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From prototype to finished product  

Walter, Kurt and Rudy

Just over a decade ago, Walter Frei, an avid outdoorsman, tried to find a durable, lightweight camping saw that he could store safely in his pack.

Finding nothing that would meet his needs, the skilled Swiss furniture craftsman constructed his own saw. Working with parts recycled from a vacuum cleaner pipe, he constructed a collapsible saw where all the different elements of the saw could be stored in the metal pipe. On his next visit to Canada, he took this saw on outdoor trips in the northern Canadian wilderness where it served invaluable services in cutting wood.

One day Kurt Killer, an old neighbor of Walter and longtime resident of Vancouver, showed up and accidentally saw Walter's incredible invention. It was a type of buck saw which had no part of the frame extending below the saw blade. This feature made flush cuts possible unlike other saw types available on the market. Soon they decided to further improve the saw and to patent the way it was assembled.

Kurt was planning a trip to his old friend Rudy Voser in Vancouver. Rudy, a Swiss trained tool and die maker, was in the midst of setting up a shop specializing in R & D of new products for hi-tech companies and inventors. This was definitely something for Rudy who was well known for his inventive mind and technical skills.

The Camp Saw

Impressed by the potential of Walter's design, Rudy agreed to develop the saw. With the finest quality aircraft-aluminum tubing and Swedish steel, Rudy turned Walter's prototype into a durable, lightweight tool - the Camp Saw.

Rudy and Kurt searched the market for saws and contacted patent offices around the world to ensure their product was unique enough to warrant a patent. That summer, Kurt traveled back and forth numerous times between Switzerland and Canada talking to Swiss patent lawyers on the validity of a Swiss patent to protect the invention as soon as possible. In the meantime, Rudy perfected the functionality and durability of the product in nightlong sessions next to his regular work.

Always an innovator, Rudy realized he could use exactly the same parts to construct two different saw frames - a buck saw and triangular saw. The Camp Saw is the first saw on the market that combines these two popular frames into a compact package.

Research & Development

Working from his R & D shop in Vancouver, Rudy continued to search for new uses of the Camp Saw. Combining his love of the outdoors and his passion for good food, Rudy transformed the saw into an adjustable cooking rack, able to support a grill or pot over an open fire.


The saw and grill were ready for production after years of rigorous testing and refinements. While experimenting with the Camp cooking rack and Camp Grill, Rudy treated his family to many outdoor meals of perfectly grilled meats, fish and vegetables.

Upgrade Innovations

In 1997, Upgrade Innovations was founded to distribute the multi-purpose Camp Saw and its accessories. Since then, Upgrade has introduced the Pack Saw and Combi Saw. In the year 2000, Upgrade expanded its product line to winter backcountry camping, with the Snow and Ice Saw.

Today, Rudy continues to design and develop innovative new products.

Camp Saw | Pack Saw | Combi Saw | Snow & Ice Saw | Accessories
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