packable wood stove.
Winter Tents (see below for more information)
Winter Tent Rates
Snowtrekker® EXP Shortwall Tent $40/day
The Snowtrekker™ EXP Shortwall canvas tent, a brand new shortwall design that incorporates the guy-out system of the Snowtrekker ™ EXP Crew with the addition of a 20” to 23” sidewall. The Snowtrekker™ EXP Shortwall sets up tighter and more forgiving than previous Shortwall models while reducing the number of guy line anchor points.
Tent : 19.78 lbs, Frame: 7.34 lbs
Total: 27.06 lbs
Ridge Height 78.5 inches, Ridge Length 97"
9 feet x 11.5 feet, best for 2 - 4 people
Snowtrekker® EXP OUTFITTER Tent $50/day
With an impressive 10'X15' footprint, our Outfitter canvas tent stands in a class by itself. With 36" sidewalls, 7’3” ridge, and a 6’ tall walk-through door, this tent perfectly fills the niche for those seeking a canvas tent used primarily for base-camping comfort on hunting trips or large group winter camping expeditions. The Outfitter canvas tent is built with custom 7.5 ounce canvas and utilizes a functional interior frame design providing you with the maximum amount of usable, unobstructed living space.
For a tent this size and its anticipated extended stay use, we have designed a frame to match. The Outfitter frame moves away from the shock-corded 3/4" Easton aluminum used in our more nomadic tent designs and features a 1 1/4" heavy gauge 6063 aluminum tubing frame package. We have also incorporated 36" side-wall pickets on the outside to serve as additional structural support and guy-out points for the tent. The EXP Outfitter accommodates up to 6 adults on sleeping pads or 4 with standard army cots.
Tent : 26.16 lbs Frame: 14.00 lbs
Total: 40 lbs
10 feet x 15 feet, best for 3 - 5 people
Cooke Custom Sewing Winter T Octagon Tent $35/day
Designed for the winter camping enthusiast who is tired of man hauling heavy canvas tents. Made from 1.1 oz Silicone Coated Ripstop Nylon with double stitched seams. Unique snow pockets all around the base and at the bottom of the door. These pockets are like a snow flap only the pockets are filled with snow and seal to the ground, to keep all drafts out. Front door has a horizontal section at the top of the door that can be open for venting.
The equal sided octagon footprint, with center pole, allows for the more interior headroom compared to other winter structures, with plenty of space to sleep four. Tall enough door to enter easily and stand up fully.
Door pole is offset out from the front door for ease of entry. The Winter T Octagon has a 30” knee wall all around , allowing all the floor space to be usable. Stove jack comes ready for a 3” stove pipe. The Tent can
stuff down into our multi stage stuff sack to a 7 ½” diameter by 9 “ long. Also included are the two aluminum nesting poles with Stuff sack.
Our reflective cord is tied off to all knee wall corners and to front door opening. Total weight including poles is 6 lbs.
Moki™ 3P Tent ADVENTURE BASE CAMP $30/day
A bomber base camp tent designed for all types of weather. Convertible panels reveal mesh when temps are warm. Check out the Moki™
When we say 4 season, we mean it. Our ambassadors take Moki™ to the Himalayas and we use it for surf trips on the coast. Over half of Moki’s™ single-wall exterior is convertible to mesh, which gives you the flexibility and comfort you need in any climate. A large vestibule is included with Moki™ and an optional, additional vestibule can be zipped to the opposite door for extra gear storage. With the ability to link together, add insulation, or unzip half the tent shell to expose mesh, Moki™ is the perfect base camp for all of your adventures.
- Three-person, four-season tent built using Nemo’s Extreme Conditions Technology
- Condensation curtain isolates respiration to prevent frost buildup
- Pressure Porting system allows air to escape even during high winds
- 43 square feet of sleeping space; pair of welded polyurethane skylights
- Measures 90 x 48 x 75 inches (W x H x D); weighs 7.5 pounds
Winter Guide Rates
Take along a Wilderness Guide
Discover the tips and tricks of winter camping while enjoying the advantages of having a guide in camp. Stop in the store at 105 North Central Avenue or call today to make winter gear and tent reservations and
to plan your winter camping trip.
