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Trip Planning

Canoeing, Trip Planning

DULUTH PACK – LARGEST BWCAW COOPERATOR

March 23, 2015
logos

Yes, you’ve heard it before and you will hear it again from us. Duluth Pack is the largest cooperator of BWCAW permits in the entire world! (SERIOUSLY cool, right?!). We know, we know – we’ve got some major bragging rights and are sure as heck flattered and proud to promote it!

For 133 continuous years, we’ve been proud to say our roots as a brand and company started with being the original Boundary Waters canoe pack. Even though we have expanded our line into lifestyle, hunting, and collaborations, we still keep the outdoors near and dear, especially the Boundary Waters territory.

Whether you’re a beginner or seniority (You know who you are. You can basically walk the grounds with your eyes closed) within the Boundary Waters area, the stories and experiences are endless. I mean, you know a good story is coming when either weather, animals, or scary stories are involved! Ps: Has anyone ever heard of Piccolo Bob? Those stories kept me up for days! Anyways, before we get too off topic… the adventure starts, every traveler must be prepared with their essentials for the stay. Each one of these necessities is easily found at our retail store in Canal Park, Duluth, Minnesota or on our extremely accessible website: www.duluthpack.com.

From insect covers to food, or a bear whistle to a banana saver, we’re ready to outfit you for every journey. Our packs are durable, our supplies is top-notch, and our customer service is one-of-a-kind. Once each and every customer is outfitted for their experience ahead, we are ready to issue a BWCAW permit. Again, we can’t help ourselves from saying it, but we are THE LARGEST COOPERATOR OF BWCAW PERMITS IN THE WORLD! (Raise the roof, people!)

So, in the end, go to a retailer and brand (here’s Duluth Pack!) that has experience and knowledge of helping hundreds of individuals each season, so they have the best camping and canoeing trip they will remember for the rest of their lives. Of course, the best stories also involve you taking us along with, too! From generation to generation and from portage mile to portage mile, we cherish our little vacay up North with you all. It’s something we look forward to year after year.

Now the real question is, who is ready to get camping?! Ps: My hand is raised way, way, way up!

– From your friends at Duluth Pack

Trip Planning

Apostle Island Ice Caves on Lake Superior

February 18, 2014

This winter has been a cold one. Minnesota, and our neighbor, Wisconsin, have been making national news. One story has caused tens of thousands of people to flock to the shoreline of the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior in Wisconsin, about 45 minutes from our factory in Duluth, MN.

These caves are often hiked atop and kayaked through in the warmer months. This winter, they have frozen over and the previously splashing water caused icicles and interesting ice formations.

Here, Esquire magazine covers the phenomenon.

One of our team-members took a trip down to check them out this weekend. Fortunately she went very early and it wasn’t too crowded!

If you’re nearby (or up for a trip!) go check it out. It’ll require a few miles hike, but it’s worth it! Pro-tip: get there as early as possible. Especially if it’s a weekend (9:30AM by the latest).

Have you been there yet? What did you think?

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Camping Recipes, Trip Planning

Gourmet Camping Menu

February 5, 2014

Hassle-Free, Delicious, Camping Menu

Take a quick/easy trip and eat well too!

Duluth is known for many things… one of which: delicious cuisine. Duluth restaurants are featured on foodie road trips. There are even many Duluth restaurants that have been featured on the Food Network.  Even us outdoorsy folk appreciate fine dining; although camping and fine dining aren’t usually in the same sentence (unless you’re a glamper: here). While reading through a recent issue of Backpacker Magazine, we found a “no-nonsense” recipe that would make our go-to favorite, the hotdog, seem lackluster. Next time we go out for a quick trip, we’re using this menu:

The Menu

Breakfast 1
On the road

Lunches 1 & 2
Bagels with avocado and cucumber

Dinner 1
Garden State Quesadilla

Breakfast 2
General Washington Griddle cakes

Snacks
Apples, trail mix

 

The Grocery List

Apples
Avocados
Cucumber
Tomatoes
Bunch spinach
Powdered milk
Flour
Sugar
Trail mix
Bagels
Whole wheat tortillas
Eggs
Shredded cheddar
Butter
Salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and maple syrup

 

The Recipes

Garden State Quesadilla
1-½ cups shredded cheddar
4 whole-wheat tortillas
2 Jersey tomatoes, chopped
1 handful spinach
2 pads butter
Salt and pepper

Heat a frying pan and grease it with half a pad of butter. Lay down the tortilla, and layer cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and cheese again. Cook 3-4 minutes, regrease pan, flip, and cook until golden brown and crispy.

 

General Washington Griddle Cakes
2 cups powder milk
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
¼ cup sugar4 apples, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat and grease pan. Combine milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Pour ¼ cup blobs of batter into pan and top with apple. Bake until pancake is light brown (3-4 minutes), then flip and cook 2-3 minutes.

