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Duluth style packs

Had the pack out this past week hopping around the lake in Downeast Maine (trip report to follow). Here it is on West Grand Lake. It worked as expected and was a pleasure to have. Boatman53 is right -- although the flap is the same size as a Duluth pack, it does need to be about 2-3 inches longer.

Next, I'm going to make a pack along the lines of the Woods pack and then start offering them for sale at realistic prices. I don't know what I'll call the company yet. Something that includes reference to Maine and Maine made. Open to suggestions.

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Nice picture, I have wished for a longer flap on my #3 many times, good idea.

I don't know what I'll call the company yet. Something that includes reference to Maine and Maine made.

I've seen "Mainely" many times, (probably too many) as in "Mainely Canoe Packs".
"Downeast Canoe Packs" "Maine Line Canoe Packs" "NorthWoods Canoe Pack"
 
“The Maine Woods Pack” thanks to Hank D. Thoreau for the inspiration or “Art D-eluxe Pack Company”.
I am starting to skim coinage from my retirement account to my must have one of those packs.
My now discontinued Duluth Pack Company, Northwoods Pack (their version of the Woods Pack) is cavernous, so I keep adding stuff, when completely stuffed and the three inside compression flaps tightened, the closing flap is also a few inches shorter than I would like. I do like the two slip pockets at the bottom of the two sides, one holds my sheathed axe, safely stowed but easily accessible. The other holds a pack rod or two in their protective cases.
I am looking forward to seeing the prototype.
…….BB
 
...Open to suggestions.
Whatever you decide on, one suggestion I'd make is to check the web for your chosen brand name. Ideally, the name won't be taken on any social media and will be available as a dotcom. Even if you never develop a website, buy the URL. (costs $12 a year if you buy it through Google)
 
Here are some pics of my pack. I never thought about what number it was or much about it except to use it. I always thought it was a Duluth Pack but I can’t make out the logo any more, maybe someone will recognize it.
This is what I was remembering when I commented on the flap. The flap actually covers the buckle.
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Here it is opened up. It does have the pocket on the front that I personally like.
8AC84F43-AF6D-4E30-BD90-0B38827A713E.jpeg
And here is the logo, if anyone recognizes it.
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Not counting hems or seams here are the dimensions, all approximate.
The pocket is 13”x13”. Approximately 28” wide and the main pouch is 25 1/2” deep. Since it is one piece of fabric, from the top edge down the back and up the front is 70” again not counting seams or hems. It’s well made with leather reinforcement to strengthen the seam at the top of the main pouch.
If you want more measurements let me know. Since you are in Maine if you ever come to the Rockland area let me know and we can get together so you can see it first hand. I might even want to buy one.
Jim
 
Jim……
Looks to me like a really sun & rain bleached Monarch model of a Duluth Pack from back a few different ownerships ago. They were made with 18 oz canvas with some other details, which I can’t remember (extra stitches?Double bottom?). That’s what my 1968 one is, but mine has faded to a slightly olive gray.
I’ll take it out into brighter light with a magnifying glass in the afternoon. Thinking it was a moose head with MONARCH arched over it.
……..Birchy
 
Yes Birchy, it does have a double bottom that I failed to mention. I didn’t want to influence anyone but I do believe it is a moose inside the logo and now that you said it I believe it does say monarch.
I have two and they were purchased in late ‘68 or early ‘69. My mentor was a youth director at the YMCA and he was a guide in the BWCA. Myself and eight other kids from high school formed a little canoe club, did fund raising, purchased all our own gear for a trip (cook kit, reflector oven, packs, tarps, etc, all the shared gear). As we were all heading off to college there didn’t seem to be interest from new people so we just divided up the gear between ourselves, I got two packs.
Jim
 
I dug out my canoe packs this afternoon, my #3 from 1968 showed nothing. A lesser used #3, that was given to me by an old college friend, had faint moose head with MONARCH above in an arc. I then looked at a #2 that I have, it has the moose head, the MONARCH above it and below the moose head the word BRAND in inverted arc, in very legible black print.
They look and appear to be same vintage as Jim’s pack.
Great old packs that carry very fond memories.
I’m heading to Duluth to pick up a Gordon Setter bird dog puppy soon, will be taking a younger Northwoods Duluth Pack as luggage. I don’t trust my old canoe packs to the baggage handlers any more, the new pack doesn’t have many memories yet. Friends have volunteered to take me fishing in the Canoe Country for a few days.
 
Yes Birchy, it does have a double bottom that I failed to mention. I didn’t want to influence anyone but I do believe it is a moose inside the logo and now that you said it I believe it does say monarch.
I have two and they were purchased in late ‘68 or early ‘69. My mentor was a youth director at the YMCA and he was a guide in the BWCA. Myself and eight other kids from high school formed a little canoe club, did fund raising, purchased all our own gear for a trip (cook kit, reflector oven, packs, tarps, etc, all the shared gear). As we were all heading off to college there didn’t seem to be interest from new people so we just divided up the gear between ourselves, I got two packs.
Jim
It sounds like you made out pretty well on that deal Jim, unless everyone got two packs. Then you all made out.
 
This is not a Duluth style pack but I wanted to follow up on my earlier post when I said I was making a Woods style pack to go along with the #3 I had just made. Well, it's not exactly a Woods knock-off, but I like it. My goal was to create a minimalist pack of canvas, leather and metal. I am not a fan of pockets and all the straps you see on so many packs today. I think this bag get's me close.

