Ely, United States·August 17 - 23 2024

Unsettled: Boundary Waters Canoe Camping

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A week-long canoe camping trip into the wilderness.

Join us for a paddle through the vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area along the Minnesota / Canada border. This is a wilderness area spanning over 1.1 million acres, the perfect place to disconnect from your daily routine, turn off your screens, and fall in love with the unique pace of experiencing nature from a canoe. This area is home to many animals including deer, bears, eagles, otters, beavers, moose, wolves, and more! We'll travel each day by canoe across lakes and rivers, getting more in touch with the natural flow of things by the day. If you’re used to city lights, you’ll be happy to learn that this area is recognized as the world's largest dark sky sanctuary making this a great trip for stargazing and nighttime photography. We provide all necessary group gear, delicious meals you won't forget, permits, the Unsettled community, a licensed professional wilderness guide committed to your successful adventure, and much more. Time is of the essence, prices increase: On May 1st, prices increase by $100 USD. On June 1st, prices increase by $200 USD.

Retreat Overview


Ely, United States


6 nights


From $2500

Upcoming Trips:

August 17 - 23 2024

Join Unsettled: Boundary Waters Canoe Camping

The Unsettled Experience

From time to time, you'll hear us say, "The Unsettled Experience”. Here's what we mean by that:

Unsettled does more than guide people down a trail in the wilderness. 

Before you ever hop on a plane, we meet online (in the interactive Unsettled style) and walk through an adventure-inspired workshop. 

While you're on your trip, we have a series of dinners and discussions designed to guide you on a unique journey. The goal is to get you to step outside of your routine, expand your perspective, and articulate what calls you, inspires, and engages you in this world. 

Many alumni say continuing the purpose-driven journey through our workshops and community engagement is the best part. As an Unsettled alumni, you can join our quarterly meetups and workshops online with our community from around the world.

A week in the life




The Challenge

You should be comfortable in a canoe, in the water, and camping. You don't need to be an expert, but you need to have some experience canoeing or kayaking and camping. Expect to carry 30 - 60 pounds of gear or canoes for short distances on portage trails between lakes. Everyone helps, but this is an active trip. The pace will be relaxed at times and challenging at others. If you are fit enough to go for a 4-hour hike in the mountains, you're comfortable around water, and in a canoe, then you may be just fine!


The Menu

We believe Clif Bars and ramen have their place but not on our trips. We love a varied menu that includes fresh foods and ultralight gourmet meals. A few camp favorites include our famous smoked BBQ pork spaghetti, Rumchata French toast, breakfast burritos, fruit and yogurt parfait, and steak fajitas. We plan the meals (with your input) but it takes the full crew to be involved! 


The Itinerary

This trip starts near Ely, MN. 

You'll arrive on the evening of August 17th at a designated lodge to go over gear and trip details (your room in the lodge is included in the price). Sunday morning, we head out for an early start to our adventure, and we stay on the water for the next 5 days and 5 nights. 

Everyone will paddle tandem canoes, help with portages, set up/take down camp, process firewood, share cooking and cleaning up of meals, and any other activity of the day. We not only have years of experience in all aspects of canoe camping in this area, but we are teachers, cooks, leaders, storytellers, fishermen, and naturalists. 

What's Included

Unsettled provides...

All meals from put-in to take-out

Premium tandem canoes

Canoe gear: Paddles, Life Jackets, Gear Bags, etc.

Lodging the night before we put in at a local lodge (shared accommodations)

Wilderness permits, maps, emergency satellite communications, etc.

Comprehensive first aid kit, wilderness first aid certified guides, water purification, etc.

Expert guides who have years of experience in canoe camping here and are also teachers, cooks, leaders, storytellers, fishermen, naturalists, etc.

Travel to / from Ely, Minn.

Meals before or after we hit the water

Personal gear such as sleeping bags, outdoor clothing, etc.

