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History Channel hit survival series 'Alone' features Iron Range saw

The Tuff Camp Saw is among the top sellers at Spring Creek Manufacturing.

Company making saws for camping
Tom Sega, left, and Grant Sega hold Tuff Camp Saws at Spring Creek Manufacturing on Friday in Mountain Iron.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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MOUNTAIN IRON — As a manufacturer, seeing your company's product featured on your favorite television series is a true "made it" moment. At least that's what it felt like for Spring Creek Manufacturing owners, CEO Tom Sega and President Grant Sega.

Spring Creek Manufacturing, based in Mountain Iron, was founded in 1985 by Ted Newberg, a science teacher with a passion for the outdoors.

During Newberg's quest to find better ways to carry, haul, portage or propel his canoes came the design and launch of Spring Creek Manufacturing’s first product, the canoe seat/yoke. The product line continued to expand through innovative ideas from its customers.

Company making saws for camping
Chuck Newberg uses a machine to remove burrs from cut aluminum.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

"Being an outdoors family, we have always trusted and used Spring Creek Manufacturing equipment and gear. I had an idea for the ultimate camping saw that combined all the best features from others on the market, one that we could backpack and take up into the woods. We sought a local manufacturing company that would have the capacity to do it," Grant said.

After inquiring about a prototype with Spring Creek Manufacturing, the Segas learned that Newberg was interested in selling the company. Grant had just finished business school, and Tom has owned Duluth Pack for nearly 15 years. Duluth Pack was founded in 1882 and is the oldest canvas-and-leather bag and pack manufacturer in the country.

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On July 1, 2017, Tom and Grant purchased Spring Creek Manufacturing. Their idea became reality when the Tuff Camp Saw launched in spring 2018. It is now among the top-selling outdoor-focused products at Spring Creek Manufacturing. The lightweight aluminum saw is just under 2 pounds and offers a compact design that folds for easy transport and assembly.

Cut out for survival

Company making saws for camping
Every fifth tooth on the blade is called a raker on the Camp Tuff Saw at Spring Creek Manufacturing.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
Company making saws for camping
Grant Sega demonstrates the use of a Tuff Camp Saw.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

The History Channel's hit survival series “Alone” features 10 participants, each equipped with 10 items of their choosing. Season 9 survivalists were dropped into a remote wilderness valley in Labrador, Canada. While documenting their experiences with no camera crews, each participant must survive in total isolation — enduring hunger, loneliness, wild predators and the elements. The final contestant to outlast the others will claim the $500,000 prize.

The Segas said they were surprised and humbled to see "Alone" contestant Juan Pablo pull the 30-inch Tuff Camp Saw from a Duluth Pack case as one of his 10 chosen survival items . The saw was also featured on the show during the Season 9, Episode 8 that aired July 14, titled “Gut Feeling."

Company making saws for camping
Grant Sega demonstrates the use of a Tuff Camp Saw.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

“I would describe 'Alone' as the Olympics of bush craft and outdoor survival," Grant said. "We are beyond thrilled that a contestant chose one of our high-quality items to be used in real survival situations and on such a well-respected show. It is validation for us and speaks to the quality of the camp saw and the overall spectrum of other products in our line. Its durability was put to the test and had the utmost confidence by an expert on the show."

According to Grant, the Tuff Camp Saw is survival worthy because it protects calories through minimum energy output with the maximum amount of stroke.

Company making saws for camping
Aluminum tubing that will be used to manufacture Tuff Camp Saws.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Spring Creek Manufacturing is continually conducting research, developing and prototyping to test new products and accessories. Many of the products are expansions of the canoe and kayak stabilizers from which the manufacturer originated. The company is working to meet the needs of the industrial truck and vehicle rack industry, Grant said.

"As manufacturers, we are always thinking forward. Customers are the smartest people we know. Being involved in a show that involves adventure is an ideal fit for our products and brand,” said Tom. “Having this opportunity is something we greatly cherish and are incredibly excited about not only as a company but for the local community.”

Company making saws for camping
A Tuff Camp Saw at Spring Creek Manufacturing on Friday in Mountain Iron.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Brielle Bredsten is the business reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Professional Writing & Technical Communication, with minors in Advertising and Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University, in addition to a two-year professional paid internship as reporter/editor of the student newspaper.

She is an award-winning professional writer, photographer and editor based in rural Minnesota. Over the past decade, Brielle Bredsten has contributed more than 1,000 articles, feature stories, non-profit press-releases, photographs and columns. Her work has been published in several community newspapers.

Send her story tips, feedback or just say hi at bbredsten@duluthnews.com.
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