• Photo: Francois Leger-Savard

Two of the biggest names in exploration are teaming up to help make Canada better known to Canadians and the world.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is pleased to announce Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) as its official outfitter. Since 1929, the RCGS has supported and celebrated Canadian exploration, from the windswept heights of Yukon’s Mount Logan to the still-unknown depths of the Bisaro Anima cave. Now, when explorers carry the flag of the RCGS out into this country’s wildest places and spaces, they’ll do so with quality gear from a leading Canadian name in outdoor equipment and clothing.

The partnership will also see MEC provide financial support for the RCGS expeditions program and gear for other RCGS programming.

“We’re thrilled to have MEC, a name synonymous with quality, adventure and a passion for the outdoors, working with us as we fulfill our mission to connect Canadians with their natural and cultural heritage,” says John Geiger, CEO of the RCGS.

Adds MEC CEO David Labistour, “Canada is a country that continues to challenge explorers to find the unfound, to shed light on the unknown. Outfitting them with gear that bears the MEC name – gear that’s designed and built to perform in real-world conditions – is a tremendous honour, and we are excited to help Canadian explorers realize their goals.”

Among the expeditions receiving support from the RCGS and MEC in 2018 are:

  • Expedition AKOR, a three-month, 1,500 kilometre canoe journey connecting the George River, Ungava Bay, Mount Iberville and the steep coasts of the Labrador Sea

  • The Bayne/Coleman Project, a documentary about the search for Sir John Franklin’s burial vault

  • The Mystery Mountain Project, a re-enactment of the first exploration of British Columbia’s Waddington Range

  • The Search for Nova Zembla, an expedition to discover the wreck of a British whaling ship that sank near Baffin Island in 1902 (supported in part by One Ocean Expeditions)

Finally, the MEC Expedition of the Year, the Bisaro Plateau Caves Project, will see speleologists Jeremy Bruns, Christian Stenner, Kathleen Graham and a large Canadian caving team return to this challenging cave system to continue exploration using both underground camps and cave diving.

Founded in 1971 by a group of west coast mountaineers, MEC’s mission is to connect people with the gear and expertise they need to lead an active life outdoors. As Canada’s largest co-op by membership, MEC is committed to sustainability, community and the stewardship of wild places.

To celebrate this exciting partnership and to help inspire your next adventure, MEC and the RCGS are offering a giveaway. Visit MEC.ca and enter to win a one-year subscription to Canadian Geographic, a MEC water bottle and a $25 gift card!