Montreal just had it’s annual outdoor adventure show this weekend at the Palais des Congrès! The show claimed to be Québec’s largest showcase of outdoor gear and adventure travel experiences and it definitely had my attention.
We went to check out the over 250 exhibitors on site, looking at the latest camping gear, outdoor clothing, sports equipment, scuba diving pool, seminars & adventure travel destinations. After a few hours of visiting the different booths and talking to many exhibitors, we left with many things to think about and lots of swag! Read on for three new finds that caught really caught my attention.
Three New Finds
Happy Yak - Canadian made meals for any adventure
Every adventurer needs to eat and, Happy Yak is a Canadian producer of adventure and travel pre-prepared meals ready to help do the job. From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, the company produces some very delicious looking meals for the adventurer to feast on. The company breaks up their products into several different categories, Express, Vegetarian, Comfort and Signature. Like most adventure food brands, the Express meal is a boil and rehydrate type pack. Many of the flavours are inspired by different international cuisines and honestly do sound delicious. I managed to pick up their the Express Moroccan Feast meal, and am looking forward to giving it a taste!
Where Happy Yak products get very interesting is when you look at their Comfort and Signature line. The comfort line are a selection of meals that remind you of your personal comfort foods growing up. With rich flavours and easy preparations steps, Happy Yak is able to make backcountry eating into a feast. Their Signature line of meals take eating to the next level. With meals like, Seafood Delight, Mandarin Rice and Braised Pork with White Wine Mushroom Sauce, it’s easy to forget that your meal came out of a little pouch. These meals take a little more time and a more active role in preparing your pre-prepared meals than your average Backcountry Pantry’s meal but the tastes seem to be well worth it!
We did have one concern with their packaging however and when talking to the representatives they assured us that it had already been taken care of. Their current packaging is a simple brown pouch bag, with instructions stuck on to the side. These instructions tell the user to pour 100ml of boiling water into the pouch to properly prepare the meal. Where most other pre-prepared meal brands have a water-fill indicator level on the side of the bag, Happy Yak does not. Not yet anyway. They assured us that they are already aware of the issue and their next batch of pouches are going to be revamped and will also include the standard water-fill indicator level on the side of the bag.
Bonnetier - Merino Wool clothing made in quebec
While visiting the different exhibitors I came across a brand I hadn’t heard of yet. Bonnetier is the new kid on the block when it comes to merino wool clothing. I had a chance to meet and speak with two of the women involved in the company and had a great discussion about the brand and its practices.
Just like companies like Icebreaker, who is dominant name in the world of merino of outdoor clothing, they source their wool in New Zealand. However, their merino wool comes from one sole sustainable farm with a 153 year history. What is very exciting is that they complete the manufacturing and garment making process here in Quebec and not overseas. Top it off with the fact that each item is silkscreened by hand using eco-friendly water-based ink, with sharp looking graphics and you have yourself a new favourite outdoor t-shirt.
Bonnetier apparel is competitively priced in comparison to other merino brands, the average t-shirt will run you a bill of about $100 Canadian. I am not sure how often they have sales or promotions on their items, but at the Montreal Outdoor and Adventure Show, they were selling merino t-shirts for $74 Canadian. They do have other products, such as socks, base layers, hats and neck warmers. I will definitely try to have a follow up post on their products and let you know if I pick up a pair of socks or a t-shirt!
Upper Ottawa River Race and Paddle Festival - Be at the Ottawa River Aug. 9-11
One of the finds at the show that I am most excited about is the Upper Ottawa River Race and Paddle Festival! I had the opportunity to meet one of the organizers and he really got me interested in this event. It is a three day paddle oriented festival celebrating outdoor fun and the Ottawa River. From live entertainment, to kayak and SUP races, to fishing derbies and SUP yoga, with dinners and prizes, they seem to have an awesome event formula figured out.
What caught my eye the most out of all those were the SUP races. There are 3 main race categories along with a free kids race taking place on the Ottawa River. There is a new for 2019, 44km race for the diehard paddlers, a 13km race and a much shorter 4km race, so really a race for all paddlers. Having got myself a board last summer and enjoying racing, I am very interested in attending the 13km race, though the thought of trying their 44km race is very tempting to me as well.
Talking to the organizer made it sound like if this is the year you try a SUP race, their race is the one to try! He hinted at some of the coolest sounding swag I’ve gotten at a race yet and a very appropriate for the event, Hawaiian race theme. Included in your race registration, is the entry fee, lunch and dinner, a race shirt, prizes and wards and a shuttle back to your car. Of course live music and guaranteed fun are included in the event, it is a festival after all!
Still More to Come
There were many more exhibitors that I met and spoke to during at the show. I still have lots of material to review and go over, so there will be a few more posts coming shortly about some of the parks, organizations, products and applications that I learned about this year that the Outdoor and Adventure Show. I will be releasing a few more posts shortly about a few other finds from the show.
Until then thanks for reading and happy adventuring!