Monday, June 13, 2011

Old Friend Retires After 3 Generations of Ice Fishing

After many years of dedicated service, this ice fishing season marked the last year great Gramps old pot belly ash wood pack basket would join my hard water adventures. Several breaks and cracks in the increasingly fragile wood had me cringing every time someone haphazardly threw it into the back of a pick-up truck or strapped it onto a snowmobile. It was simply no longer something functional but rather had thorough the years instead turned into an heirloom. It will now live the remainder of its day hanging on the wall in the man cave filled with other old relics of ice fishing’s past.

Its replacement, though lacking the “personality” of my old companion, is a marvel of size and durability. The new pack is fully capable of holding all of my old gear PLUS many other items that I always had to manage to somehow carry separately (thermos, heavy jacket, tackle box, etc.).  The ash wood is thicker and the straps are made from nylon webbing, promising years of faithful service.

For more on packs constructed by Loring Pack baskets click HERE.

Not content to leave my new pack unfinished and therefore identical to 90% of the ice fishermen who use them, I stained my pack this last weekend “Ebony”. This initial staining will be followed up with 4-5 coats of matte varnish to provide protection to the wood and newly applied stain. I was originally unsure how the pack would look when finished but in the end I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the final project.


  1. We have a pack basket that's been passed down from my gandfather too - it hangs on the wall at my mom's. Great piece of history!

    Love the color you stained it, great idea. Looks like you could pack a small dog or a kid in that thing.

  2. That pack basket already can tell one insane story about our adventure at Grand Lake Stream... Leave it to little cousin to make anything into a life or death challenge...

  3. Ren,

    I agree, very cool! I have an old pair of LL Bean snowshoes that I received from my other Grandfather and think those and the packbasket would make a good paring in the MANCAVE . . . just have to move around the junk!!

    Thanks . . . truth be told, I don't know how many kids it will hold BUT can attest to the fact that it can hold two 30 packs. :)

  4. DDH,

    HAHAHA, stop being so melodramatic! I am the one who was almost run over. My recollection of the incident is you sat in the front of the cab shivering and drinking hot coco.

  5. Do you dare me to recount my experience? Best left to the pack to never tell...

  6. DDH,

    No, no, no I relent!!!!!!!

  7. Got the same pack only with the green liner and which is hanging up in my cellar crammed with my meager ice fishing gear. But's let's not think about THAT right now!


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