The right gear makes makes West Coast explorations easy and comfortable.

5 simple steps to collecting the experiences of a lifetime

Get out and explore your own backyard … and beyond!

How do you place a value on an amazing experience?

Inspired by the natural beauty at our doorstep and a trend toward smaller homes and simplified living, more Victorians are foregoing the “things” in favour of making memories. And whether it’s kayaking the local waterfront or trekking the Juan de Fuca Trail, “there’s no better place to collect those experiences than right here,” says Stephanie Brown, from Ocean River Sports.

How can you build your experience bank? Here’s five easy tips:

  1. The right gear makes all the difference to enjoying your chosen adventure. From comfortable boots to get you to the top of Mount Finlayson to the best boat for your preferred destinations, you may not need a lot of equipment, but you do need the right tools for the job. And while there’s a lot of information out there online, speaking to a person with local expertise is imperative. “People are also looking for clothing and equipment that supports their values. Conscious consumerism means buying from companies that are local where possible and ethical in their treatment of staff and the environment,” Brown says.
  2. While more people are embracing a more streamlined lifestyle that connects more deeply with friends and nature, gear is a necessary component of certain experiences. However, today’s smaller spaces can make storing that kayak or stand-up paddleboard a challenge and in those cases, rental equipment can be a great solution, Brown says.
  3. Not sure if a particular activity is for you? Try a class first, sampling options like beginner kayaking and paddleboarding. And for the more experienced paddler, challenge yourself to tackle new waters this spring with an intermediate or advanced course!
  4. Take advantage of exceptional local knowledge with a guided paddling tour, from a half-day experience off the local shore to a multi-day experience to the Gulf Islands and beyond.
  5. Don’t let winter dampen your passion for the outdoors. While the weather might keep you off the water, Ocean River Sports hosts a variety of free public talks and an inspiring blog to keep you inspired and informed. From identifying edible mushrooms to navigating by the stars, “hearing from inspiring people tends to inspire others to get out there,” Brown says.

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The premier specialty kayak and adventure company serving Greater Victoria for more than 35 years, Ocean River Sports includes an expansive retail store, kayaking school, kayaking and adventure tours, kayak, canoe and SUP rentals and the most supportive staff around.

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