I got one of those from the same guy that i got the wannigan from, it's been hanging on the wall for almost 25 years, I guess I should check it out.
Very cool that you were able to use wood that has meaning to you and is part of your historyThanks to Lowangle Al’s thread here…I have started my build for a Wanigan as I progress in my restoration of my WC canoe… first sanding of outside completed… for the bottom and short sides I used reclaimed yellow pine from my boyhood farm house the rest is 1/4 pine plywood … please excuse my lack of woodworking skills,,, but I believe it will be functional
How do you use your packbasket? I use mine to carry water bottles, fuel bottles, stove, kitchen gear, lantern if I take it etc. I always get compliments and questions about it. One ranger in Algonquin who came into camp to check permits, was very intrigued by it. Incidentally I made the packbasket, since I couldn’t afford to buy one. It’s of the potbelly style. I now know why they charge so much for themI used a wanigan for the first time on a recent trip and really liked it. I have had this wanigan since 1999 when I acquired it from a dear friend. He was moving out of state and left me with everything he didn't know what to do with. It marked the end of an era when my garage had a place for everything and everything was in it's place. I never really evaluated the box, mostly because I didn't want to have to find a place to put everything that was in it and also because I was happy with my current packing system.
On this trip I had to make some changes, as I was down one Duluth pack that I took back East to do trips there, so I took a closer look at this box. It was the right size, but the wood wasn't treated or waterproofed. It was very simply made with rope handles and cotton webbing for hinges that were screwed on. I did notice that it had runners on the bottom to keep it out of the bilge and off of the ground so I thought maybe Helmuth did use this on trips. He was a veteran of many season long trips that he did by raft. Looking closer at the box I could see some faded writing on it that said "fragile glass." It was then that I guessed that Helmuth did take this on trips and probably had his booze in it.
I found the wanigan to be a very practical addition to my kit. It fits nicely in the boat, it protects fragile items from being crushed, and best of all it doubles as a chair or table. It can also be used for items that you may need access to while underway because it is so easy to get into. This was a no portage trip, but I don't think I would have a problem carrying it when needed. I would probably throw it on top of another pack for a carry.
I found it to be a very useful piece of gear and like the pack basket I added last year it makes things easier and more comfortable on a trip. I have found that using this old traditional gear, including my canvas tent, does make a trip more comfortable and it goes a long way in increasing our enjoyment in general. I think I need to make another one for my East coast kit where I can combine it with using the pack baskets.
I have never used a wannigan but I imagine that it just has a traditional, almost romance feel to it. Some of the new gear is better than the old, some is not, some is just different, and some is virtually the same. The difference being that the traditional gear has a better aesthetic that can remind you of simpler timesI know wannigans are honored traditional gear. Please don’t jump all over me for asking, but what makes a wannigan different from the Rubbermaid Action Packer box I’ve been using? Functionally, both seem to be boxes. What am I missing?
I don't use the pack baskets and the wannigan on the same trip because the wannigan is in Ak. and the baskets are part of my East coast kit, but they basically carry the same stuff. The wannigan holds my axe, saw, cook kit, repair kit, fishing gear and any fragile items, like eggs or anything in a glass container. I take two baskets when tripping tandem and they hold about the same stuff with the addition of food (in a roll top dry bag) canteen, bug spray, and my wife and I each have a dry bag with our personal stuff that goes on top for easy access.How do you use your packbasket? I use mine to carry water bottles, fuel bottles, stove, kitchen gear, lantern if I take it etc. I always get compliments and questions about it. One ranger in Algonquin who came into camp to check permits, was very intrigued by it. Incidentally I made the packbasket, since I couldn’t afford to buy one. It’s of the potbelly style. I now know why they charge so much for them
I think the important thing is that your gear matches your tripping style and packing strategy. Using modern gear like roll top dry bags combined with traditional gear works best for me. The traditional gear, Duluth packs, wannigans, and baskets make life much easier on a trip but may have a weight penalty. I like easy, I don't like having to stuff my gear when packing so I like roomy packs, and I like using a tump and hate a hip belt. I also find that by using traditional gear I have easy access to anything I might need and never have to dig far to get to something.I have never used a wannigan but I imagine that it just has a traditional, almost romance feel to it. Some of the new gear is better than the old, some is not, some is just different, and some is virtually the same. The difference being that the traditional gear has a better aesthetic that can remind you of simpler times