Winter Wilderness Travel - US Forest Service - Superior National Forest
“I love the deep silence of the winter woods. It is a stillness you can rest your whole weight against…so profound you are sure it will hold and last.” - Florence Page Jaques
The BWCAW in the winter is a truly unique experience, whether traveling by dogsled, skijoring, skiing, or snowshoeing. Visitors who come to the wilderness during this time of the year have a very different kind of experience than those that visit during the summer season. You are less likely to run into other visitors and can experience a sense of solitude and self reliance in a way that few other places allow. Winter wilderness travel requires a high degree of preparation, planning, skill, and self-reliance.
Winter temperatures in the BWCAW average 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit, with overnight lows from zero to 7 below zero. During severe cold spells, daily highs can remain below zero, with low temperatures falling into the 20 to 30 below zero range. Wind chill exacerbates the cold, and blowing snow can make travel difficult. Average snowfall is 50-60 inches, with 70-90 inches along Lake Superior. Snow depths in late February to early March may be 15-25 inches with some higher terrain receiving over three feet.
Winter conditions make self-reliance, good judgment, and knowledge of your limits critical. Whether you are dog sledding, skiing, or snowshoeing, it is important to plan well and prevent hypothermia and frostbite:
- Be prepared for extreme cold, windy or wet conditions. Dress in layers to remain comfortable by adding or removing clothing depending on conditions and your energy level. Change into dry clothing as needed.
- Drink plenty of water and eat often. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol causes the body to lose heat more rapidly, even though onemay feel warmer after drinking.
- Avoid open water and thin ice. Never walk on ice less than four inches thick.
- Hypothermia is a dangerous lowering of the body temperature. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, slurred speech and drowsiness. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, tip of the nose and ear lobes. If symptoms of either condition are detected, get medical care immediately!
Wilderness rules and regulations apply year-round. Even though the BWCAW has a beautiful white protective coat on in the winter we still need to take care to Leave No Trace.
Permits are required year-round for all visitors to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. For day or overnight travel from October 1–April 30, it’s easy! Fill out a self-issued permit at any Superior National Forest office, or at a BWCAW entry point. Carry one copy with you during the trip and drop the other copy in the permit box at the entry point.
Choose a Campsite
- When lakes are open, camp at designated sites using firegrates and latrines.
- When lakes are frozen, camp on ice, in a sheltered bay, or in a natural forest opening. Locate camp at least 150 feet from trails or summer campsites, and out of sight of other groups.
- Make just one trail connecting the shoreline to camp.
- Bury human waste in snow 150-200 feet from water, campsites, summer trails and portages (pack out toilet paper).
It is preferable to make a campfire on the ice to minimize fire scars on rocks and shorelines. Use base logs or a portable fire pan for your campfire on the ice. Use a campstove or fire pan for a campfire on land to avoid leaving fire scars on vegetation or rocks.
- Collect only dead and down wood far from shorelines, trails or campsites.
- Make sure your fire is out cold to the touch when you leave.
- Scatter ashes in the woods away from the shoreline and cover the campfire scar with snow.
- Do not cut green vegetation for tent poles, bedding for humans or dogs, or to create new dogsled trails.
Reduce Dog Impacts
- Keep dogs under control at all times.
- To avoid damaging or “girdling” trees with rope when staking out dogs, use webbing straps around tree and attach dog picket line to webbing.
- Tether teams out on the ice with ice screws to avoid damaging shoreline vegetation.
- Never bring hay or straw for bedding because they introduce non-native plants.
- Scatter dog feces in the woods at least 150-200 feet from the water’s edge. Keep the entry points clean for others by picking up feces before and after hitting the trail.