The latest, from Packsack



We at Packsack are dedicated to provide you with a high quality and safe Boundary Waters and resort experience. In past years, we have taken a large sense of pride in the uncompromising customer service that we have been privileged to provide. Well, with the current COVID-19 situation, it seems like more and more every day, our ability to provide some services is being compromised. Please know that all of the changes that we have made and will be making in the future have taken a large amount of thought and serious debate. Having to change the way we do business causes moral tribulation amongst us all. Some things we are being forced to change, and some things we are changing to keep ourselves, our staff and our customers safe. Below is a list of some of the current changes happening at Packsack. We expect this list to be ever evolving in the months to come.


So, what’s changing?


THE MOST RECENT PERMIT CHANGE: The Forest Service has announced that the Boundary Waters will remain closed for overnight paddle and boat and motor use through May 17th to align with the Minnesota Governors “stay at home orders”. If your reservation has been affected, we will contact you directly to discuss your options. The Boundary Waters will remain open for day use excursions.


  • We ask that if you or anyone in your party has recently been ill and/or has any symptoms of being sick, or has been in contact with COVID-19 that you please stay home. We will work with you in regards to your deposit, and reschedule you for a different time.

  • Our lodge is open, but we do ask that only 1 person per group enter the lodge at a time. The office and food room in our lodge will be closed off for our own protection. We will still issue permits and fishing licenses, it will just be through the door of the office (please try to purchase your MN Fishing License online ahead of time if possible). If you would like to purchase Packsack gear, that can be done through the office door as well. We will do our best to accommodate you. Bathrooms and showers will remain open. However, if several groups show up at once, patience will be needed as we will have to clean and disinfect between groups, and we ask that you not congregate in or in front of the lodge.

  • Our canoe and boat and motor rentals will be offered curbside or for delivery. This means that we will have your order ready for you to pick up at a predesignated time, or we can drop canoes and gear off at your entry point (contact us for pricing).

  • Cabins will remain open! We already do a thorough job of cleaning our cabins and surrounding resort facilities. This will continue, and we will also be adding protocol for advanced cleaning of high touch areas. Cabins will be stripped down to the basic dishes and pots and pans, but of course if there is anything you need that is not in the cabin, we will happily provide it for you!

  • Because of the extra disinfecting procedures being done in the cabins, we have moved check-in time to 3:00 pm.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available in high traffic areas throughout the resort.

  • Boats and canoes will be cleaned between each guest as we have always done in the past. We will have disinfectant spray available by the docks if you wish to disinfect your boat between uses. Dockside canoes and kayak will be available; however, we cannot guarantee they will be cleaned between guests. Please use the available disinfectant spray before you use these.

  • Docks: we will do our best to separate guest’s boats and give you your own dock. However, when our docks are full, and you are sharing a dock, we ask that social distancing practices be used. Dock benches will be sprayed with disinfectant daily, if you wish to spray down a bench yourself, spray will be available.

  • Our fish cleaning facilities will remain open, we will do our best to clean the fish house between groups, but we cannot guarantee this. We will have cleaner and disinfectant in the fish house for your convenience. Please only one group in the fish house at a time.

  • Billing: For overnight trips and boat and motor rentals, we will have your bill ready for you when you pick up your equipment. We will expect payment (cash or check is always preferred) upfront for all rentals, with a credit card number on hold incase of damages. Cabin guests, we will have your bill prepared for you the night before you check out. This will give groups time to split the bill and figure out payment and we ask that one guest at a time enter the lodge to pay. If you don’t feel comfortable entering the lodge to pay, that’s OK! We can take a credit card number over the phone or email.

  • Employee guest interaction. Hardest part to swallow with all of this is the realization that we won’t be able hug, shake hands and closely commune with you…our Packsack family!! We will still be there for you and for your needs, but for this year, it will have to be at a distance of 6 feet. If we need to enter your cabin for any reason, we will be wearing a mask and gloves. If you are in the lodge visiting with us, we may be wearing a mask, and we may also ask that you wear a mask.


We hope that with the above changes and the cooperation of you the customer, we can stay open for the length of the 2020 season and beyond! These changes are a start to what may be a constant evolution throughout the season. Please remember that your safety and well being, as well as the safety of our Packsack staff is our main priority. Because we are a small business, if any of the Packsack staff becomes infected with COVID-19, we will have to close the resort.


We continue to thank you for your cooperation with these changes. We are dedicated to still giving you the same great customer service and vacation you have come to expect from Packsack, it will just have to be at 6 feet way. We look forward to seeing you this season and for many seasons to come!!!


Thank you for your patience and understanding.


-Nick & Danielle Ott


Packsack Canoe Trips & Log Cabins

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Packsack Canoe Trips & Log Cabins

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Our Address

P.O. Box 780, Ely, MN 55731

129 Winton Point Rd. Winton, MN 

PackSack Canoe Trips and Log Cabins created by Nicholas Ott