Pack basket

Chuck Hoffhine

Wooden Canoe Nut
Does anyone know where you can get a nice, reasonably priced, traditional pear shaped, split ash pack pasket? Thanks in advance.

Split ash and reasonbly priced probably won't co-exist. I make pack baskets from rattan reed. The basket with harness involves about $35 out of pocket before any labor. Split ash will increase the out of pocket into the $80 dollar range if the maker doesn't harvest the ash himself. Add 4-5 hours labor per basket and another couple of hours if the ash is hand harvested and it is pretty hard to get the price under $150.
A big amen to what Harvey says. Moose River's prices are about the best I've seen. A quick google search turned up some black ash baskets for a mere thousand bucks.

Ten years ago, our local Bill Conrad cut me in on his purchase of some gorgeous extra large, pear shaped baskets from a Maine Micmac. About $80 it was. And I have used the heck out of it and its still going strong. And it gets lot of compliments. I wish I had invested in about a hundred of them. Would have yielded a better return on invstement than my IRA portfolio.
I bought a cheap rattan basket (actually 3) of the desired size, (probably meant to be a laundry hamper), put on some shoulder straps plus some backing for the strp attachment, and painted it with epoxy. It stiffened it up enough that it lasted 10+ years, it wore through on the bottom eventually, so the current one has some woven nylon (also painted with epoxy) as an abrasion layer. Perhaps "cheap and nasty" but it is light and works. Just looks like a rattan basket that shouldn't be that strong or durable. peter
For canoe camping, I use a Duluth Food Pack lined with a cheap rattan (laundry) basket for packing food. Cheaper way to go than an ash basket in a canvas pack. Also made two thin plywood dividers that fit into the basket to provide layers for the contents, like shelves in a fridge. Food I don’t need first goes in the lower layer, so I don’t have to empty the whole thing to find what I’m looking for.
Yeah but beware that baskets at Duluth Pack are NOT SPLIT black ash, but sawn white ash. I have one of their's and its not in the same league as a black ash basket. White ash is coarse grained and when sawn must be heavier in bulk than black ash. Fibers tend to split at sharp bends needed in a basket.