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!