If you’ve done anything outdoors in Canada, especially Western Canada in the 1980s and later…you know about MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop or just “meck”).

They have an amazing line of outdoor clothes and gear, and have always prided themselves on knowledgable staff who actually use their stuff, don’t work on commission and provide helpful advice to help make the best decision whether it’s a hiking boot, a jacket or pair of socks.

I don’t buy much online, sight unseen, but MEC is the exception. And their marketing works on me. I am proof positive that emails about clearance items are very likely to turn into sales.

But this past weekend, I went to a new store in the next city. It’s a dangerous trip for me. I actually told myself ahead of time “you don’t need anything.”

I just bought things I needed…

While I was there, I was impressed again by their rock solid guarantee. While trying on boots, the staffer told us that if the hiking boots didn’t work out, they could be returned…even if they were covered in mud from testing driving them on the trail. Wow. Kinda made me want to buy a few pairs.

But I showed great restraint and just bought their Nola rain coat (for the as-yet-unplanned trip to Shetland), a great lightweight travel towel and some layers for the cold weather on its way.

MEC is a great Canadian success story that will continue to get my support.


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