But first, a little history about Duluth Pack. On December 12, 1882, Camille Poirer patented the "Poirer Pack" - a canvas sack with buckle closures and newly designed sternum and shoulder straps. This Poirer Pack has come to be known as the Duluth Pack and is still made and used by canoers today. For two decades Poirer made and sold the packs out of a shop and in 1911 sold his business to the new Duluth Tent and Awning Company. Their website gives more history about the development of the Duluth Pack products, but I will say from my experience with other people's Duluth Pack products that they are a Minnesota staple. Duluth Pack is a brand that is more recognized amongst the South Minneapolis crowd than is Louie Vuitton or some other designer I don't care about and they are incredibly durable and timeless.
That said, their catalog is a hilarious and incredibly cliche collection of great and iconic Minnesota products - many of which I would like to own some day.
The spread of Minnesota Merchandise included in the Duluth Pack Catalog includes:
Red Wing Potter is based in Red Wing, Minnesota and has been in business for 140 years. They make a lot of different items, those advertised in the Duluth Pack catalog include a pitcher, casserole dish and chili bowl. My favorite Red Wing Pottery is their stoneware mugs, they are nice and heavy and keep your coffee hot. Red Wing Pottery is one of those great Minnesota products that I don't own but have gotten to put my hands on a mug here or there.
OK, so Smartwool is not actually a Minnesota company but they were started in Steamboat Springs, CO - and we all know that Minnesotans have an affinity for Colorado. Although it's not a Minnesota company, Smartwools are staples in my household. Wool socks are amazing! Have you worn a pair? They breathe better, they dry out faster when they're wet and Smartwools are always ridiculous and fun colors. Smartwools make getting dressed in cold weather more fun.
These are awesome and I have absolutely no need for a pair. Will Steger is an arctic explorer, environmentalist, writer, lecturer, boot designer and all around badass! According to the Steger Mukluks website, Will wore his first pair of Mukluks while on an arctic expedition in 1982-83, courtesy of the Northern Cree Indians. He learned how to make them and upon returning to his hometown of Ely, began making them for friends and other explorers and his business has grown since then. I love Steger mukluks because I HATE having cold feet and I also really dislike gaudy, winter boots. Any good Minnesotan has had a pair of well loved Sorel boots and knows the value of a good boot, and although Sorels more than satisfy my winter boot needs, I have been obsessed with Steger Mukluks for a few years now. I think Steger Mukluks are extra awesome because you only get them if you need them and you're putting in serious outdoor hours, which in Minnesota, makes you awesome.
Ahh, Minnesota Merchandise. How I love things I cannot afford!