Great Escape Outfitters

Ultimate Guide for Keeping your Gear in Top Shape
March 08, 2016

Ultimate Guide for Keeping your Gear in Top Shape

Outdoor gear can be a huge expense. With such an investment in your outdoor endeavors, not only do you want your gear to work but also to last. Depending on the frequency and duration of your adventures, you could keep your gear like-new for years. Keeping your gear in excellent condition will save you money and frustration.

Read more

How does a waterproof jacket work?
February 03, 2016

How does a waterproof jacket work?

It's got decades worth of technology packed into every inch, it's resistant to one of Earth’s most terrifying elements, and—here’s the kicker—you’re wearing it. Most people don't think twice about the raincoat hanging in their closet, but if you step back and really analyze it, you’ll be amazed at just how much knowledge it takes to create one of these things (and keep it from feeling like a sauna on the inside). We're going to give you the inside scoop on how a waterproof jacket can be just that...waterproof!

Read more

What do those down numbers mean?
November 24, 2015

What do those down numbers mean?

Have you ever looked at a down jacket that looks as big as a house and saw a 500 fill power rating next to a thin down sweater that said 900 fill and wondered how that could be possible? Well we're here to explain that for you

Read more

November 24, 2015

Stay Warm This Season

The dawning of Winter moving across Canada has sent some people reaching for their wool socks and a bowl of soup, while others bundle up and strap on a pair of snowshoes. Whether the snow and cold air is your friend or foe, Great Escape Outfitters Operations Manager Greg Boyle recommends these five tips for staying warm and enjoying the Canadian winter.

Dress for the activity

If you’re watching the kids skate, or heading down the trail for a hike, the key to staying warm is all about choosing clothes that suit your level of activity. Overheating can be as bad as not being warm enough. Instead, find the right combination of layered clothing that suits you. Standing around outside means you’re creating less blood flow and are probably best to wear heavier clothing. Outdoor enthusiasts, however, should wear layered clothing that regulates body temperature until they eventually heat up.

Adjust layers for your temperatures

Walking lots? Hiking? Skiing? That giant parka may be doing you a disservice. Instead, we recommend a layered approach so you can always adjust your temperature, whether inside or outside. Start with a base, such as long underwear, and then add a few mid-layers topped with a water-proof or wind-proof shell jacket. The moisture management will keep you well insulated, and your temperature consistent. It keeps the elements out and you can adjust accordingly, the beauty of all this stuff is that it's functional but you can get the style. You don't want to look like you're dressed to go hiking in the Yukon, while in the middle of the city.

Avoid cotton

We all probably have memories of laying out a drenched pair of cotton socks to dry after a long day of playing in the snow. If possible,  avoid the material because it doesn't dry fast and can actually pull heat away from you. A lot of wool hats are being sewn with a fleece liner, so the wind won't cut through it as much and adds a bit of a barrier, keeping the wool off of your head. Companies like Icebreaker are making very soft Merino Wool options to pull over your noggin that feel like cotton. Obviously if you need to dress nice, even a pair of merino wool long underwear under a pair of jeans will make a huge difference.

Never forget your extremities

A plan for staying warm should start with your extremities: head, hands, ears, and feet. There are some fabulous looking shoes and boots out there that don't do anything in terms of insulation. We recommends asking our sales staff for advice, and not depending too much on a product's temperature rating because it can be subjective. (for example, I can wear a T-shirt until it's -10, but you wouldn't want to see a -10 rating on a Tshirt! One of the main things your want to look for in boots is that they're waterproof. Everything in our store that is a winter boot is waterproof, we don't like to see things that can leak go on your feet! A pair of ear muffs is also a good start, and all other things being equal, mitts are always going to be warmer than gloves.

Make sure you're well fed

Eat breakfast in the morning, but especially when it's cold outside. If you're eating, it helps get your metabolism going, and it helps keep your heat going, Starving yourself just doesn't help. Not eating enough if you're feeling under the weather can also make your condition worse and even more susceptible to the cold.

People always talk about putting on the winter weight, and yes you can definitely overeat in the winter, but it makes a huge difference! Don't take it too far, but a good plate of potatoes and stew will keep you warm and toasty as much as a good hat!

Until Next Time!

Greg - Great Escape Outfitters

Read more

November 24, 2015

2015 GEO Holiday Gift Guide!

It's that time of year again! Snow is falling from the sky, geese are all but off the bike paths, and the Holidays are nearly here! As magical as it all is, the looming Holiday season means making sure you have the right gifts for everyone on your list. We at Great Escape Outfitters are here to make sure you have the perfect gift for the adventurous ones on your list! I won't be too long winded, I know you all need as much time as possible to get that list checked off... so here we go!

2015 Gift Guide

1. Inside Outside Ornaments

Ornaments This one may seem obvious, but it's one that can easily be overlooked. We've got what you see and much much more, from a canoeing Santa Claus to a canvas tent, an outhouse and everything in between. Outdoor lovers and gear freaks love to collect these ornaments reflecting the fun and freedom of the outdoors. With cabin-themed ornaments as well as outdoor sports such as climbing and paddling, you’re sure to find something that fits you perfectly.

