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duluth pack

The Lowdown

Duluth Pack Bracket Challenge – Round 1

March 14, 2012
#4 Duluth Pack in olive drab vs. the Northwoods pack in olive drab

• Round One of the Duluth Pack Bracket Challenge •

• #4 Duluth Pack in olive drab vs. the Northwoods Pack in olive drab •

Vote now in the comments! Gift card awarded in each round!

#4 Duluth Pack in olive drab vs. the Northwoods pack in olive drab

1. There are seven (7) total challenge rounds. One vote per person per challenge round – each vote cast will have a chance to win the drawing regardless of your challenge pick.

2. One person can have up to seven (7) total entries, one for each round – each of the seven (7) challenges will result in a gift card being awarded for the specified amount for that round.

3. A vote constitutes a Facebook comment, a blog comment, or a tweet. Each round ends at 11:59 pm of the day it was posted.

4. Duluth Pack employees and family members of employees are not eligible.

The final round will have a Grand Prize of a $100.00 Duluth Pack Gift Card.

The final drawing will be chosen from ALL entries, so be sure to enter each round.

Gear Talk, The Lowdown

The story of a highly experienced Duluth Pack Wanderer

February 6, 2012
The Wanderer pack high up on a Minnesota trail

The Wanderer pack high up on a Minnesota trail

Please allow me to share letter below, it is one of the many we receive from our fans who like to write and tell us about their experiences with their Duluth Pack. We love to know how you are using your pack, and how it is holding up on trail. The letter appears unedited and in its entirety. Also, please note that I address some of the suggestions at the end of the letter.

I’ve owned the Wanderer since 2007, abusing it as my field pack for work and carrying it as my “man-bag” almost daily.  I’ve taken this bag with me nearly every day of the past five years, worn it for 16+ hours at a time with 20+ lbs in it, and have used it in all four seasons in northern Minnesota.  It’s been stepped on, slammed in doors, dragged through the mud and over rocks and between trees, submerged, frozen, dropped, thrown, and barfed on (I have young kids).

The cotton canvas is a great material.  It’s durable, quiet, comfortable to wear in the hot summer, dries quickly when wet, and is easy to wash.  The only wear on the pack is slight fraying of the shoulder straps, and a dime-sized hole on the outside of one of the outer water bottle pockets.  (Where the water bottles in the pack rub against trees).  In rain, the contents of the pack stay dry, to mostly dry.  The stitching, leather straps, leather cinch cord, rivets, and buckles have also held up perfectly.  The cotton has faded, but that’s to be expected.

It’s a good-sized daypack.  The pack will easily hold all my field gear for a day’s work (lunch, water bottles, camera, GPS, maps, flagging, tools, foldable shovel, field notebook, field guides, fleece vest, rain jacket, etc.).  Any clothing items that don’t fit in the main compartment can be rolled up, tucked under the main flap, and secured with the long straps.  Shoulder straps can be lengthened to accommodate larger winter jackets, or shortened to wear shirtless.  The outer bottle pockets add width to the pack and sometimes make it difficult to squeeze between trees (or between people at a grocery store), but it’s usually not an issue.

SUGGESTIONS:

–This pack has an unpadded back, and bulky/pointy items (field notebooks, equipment, tools, etc.) should be packed deliberately between soft items (or on the outside of the cargo pocket) to maximize the user’s comfort for extended use.  Sometimes I find myself packing an extra article of clothing with which to pad equipment…not a big deal, but sometimes annoying at the end of a long day.  A flat “map” pocket built in the main cargo pocket (on the strap-side of the pack) could be used for holding padding.  (If a back pad was included that could double as a diaper-changing pad , it’d get super bonus points…)

–This pack is not particularly suited to carrying heavy weight for long periods of time.  For most users, this may not be an issue, but a waist belt and pack stays (to transfer pack weight from the shoulders to the hips/waist) might be a welcome modification for those that carry heavy loads for long periods of time.  A sternum strap might also be nice…

–This pack might benefit from some strategically placed leather patches on areas that are likely to receive heavy wear or repeated abrasion.  (Bottom of pack, bottom of water bottle pockets)

Overall, the Wanderer is a super daypack for most users/uses, with quality materials and workmanship and a very nice style.  Those looking for a pack to carry weightier or bulkier items may want to look to a more modern pack, or petition Duluth Pack for some upgrades.  :-)  This pack is worth the cost, and I love supporting local business.  Thanks, Duluth Pack! ~ D

D, thank you so much for taking the time to write and share your Wanderer story with us. Rest assured that we are listening and while there is no single pack that can address every need we are trying to make our bags the most versatile in the field.

