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Filtering by Tag: Minnesota

Bachelor Weekend: Family, Heritage, Experience.

Erik Engstrom

this article was sponsored by Duluth Pack.
opinions and thoughts are always mine.

duluth pack - canvas hat

This past weekend was one for the books.

Early Friday morning, I hopped on a plane and took off for Washington state. It was the beginning of a weekend of celebration. My cousin Carl is engaged to marry his beautiful fiancé early next year. So the groomsmen packed up our bags and flew to Washington for a very adventurous bachelor weekend.

The plan was to pack the necessities and enjoy a party on the mainland before we traveled to Cypress Island.

When I lived in Minnesota I discovered a premium handcrafted brand, Duluth Pack. I’ve always admired the attention to detail and the deep roots to MN the brand has. I’ve own a few items from them in the past and always stop by the store when I’m in Duluth, MN. When I was packing for this trip, I knew I needed the best quality and the best brand with rich heritage.

duluth pack - urban pack

duluth pack - canvas hat

I snagged a couple bags for the trip and we were off.

duluth pack - urban pack

duluth pack - canvas hat

We made our way to Cypress Island - telling stories and making memories. The journey to the island was feeding our anticipation. We knew our time together was going to be rich and full of laughter.

our home - cypress island

duluth pack - wanderer

My main camp bag for the weekend was the Wanderer. This bag is a staple piece for a sojourner. It’s classic, rugged aesthetic makes it one of the most attractive outdoor bags. While also being one of the most functional. There was plenty of room in the main compartment for clothing, toiletries, rainwear, camera gear, Black Diamond headlamp, and more. I know this is a crowd favorite already, but if you’re looking for a bag with rich history… look no further.

duluth pack - wanderer & urban pack

Saturday we decided to venture off on a hike. We scaled the landscape of the island. All of us were absolutely blown away by the beauty. It was a wonderful time being active and swimming in a lake. Well maybe only two of us swam.

Truly, I am so grateful that I was able to spend time celebrating my cousin in such a beautiful place, with some of his closest of friends. These are moments I will cherish.

duluth pack - wanderer

Carl, as I reflect on this past week - I hope you know how loved you are. You are surrounded by people who care for you, encourage you, celebrate with you, laugh with you, and are willing to be vulnerable with you. As we closed our weekend we toasted to the character and memories each one of us has had in our lives with you. I look forward to celebrating with you and your wife! I believe you two will have an incredibly grandiose marriage.

Happy bachelor weekend.


Early Morning Paddle.

Erik Engstrom

I'm an early riser. As the sun makes its way to the sky above our heads, I am usually starting my day. Like any sane person, I enjoy a cup of coffee and venture into the rest of my day. I am not one to over complicate mornings. I don't need the stress of picking which outfit to wear. I don't even check the weather to plan accordingly. And yes, I have made giant mistakes with wearing sweaters on days that it is 80 degrees out. 

Today was not one of those days. 

As any other day, I arose before dawn and prepared for a little scouting. My friend Merritt and I enjoy exploring the Mississippi River. We are drawn to places with rich history, beautiful sites, and a vibrant wildlife. So, as everyone lays asleep in bed, Merritt and I canoed the Mississippi River. Merritt works over at Sanborn Canoe Company and we were so fortunate to grab a Prospector canoe for the trip. 

Amongst the abandoned back waters, Merritt and I were amazed at the mystifying landscapes. The Mississippi River in Southeast Minnesota is a strange and under appreciated sector of American outdoors. It's beauty and deep American roots can be found when paddling the waters. 

Just in our morning we were able to make simple, yet life giving memories. We'd watch loons dive deep into the waters, storm clouds stretch across the sky, and a beaver searching the river. I can easily forget how enchanting this place can be. But once I start seeing with my eyes open again, I'm filled with wonder. I'm just waiting for a dinosaur to roar across the bluffs. Seriously, this place looks just like Jurassic Park!

Sanborn Canoe is an American brand with roots that run as deep as the Mississippi. What began as a project building a canoe for a Boundary Waters tripped quickly took a turn to selling some of the best canoes and paddles in the business. Not only are they beautiful, they are high quality. If you make your way to Southeast Minnesota, I encourage you to stop by the shop and say hi to the guys. 

Merritt and I were ever grateful exploring the waters. We even made it back to shore before those storm clouds turned to actual storms. 


Photography: Merritt Ogren & Erik Engstrom 

Own The Moment.

Erik Engstrom

"If you own what's right in front of you, I do believe that someday, when you sit down to tell the story of your life, it's going to take a while. Because you have so many moments that deserve their own microphone."

Carl Lentz

I come from a family of pastors, church-goers, and spiritual folk. Church has somewhat always been a factor, in some way or another, of my life. And for awhile, it all got very boring and annoying. Even leading to me question if there really is a God. Now defining myself as a follower of Christ, I believe church doesn't have to be what we grew up with it as.

A huge influencer in my life is Carl Lentz, Pastor of Hillsong NYC. CNN names Carl, "not your typical Sunday preacher." I jive with that. Carl just released his book "Own The Moment," and I've found most of my autumn days are spent with a coffee in hand and the book in another. Praise God for good coffee. 

I'm owning every moment of this fall weather with sweaters, chelsea boots, and monochromatic colors. Gap has hooked me up well this season. I'm finding most of my wardrobe is from the Gap. Hallelujah. 

If you're looking for some quality fall gear - stop by your local Gap store. Also, check out Carl Lentz's new book for a real good read!


Shop the Look:

Gap Jacket (similar)
Gap Sweater
Gap Khakis
Steve Madden Chelsea Boots

Shop the Book:

Own the Moment

Photographs by Will Palumbo.