Fishing gear or license

Boundary Waters

1,000 Lakes

We will travel by canoe and foot through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a wilderness area spanning over 1 million acres. Our guides will choose our route and set our pace. We spend 5 days and 5 nights in the wilderness, camping each night and canoeing 3 - 5 hours per day. Expect a challenging pace at times and a leisurely pace at other times. Be ready to carry 50 - 60 pounds of gear short distances between lakes and from the canoes to campsites, and plan to sleep well each night.

Boundary Waters


Unsettled: Boundary Waters is a wilderness-based canoe and camping trip in northern Minnesota for adventurous professionals who are looking to escape their routine and get (way) out of the office. 

You will need a base level of fitness to join this trip. For example, if you can hike for 3+ hours out on a mountain trail at a moderate pace, you're in the right place. You need to have some paddling experience - just to be confident that you're not going to flip out (literally) of the boat every time you paddle. You'll paddle your canoe with one other Unsettler. The trip is fully guided, and a good mix between a supported aveneture and self-sufficiency. 

Most people on an Unsettled retreat are mid-career professionals with vast interests. Our average age of participants is mid-30s to mid-50s. We are a diverse community by profession, ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, and more. The clear expectation is that everyone who joins is respectful of differences of diversity. We will not tolerate any form of prejudice or aggression towards individuals. This is a vacation for everyone after all, and everyone deserves adventure, growth, and connection in their lives! 

We've hosted CEOs and entrepreneurs, artists and designers, and people who are active, even experts, in everything from transcendental meditation to CrossFit, from Bikram yoga to kiteboarding, and from diving to flying. On any given day, however, most of us are content hanging out with each other, exploring new places, and trying new things.

Since thinking big about our work and careers is one of the organizing principles of Unsettled, many participants are high achievers who organize major conferences, run businesses, or are recognized experts in their field. We have a lot of designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and startup enthusiasts on our trips.

We pull into our secluded coves each afternoon in time to set up camp, build a fire, go fishing, take a plunge, etc. You'll pitch your tent each evening, lay out your gear, and help with camp chores like building a fire and preparing dinner.

We will debrief, look at our route for the next day, and sit back and enjoy it all.

You'll eat a warm meal and before long, zip up into your tents for a good night's rest. Tents are shared, with 2 participants per tent, and we all camp immediately near the other tents in our group. 

As soon as you pay your deposit or first payment, your spot for the trip is secured. Deposits are typically 25% of the trip costs. This deposit/first payment remains refundable for 10 days following your payment, subject to a $100 administrative fee. There are no refunds after that. Should you need to transfer your payment to another trip, you can do so up to 45 days before the start date of your trip, also incurring a $100 administrative fee. Please note that there are no transfers available if there are fewer than 45 days remaining before your trip’s start date. 

We typically canoe 3 - 4 hours per day. 

There are plenty of times and places to take a break.

You should be in good shape and ready for an adventure on this trip. 

A full packing list is provided 2 months before the trip. 

For starters, recommend you bring your own sleeping bag (rated to 20 to 40 degrees F. A sturdy pair of sandals or water shoes designed for water sports. Quick dry, full sleeves/pants active clothing/outerwear. There's a lot more on the list, but this gets you started. 


This is a wilderness adventure, and so we cannot control every element. However, by late August, the mosquitos are to a minimum. Bears, wolves, and other animals live in this wilderness area but do not pose a threat to large groups like ours. 

This trip is capped at a maximum of 9 people.

Unsettled is a community for those who refuse to settle in their pursuit of growth, meaning, and adventure. We bring together creatives, entrepreneurs, artists, freelancers, and the intellectually curious who seek to replace routine with adventure. You will share the adventure of a lifetime alongside a curated group of peers who hold a wealth of experience far deeper than just their careers, and join a growing community of Unsettled alumni spread out over 80 countries around the world.

At Unsettled, our community thrives on diverse perspectives, backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and identities. We extend an invitation to all who embrace these values of respect and inclusivity of others. Our community is built on a foundation of mutual respect, where everyone is encouraged to engage in open dialogue and foster understanding. If you're like us, you seek out diversity and want to learn, experience, and grow from it. Welcome home. 

Unsettled: Boundary Waters Canoe Camping

United States· August 17 - 23 2024· 6 nights


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