First, let me point out that we have two daypacks that have a map pocket hidden under the flap. Both the Guide Pack and the Rambler have a zippered pocket under the main flap, which work great for small pocket guides and maps.

Second, while wear and tear is not covered under our lifetime warranty we will repair bags that have become worn.  Additionally, we will customize bags with leather patches or heavy weight canvas in what you see as potentially high wear areas. While a leather bottom will add weight and cost to a bag, it is a great idea to add durability and good looks to a pack.

Third, let me point you to the Bushcrafter pack, designed especially for Duluth Pack by Mike Lummio of the Bushcraft Northwest. This pack is slimmer in design and slides easily between trees and tight spaces on trail. The Bushcrafter also includes some of the features you were looking for: padded straps, waist belt, and sternum strap. It is designed for heavy loads over a period of days and is getting great reviews from those who have put it to the test.

Thanks again for taking the time to share with us. Anyone who has a story to tell or a question to ask, may send their emails to me at: [email protected]. If I can’t get the answer, I know how to find the answer.

The Lowdown

Growing Up with Duluth Pack

December 22, 2011
Nikolai relaxing in his very first Duluth Pack

Nikolai relaxing in his very first Duluth Pack

Thanks so much to Ben and Katey for sharing these great photos of their son Nikolai with us. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

Hi Duluth Pack folks,

As soon as our son was born 14 months ago, my parents ran down to Duluth Pack to buy him his first pack - he was only about 1 day old!

Beginning in the hospital and every few months since, we’ve put him in the pack for a shameless photo-op.

I thought you’d enjoy our “14 months of a first Duluth Pack”.

Have a great holiday season,

Ben & Katey; Duluth, Minnesota

The Lowdown

Duluth Pack’s Twelve Days of Christmas

December 2, 2011
A snowy day in Jay Cooke State Park

It’s that time of year when people are shopping, making their lists, and checking them twice.  The smell of gingerbread and hot chocolate is the air, with the twinkle of lights all around.  It’s a busy time of year, and we all know the excitement (or headaches for some) that is brought on by holiday shopping.  Budgeting for gifts, travel, food, and everything else can be trying, especially in today’s tough economic climate.  Most shoppers are looking for bargains and deals, basically anything to stretch their dollar just a little further this holiday season.

Duluth Pack will be adding to the shopping festivities by offering their 3rd annual, and highly anticipated, 12 Days of Christmas daily specials.  Starting December 5th and ending December 16th, Duluth Pack will have one (1) special offer per day with discounts up to 50% off.  And to make it even more exciting, each daily offer will be kept secret until the email release each morning.  For Duluth locals, the each daily offer will also be available for purchase at the Duluth Pack Flagship Store in historic Canal Park.

If you are interested in participating in this once-a-year event, all you need to do is sign up for the Duluth Pack email newsletter at DuluthPack.com. 

On a personal note: thanks so much to Betsy Mistek who served as our guest blogger today. Great post Betsy.

 

 

 

 

 

Techniques & Advice, The Lowdown

Tips to improve your travel photography

October 13, 2011
A man sits on a step in Bhaktipur, Nepal

With the advent of the digital camera everyone has become a photographer in one form or another. From the professional carrying the Canon 1Ds to the amateur with the built-in SmartPhone camera, the majority of people can capture an image at anytime. And whether your destination is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or Timbuktu, here are a couple simple tips to think about before you press the button.

  1.  Fill the Frame – Once you have chosen your subject think about the elements that surround. Does all that sky enhance the photo or is it not necessary? If I remove all those trees branches and zoom in on my subject will it be a better photo? Now fill up that frame with your subject and let the background clutter fall away. And remember: the most powerful zoom lens you have is your feet, so get close to your subject.
  2. Rule of Thirds – There is an old saying among old photographers: “Dead center is dead boring.” When you are framing a photo draw mental lines, and divide it like a tic-tac-toe board. This works if you are framing a photo horizontally or vertically. Now, try to get your subject to fall on one of those lines you have mentally drawn. Better yet, get your focal point right where two of those lines cross. And for all landscape shots, get the horizon off the centerline.
  3. Not every photo has to be posed – The best travel photographers talk and interact with the people they are photographing. This not only creates a rapport with the subjects, but also gets them to relax and let down their guard. Great photos are captured when people are at ease and their most natural. A big smile or a cheesy grin becomes an image which is just that.

Next time you pull your camera out of the canoe pack give one, or a couple of these tips a try and see if you like your photos more. And when you capture that really special image from the trail send it to us here at Duluth Pack and we will post it online. Who knows you might even win our next photo contest and become a Duluth Pack celebrity.

