World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Duluth pack

Article Id: WHEBN0005034846
Reproduction Date:

Title: Duluth pack  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hiking equipment, Canoe camping, Luggage, Camping equipment, Portmanteau (luggage)
Collection: Bags, Bags (Fashion), Camping Equipment, Hiking Equipment, Luggage
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Duluth pack

Number 4 Duluth pack, canvas and leather style. The number 4 has a "set out" and so is "box" shaped.
Number 4 Duluth pack. The dangling strap is an unfastened side cinch. The tump line has been removed; the buckle is where it was attached.

A Duluth pack is traditional portage pack used in canoe travel, particularly in the Boundary Waters region of northern Minnesota and the Quetico Provincial Park of Ontario. A specialized type of backpack, Duluth packs are made of heavy canvas and leather or cordura nylon, and are nearly square in order to fit easily in the bottom of a canoe.


  • Description 1
  • History 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Number 3 Duluth pack, canvas and leather style. The #3 has no "set out" and so is envelope-shaped.
Number 3 Duluth pack, canvas and leather style.

A Duluth pack is a specialized type of backpack made of heavy canvas and leather or cordura nylon. The packs are a traditional portage pack which are nearly square in order to fit easily in the bottom of a canoe.

These packs are portaged, along with the canoe, between lakes on wilderness canoe trips. The typical Duluth pack consists of a single large envelope which is closed by straps and roller buckles rather than a zipper. The largest numbered standard (#4) have a "set-out" and so is shaped as a box rather than as an envelope. The pack is carried by two shoulder straps, and sometimes a tumpline worn over the top of the head. They are made in several sizes, traditionally referred to by numbers (such as #2, #3, and #4). #2 is the smallest commonly numbered size; #4 is the largest, with approximately 8,000 cubic inches of interior storage.

Their key attributes make them well adapted to wilderness canoe camping where travel is largely by water (where the packs and gear do not need to be carried) punctuated by portages where the packs and gear need to be carried over land:

  • They are generally larger than other packs, accommodating a larger quantity of gear. Canoe camping typically involves carrying more and heavier gear than, for example, backpacking.
  • They must be built strong, carrying heavy loads even when exposure to the elements can weaken certain pack materials such as by saturation of leather.
  • Their shape accommodates large volumes while remaining compact, and their design has few protuberances. This allows better fitting into canoes, less snagging during loading and unloading, less "catching" of the wind when traveling, and packing lower in canoes to lower the center of gravity to enhance canoe stability.
  • They are not tall above the wearer's shoulders (such as backpacking packs typically are) allowing the wearer to also carry a canoe.
  • Some have a tumpline which assists weight distribution with heavy loads.

Conversely, they lack many features and attributes of long distance backpacking type backpacks, and so are generally not used for such. The rugged canvas and leather style of Duluth packs has become fashionable, and other products (e.g. purses, computer cases, smaller packs) are now produced and offered in this same style.


The Duluth Pack is named after the city of Duluth, Minnesota, where they were invented.[1]

The Duluth pack has its roots in a French-Canadian named Camille Poirier, who made his way west to Duluth, Minnesota.[2] Arriving in 1870 with his "little stock of leather and tools", he began a small shoe store and quickly made a go of it in this booming frontier town on the shores of Lake Superior.[2] Out of his small shoe shop on the waterfront, Camille began building a new style canoe pack with a tumpline, sternum strap, and umbrella holder. Patented by Mr. Poirer in 1882, the original #3 Duluth Packs have changed little since they were first introduced.

In 1911, Camille sold off the canoe pack business to Duluth Tent and Awning on West Superior Street in Duluth, MN. Headquartered at this location for the last 100 years, and now known as Duluth Pack. In the 1920s as America began its love affair with the automobile, so Duluth Pack built "auto packs" that would clamp to the running boards of the car to hold extra gear. Auto camping was becoming all the rage and Duluth Pack was helping to build the forerunner to the first RV in America.


  1. ^ Meyers, John (July 16, 2011). "Duluth Pack celebrates 100 years". Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Autobiography of Camille Poirier". Sheldon Aubut's Duluth History. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 

External links

  • Complete Guide to Portage Packs Gear Guide: Portage Packs (commercial site)
  • Duluth Packs made by the Duluth Pack Co. (commercial site)

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.