The Wetfoot Blog

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gear Review - The Wannigan

The wannigan has been used on canoe trips for generations. The original design was brought to Camp by Jon Iltis (blogger from last week). Many staff have made wannigans over the years and made slight improvements. For the summer of 2008, Steve Lindahl built Camp a new fleet of wannigans that utilized the old external frame backpack harness, a slot of fire pans and a removable door that can function as a serving tray.

THE ITEM: The Wannigan. According to the glossary of terms in the staff manual, it is a chest used to store cooking gear and trail lunch on canoe trips. Word derived from Ojibway waanikaan, meaning “storage pit.” According to Manito-wish campers and staff it is a convenient canoe pack that serves as a cutting and chess board, open pantry and a way of life.
Picture above featuring the serving tray/cooking prep feature.
WHY I LIKE IT:
The Wannigan is one of the last pieces of gear that we can make a better product than we can buy.
It allows canoe campers to have all of their cooking gear in one spot.
The flat back of the wannigan makes for comfortable portaging.

GRIPES: None. Some people love them, some accept them and others don’t understand them.

BEST USES:
Canoe trips with groups of 4 or more.
Consolidating lunch.
Canoe tripping with style. Wannigan featured portaging past Dubawnt Canyon

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