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We are now back at the pond,. settling in after completing our 700 km snowshoe journey from Lake Superior to James Bay! We walked through the town of Wawa into the rugged country of Whitefish Lake and the Shikwamkwa River. This is the Traditional Territory of the Robinson-Superior Treaty.
The next section of our route involved small lakes and portages over the continental divide separating the Atlantic and Arctic watersheds. The small, winding Little Missinaibi River took us to the headwaters of the mighty Missinaibi River. We walked the entire length of the Missinaibi (~500km) to the Moose River convergence. We finished the expedition heading down the Moose River to it’s mouth at the Arctic Ocean in James Bay. This entire section of our journey was through the Treaty 9 Traditional Territory of the Moose Cree First Nation.
13 of us travelled through 3 full-moon cycles, through -40*C weeks, white out winds, deep relentless slush and blissfully sunny days. We are humbled, encouraged and inspired by the majesty of the winter lands of the Boreal Forest.
For photos and stories, please see our social media pages on Instagram and Facebook @lureofthenorth
That’s it folks! Our retail store is now closed! We still do have some inventory, that we will sell in the spring, but we are not available to sell anymore items until then as we’re preparing for a big trip crossing Ontario this winter.
We will be back in the spring to sell of remaining stock. Stay tuned in the spring, or sign up for our newsletter (right side bar) to get the last of the goods!
Thanks so much for your support, and though we won’t be supplying gear in the future, we look forward to seeing you on the trail or in the field!
We had to give priority to our COVID-credit holders and so space is already limited!!
Don’t miss out! We want you to see what we see when we spend time on the trail with a group of like minded individuals. They might call you a “weirdo” for liking winter, but we call you wise 🦉. (But hey let’s keep the magic of winter just between you and me shall we? 🤐)
I also have a couple summer and fall survival courses on the menu!
IMPORTANT: November 2021 will be our final month of regular retail operation! We have a great big, 900km snowshoe trek we’re preparing for starting in January, so we will close the store in December. Next spring we will sell off any remaining stock and close our doors for good (see posts below for more details).
As of October 30th, EVERYTHING is still in stock. Going forward, if the website lists a product as in stock, then it is available to purchase. But, at this point we will no longer be restocking materials as they run out. So throughout the month we may start discontinuing items.
We are not planning any blow out or clearance sales, especially on our most popular items, so don’t wait, order now as this will be your last chance for LotN gear!
And YES, we will still continue to provided guided trips and instructional workshops after we close the retail portion of our business!
Thanks for your support,
Kielyn and Dave
[This post explains WHY we’re closing. For details on how the closure will proceed, please see the next post below!]
It has been a crazy year, you know that, we know that, it’s become a cliché at this point. For Kielyn and I (and probably many of you!) it’s also been an opportunity for introspection. When we started this business over a decade ago, fresh out of university, we really didn’t know where it would take us. We knew that we loved this more traditional approach to winter camping in the northern forests that we were learning about, and that we wanted to share it with lots of people. We started learning to craft our own clothing and gear, and we started guiding trips and teaching workshops. We wrote free instructional booklets and shared them online. Before long we had trip and workshop participants asking if they could take kits with them to continue crafting at home. We put together our first snowshoe weaving and moccasin making kits and started selling them online. And before we knew it, we were retailers! And we started receiving orders from Canada’s northern-most Arctic islands and all of our provinces, all across the US, Germany, Japan, the UK and Australia! It has been an absolutely amazing journey that has allowed us to meet and interact with hundreds of incredible customers. You have displayed incredible patience when we lost your order off the back of the snowmachine and you had to wait another week for it to get in the mail; or when we took off for a 3-week adventure just as your order hit our inbox. We have loved getting your picture-filled emails where you proudly tell us about surviving frigid temperatures in gear that you’ve crafted yourself!
BUT we never set out to be retailers. And as the business has continued to grow, it has meant less and less time to do all the other things that we’ve always dreamed of pursuing in our lives. What we’ve always wanted to do is guide people on amazing wilderness adventures, increase their self-sufficiency, help them on their homesteading journey and continue exploring and learning about the natural world ourselves. So to that end we’ve made the difficult decision to close down Lure of the North’s manufacturing and retail arm. This will be a slow shutdown, so you can still purchase your gear this fall to get it for this winter, and we’ll return to selling off any last goods next spring after our 90-day crossing of Ontario(!). After that, it’ll be gone, gone, gone! Who knows, one day we might bring it back, but for now, it feels to both of us that there’s lots of other trails that need exploring!
As I mentioned, this is a hard choice for us, but an important one, and we’re both incredibly excited for the next step of our journey. And we hope you are too! This is going to give us sooo much more time to offer some of the other adventures that we’ve been wanting to share with you for so many years, and so we both hope that you’re going to find the next few years really exciting and will stick with us as we transition more fully to the life we’ve always dreamed of!
Ps. 8km way back in the woods, off a flooded, muddy ATV trail, or across a lake and up a creek is a terribly inefficient (but fun!) place to run a retail operation from. Enjoy some of the pics of us dealing with a few of the many hurdles we faced :)
Pps. This operation would never have been possible without a TON of help from friends and business associates, but most importantly from family, so a huge thank you to them!
– Dave and Kielyn, Hank and Lenny!
July 18, 2021: Here’s how our closure will work. We wanted to give our customers as much notice as possible. So we will operate as normal, through the fall until the end of November. We will continue trying to resupply products and keep everything in stock through the fall. However, some difficult to re-stock items (like toboggan plastic) may start going out of stock as we sell out in the fall. Our advice: order early!
We’re going to be gone all winter, on our 90-day crossing of Ontario, so retail will be shut down through the winter months. In the spring of 2022 there may be a final opportunity to buy any remaining stock, and that will be the end!
Warranties: Will still be honoured on all of our products, we’re not going anywhere, we just don’t want to be retailers any longer. But Lure of the North will still be here, and will be even better situated to lead you on adventures and workshops for years to come. And we will continue to support our products and you, our loyal customers!
We’ve got some big news we just announced above. If you’d like to see some more fun photos related to the joys and tribulations of remote retail you can check out our photo album here:
We are stocking up now for a busy fall and we want you to make sure you get started early so you don’t miss the boat… or toboggan that is… Remember! We will be LEAVING for the whole winter on our epic 90 day snowshoe trip. We might have someone in the office to keep filling orders, but we might not. Running our business out of a remote off-grid cabin means it’s not so easy to get staff in here to keep things running all winter!
Sooooo… No pressure…. But seriously- PLAN AHEAD! Don’t be that guy or girl that expects us to be fully stocked in December… We will be doing our absolute best, but if you order now we can actually guarantee you’ll be suited up for the winter.
Thank you so much for your patience! The much anticipated video is now live! Get your mitten kits to go along with the video here: https://lureofthenorth.com/product/clothing/mittens/mitten-kit/
Help wanted!!! We are hiring two general helpers for the summer who love the outdoors! Position is for general homestead labour in and outside. Jobs may include hauling logs, digging holes, staining building, clearing trails, and other repetitive physical tasks. Indoor jobs may include gear maintenance, retail help, and wood processing.
Must be 29 or younger (Canada summer jobs program).
4 days a week, 32 hrs/week. Live on site and explore the surrounding area on your long weekends!!
Email Dave: Dave@lureofthenorth.com with your resume and cover letter if interested!