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I have to confess that when I started working here at The Canadian Canoe Museum I didn’t know what a wanigan was.  For the small percentage of hard-core canoe trippers (and the large percentage of everyone else!) who don’t know what a wanigan is – it’s a wooden box, carried with a tumpline, and usually used to store kitchen supplies while on a canoe trip.

Wanigan

A wanigan and tumpline sitting in a canoe in the Museum’s ‘A Walk With Kirk’ Gallery

When I had the opportunity to make one for myself, as part of the preparation for a program we were doing here at the Museum, I jumped at the chance.  I went on a trip not long after I finished my wanigan and I have to say that I loved it.  I also have to say that it did take a bit of getting used to.  At first I hadn’t tied the tump correctly for my height and it was resting lower on my back than it should have been, which meant it was bouncing a bit which was very uncomfortable.  Once I adjusted the tumpline it was perfect, and I truly felt like a super-hero carrying much more weight that I ever could have comfortably done with a backpack. Read the rest of this entry »