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The bag measures 24T x 18W x 7.5 deep. It's made of #10 (15 ounce) pre-washed cotton duck canvas. The leather is Latigo, which is perfect for outdoor use.. The buckles are stainless steel.

I did not include compression straps or side handles. I never use them on my other bags; when I want to move or lift a bag, I grab it by the flap. Since there are no compression straps, I did include lash patches on both side panels to secure an axe handle or tent poles. I am rethinking the idea of a handled centered just above where the should straps attach and will probably put one on.

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I went with a more traditional flap. I like the idea of the double flap on a Woods pack but think the more standard single flap with long-ish straps will give me more flexibility when portaging. However, I did make it with side flaps as well as grommets front and back. When all these points are cinched together as shown, it really gives the top of the bag structure and makes for a more comfortable carry.

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You will probably notice that I set my rivets from the inside out, which is different than typically done by Duluth and Frost River. I know of no advantage to have the peened end inside the bag and can think of a big disadvantage in that sharp burr that typically forms will make quick work of a plastic bag liner. The way I did it, the bag is all smooth inside. The one exception is where the should straps attach. I peened those in the inside the ensure a smooth surface against my back, but I also took great care in the peening to make sure to eliminate the sharp burr.

Everyone gave me really useful feedback when I posted pictures of the #3 and I'd appreciate your thoughts this time. I have a few construction details to work out but plan on offering these for sale in the future and want to make sure it meets the needs of my fellow canoeists. Looking back, I said I would probably offer the #3 for $250 -- far below what the big boys charge. The above protype would probably cost $275.

Also a big thank you to Robin, who let me borrow a Woods pack to study for this project. We had a great visit when I went to his house to pick up the Woods pack, and I look forward to visiting again when I return the pack in the next week or so.

Art
 
Here are some pics of my pack. I never thought about what number it was or much about it except to use it. I always thought it was a Duluth Pack but I can’t make out the logo any more, maybe someone will recognize it.
This is what I was remembering when I commented on the flap. The flap actually covers the buckle.
View attachment 136489
Here it is opened up. It does have the pocket on the front that I personally like.
View attachment 136487
And here is the logo, if anyone recognizes it.
View attachment 136488
Not counting hems or seams here are the dimensions, all approximate.
The pocket is 13”x13”. Approximately 28” wide and the main pouch is 25 1/2” deep. Since it is one piece of fabric, from the top edge down the back and up the front is 70” again not counting seams or hems. It’s well made with leather reinforcement to strengthen the seam at the top of the main pouch.
If you want more measurements let me know. Since you are in Maine if you ever come to the Rockland area let me know and we can get together so you can see it first hand. I might even want to buy one.
Jim
Jim, I am up the road in Camden. Would be happy to grab a coffee sometime.

Art
 
That's a great looking side panel pack, Art.

I am not a fan of pockets and all the straps you see on so many packs today.

My primary feedback is I am a huge fan of the side panel pockets on my Duluth Cruiser pack, so much so that I always choose that pack over my traditional envelope Duluth. I use the side panel pockets for things that I may want immediate access to and which I don't care about getting wet. Specifically, those things are my 10'x12' silnylon tarp, my gravity water filter bag/tube system, and my folding Silky saw.

For my packing and retrieval preferences, a long pocket on each side panel with lash patches on each side pocket (or pocket flap) would provide wonderful flexibility.

I don't care about waist belts or sternum straps (or even tump straps, really).
 
That's a great looking side panel pack, Art.



My primary feedback is I am a huge fan of the side panel pockets on my Duluth Cruiser pack, so much so that I always choose that pack over my traditional envelope Duluth. I use the side panel pockets for things that I may want immediate access to and which I don't care about getting wet. Specifically, those things are my 10'x12' silnylon tarp, my gravity water filter bag/tube system, and my folding Silky saw.

For my packing and retrieval preferences, a long pocket on each side panel with lash patches on each side pocket (or pocket flap) would provide wonderful flexibility.

I don't care about waist belts or sternum straps (or even tump straps, really).

Thanks, Glenn.
 
That’s a nice pack at a good price, you have some real talent. The leather looks great against that green canvas, and I like that idea of the side flaps with those grommets front and back.
I also like those lash patches and pockets.
 
I just came home from picking up a new Gordon Setter bird dog pup in Culver, Minnesota, which is 15-20 minutes out of Duluth. While waiting for the pup to get old enough to to fly, as carry on luggage and to get a health certificate, I visited both Duluth Pack & Frost River Pack stores. My impression is that your pack surpasses their packs in looks and craftsmanship. Everything you need in a tripping pack, packed right and tight with no extraneous bells, nor whistles. I really like the lash patches in conjunction with the small pockets will be great for pack fly rods, tent poles. folding saw and appropriate sized axe. The internal flap grommet arrangement is an improvement over the standard box style grommet system. The latigo leather is a plus also in my estimation, used by horse & mule packers in heavier weight leather for all their leather needs. What oz. weight leather did you use?
Nice sized too for those of use that can’t pack a cast iron kitchen sink anymore or those that prefer to camp with minimal essential gear.
Anyone needing a canoe tripping would be smart to get on your waiting list sooner rather than later.
Well done.
…….Birchy
 
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