Tag Archives: canoe pack

Senator Klobuchar watches work on the sewing floor at Duluth Pack

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar Visits Duluth Pack

Senator Klobuchar watches work on the sewing floor at Duluth Pack

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar visited the Duluth Pack factory on January 5, 2012 as part of her “Made in America” tour of Northern Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar stopped in five cities and visited companies as part of a tour that has stopped in more than 20 businesses across the state. The Senator’s tour is designed to showcase successful Minnesota companies and job creation in the state.

First stop on Wednesday was LINDAR in Brainerd/Baxter, a plastics thermoforming company that specializes in stock plastic containers and custom plastic parts. Next was on to Park Rapids for a tour of their downtown and Main Street. Next was a roundtable discussion on tourism and broadband communications at the New Frontier Resort.

Thursday morning saw a stop at the Bemidji City Council Chambers to present the Red Cross “Lifesaving Award of Merit.” Senator Klobuchar presented the award to Kelsey Johnson who saved the life of her stepfather during a seizure. The next stop was a business tour of the Terex Construction Americas facility in Grand Rapids. At that facility Terex manufactures compact construction equipment.

In the afternoon it was here to Duluth Pack! After introductions and a quick stand up interview with the local TV news stations we toured our 100-year-old factory. The Senator was gracious and eager to learn about the past, present, and future of Duluth Pack. She also shared with us childhood memories of her family loading Duluth Packs for their adventures into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Senator Klobuchar took great interest while the watching the process on the sewing floor and in the riveting department. She also paid great attention while examining the numerous fabrics and leathers in the cutting department. Our wool bags appeared to capture special regard from the Senator, and I have a feeling a Hitchcock patterned Shell Bag is in her future.

Great thanks go out from all of us here at Duluth Pack to Senator Amy Klobuchar and everyone from her office that visited us here in Duluth. Best of luck in the future on your  “Innovate America Act.” We hope that sharing our company and manufacturing process with you will help promote innovation and America’s ability to compete in this global economy.

slat-grill-photo-outdoors

Great New Outdoor Adventure Product for 2012: Slat Grill

Here is one of the great new products for your outdoor adventures in 2012. The Slat Grill designed by Chris Weyandt of St. Paul, MN and built in the USA is perfect for camping, hiking, or any other trek into the woods. This grill is simple to set up and use, extremely versatile in heat source and configuration. It is also extremely portable, packing down to just 18” by 5” by 2” in its handy, canvas carry case. When packed it will easily slide into the outer pockets on a #3 Cruiser or the Kitchen Pack.

The Slat Grill debuted at the Midwest Mountaineering Winter Expo in Minneapolis last month. That was the first chance I had to see it, and for me it was an instant hit. Chris had two different stoves going under the grill and was cooking up a storm. The Slat Grill will not only accommodate gas-fired stoves, but charcoal or a wonderful open campfire will serve as heat sources. The half moon cut outs allow for a remote fuel source such as the MSR WindPro and they also serve as vents to let fire breathe as needed.

Set up is amazingly easy and requires no tools. Assemble the expedition grade box, (measures 18″x12″x4″) lay in the slats, or skewers, and use the chains to move it into position over the fire. By configuring the nine slats in any way you like a variety of pots, pans, or griddles can sit on top. Made from hard-anodized, lightweight aluminum the grill will take on a nice patina over time, but it is corrosion resistant, and clean up is easy with a scrubbie and some Bar Keepers Friend. And best of all, it is guaranteed for life.

As you make your plan to head into the Quetico next summer, you must have the Slat Grill on your gear list. Remember there are no fire grates in the Quetico. And, just imagine after a long hard push across the Yum-Yum portage sitting back and watching steaks sizzle on the Slat Grill. Great meals make for great canoe trips.

Keep checking in with the blog during the next couple of weeks as I bring you more great outdoor adventure products for 2012.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

A fisherman goes after the y-bones on a Northern

How to remove the Y-bones from a Northern Pike

It has to be one of the toughest skills to learn as a fisherman, getting those annoying y-bones out cleanly from a Northern Pike filet. Speaking for myself, I have not conquered the skill, so I have called upon a master fisherman to provide some expertise. Realizing there are several ways to filet a fish, this just happens to be the way I was taught. The instructions below will be a paraphrase and combination of two styles.

Personally, I like a very sharp knife with a thin blade. I have two Rapala knives and I prefer the thinner blade which seems to be sharper and much more flexible. Some people prefer a blade not as sharp, this is really a personal preference.

1. Filet the fish as you normally would, taking the ribs out and leaving the skin on. Hold your knife vertically and take a quick swipe of the filet to expose the remaining bones. Important to remember that pike bones angle upwards toward the spine of the fish.

2. You will see two lines on the fish, one solid white and one broken (these are the tips of the y-bones), approximately 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch apart. Between the solid white line and the y-bones cut vertically 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep from the head of the filet to the start of the anal fin.