2. Buff Headwear

buff Buffs are an everymans everything. These little fabric tubes make a perfect addition to any wardrobe. We carry a wide range of styles, colours and fabrics to suit your needs! Going somewhere hot? We have a high UV Buff for that. Looking for a sophisticated piece for the urbanite in your life? We have a Merino Wool Buff for that. Need a functional item to keep your loved ones warm? Get them an Original Buff this year under the tree.  A  BUFF® quickly transforms into 12 different technical base layers for your head and neck - all in a package of the size of an energy bar. Adjust the way you wear it to combat changing weather on the fly. These are a staple on Santa's list this year.

3. Get that vintage look locked down

hatsockmitt Addicted to that Lumberjack/jane look that is sweeping the country? Love the look of a winter cottager? Miss the 60's? We have the styles to kit out your vintage look this season. Auclair Deerskin mitts with beaded trim and glove liners will make your hands not only hot to the touch but hot to the eye! Keep that noggin steaming with Reefs heavy knit watch cap. This heathered look will go with any jacket, keeping everything above your eyes toasty while keeping all eyes on you! Finally Smartwool's Popcorn Cable Knit socks have that throwback look that will bring attention to your feet while keeping Winter's cold gaze away.

4. Smartwool Gift Packs

smartwool I don't need to say much about this, three Smartwool socks in a box?... I'll take two! These packs come with three different weights and cushionings to keep your feet on their toes all season long! Keep those feet singing with joy with these comfortable socks in fun patterns. These three packs will make a great gift for anyone whether their an outdoorsy wanderer or an urban explorer.

5. Nalgene Bottles

Nalgene Who hasn't taken a sip out of a Nalgene bottle? You can never have enough of these life staples. Stay hydrated on the go, be it in the city or the mountains. All BPA free, these bottles are a great gift for anyone looking to quench that thirst. We have a huge selection from your classic Nalgene we all know to the new sport top activity bottle to the sippy cups with awesome designs on them to keep your little ripper happy all day long. These bottles are a must for any stocking.

6. Icebreaker Baselayers

Icebreaker In a huge selection of colours, these awesome looking, comfortable and extremely functional baselayers are some of the best pieces of clothing you will ever give as a gift. The Icebreaker  BodyFit 200 Oasis Long-Sleeve Crew is an active baselayer made from Bodyfit 200 merino wool to keep your body at an ideal temperature while you explore the outdoors. Merino wool naturally regulates your body temperature and is antimicrobial for long backpacking trips and limited-luggage travel. Complete with offset shoulder seams to prevent pack-rub, anti-chafe seams, and a drop-tail hem for added coverage when you reach, bend, and twist around. This piece is perfect again for outdoors or urban explorers in your life .

7. Osprey Flapjack/Flapjill Pack

Osprey The Osprey FlapJill/Flapjack Pack has become a mainstay for those looking for an everyday pack that doesn’t look like the status quo.  The pack has a simple look and feel of a classic rucksack but underneath its sleek exterior are features that fit into our modern world.  Fully functional and highly organized this pack is for those that want to bring the outdoor world to their everyday life. For the student or traveler on your list, this one hits all the targets!

8. Sorel Tivoli Boot

Tivoli This fun, mid-cut boot offers you classic styling and dependable warmth. Waterproof suede leather upper is soft and pliable, lined with fleece, and trimmed with faux fur for eye-catching style. It's likely to be on the Holiday list of a lady in your life. These boots have been seen on the likes of Jessica Alba, Gwen Stephani and a host of other celebrities. They not only work well but they look great!

9. Pajar Trooper Boot

Pajar Even when blustery winter weather settles over Ottawa, you still have to make your daily commute. Slip on the Men's street-styled Pajar Trooper Boot for the warmth and traction you need plus the high-top styling you love. The side zip makes for easy on and off while the Pajar Canada patch signifies to all your bold choice in winter footwear. These will get the reaction your looking for this Holiday season when the Pajar box makes its way out of the wrapping. These boots are on every stylish guys list.

10. Stocking Stuffer Ideas! (Under $30)

Under 30 These items will put a smile on anyone's face when they dig into the stocking. Collapsible lexan wine glasses (red and white!) to class up your next hike. Colourful Carabiners for the climber in your life. Sporks from Sea to Summit for your next culinary adventure. Princeton Tec Byte headlamps in three colours for your night time ramblings and Nuun Tablets to spruce up any glass of water with a sugar free boost! These items are all under $30 and will be sure to spread the cheer this year! Well those are the 10 gift ideas to make your Holiday Season a memorable one! You can purchase all of these items and more at Great Escape Outfitters at 369 Richmond Road here in Ottawa. Or Online at Keep reading below to see some of our staffs top picks!

Staff Picks

Janets pick Jenns Pick Kaitlyn's Pick Dougs pick Gregs Pick Brandons Pick Becky's Pick Emilies Pick

Read more