• 1885

    Just 18 years after the Dominion of Canada, James W. Woods was outfitting lumbermen in the Ottawa Valley with his own brand of canvas supplies. Over the following decades, Woods’ fame and fortune would continue to grow along with our new country.

  • 1895

    By this time, Woods had built a plant to manufacture his in-demand sleeping bags, tents and other canvas goods. With an aim to make life in the great outdoors even better, Woods invented a revolutionary new lightweight canvas that was almost entirely waterproof. Woods’ reputation for quality and innovation spread quickly around the world.

  • 1896

    In the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, pioneers and prospectors looking to strike it rich in Canada’s Yukon depended on Woods™ gear for their very survival. These adventurers, also known as “stampeders,” faced one of our country’s harshest climates with Woods™ tents, sleeping bags, mackinaw sweaters, camp stoves and other gear stored in their Woods™ packsacks.

  • 1898

    The Woods™ eiderdown sleeping bag received a ringing endorsement from Joseph B. Tyrell — a noted geologist, cartographer and mining consultant who first discovered the dinosaur bones in Alberta’s Badlands. He wrote to “testify to the excellence” of the product and he heartily and enthusiastically endorsed it as “the most comfortable bed that I have ever had in the field.”

  • 1906

    When Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen and his crew successfully navigated the Northwest Passage, Woods™ sleeping bags, parkas, tents, and other gear were aboard their ship, the Gjøa. When Amundsen spoke of his time at the North Pole, he said, “There are two times a man is happy when he’s up there: when his belly is full of hot liquid and when he’s in his sleeping bag.”

  • 1911

    Amundsen returned to live among the Inuit in Canada’s Arctic for two winters, to learn more about polar survival. Once again Woods™ gear was an integral part of that team and adventure. And the knowledge he gained from that experience helped him successfully lead the first team to conquer the South Pole.

  • 1913

    The Canadian Arctic Expedition was a daring 5-year mission to study the Arctic and its indigenous peoples. The adventure was well-documented and includes photographic evidence clearly showing Woods™ sleeping bags, tents and particularly the Woods™ Arctic Parka that had been specially designed and developed for that particular mission.

  • 1914

    The world — and Woods Canada went to war. During WWI, the company equipped allied soldiers with its sleeping bags, tents and other goods. Woods™ even created the first gas masks for our Canadian army. We may never know how many Canadian lives were saved as a result of this patriotic duty and valuable contribution towards the war effort.

  • 1925

    Woods™has long enjoyed affiliations with the National Geographic Society and the Royal Geographic Society. It outfitted many of the most important explorations of the early 20th century: Admiral Byrd’s expedition in the Antarctic, the Theodore Roosevelt Field Expedition through Central Asia, and the first ascent of Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan.

  • 1940

    Renowned American author and avid outdoorsman, Ernest Hemingway, was known to use and appreciate Woods™ gear. In what’s often considered his greatest and best-know novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, he penned a starring role for the Woods™ sleeping robe in the plot and setting for his most famous love scene.

  • 1944

    Woods™ gear was used aboard the St. Roch in 1944 when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s schooner was the first vessel ever to make a return voyage through the Northwest Passage in a single season. Woods™ was also there when she became the first ship to circumnavigate North America in 1955.

  • 1967

    Woods™ expanded from its already comprehensive line of outdoor equipment and durable canvas gear to include hockey bags and to manufacture flags. On July 1, 1967 — Canada’s Centennial — Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson unfurled the new flag Woods™ Canada had supplied atop the Peace Tower of our Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Its red maple leaf continues to symbolize our country and values around the world.

  • 1982

    When Laurie Skreslet and his team were the first Canadians to reach the summit of Nepal’s Mount Everest in the Himalayas — the world’s highest peak — Woods™ supplied the tents, sleeping bags and parkas they needed to survive the climb.


    The Woods™ legacy lives on wherever your own spirit of adventure leads you. We remain committed to helping you explore, discover and create your own great moments in Canada’s backyard and beyond.