Trash…there is too much of it in the world. Swirling around in the ocean, blowing around on land, garbage and its management is always something to keep improving. And this is especially important to you and I when we are talking about our beloved Canadian wilderness. As stewards of the lake and land, we need to work to conserve and preserve.

On July 7, 2017, the town of Red Lake’s municipal dump, where Bow Narrows takes its garbage and recyclables, was closed. A few weeks later, it was reopened as a transfer depot. Going forward, the facility started collecting the garbage in large animal-proof dumpsters for a 35-mile transport to Ear Falls. In total, our camp waste travels about 60 miles! The reconfiguration of the transfer facility has in turn made it necessary for us to rethink how our waste in camp is handled since disposal is more difficult.

Over the years, the camp and its guests have made good progress at reducing waste, but given the recent events, the following camp policies need to be punctuated and adhered to. Some of these have been in place for years, but now it is time to tighten our belts and work on these guidelines. Below are containers that are not allowed in camp along with some good alternatives.

Glass Beverage Bottles

In Red Lake, glass is not recyclable and is very heavy. Therefore, no beer or other single-serving glass beverage bottles may be brought into camp. Aluminum cans are the best alternative.

Plastic Bottles/Jugs of Water, Sports Drinks, Pop and other beverages

We have a high-tech water treatment system that employs a membrane filter resulting in high-purity, great-tasting water to drink throughout the camp. It is truly higher-quality drinking water than most have at home and definitely better than anything in a bottle. Plus, no plastic bottle after-taste…ever! So the above-listed plastic bottles cannot be brought into camp. Instead, use insulated, reusable jugs and canteens that can hold enough of our purified water for the day. Powdered lemonade, iced tea,and sports drinks can easily be mixed with water, too.


Unfortunately, styrofoam is not recyclable, falls apart and blows all over the place. Use it only for bulk storage of crawlers, and then off-load them into a small reusable bait container or cooler. If you have less than a half or full flat, avoid all those small styrofoam containers by bringing this cooler into the bait shop. Ask the dealer to dump your crawlers right into it. And another bonus is that the crawlers keep longer this way. Anything larger, such as styrofoam coolers, is not allowed in camp.


The amount of gear and supplies being hauled to and from camp is resulting in increased cycle times during guest change out. More items to load into and out of the Lickety Split means more time per trip and delays for all of our guests. One of the most common comments from our guests is that they didn’t use half the stuff they brought! So take that to heart, and only bring what is necessary for your 6 or 7 night stay.


A lot of food is left at camp which is not only wasteful, but, once again, creates a disposal problem for the camp. Due to health regulations, we cannot use this food in camp. So rather than trying to bring extra food “just in case,” we suggest that you plan your meals/snacks ahead. If it ends up you have a shortage mid-week, we would be more than happy to get things for you on our next trip to town.

Remembering that we are a pristine-wilderness camp and want to keep it that way is #1. As we look for ways to reduce the amount of garbage that we handle, we are at the same time acting as stewards of the lake and land. Furthermore, by respecting our environment and reducing our impact on this beautiful place, we positively impact the experience of every guest that visits Bow Narrows Camp.