February 07, 2010 | Tips from Us >
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Like most Vancouverites, I’m a big fan of exploring the local mountains. I’m also a fan of staying warm, dry, well-fed and not-lost. So, before I gallivant into the forest, I head to the stretch of outdoor supply stores clustered around the intersection of Broadway and Manitoba Street.
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) tops my list, as it has everything from bird identification books and dehydrated food to bicycle lights and wool socks. In addition to the oodles of stuff they have for sale, they also have rental gear, such as snowshoes, kayaks and ice axes.
If MEC doesn’t have what I’m looking for, I venture into one of many other outdoor shops in the area. This is often the case when I’m shopping for a specific item (such as hiking boots or bike gloves) or are looking for popular rentals (such as snowshoes on a powder day). Tip: 3 Vets, just a few blocks from MEC (at Yukon St. and 6th Ave), is jam-packed with inexpensive outdoor goods.
If you're an outdoor gear geek, you could spend many hours and dollars in this part of town. Don't say I didn't warn you. :)