The Pack Report

#PersonBehindThePack: BWCAW Bear Story

On the Duluth Pack blog, The Pack Report, the company features stories customers send about their Duluth Pack gear and adventures that coincide. For example, the following story was provided and approved to share by Noah Borkin, Ari Borkin, Macey Tellijohn, Marshal Quast, Delaney Anderson, and Alex Malsch after they experienced an extremely close encounter with a black bear on their recent BWCAW camping trip.  

Hello Duluth Pack,  

I would love to share a story with you about a camping trip my friends and I took last summer where we rented a Duluth Pack, and how it was completely demolished by a black bear. 

Last August, my friends and I decided to plan a week-long camping trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Wilderness to celebrate the end of the summer. We knew that we wanted to have a Duluth Pack to accompany us on our adventure. Thankfully, this was possible with the rental service that your company provides. On August 12th, 2021, we made our way to Moose Lake.  

The first three days went smoothly, and our camping route went according to plan. We decided that the best use of our Duluth Pack was for it to store our food, and each night we hung it on a branch about 30 feet in the air near the water. We had no troubles thus far and continued to set it up this way each following night. However, once we got to Caribou Lake, everything went awry.  

On August 16th, the second night we stayed on Caribou Lake, we were woken up to the sound of rustling near the water at around 6 am. To preface, this wasn’t out of the ordinary due to the many animals that call the Boundary Waters their home. Ari and Alex, who were sleeping closest to the Duluth Pack, did not have a rainfly on their tent, so the sounds woke them up first. As they slowly peaked outside their tent, they noticed something walking around near the tree and quickly realized that it was indeed a black bear. The rest of us were abruptly woken up to the sound of Alex and Ari shouting at the bear, trying to scare it away, so we got out of our tents to join them. For the next 10 minutes, we shouted and threw rocks at this bear that was quickly climbing the tree that held our food supply. It went up and down the tree about four times, and in a couple of swipes, the bear destroyed the pack along with over half of our food. After it was satisfied, the bear walked around the edge of our campsite for another 10 minutes before wandering back into the woods. Shaken, we quickly grabbed the pack to assess if we had enough food for the rest of our trip, which we fortunately did. We then packed up our site and set off on the rest of our trip.  

In conclusion, although our experience with our Duluth Pack is not exactly heartwarming, it is an experience we will never forget, and we wanted to share it with you. We are incredibly grateful to your rental service for making it possible to experience an adventure with a legendary Duluth Pack even if it’s not ours. Although the pack was damaged, we did, and we will definitely be renting again.  

At Duluth Pack, we love to hear stories about our packs and the adventures that follow. All of our products come with a lifetime guarantee on all craftsmanship and hardware. This particular pack that our friends rented was repaired by our Repair Specialist, Tracie, and is ready for use on its next outdoor extravaganza. 

Are you interested in sharing your #PersonBehindThePack story with us? Submit your story here for a chance to be featured on our blog, The Pack Report.  

Adventure on, friends! 

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