While travel might be restricted right now, eventually we’ll be able to explore B.C. and further afield again. Buying a gift card is a great way to support a local adventure or travel business through the pandemic, while giving you something to look forward to. Start planning your post-pandemic adventures with these “get out there and explore” small businesses.
Throw away that Vancouver Island guidebook. From their base in the Cowichan Valley, Twofiveo Tour Co. will take you off the beaten path to give you a local’s perspective of parts of the Island you may never even have heard of. Spend a day sampling the area’s craft breweries, go camping in the woods, or check out the Cowichan Valley’s wineries. Buy a gift certificate for their wine adventure by the end of 2020 and receive a free mulled wine kit.
B.C.’s spectacular scenery makes it road trip heaven, and you don’t have to drive far before you come across a VW or other camper van out on the highway. If you’ve felt a pang of jealousy as you pass them chugging along in the slow lane (the older vans at least) to adventures unknown, Honest Camper can give you a taste of #vanlife. Choose from their distinctive fleet of fully-equipped, ready-for-adventure, campers—from a classic 80s VW Vanagon Westfalia to the latest Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Metris. Buy a gift certificate to give yourself an excuse to plan your next epic road trip, get the map out, and start plotting your route.
If your idea of a road trip involves gnarlier terrain, FarOut Wilderness will equip you to venture into the back country. They’ll take your ideas and create a tailor-made self-drive adventure just for you. Or you can choose one of their pre-planned adventure routes. FarOut’s vehicles are carefully chosen for the rigours of B.C.’s bumpier roads. They come equipped with a rooftop tent, camping equipment, GPS Messenger service, and everything else you need for a multi-day adventure off the beaten track.
Whether you’re going backpacking, off-roading, or car camping, you’ve got to eat. SimmerShield makes light, compact, and efficient stoves for outdoor adventures. Created by two B.C. outdoor enthusiasts (including one former combustion design engineer), the SimmerShield Complete Solo System gives you everything you need to whip up a meal for one on the side of a mountain or in the campground. Weighting just 6 oz, the whole system is about the size of a banana.
Not everyone has the space to store all the gear needed for a typical camping trip, especially a multi-day adventure like the West Coast Trail or Juan de Fuca Trail. Not only does West Coast Gear rent everything you need, but they have also created packing lists specifically for these two well-known trails so you won’t be caught short. They even dole out valuable advice for dealing with bear and cougar encounters. You can rent the essentials, such as tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, and bear spray, as well as some nice-to-haves, like inflatable surfboards and portable solar panels.
Everything looks different when viewed from a sea kayak. A kayak trip with Island Römer Adventures gives you an Orca-eye view of some of B.C.’s most spectacular coastlines. The company caters to paddlers young and old in single or double kayaks. They’ll even put a seat in the centre hatch for smaller children. Island Römer Adventures offer guided half-day and full day kayak tours off Vancouver Island, as well as multi-day trips to spectacular Desolation Sound on the Sunshine Coast.
If going paddle-boarding or surfing in Tofino isn’t on your B.C. bucket list, it should be. Now is the perfect time to start planning a future trip to our province’s iconic surf spot and the western end of the Trans-Canada Highway. Tofino Paddle Surf offers paddle-boarding and surfing tours, adventures, lessons, retreats, camps, and rentals from their base on majestic Mackenzie Beach.
If your 2021 calendar is looking a bit lacking in adventure, it’s time to start planning. Get a gift certificate or book a new B.C. experience through these and other adventure-focused businesses in the BC Marketplace.
Kari Morgan is one of the foremost young Indigenous artists working in BC. She has displayed artwork across the Northwest, Vancouver, and Seattle, showcasing her distinctive minimalist style that blends traditional First Nations art with contemporary influences.Read the Full Story
Skwalwen Botanicals is a small batch botanical skin care business that harvests ingredients in a sustainable and respectful manner.Read the Full Story
We respectfully acknowledge our place of work is within the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and that we serve the Peoples of the many Nations throughout British Columbia.