The outdoors is the best place to be yourself. With Pride season kicking off, MEC would like to acknowledge the importance of celebrating and including LGBQT2S+ communities in the outdoor industry – and we’ve got events coming up across Canada to do just that.
MEC is proud to represent diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. By signing the Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge, we’re committed to active changes in the way we hire, market and engage with both our members and other brands. We also have diversity and inclusion team made up of #mecstaffers, including a group for LGBQT2S+ inclusion.
Want to join us? See our outdoor Pride events happening across Canada, and check out my list of Pride essentials for summer celebrations outside.
Outdoor Pride events across Canada
MEC is collaborating with LGBQT2S+ groups to host outdoor Pride events across the country. Check out what’s happening near you – there’s everything from Rise and Shine Pride Hikes to a Love Floats Pride Parade on the water.
One example of local groups we’re supporting is Queer Outdoors Vancouver, who aim to connect LGBQT2S+ outdoor adventurers. “The purpose of the group is to build queer outdoors community, plan trips, and share skills and resources,” Mik Turje, the group administrator said, “so that more of us can get outside, learn new skills, and feel safe and comfortable while we do it.”
Pack up your Pride essentials
Make sure you have what you need to get outside and celebrate what it means to be you, your way.
A reusable water bottle
Hydration is key on hot summer days. Bring your own water bottle when you head out to cut down on single-use plastic bottles, and look for one that’s insulated if you like to keep your water chilly. If you get bored of plain water, add electrolyte tabs or a squeeze of lemon or lime to keep you sipping throughout the day.
Nuun tabs are electrolyte-replacing drink tablets that are super easy to toss in your bag to jazz up your water throughout the day. They’re great for endurance events (and we all know Pride is just that). Get an extra boost to head from the beach to the parade or march, and then back to the beach.
Topo Designs Pack and MEC Anorak
This Topo Designs retro pack is the perfect size to fit your hat, snacks and sunscreen for a day of celebrating. If you plan to be out all day, toss in the MEC Travel Light Anorak too, just in case the weather gets chilly – it folds up small into its own built-in stuff sack. With this combo, you’re ready for anything.
Sun safety is the new cool. Buy sunscreen, apply it, bring extra for your friends who inevitably forgot it.
MEC Cross Wind 45+10L
Planning to leave the bustle of the city on Pride weekend and hit the trails? The MEC Cross Wind Backpack is universal, so it’s designed to fit a wide variety of bodies and it’s unisex. It’s made to be MEC’s most comfortable pack, so you’ll be gayly frolicking in the forest in no time.
Have fun out there!
MEC is proud to enable LGBQT2S+ outdoor adventures and connections over the years. A couple of recent faves we’ve supported include Queer Camp in the town of Faro, Yukon, which connects young folks to community and outdoor activity; and Trans Canada, an awesome expedition by James Lovasz that brought trans issues to light as he cycled across the country (@transcanada.bike was supported by an MEC expedition grant).
Pride can be a time of celebration, but it can also be a tough time for some folks. If you’re looking for resources, connect with Pflag Canada.