The Lowdown

Duluth Pack Photo Contest!

April 21, 2011
Beargrease

We are always overwhelmed with the photographs we receive so we are excited for another round of photos for our contest. We are looking for winter photos with Duluth Pack products but they don’t need to be to win. Past winners have been on the front covers of our catalog!

Here are the details:

1. Submit your photos to [email protected]

2. Photos must be high-resolution and in digital format.

3. Photos must contain any product made by Duluth Pack.

4. You may submit as many photos as you wish.

5. Photos must be submitted by Midnight CST Wednesday, May 18th, 2011.

5. Duluth Pack will have rights to photos submitted and can be used for marketing purposes.

1st place = $100 Duluth Pack Gift Card
2nd place = $50 Duluth Pack Gift Card
3rd place = $25 Duluth Pack Gift Card

Thanks and have fun!

The Lowdown

Experts in our midst: Duluth

March 8, 2011
JonF

After joining the team at Duluth Pack in Canal Park I quickly learned how much talent and experience is under that roof. While to the outside observer it may simply appear as a retail location, but there are people working with me who have outfitted, photographed, and traveled all over Minnesota and the world. Please indulge me while I introduce a few of them to you.

First, I would like to introduce you to former staffer, Chris Gibbs of C5 Photography. Chris is now an outdoors and adventure photographer who specializes in the beauty of the winter season. In January, Chris spoke at the store and shared with us photos and stories of winter trips into the Boundary Waters and the Quetico Provincial Park. He recently traveled as an imbed photographer with a John Beargrease team, and got some great shots.

Our next presentation at the store will be on March 24, and the subject is a father/daughter canoe trip into the Quetico. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the lakes, rivers, and sights of the Quetico. I am sure the dynamics of the father/child relationship will also play a role in their story. Additionally, it will provide a chance to plot your own course and ask questions in regards to routing in the park.

Second, let me introduce you to our team member responsible for our canoe packs at Duluth Pack, Ian Smith. While being young, Ian has worked several seasons as an outfitter, and knows the applications of our gear like the back of his hand. Whether you have pack questions, or routing and map questions seek out Ian to get good answers.

Third, is our most well rounded adventurer and store manager, Jon Farchmin. Jon has the unique qualification of seeing the BWCA and the Quetico not only in summer, but also through extensive trips in the winter. Jon has routes, campsites, and many secrets that only one who has been there can share. And let’s not forget all the wonderful gear, Jon knows his gear very well.

An inland waters guru like myself is in good company at Duluth Pack store. While I have joked that I am more comfortable on water then on land, I have co-workers who would likely make the same statement. We all enjoy having you visit us down in Canal Park, and with ice out just around the corner, we look forward to helping you plan and gear up for your summer trips.

Thanks for the great post Captain Brad! You are also a great addition to the Duluth Pack team!

Post By: Brad Putney - Captain Brad Putney considers himself an inland waters guru, having been at the helm of everything from a ten foot inflatable to an America’s Cup yacht. In the summer the Captain works as an outfitter in Ely and is presently a sales associate at Duluth Pack in Canal Park.

The Lowdown

Come see us at the Minnesota State Fair!

August 30, 2010

fairWe will be at the Great Minnesota Get Together again this year! This is our favorite time of year! We get to get out on the road and meet our friends and fans, hear their stories, and of course make new friends. People are excited to see that our products are STILL made in Duluth, MN and have been for 128 years! Each bag is hand sewn, hand riveted and hand signed. We offer a lifetime guarantee on our craftsmanship!

After you ride the rides, and eat your fill of items on a stick, stop in and say hi! We are in the Empire Commons Building/Dairy Building. Home of the famous butterheads and milkshakes.  Last year was a great year when we won the “Outstanding Consession” Award.  So come and see why!

PS – A little tip, the “rueben-on-a-stick is amazing”. What is your favorite item on a stick?

The Lowdown

Duluth Pack and Blog?

April 21, 2009

Porier pack on our founder

I just realized what an oxymoron these two terms are. Duluth Pack and Blog. After 127 years we are steeped in a rich tradition, making packs the same way for years, our tried and true method. In 1882, what would our founder Camille Poirier, have to say about the concept of a blog? Unimaginable!

Yet, here we are launching our blog, acknowledging the fact that outside these factory walls life moves forward. Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t coming into the 21st century kicking and screaming. Moreover we are excited about a whole new world to share our history and our pride in craftsmanship. We plan on sharing a lot more as well. We love this company, city and surrounding lands. We have a product to fit in with anyone, anywhere. We can’t wait to begin to sharing the old with the new.