Here are some actually useful outdoor skills courses you can take at MEC right now

Apr 9 2019, 7:19 pm

Some Canadians truly live up to the stereotype of being a master of all things outdoorsy. They know how to pitch a tent and tear down a campsite, they can forage for food, and they can even tap a maple tree for syrup if things get dire.

Sadly, we’re not all built that way. But there’s still hope for us yet.

If you’ve finally decided to show your true Canadian side and get informed on all the skills you’ll need to take on the wilderness, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Toronto’s recently opened flagship store is hosting informational clinics that you won’t want to miss.

For the first three months after the store opening, these events will take place almost every weekend. They are set to cover everything from in-store film screenings to athlete talks and presentations. There’s also going to be social gatherings with MEC’s brand partners, including The North Face.

The new Toronto store will also be offering in-store programs that will educate you on areas of outdoor recreation. And the best part is, many are completely free to participate in. All you have to do is register for the events via the MEC website.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the new (and yes, very useful) wilderness skills you will be able to learn during the classes:

Intro to Ultralight Backpacking — Do it for the grams

If you love hiking and everything about the great outdoors but are unsure of the type of gear you’ll need and how to use it, join this class to become familiar with the essential equipment required. Travelling with the just the basics frees you up to move fast and far. And now you can discover realistic tips on how to lighten your load so you can trek safely along the trails.

Bike Maintenance 101 — Beginner bike maintenance

Covering all the basics of bike maintenance, in this overview, you will learn how to maintain your bike’s chain and components, how to change a tire and patch a tube, and how to adjust your brakes. You will leave the information clinic with the basic skills to keep your ride safe and smooth along the road or trail. Basically, it covers everything you wanted to know about looking after your bike but were afraid to ask.

Bike Maintenance 101 — How to fix a flat bike tire

If you’re only going to learn one bike repair skill — learn how to fix a flat tire. After this bike mechanic-led hands-on clinic, you’ll be totally prepared to repair a flat (and maybe save the day for another cyclist who needs a hand). You may also attend this clinic as just an observer who wants to learn if you’d like, space permitting.

Bike Maintenance 201 — Brake adjustment

This clinic is designed for the more advanced cyclist who wants to learn on their own bike. The session covers brake adjustments, derailleur adjustment and chain, cassette and cable replacement. This course is led by trained cycling staff or bike mechanics, and is a follow up to Bike Maintenance 101!

Become a Knot Nerd — Tie five advanced knots

Have you already mastered the trucker’s hitch knot? If so, you’re likely looking for a new challenge. You can join MEC’s advanced knot tying clinic to learn how to tie useful outdoor knots for prusik loops. Soon you’ll be the person that all of your friends turn to for helpful tips before they embark on their own outdoor adventures.

Camp Skills — How to cook like a chef outside

Camping is one of the most enjoyable things you can do with your crew this season. And just because you’re in the wilderness doesn’t mean you should live off of hot dogs or s’mores. Joining this camp skills clinic will prepare you for impressing your group with newfound camp skills and camp cooking hacks — whether you’re hiking in the back country or staying at a family campsite. FYI, coffee essentials will be covered, too.

MEC is Canada’s go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how, and inspiration. With a combination of high-quality apparel and equipment with expert advice and firsthand experience, they support a wide range of outdoor activities — whatever you’re after!

To view all the events and information clinics being held by MEC Toronto — including low-cost races, local adventures, snowsport and stand-up paddleboarding events — simply visit their website. Spots are limited for each, so register your name now!

MEC Toronto Flagship Store

Address: 300 Queen Street West

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