The Great Canadian Outdoors


We’re well into hiking season by now and clothing stores across Canada are displaying their most promising, practical, and trending 2014 outdoor gear. The Canadian retail clothing industry generates over $260 million in annual revenue — and this is all thanks to those outdoor enthusiasts.

This outdoor clothing industry owes it’s success partly from wilderness activism. Wilderness activism is a movement that strives to preserve wildlife and green spaces (such as national and state parks); those who are wilderness activists strive for sustainability and conservation while still appreciating and exploring the land and utilizing it for recreational use only. According to a recent survey, the most popular outdoor activities in 2012 were hiking, camping, biking, and fishing.

The conservation movement formally began with Samuel P. Hays’ book, Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920, which covers how to steps on being more environmentally friendly and interacting appropriately with the environment (being sustainable, etc.). The conservation movement sought to protect that nation’s natural resources.

Yet preserving wilderness doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the great outdoors, and many people are now enjoying hiking, camping, and fishing while being environmentally responsible. With each outdoor activity there are very specific clothing and gear necessities in order to best protect yourself against the outdoor elements.

Camping gear often includes a tent, a backpack, a stove, and clothing. Wool sweaters in particular are very popular and are often a best seller at outdoor clothing stores. Wool is a textile fiber from sheep and have several unique qualities that make it ideal for camping. Wool’s scaling and crimp make it easier to spin; this also helps the individual fibers attach to each other better. The crimping aspect of wool often makes the fabric thicker and more bulky because it retains more air than other textiles. However, because wool is thick, it retains heat — which is perfect for those cold Canadian mornings on the trail.

Outdoor clothing stores are not hard to come by, with an estimated 4,137 clothing businesses in Canada alone. Be sure to try on some wool sweaters as you’re shopping for your next lightweight and durable tent.

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