At Churchill River Canoe Outfitters, we have had decades of experience outfitting and guiding canoe trips into Canada's northern wilderness. The Churchill River; The Seal River; The Cree River; The Athabasca River; The Fond du Lac River; The French Ducker Route; The McLennan Lake Area; The Kazan River; The Nahani River; The Porcupine River; The Paull River - we know and love them all. We have traveled them in spring, summer, and fall in every condition imaginable.
Out in the field, we began to recognize a need for much more superior and functional essentials - tents, shelters, tarps, fireplaces, and anything else to make our wilderness excursions more comfortable and pleasurable. As outfitters, we have take the obligation to to supply the finest peripherals to our clients seriously. There is nothing worse than being miles from civilization with malfunctioning equipment.
YEARS OF R&D
Back in the "old" days of wilderness paddling in Saskatchewan, beginning in the early 1950's, just getting to the north was a feat in itself. Roads were often nothing more than rough trails, often impassible it wet conditions; there was a definite lack of gas stations, and vehicles often broke down. About this time, Bill Mason, accomplished filmmaker, artist, author, and avid canoeist began exploring Canada's northern rivers. Over time, Bill's wilderness expertise and paddling adventures made him a legend in the world of canoeing enthusiasts. Bill was also an innovator, and was constantly searching for ways to improve the equipment he used in his wilderness travels.
Ric Driediger, owner of Churchill River Canoe Outfitters, and Horizon's Unlimited had the good fortune to meet Bill many years before Bill's passing in 1988. Ric shared Bill's passion for the paddling lifestyle, and soon, the two became friends. Discussions about better equipment led to the initial C.R.C.O. Cotton Campfire Tent design, as well as the development of the first Environmental Fireplace prototype. This was only the beginning.
Ric Driediger began to produce and test these initial products in the field. He listened to the input of his clients and his experienced staff and he continued to refine the designs. He recognized that contracting the manufacturing process out would compromise his high standards, and strived to utilize the highest quality materials at all times, even if it drove up his bottom line. Ric set up his own manufacturing facility, where he could monitor crafstmanship and quality control. He also identified a need for additional products, such as tarps, free-standing shelters,a range of sizes for the Environmental Fireplace, as well as new sizes and models of the Campfire Tent.
Prototypes were produced and extensive field testing began via Ric's experienced guides and willing clients. Refinements and improvements were made, and the marketing of C.R.C.O. products began. Since then, a long history of satisfied customers is proof to us that the effort was well worth it.