Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Ash Wood Pack Basket

About 15 years ago I inherited the ash wood pack basket depicted in the attached picture from my Grandfather. Through the years this handy tool has accompanied me on many adventures into the wilds of Maine in pursuit of all manner of fish from great to small. There is a story to be told about the hard water fisherman and his personal choice of equipment conveyance. On a typical ice fishing outing all manner of device can be seen from 5 gallon plastic buckets, sleds and of course most typical and interesting of all the ash wood pack basket. Obviously, I am very jaded and opinioned with my outlook toward the “synthetic” crowd. These phonies skip around the ice with their plastic buckets in hand swinging them like a freaking purse. Of course I am totally poking fun so if anyone uses one of the synthetics please drop a comment defending yourself!

My particular basket is an heirloom and before it came under my charge it served close to (and I am guessing) 20 or more years under the care and supervision of my Grandfather. The old potbelly design is not typical of most of the pack baskets I see kicking around between my friends and none have close to the character of this old workhorse. As I look at many of the “modern” pack baskets many are already showing the signs of just 5-6 seasons of use. I have to wonder what has happened with the quality of the workmanship and the materials involved in creating these once amazing masterpieces. I wonder if in our disposable society “good enough” is what we have resorted to?

With barely any signs of perceptible wear I ponder if someday my two boys or maybe even their sons will one day fight over who inherits old Granddaddy Hitching's/Vose’s ice fishing pack basket!

For more on selecting and buying a packbasket click HERE.


  1. That is nice, I will say that they don't make things like they used to.

  2. You can find em at trappin supply providers. Best pack you can have fer trappin.

  3. Interesting post, I would like to see one of these packs up close and personal. Don't you just love something that is time tested and still going strong.

  4. Uh dude,
    If you remember, you lost that pack basket when your trips didn't beat my flush...

    So easy to forget things...


  5. Rick and Mel,

    It is unfortunately true that nothing appears to be made like it used to be. I am sitting here typing in a pair of leather shoes that I purchased "on sale" for about $70 one year ago that currently have cracked separating soles and probably won't last me more than another couple months. Where has quality workmanship gone?

    BM, LOL! I find your comment funny because when I used to trap as a kid I used a 5 gallon bucket! Yes, apparently in my youth I was a bucket swinger as well.

    DEDH, How do I manage to forget those things? If I forget does that mean I still have to do it when I remember?

  6. i guess you get what you pay for most of the time...

    i would imagine this one should last as long as your grandfather's.


    Hideous, aren't they?


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