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Conquering Great Heights While Heli-Skiing | Duluth Pack

Duluth Pack has handcrafted and sold millions of products over the 138 continuous years in business. Unlike our history and American heritage, what aren't old are the stories we hear from our customers. Anyone who purchases a Duluth Pack manufactured item becomes the #PersonBehindThePack. They share photos and stories of adventures, generational memories, and priceless experiences.


Recently, Eric, a customer of ours sent in his #PersonBehindThePack story along with the featured photo. With his approvals, today, we have the honor of sharing in his words and experience with his beloved Sparky Pack made by yours truly.


Sparky's super strong padded leather shoulder straps are the reason it has been my constant hiking and skiing companion here in the North Cascades. I'm a retired heli-ski and mountain guide who often encounters the need to pack something heavy on top of my day pack. Most often this has been a load of landing stakes from where our helicopter landed in snowy conditions. These stakes add up, over a season or more, and easily could have weighed over 50 pounds, occasionally. Usually, they weighed less, but my little but very rugged Sparky Pack, still often carried as much weight as an overnight or multi-day pack. All this was carried down terrain steep and long enough to be attractive to heli-skiers. My Swiss wife, who grew up there hiking and skiing in their ruggedly scenic landscapes, often accompanied me on my summer visits to our heli-ski territory. She declined to carry landing stakes, but her light little Duluth Pack day pack with its unpadded leather, but still very durable shoulder straps, came along over and down these same areas. Even though we're both now retired, we still hike and ski a lot and require tough packs. My Sparky Pack is still going strong after many decades and one repair trip back to Duluth. Her (my wife’s) day pack is in for repair as I write this. Of course, living deep in the North Cascades encourages other packing chores such as cutting and bringing in firewood, but I carry the chain saw on other (products) I've acquired as a professional guide and ranger. Our Duluth Packs are too nice to risk dripping chain saw oil and gas on. They're recognized as Duluth Packs, as far away as Switzerland, where we also visit family occasionally, and they're perfect for hiking there.”


Have a story with your Duluth Pack product(s)? We want to hear from you, friend!


In the meantime, happy adventures!


  • From your friends at Duluth Pack


Photography Credit and Approval From: Eric Sanford