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“Old Reliable”

November 10, 2009

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.


Joel E.
Section Manager Mining
Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota


The Tale of a Duluth Pack Backpack….a great story!

October 8, 2009

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.


Testimonials, The Lowdown

Follow Our Packs to the Arctic!

August 13, 2009

Dear Duluth Pack Blogger Molly and fellow Duluth Pack Lovers,

My name is Conor Macleod Keenan, I’m a filmmaking graduate student and a life long paddler. I’m typing this message on my phone while In the car on a road trip from LA to the Arctic Circle were I’ll be shooting a film while paddling the entirety of the remote Hiukitak river, finishing in Bathurst Inlet.


When I was four years old I went on my first canoe trip with my family. My folks had a classic Duluth Pack which we used for our tent and other equipment. I remember tryin it on in the driveway before we left and immediately keeling over like a turtle on it’s back. Later when i went to a canoeing expedition summer camp based in northern Minnesota we used Duluth packs exclusively for trips of all levels.

Now, that same Duluth pack from when I was four is in the back of our rented minivan as my intrepid crew (of only 3 others) and I make our way up Alberta. That pack is joined by 11 other brand spankin’ new Duluth packs that we’re using for this unique student film.

When I was planning this film shoot my mind immediately went to Duluth packs. Of course all the camera equipment and film is in waterproof hard cases but those cases can’t be portaged on their own! Our 9,600 feet of raw film stock fills one entire pack; camera and lenses fill another; our solar panels and batteries another, and the sound equipment a fourth. Three #4 packs contain the three weeks of food for our group of four, and our clothes, tents, and other equipment fit into the remaining packs with room to spare.


We are traveling light by the normal standards of a film shoot, but it’s a lot of gear for four people to squeeze into two canoes to be sure, and Duluth packs are the only way I could think of to keep the gear low in the canoe when we’re on white water, and easy to get at when we’re on land.

I probably won’t have Internet access after I send this message (if I’m able to send it at all) but I hope you’ll check back for an update when we return from the trip in August.

Thanks again to Duluth Pack for helping with the packs and thanks for reading!