From the time I could walk, my life had been spent in the outdoors with my father and I remember one of the first things he gave me was his old Duluth Pack. After that I was hooked. Every pack I had from then on was a Duluth Pack. The quality that is put into them surpasses any other pack I have come across. You can tell that your company takes pride in what you do. Up until a few years ago I had collected quite a few of your pack, but one day I was injured at work and it all changed. Through my recovery I ended up having to sell most everything that I owned to get by. I am getting better now and have started saving to make a long canoe trip and your Wanderer Pack with the All Day Lumber pack are the first things I am going to buy, just as soon as I have the money saved. Then down the road I am going to try to get everything needed for on board canoe storage. Being handicap now though it is going to take me some time to save. Again though I want to say that you make an excellent product that lasts for many years. Keep up the good work!
Thank You, Dennis M.
Thank you Dennis! We wish you a speedy recovery. I will email you about your requests.
I recently went on another trip to the Boundary Waters and was able to use my Dad’s old #4 Duluth pack. He dug the pack out of the garage from a special area separated from the usual camping gear and handed it to me. A solid look in his face told me to take care of the bag even though nothing was said. He knew that I would. Of course it worked great for everything. That’s not the focus of this review because everyone already knows how great the product is. When I returned home, I received some of his stories. These stories are what I will share. He bought the pack when he was sixteen with money earned as a paperboy. His family was poor and the bag was very expensive for him back then. In his words, “probably 20 dollars.” He used it often as he evolved into a boyscout guide and led countless trips for hundreds of young canoeists. He shared stories of canoe games on a hot summer day and raising a sail to easily pass everyone paddling feverishly to keep up. There were scary stories of heroic rescues, harsh weather and what he calls “the black mist.” He told of surprising bears on trail that quickly led to the addition of a bear bell to the pack, especially when he started bringing my mother. One rescue in particular always seemed hard to believe until I was at a graduation party for the son of one of the kids (now father) that my Dad took on a trip. This stranger to me took me aside quietly and said, “let me tell you a story about your father” The same story that I had heard before was told from a different perspective about a canoe flipped over and wedged in a rapids filling with water as a trapped canoeist underneath was beginning to drown. People around trying to lift the filled canoe unsuccessfully while another person cupped his hands around the mans mouth to block out the rising water. My Dad grabbed a large post and used it as a lever to break the back of the canoe. The canoe folded and headed downstream while the person came up choking on fresh air. The pack comes with a tradition that has been passed down. It carries food, gear, and all the stories that you can fit. It may look old and worn, but it carries a lifetime of Boundary Waters history. Over the 45 years that it has been in my father’s possession, only a small hole has worn into the bottom corner of the bag. I took it to the store in Canal Park and reluctantly removed my Mom’s bear bell and old rope in order to place it in your hands for repair. Please take good care of it. I know you will patch it up well to prepare it to hold a second generation of memories.
(Branden – Your pack is in good hands. We will take good care of it and return it post haste. Thank you for your incredible story!)
Recently I had to thank someone for doing me something special for me. What could I give him that would be perfect. It had to be something he could use during an upcoming fishing trip. I purchased some pancake mixes and the fish batter from the Duluth Store. I ordered online on Tuesday morning and it arrived Wednesday afternoon and given to him on Thursday. That’s fast! He was impressed and I was grateful to the speed of service of the Duluth Pack Company. Way to go and thank you.
I have been a fan and customer of the store for several years and my son and I visit the Duluth Pack store every time we travel up north. The store is like walking into a dream of “what I would like today.” Touching a part of the past, dreaming of trips to come, or just sitting by the fireplace and listening to others dream about their trips makes me smile. I am not alone in my travels.
Enjoy a moment and dream while you travel through the pages of the catalog if you can’t make it to the store.
(Thanks Jeffrey! Great testimonial! Can I “borrow” the phrase “touching a part of the past”? Love it!)
To Duluth Pack:
I needed a good rugged attache to carry my daily stuff and be somewhat
presentable at meetings in the GMO’s office in one of the Iron Mines in NE
Minnesota. My choice was a Duluth Pack product (see photo). Well it
bounced around in the truck for many years in the pit then one day I
accepted an assignment to a be site representative for a gold prospecting
project on the Amazon River Basin. ‘Old Reliable’ carried the project
guidelines from NE Minnesota, to Ohio, through NY, to Rio de Janeiro,
Brasilia, Belem and finally in a square stern going up the Gurupi River to
base camp in Para, Brazil. The attache made many trips from base camp to
Belem where a weekly TELEX report was sent back to Headquarters in Ohio.
It survived many dunkings in the Grupi River as well as the Amazon.
In the late ’90′s on assignment to the Para Iron Mines of Venezuela ‘Old
Reliable’ just about was confiscated by a mine manager because of its
On a trip into the Angel Falls area of Southern Venezuela I nearly lost
the bag when I missed-placed it on the DC-3 we were flying in. I was
distracted because as we sat on the tarmac preparing for take off I
noticed a stream of oil running from the engine cowl atop the shroud to
the rear of the wing and puddling on the cement. I called attention to
the leak to our German Flight Stewardess and her comment was ” we will add
oil before the return trip”. Fortunately she remembered seeing me
boarding with the bag over my shoulder and returned it to me.
I retired in 2000 from mining but the bag and I are still great friends
and generally most days it is the first thing in my hand in the mornings
going out the door. Duluth Pack probably would repair the piping no
charge to me but as the photo illustrates it would ruin its character.
Thanks Duluth Pack, I would probably purchase another one but I don’t
think I will need to.
Section Manager Mining
Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota
Once in awhile here at Duluth Pack we get a letter from a customer that tugs at our heartstrings. We received this letter last month and thought it was worth sharing. This is why we are one big Duluth Pack family!
Dear Duluth Pack,
When my oldest son, Ben, was preparing to start kindergarten thirteen years ago, I decided that he should have a sturdy backpack that would last him a few years. So I purchased your large deluxe daypack for his school debut. He graduated from high school at the end of May this year, and has used the original deluxe daypack as his school backpack for every year since kindergarten. We did have to return the daypack to you for a zipper replacement circa fifth grade, which you promptly returned to us with a new zipper at no charge.
Ben has decided he wants to continue with the tradition as he begins his freshman year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in September. I am sending his original backpack for a repair of the leather handle, so he can carry his books around the Madison campus this Fall.
I thought you might appreciate seeing some pictures of Ben and his backpack, so I’ve enclosed a few from his first day of kindergarten and his first day of senior year in high school. Please keep them as a testimonial of how truly rugged your products are.
Thank you for providing such a great tradition for my family. It’s not often you buy something that not only meets, but greatly exceeds your expectations.
Barb and Ben
P.S. – Ben’s brother, Cole, has also followed in this backpack tradition. He’s starting his junior year in high school, so you may be hearing from me again in a couple of years.