Prepare for outdoor adventures


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Do you want adventure but want to keep your distance? Consider Adventure Running – the ultimate sport of social distancing.

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It’s about outdoor boating, even in cold weather, and it’s a booming sport, along with an array of activities including hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The pandemic-inspired participation growth was off the charts in 2020, reports the Outdoor Foundation. And he’s not out of breath yet!

Don't get lost in the adventure (Photo courtesy of Luca Simpson / lucasimpson.com)
Don’t get lost in the adventure (Photo courtesy of Luca Simpson / lucasimpson.com) Photo provided /Don’t get lost in an adventure race

And if there is one wild hit, it’s the Don’t Get Lost Adventure Running series: “COVID has happened and people have started to seek / return to outdoor activities with low risk of transmission. In addition, in 2020 the most difficult race in the world: Eco-Challenge Fiji fell on Amazon – many people got interested in adventure races, ”said Patrick Saile, program manager of the organization in goal. non-profit.

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Designed for all fitness levels, all you need is weather-appropriate clothing, a compass and a map, and be open to fun and a bit of frustration as you can get lost, at least of course – and I speak from experience. These orienteering races combine trail running, navigation, road racing, trekking – and sometimes snowshoe racing – with teamwork and the endurance of adventure races.

While some teams skillfully plot their routes, others run – and walk madly – covering from 3 km to 28 km depending on the event. It’s like being a kid again on a great treasure hunt! A perfect pandemic pastime.

Being spirited and flexible helps. “Something is probably going to go wrong during the race – running a long way in the wrong direction, a fall into a cold stream, less than 5 degrees and rain. Being able to get up and keep going when things don’t go right. in your sense will always lead to success, ”said Saile, adding that the legendary three-hour snowshoe raid in the winter of 2022 in Collingwood, Ont., is underway with great interest.

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Race organizers everywhere continue to take precautions against COVID-19, including limiting participants and staggering start times, to get things done, and participants love to return to play – and run. The 5 Peaks Trail Running Series also offered safe and fun events last summer and fall as participants hiked the gnarliest trails in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. .

The pandemic has dramatically altered people’s attitudes towards the outdoors as they seek out activities to help them stay busy and healthy. According to the 2021 Outdoor Engagement Trends report, people have taken to camping, hiking, biking, running, and fishing – all you can do on your own or in small groups is popular.

There has been explosive growth in outdoor product categories – sales of kayaks jumped nearly 30% in the year ending May 2021, camping tents by nearly 50% and sleeping bags by 28%, reports NPD, a company that tracks retail sales. And despite supply chain disruptions, bicycle sales grew 57% year over year.

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Consumers are looking for more specialized or improved gear and clothing, especially at specialty retailers like MEC, Sail, Atmosphere, and The Complete Paddler, who usually also have educated staff who are passionate about the outdoors themselves. And with increasing disposable income, free time to work remotely and a robust online marketplace, getting out and staying outdoors has never been easier.

Expect the outdoor sports boom to continue as Canadians increasingly focus on the outdoors year-round, said Adam Ketcheson, chief product officer at MEC. “We have seen all the outdoor activities explode, but some of the most important were snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, cross-country skiing and winter hiking,” and they continue to be in fashion. And put camping there, yes, even in winter!

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They are all ready to meet demand – the company has just launched its new logo to mark a renewed emphasis on core values ​​of MEC’s ​​past and future. “We’re bringing back what has made MEC Canada’s most trusted outdoor retailer,” including quality outdoor products and expertise, says Ketcheson.

No matter the weather or the level of experience, quality products help consumers really get the best of winter, he says. “Clothing, shoes and outdoor gear are getting lighter, warmer and more breathable, making it easier and more comfortable to get out and stay outside every second.

“The cold and the snow should be an opportunity, not a deterrent,” he adds.

Wear it depending on the weather

You are what you wear! And you will be cold if you wear the wrong clothes!

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Wear them to win winter – and outdoor enthusiasts on your Christmas list:

Like wearing a puffy onesie! The 100% Recycled Original Selk’bag includes removable slippers and is perfect for vacation trips, movie nights, campfires, RV adventures, local park exploration and more; $ 174.95, at MEC.

Whether you’re cross-country skiing or winter hiking, the colorful Radiator Lite hoodie from MEC uses premium down to keep you warm; $ 249.95 at MEC. Some colors are on sale.

Play fluffy style with the Vanity suede boot made in Canada by Cougar. Functional and ultra fashionable, these boots are light, waterproof and temperature rated down to -24C; $ 240, from Cougar.

For warmer winter days, slip on the super cute and comfortable Hudson Trail Fleece Full Zip. The stylish zip-up fleece is made from recycled wool and is luxuriously soft; $ 180, from Smartwool.

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Hot by any stretch and for any sport! The Stretchdown Light Pullover combines incredible warmth and dynamic stretch fabric for a full range of motion to win any outdoor winter activity; $ 243.75, by Mountain Hardwear.

Layer and switch from season to season in style with the Tilley Expedition Down Vest. A classic silhouette, it features two exterior and two interior pockets and is available in four colors; $ 168, from Tilley.

Take on the trails with the new unisex Tubbs Lookout snowshoes, featuring a lightweight aluminum frame and durable bridge to balance bite in packed snow and float in soft materials; $ 229.95, at MEC.

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