Northern Tier Overview by NCAC HAC

Northern Tier High Adventure Bases

Northern Tier is the Boy Scouts of America’s gateway to adventure in the Great Northwoods.  In the Summer, scouts from Northern Tier’s three wilderness canoe bases explore millions of acres of pristine lakes, meandering rivers, dense forests and wetlands in Northern Minnesota, Northwest Ontario and Northeast Manitoba.  In the winter, Northern Tier is home to the OKPIK Cold-Weather Camping program, the BSA’s premier winter high adventure program.  Fall programming is also available.

To access training materials for units going to a Northern Tier base, click here.

NCAC Provisional Trek(s) to Northern Tier

Starting with a trek leaving from Bissett, Manitoba in July 2017, National Capital Area Council has offered provisional crews to the three Northern Tier locations, plus Okpik winter camping.  These treks are able to accomodate both experienced high adventure trekkers and those newer to high adventure.

The cost of provisional treks will vary depending on length, base, airfare and Canadian exchange rate.  For information about what trek(s) are currently available, contact our Council’s Northern Tier liaison, Craig Reichow via email.

Trek information

  • To be eligible, youth must be at least 14 years of age or have completed 8th grade prior to arrival at Northern Tier.
  • Our Council recommends 10-night treks of wilderness, canoeing and portaging into a Canadian Provincial Park (e.g., Quetico, Atikaki).
  • An interpreter (guide) is provided for each trek.
  • Each crew includes the interpreter, two adults and up to six youth (larger crew sizes available at Atikokan and Bissett).
  • A $300 crew deposit is required by Northern Tier with each crew application

Training Available through NCAC

The NCAC High Adventure Committee provides two sessions of training each spring for crews heading to Northern Tier that summer, or interested in learning more about travel with canoes.  Check Recent News or contact Craig Reichow by email or call 703-851-2210.

Historic Video of Northern Tier

In addition to the recently-made videos available on the Northern Tier website and those made by crews, click here for a 20-minute 4K video from 1981 that includes some variances from safe procedures in the 2020s, but accurately portrays the area.

The NCAC Aquatics Committee has information about BSA Aquatics Guidelines and requirements and training opportunities.  For more information contact Mark Wray by email or call 703-395-6061.