Art School Displays Custom Gear Designed by Will Steger

Will Steger has traveled tens of thousands of miles across the Polar regions. For more than 50 years he has designed and adapted his clothing and gear to withstand harsh Arctic conditions.

For the first time, his gear is on display at a museum. The exhibit, “Inside an Explorer’s Mind: Design, Innovation, Survival,” opened September 14th at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minneapolis.

I went to check it out last week with the gallery director Kerry Morgan. “Many of Steger’s innovations were inspired by traditional designs used centuries ago,” Morgan said, pointing to a pair of mukluks.

On display: Glasses covered in mosquito netting to keep out the sun rays without fogging in extreme temps

A face mask made out of a dish towel, sunglasses wrapped in mesh, and freeze-proof zippers are a few of his Arctic adaptations on display. Next to each item is a small sign that describes, in Steger’s words, how the design came to be.

Steger is known for his namesake mukluks

Gallery director Kerry Morgan points to Steger’s canoe hauling harness, which he invented in collaboration with Minnesota-based Granite Gear

In addition to the gear, the museum displays photos, video of Steger’s journeys, and excerpts from his journal. Together, the exhibit gives an inside look at what it is like to live the life of an explorer.

Stop by the art school if you are in Minneapolis. The exhibit at MCAD is open until October 4th and is free to the public.

—Amy Oberbroeckling is assistant editor at

Polar watch/compass and canoe

Paddling the icy Arctic waters

Amy Oberbroeckling

Amy Oberbroeckling, an Iowa native, joined GearJunkie out of college and brought a passion for endurance sports as well as a flawless record in arm wrestling matches against famous rock climbers. Find her biking, trail running, cross-country skiing, camping, or tipping back a cold IPA.

Topics: ,