3. Just outside of the broken line (y-bones), cut 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep from the head of the filet to the start of the anal fin. Go easy here, you don’t want to cut through the bones.

4. Going back to the y-bone line cut you just made cut 1/2 inch horizontally following the bones to their end. There is a gentle twisting motion to the knife as you follow the y-bones, slicing gently.

5. Now go back and cut again, making 1/2 cuts until you get to the end. Do not slice through the skin or come out the end of the filet, remembering that the bones should end about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch from the skin.

6. On the solid line slice horizontally on the underside of the y-bones working from head to tail. Again, use that twisting motion as you follow the y-bones. You will see your blade through the opening side of the previous cuts as you work. Continue this until all the y-bones have been removed.

As with everything, this takes practice to become proficient. While I am still working on this skill my filets are looking less like something the dog has chewed on and something more worthy of the fry pan.

In the canoe pack I like to provide extra protection to my good knives, filet or otherwise. A good, hard case will do two things for you; 1. it will help keep those expensive knives from dulling or bending while in the pack. And 2. the hard case will keep the very sharp blades from exiting the canvas utensil roll or side of my Duluth Pack while bumping across a portage.

Enjoy, and fish on!

Salt Lake City

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, 2011

Twice a year, in Salt Lake City, Utah, outdoor retailers get together and share what’s new and what’s hot for the coming year. And while not lucky enough to attend this mammoth event on the Wasatch Front two weeks ago, I do have some great gear to share with you. This list is by no means all-encompassing, just a few cool items that caught my eye.

In one of my previous posts I shared with you Bending Branches new paddle the Black Pearl, $229.00. At only 14 ounces you have got to pick this one up to believe it.

The Vasque Taku GTX, $165.00 is a hiking boot for men that thinks it is a running shoe. This all leather, over the ankle boot takes just a few minutes to break in, and will be ready to go on an all day hike. With a breathable Gore-Tex lining, stiff midsole, and sticky rubber sole these boots are ready for the mountains.

IceBreaker for ladies has their Siren line of base layer tops and underwear. As with all Icebreaker, the Siren line is made from super soft Merino wool that is non-itch and extremely breathable. All the pieces look and fit great and have been designed with active, athletic women in mind. The line includes a cami ($50.00), a tank ($50.00), and a bikini bottom ($28.00).

For mountain bikers, Camelback is introducing the Charge LR hydration system, $100.00. For some time, the R&D department at Camelback has been working with a lumbar pack designed especially for the demands of mountain trails. And to listen to the testers they have got this one right. Low sloshing and great feeling should make this one a hit when it debuts in the fall.

Biking and high heels don’t really seem to go together, but leave it to Merrell to bridge that gap. The Evera MJ, $110.00, is high heel bike shoe with a rubber sole for grip, and a contoured bottom that fits right into the pedal. Expect to see these fashion forward Merrells sometime in February of 2012.

And never forget the Scout pack, the Wanderer, and all the canoe packs from Duluth Pack. We had an impressive booth there on the convention floor to share all our American Made products with both the initiated and the neophytes. From the feedback we are getting everyone loved the show and loved our gear.

See you next time, enjoy the new stuff!

Show me the way back to DuluthPack.com.

 

MyBear

Boundary Waters bear report for July 1, 2011

Thousands of visitors head into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) every year for a myriad of reasons. Some go for fishing, some just look forward to the solitude of the lakes and rivers, but almost every paddler wants to see wildlife. In my mind the big three of wildlife sightings in Minnesota are wolves, moose, and of course the friendly black bear.

Ursus americanus is North America’s smallest and most common species of bear, and they can be found all over the BWCAW. The majority of human encounters with black bears are completely harmless, and most can be chalked up to a great experience. However, there are a few pesky bears that could make your wilderness adventure somewhat more exciting.

Here is a quick report  (July 1, 2011) of a couple bears not working and playing well with others:

On Basswood Lake, across from Washington Island there is a bear cleaning up fish guts and food remains from a dirty campsite. This is another great reminder to keep your campsite clean and dispose of fish remains in a proper manner. Also, never take food into your tent; you don’t want a late night visit in your nylon home.

Along the middle arm of Knife Lake and the middle section of Kekekabic Lake there has been a sow and her cub cruising campsites looking for food. Good advice would be anytime you see a mother and her cub give them a nice, wide berth.

On Disappointment Lake there is a very persistent and vocal bear staking out one of the campsites. Apparently, this bear knows and remembers which trees have hidden food in the past. The bear comes into the campsite, checks out the pack-hanging trees, and will woof if confronted.

Hanging your food pack at night is a good idea, and the bear on Disappointment Lake brings up a couple of things to remember. First, choose a branch high enough off the ground that even if a bear does come into camp he can’t play “piñata” with your food pack. Second, keep the pack away from the trunk of the tree so when he climbs his long arms can’t just reach out and rip the pack open. Third, if you leave during the day take your food pack with you; there is just no reason to tempt a hungry bear.

Have a great time out in the woods this summer, and remember: you are a visitor in the BWCAW. The bears live there.