Tips from us:

  • Measure out the powdered milk, flour, sugar, and cinnamon for the Griddle Cakes in a container before you leave home. The container will double as your mixing bowl when adding the eggs.
  • Print this post off (or screen shot it on your smart phone) and you’ll be set for your next 30-ish hour camp trip.

 

So what do you think? Will you give it a shot? What do you normally like to eat while camping?

Stay tuned… We just might bring you more of these! Thanks, Backpacker.

 

 

 

Source: Backpacker Magazine

Trip Planning

Kelsey’s Adventures through the Apostle Islands

August 21, 2013

Duluth Pack has awesome employees. One of our Associates at our flagship retail store in Canal Park, Duluth, MN has been having a really fun summer. Hear it from Kelsey, herself:

For the last three summers I have been truly lucky to spend my time guiding sea kayaking trips through the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Much of the second half of my summer is spent taking incoming freshmen from the College of St. Scholastica out onto Lake Superior to take in the beauty of the islands. Most commonly we find ourselves camping on Sand Island and Oak Island, both of which offer amazing sites. Along with meandering through sea caves and exploring lighthouses, we also hike to a great overlook to see most of the islands and find ourselves getting a little aggressive playing watermelon rugby. I have met some amazing students as well as strangers during my time spent out there. I could not imagine a better way to spend my summers and with every trip I find myself on a new adventure.

Kelsey is a lucky girl! I just spent some time in the Apostle Islands and went on a 10 mile hike along the cliffs. It was a lovely spot, and I was itching to get out on a kayak too (next time)!

Have you been to this area before? What’s your favorite spot?! Comment below.

Canoeing, Rivers, The Lowdown, Trip Planning

Decling Moose Population Worries Researchers

April 5, 2013

The moose population in northeastern Minnesota has dropped almost 35 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, leading to concern for the future of the iconic animal. The drop is so severe, and with the cause remaining uncertain, the DNR has cancelled the moose hunt for this coming fall.

The estimate for 2013 is around 2,760 moose in the northeastern part of the state, down considerably from the 2006 estimate of 8,840. In an attempt to learn more about the cause of moose decline, researchers are hoping to collar a total of 110 animals and track their whereabouts through the coming months, according to the DNR’s website.

Here at Duluth Pack, the moose in our logo has come to represent much of what makes our little neck of the woods in northern Minnesota so special. We consider ourselves to be outdoors advocates. Whether it’s camping, hiking, fishing, or hunting, we love to be outdoors. To continue enjoying the amazing sites, sounds and images that we cherish, we think it’s useful to know what’s happening up in our little slice of heaven.

Camping Recipes, Techniques & Advice, The Lowdown, Trip Planning

Dutch Oven Cooking Demonstration with Recipe!

December 18, 2012
Recipe

This past weekend at the Duluth Pack flagship store in Duluth, MN we wanted to create an experience that people could come and watch and then sample some interesting prepared items made in Lodge Dutch ovens, that you can make at either the campsite or in your kitchen. As you begin your adventure of cooking with Lodge Logic cast iron, hopefully you will remember the fun we had.

Dutch oven cooking can be practiced at home on the back porch and then mastered at the campsite, creating a menu of items besides hotdogs and hamburgers.  You’ll be able to create meals, desserts and snacks that your family and friends will wonder what cooking class you took to be so good! We would like to share with you one of our most popular recipes!

 

Techniques & Advice, The Lowdown, Trip Planning

HOW TO PLAN A BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA (BWCA) TRIP

April 11, 2012
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HOW TO PLAN A BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA (BWCA) TRIP

I posted this a few years pack and we still get requests for the packing list. Here you go and enjoy!

PLANNING • Where to begin? Well how about with choosing your companions! People you know that can handle some work and getting back to nature. The BWCA does have a party limit and campsite limit. Nine people and four watercraft are the maximum allowed in the BWCA. Chose a date that works for everyone and plan for some alternate dates for your group in case the permits are gone already. Advanced planning is key. There are several books on the market that explain planning for a trip in detail.Here a two of our favorites: Canoe Country Camping and Exploring the BWCA .

DATES • From May 1st to September 30th you will need to obtain a BWCA permit. Permits in certain areas go fast so reserve early! You must enter the BWCA on your specific permit date, not the day before or after. The Duluth Pack store at 365 Canal Park Drive is a BWCAW Permit Station, stock up on everything you need when you pick it up at Duluth Pack.  Permit tip!  Make sure to add extra group alternate leaders on your permit, you are not able to change them once submitted.

ROUTES • For your first time out I would choose a route with limited portages. I would suggest, once your party is determined, to have a group meeting. Choose a leader to pick up the permit, decide who will be in charge of what meals and what everyone is bringing so there are no unnecessary duplicates. Check out the various entry points and maps for the best location. Once you choose your route, buy maps for the lakes you will be paddling. A set of maps for each canoe is helpful in case you are separated. A beginner and popular route is Lakes One, Two, Three, and Four out of Ely, MN off the Fernberg Trail. Entry point 30. There are lots of campsites on each lake and limited portages. The further in you travel the less people you will see.

Experienced campers should check out entry points with limited entries and/or every other day permits. You will see less people the longer portages you take away from all other entry points. Also consider planning your trip during off peak times, the middle of the week, late Fall or early Spring.

PERMIT • You can obtain a BWCA permit from this website or by calling the Duluth Pack retail store at 218-722-1707.

You must watch a video when you pick up your permit, once you watch the video you will get a card so you won’t  have to watch the video again that year. Permits can only be picked up the day before, or the day of your entry date, by your group leader or an alternate leader listed on the permit. Office hours do vary so check with your permit pickup location for their office hours.

FOOD AND GROUP SUPPLIES • If this is your first trip you may want to consider contacting an outfitter to provide you with canoes, Duluth Packs, and various gear. Here is a partial list of outfitters.

  • You will need:

canoes

WHAT TO PACK  Personal use.

Extra- here is something fun! Fishing gear, book, and camp chair.

Gear Talk, Techniques & Advice, The Lowdown, Trip Planning

Avoid Cabin Fever during the Leap Day Blizzard

February 29, 2012
Sunset over Ice

Snow has finally come to Duluth, and many of us in the north woods are enjoying a snow day as we hunker down during this leap day blizzard. What are you going to do as the storm rages and you fight off the feeling of cabin fever? Let me throw out some ideas to keep you from going stir crazy and at the same time continuing to dream of open water.

Make it a movie day – Pop in a Cliff Jacobsen or Bill Mason video in the DVD player and escape to the lakes and rivers of the north. It is a great way to pick up some new skills or just revel in the scenic beauty captured on each disc.

Condition the leather on your canoe packs – Grab the Lexol conditioner and rub it into all the leather on your packs, really soak those straps. Yeah, I know this doesn’t sound like a great way to spend a free day, but it will pay dividends when the ice melts.

Get the snowshoes ready – rest assured at some point this wind is going to lie down, and you can get out and play in the fresh powder. Tighten those bindings and plan on shoeing away in Jay Cooke State Park or up the Superior Hiking Trail.  Both have great trails to test out the snowshoes, and don’t forget to take your camera along to capture what might be the only storm of 2012.

Dive into good book – My favorites are from Sigurd Olson or John Krakauer. With Olson you can relax and enjoy the soothing picture he paints of the wilderness complete with sights and sounds. Reading Krakauer gives you the vicarious experience of high drama adventure.

Spread the maps out and route a trip – Now this sounds more like it! Stretch all your maps out on the floor and plan a trip for the summer of 2012. Choose an entry point, book it at Recreation.gov, and if you have any questions give an expert at the Duluth Pack store a call.

There you go, now you have a few ideas to help you spend your snow day. My plan is to grab the camera and get some shots of the gently falling snow. OK, maybe not so gently.

The Lowdown, Trip Planning

Make your BWCAW permit reservation online and pick-up at the Duluth Pack Store

February 20, 2012
Moose River North

Open water is just around the corner and to get a head start toward planning your Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) adventure for 2012 head to Recreation.gov to reserve your permit. Making your permit reservation online is a fairly easy process and it takes one more thing off the check list before you head into the woods.

1. Go to Recreation.govand create an account with username and password.

2. Navigate to the BWCAW portion of the website.

3. On the left side of the screen choose; overnight paddle, your desired entry point, and entry date.

4. Now, one little trick as you are wandering around looking for an entry point, search by “Date Range Availability” to view the entry point for more than one day.

5. Select an available date to enter and click book permit.

6. Fill out form on the next page with the required information, entry date and entry point will already be in the appropriate boxes.

Plug in the exit date. This is a flexible date, and can be changed. Entry date, however is a hard and fast date once you book the permit.

Enter the number of people in your party, nine is the maximum and two is the minimum. You can always add and subtract people right up until the moment your permit is issued. If you are going to be a solo enter “two” now and the permit issuing station will amend to “one” on the day you pick up your permit.

– If your party has more than 9 people you will need two permits and you can’t travel or camp together.

Enter the number of boats in the party, four is maximum. Like the number of people this can be changed until the moment your permit is issued.

- Permit Issuing Station – Choose Duluth Pack – if you don’t choose a station it will default to the ranger station closest your entry point.

- Enter names of alternate leaders, this is a great idea because if for some reason you as group leader can’t make the trip one of the alternate leaders can be issued the permit. Without alternate leaders identified nobody else can be issued the permit.

7. Place in shopping cart.

8. Pay with credit card.

9. Get your gear ready and in your canoe packs.

9. Pick up your permit at the Duluth Pack Store in Canal Park the day before or the day of your trip.

It is that easy. But if you would like to know more before booking your permit or routing your trip head on down to the Duluth Pack Store, and one of the experts will lay out the maps to help you plan your trip.