Ditch the Guidebook: MEC Launches Multi-Filter Website to Inspire Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor retailer's Good Times Outside website celebrates Canada's 150+ by spotlighting unique outdoor activities across the nation

TORONTO, June 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration, MEC today announced the launch of a new website that turns the world of regular activity guides and must-do lists on its head. Called Good Times Outside, it's a MEC-vetted source for city-dwellers to discover fresh outdoor experiences in their backyards. Users can filter by vibe, GPS, skill level and how much time they have to find unique things to do outside. It's designed to easily break down the barriers that might keep people from heading outdoors.

"Being active outside is incredibly beneficial for people's physical and mental health," said MEC CEO David Labistour. "To help Canadians discover these benefits, we created the Good Times Outside site to spark mini-adventures and give practical advice about how to make them happen."

The site, www.GoodTimesOutside.ca, features low-barrier activities based around hiking, biking, running, camping, watersports and climbing, all within a few hours of an urban centre. Advice and gear recommendations from local MEC staff experts set users up for success outside. One unique feature of the site is that people can find outdoor experiences based on the vibe they're looking for – something that's adventurous, a challenge, provides a little me-time, offers epic nature, or more.

In addition to the self-guided activity ideas, the site also includes organized events that bring the website to life. These events will deliver Good Times Outside across Canada all summer long, and include major festivals, pop-up activities (like sunrise hikes, bike crawls and adult summer camps), and 25 one-of-a-kind outdoor events dreamt up by MEC staff.

"The Good Times Outside Guide is the digital manifestation of our purpose: to inspire and enable people to live active outdoor lifestyles." – MEC CEO David Labistour.

Throughout the summer users will be able to join MEC doing original activities at events across Canada. This includes summer festivals like WayHome and The Big Feastival in Ontario, and La Grosse Lanterne and Jackalope Fest in Quebec, and pop-up activities such as bike crawls in Vancouver, adult summer camps in Ontario, Quebec and BC, and a special sunrise hike across the country on Canada's birthday with MEC Outdoor Nation partner Chasing Sunrise.

MEC is also funding 25 outdoor experiences dreamt up by staff. Through an internal contest, select MEC staffers across the country will be granted $1000 and a paid day off to share their idea of #GoodTimesOutside.

"Our staff are the embodiment of our purpose," said David Labistour. "Not just in their own activity pursuits but also how they offer advice to our members and in many cases, serve as community leaders. We're very excited to support them in spreading their passion and know-how to a wider community through Good Times Outside."

Some of the staff entries include:

  • Hiking, snorkelling and bouldering by Peggy's Cove on the Atlantic coast – Halifax, NS
  • Savasana, SUP and chocolate: an island retreat with meditation and gastronomic pleasures – Montreal, QC
  • Outdoor Master Chef: an afternoon of fresh air culinary challenges that involve campfires, trail running and ice cream – Laval, QC
  • Paddling a war canoe up the Humber River with people who've never explored Toronto's fresh waters – Toronto, ON
  • Introducing members of the North York Community House to breakfast in the backcountry, hiking, camp games and climbing demonstrations – North York, ON
  • Canoe flotilla to a movie on the river – Edmonton, AB
  • Improving trails at Myra Bellevue Provincial Park with volunteers from The Friends of the South Slopes Society – Kelowna, BC
  • Mountaintop ice-cream where you least expect it, but want it the most – North Vancouver, BC
  • Stand-up paddleboard dodgeball tournament – Vancouver, BC
  • Paddling the River of Golden Dreams with new Canadians – Whistler, BC

The activity ideas and inspiration will only keep growing. MEC will continue to evolve the website by integrating user feedback, adding new locations every week and generating more MEC-hosted activities following the summer launch. Supporting content is and will continue to be a priority, so anyone using it can get tips and advice through every stage, no matter if it's a first time adventure or an annual retreat in need of a little boost.

"We hope to show that with a little help and a lot of inspiration, good times outside are there for the taking." — said MEC CEO David Labistour.

About MEC
MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) is Canada's go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration. Combining high-quality apparel and equipment with expert advice and firsthand experience, MEC supports a wide range of activities including camping, snowsports, watersports, cycling, climbing, hiking, running, yoga and travel. Established in 1971, MEC is Canada's largest consumer co-operative with over 4.4 million members across the country. A lifetime membership is available for $5. A strong backer of community initiatives, MEC has invested over $37 million and counting into non-profit organizations that support outdoor recreation and conservation. For more information, visit www.mec.ca and follow @mec, or visit one of our 22 stores nationwide.

SOURCE MEC

For further information: For more information and to arrange an interview about MEC's new Good Times Outside website: www.GoodTimesOutside.ca; Gigi Rabnett, Account Executive at NKPR, Gigi@nkpr.net, 416 988 8239; Tory Nash, Account Executive at NKPR, Tory@nkpr.net, 416-365-3630, ext. 242; Andrew Sutherland, MEC Public Relations, andrew.sutherland@mec.ca, 604-707-3304

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