Experience Adventure With The Outfitters
The Outfitters opened their doors at 220 Water Street in 1998 and have grown to become a leader in Newfoundland and Labrador supplying specialty clothing and equipment for self propelled outdoor adventures. But the storefront is just the starting point – this is where they prepare you for your next adventure – and trust me, their commitment to their customers extends far beyond the sales counter. I sat down with Jonathan Simon who’s in charge of their Marketing and Communications to talk about the business of adventure in Newfoundland.
Occupying a beautiful, two story building in the heart of historic downtownSt. John’s, The Outfitters houses the largest selection of outdoor and active lifestyle products in Newfoundland. St. John’s is a city enveloped by nature, surrounded by water and home to the East Coast Trail. We play host to a large, active community of outdoor enthusiasts who rely on the products and knowledge of the fine people at The Outfitters. Walk in off bustling Water Street and you are met with a wash of colourful, functional apparel – brands like The North Face, Salomon, Canada Goose and Smartwool adorn the walls. Whatever interests you – running, kayaking, skiing, yoga – Outfitters guarantees their apparel will not only make you look good, but it will serve a functional purpose as well.
Upstairs is when things get really fun. Hiking boots? Yep. