Not really interesting or unique, but I consider what I want and the length of time I have, and read through trip reports like inspector suggested, as well as looking through the guidebooks and browsing outfitter websites for their suggested routes. I usually do that in the winter, then go ahead and procure my permit as soon as possible - it's only a few dollars anyway. Of course availability could be a consideration in a short-term scenario. I try to go in a different EP each year and mostly into a whole new area.
Last year was my first trip to the east side (Gunflint). I had to change my entry a few days before because of closures due to the Pagami Creek wildfire. I'm doing another Gunflint trip this fall.
Maybe I should put a map on the wall and throw darts at it while blindfolded ;).
We have used a variety of methods. Sometimes we have looked at the guidebooks and picked out a route that looked interesting, often tweaking it to make it more to our liking. ;-)
Sometimes we have had to change our plans, as in the year of the Romance Lake fire when we ended up taking a trip out of Crane Lake on a Lac La Croix only permit because that was all that was available on the day we wanted to go in.
On occasion we have just looked at an area and said, "Well, we have never gone in around here before." That is what we did last year when we took a few days at Kawishiwi/Square/Kawasachong right before it burned. I'm glad we did that.
And sometimes we decide that we would like to go back to a place we enjoyed before, so we plan a trip to return to a favorite spot. We are doing that this year in September. I hope to camp on my favorite campsite on Cherokee one more time.
In our paddling history, we have traveled all but a couple miles of the US/Canadian border that lies within the BWCA. For a long time we concentrated upon border lakes. Before 1992 we always entered from the Ely side. Since then we have been more likely to do a Gunflint trip, but not always. Had to try Sawbill, had to return once to a Crane Lake trip, and then there was last year with Kawishiwi. We enjoy variety, I guess.
Interspersed in there are a couple trips into Quetico, a couple of trips in Algonquin (small, short ones), and one foray into the Temagami area.
It's all good. Just getting to go is the good part. :-)
I look for the least used (see-"New Entry Point Usage Data" at the bottom of the Home page), most difficult EPs with tough portages at the beginning to achieve some separation from the crowds, then double down with early and late season entry. Cuts down on the stress of finding campsites and keeps a bit more solitude in the mix. After that I research the fishing potential by combing through the fishing forum, DNR lake finder, and trip reports and focus my destination campsites around the best probable fishing locations. Then go solo.
on the paper we pull out this is and example of the info on it :
fisher map# and the entry points on it.
then from there i pick and entry point. the entry point gets crossed off the paper.
and then get put into a seperate container of maps visited. when she gets all the maps, im betting we go to entry points and we start over with the paper picking so then we would just pick the paper again, choose and entry point, and then cross it off. from there it could be done two ways. leave it out and go thru the map numbers again or toss it back in so that same map with unvisited entries has a possibilty to be chosen the next year. i think ill worry about that when we get thru the maps.