The Native American tradition of handcrafted pack baskets began hundreds of years ago, and the skills used to produce the traditional Ash pack basket have been passed down from generation to generation. The Loring Outdoors company was born from this beautiful Wabanaki cultural tradition when Wane Loring learned how to weave pack baskets from his father, Eugene Loring, a Penobscot Tribal Member and Master Basket Weaver.
Eugene spent many nights and weekends handcrafting pack baskets to fill custom orders from select clients. The traditional Ash pack baskets are magnificent products of long hours of dedication, attention to details, and unique craftsmanship. These baskets tend to be more expensive due to the time it takes to make one and the cost of materials.
As a young man, Wane wondered how he could improve on his basket weaving technique to produce a less expensive, yet more durable product. Wane spent all of 1999 testing a variety of synthetic materials to modernize the timeless tradition of the Wabanaki by making pack baskets that would satisfy the current market.
After a year of research and development, trial and error, and customer feedback, Wane finally developed a synthetic pack basket so strong, it was nearly indestructible. Wane tested the market by giving his new synthetic pack basket to hunters, ice fishermen, nature photographers and videographers, and other outdoorsmen to have them tested. The only requirement to receive a free beta Loring Pack Basket at the time was to get really rough with it and let Wane know how it handled the experience.
The response was amazing. Everyone was surprised by the strength of the baskets and how easy it was to care for them. Since then, Wane, his wife Kim, and his sons Justin and Jesse have been working hard to improve the quality of their baskets, which are still hand-woven with the same care and passion as their ancestors.
The Lorings are very proud of their Wabanaki heritage and basket making tradition and still produce and sell traditional Ash pack baskets. However, their current focus is to provide customers with nearly indestructible baskets at a reasonable price.