Retail Store is CLOSING!

The joys, trials and tribulations of running a retail operation in the woods!

[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!

Retail Closure – Timeline and Next Steps

Kielyn getting set to make another fall “mud run”

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!

Winter IS COMING!!

Get your anorak now! Because who doesn’t want to have that smile all winter long!?

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.

Help Wanted!

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!

New Summer Courses!

We have an exciting two new courses being offered for you this summer! We wanted to schedule them late enough in the summer that it will be hopeful to be able to run them! We have a couple more in the works but we wanted to get these ones out so you can plan your vacation with us!

Chainsaw Milling with DAVE!!! And Wilderness Survival with KIE!!

Make Beautiful lumber and learn all of Dave’s secret tips!
Figure out if you’ve got what it takes to go it ALONE with Kie!

Back in the Office- Catching Up!

Sunrise at the Pond

I am back at the helm and am starting to work on your orders again! We are still quite far behind and as of today we are still working on orders placed in the middle of February.

So while most things are back in stock, please know that your order will take at least a month to be processed. Better to think of your winter gear orders to be gearing up for next winter.

Thank you SO much for all of your support and patience in this very different year that we’ve all had. We very much appreciate your kind notes and feedback you’ve all sent and we are very excited to get your orders filled.

Enjoy the rest of your winter and please know, that if we don’t get back to you right away, we haven’t forgotten about you.

Please make sure you read through all of the information on our website to see if your question may be answered already. We also have many instructional videos on YouTube to help you through the crafting process!

All the best on this sunny day at the Pond,

~Kie

A Return to Winter Trips!?

Update, Feb 6: We’ve been under lockdown/ Stay at Home orders here in Ontario since Christmas, and have been eagerly awaiting the day when we could get back to leading people on winter adventures! We’re not there yet, but it sounds like it could happen on very short notice any day now, so we’re getting ourselves ready for it! We will not be checking our emails regularly, nor will we be filling orders during the trip season. If you place an order, there is a very good chance it will NOT be shipped out until early April!

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause. If that timeline doesn’t work for you, please contact us for a refund, however even that may take some time if we are away on trip.

Thank you for your understanding and support and hope you have an amazing winter season!

The snow has also arrived just in time!

A Lonely Pair of Snowshoes

Well. Things are shaping up to be a little different that we had planned this winter. Thus far we have had to cancel 6 expeditions for 2021 and the way things are going, there is a possibility for more.

However- We are not going to be shaken. We know that it is a tough ask for people to stay home when they have an incredible trip with Lure of the North planned. But it is even tougher to see this virus plow through our most vulnerable communities without any sort of empathy.

We need to stick together, by staying apart! Please follow your guideline from you provincial government. Even IF the clarity of the rules are murky at best. Do your part. Stay at home. We are READY when the virus is under control to take you on an incredible journey. But until then, thank you for your patience and continued support. Stronger together. While staying apart. We love you all!