MEC offers gear and expertise to Parks Canada camping initiative

Outdoor retailer provides $100,000 in equipment to support novice campers

VANCOUVER, June 18, 2011 /CNW/ - One thousand Canadians who are new to camping will enjoy a dry, warm and comfortable night's sleep thanks to a partnership between Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and Parks Canada. Canada's leading outdoor retailer is providing 300 tents, 1,000 sleeping bags and 1,000 sleeping pads valued at $100,000 to participants of the Learn to Camp events that are taking place at ten national parks and historic sites across the country this weekend.

"Good gear can often make the difference between a great camping experience and one that's so-so or downright awful," said MEC CEO David Labistour. "Sleeping outdoors amidst the beauty and splendour of Canada's national parks can be a rewarding experience, and MEC is honoured to provide novice campers with gear that promises to fulfill that experience."

The MEC-brand tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads are designed in Canada, field tested in real-world conditions and built to MEC's rigorous performance and quality specifications.

MEC employees will also be on-hand at most Learn to Camp events to share their expertise, offering  newcomers young and old camping workshops about such things as essential gear, food and cooking tips, safety and outdoor etiquette.

The outdoor retailer builds on its employees' passion for the outdoors by offering them a comprehensive training program that encompasses outdoor recreation activities as well as clothing and gear suitable for each.

MEC's partnership with Parks Canada is one of several that the co-op has with organizations across Canada that are variously focused on environmental conservation and outdoor recreation. In 2011, MEC will donate approximately $2.5 million to Canada's outdoor community through its grants program.

About MEC

Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, Mountain Equipment Co-op is Canada's leading retailer of outdoor clothing, gear and services for self-propelled activities like cycling, hiking and paddlesports. MEC has more than 3 million members throughout Canada, whom it serves through 14 destination stores in 6 provinces as well as mec.ca. Widely recognized for its commitment to sustainability, MEC is a member of 1% for the Planet and supports various outdoor recreation and environmental initiatives through its community grants program. Anyone can join MEC and become part-owner in the Co-op, by purchasing a $5 lifetime individual membership. More information about MEC is available at www.mec.ca.

SOURCE MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP

For further information:

Tim Southam
Public Affairs Manager
604.707.4480 (direct)
604.561.4528 (mobile)
TSoutham@mec.ca

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MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP

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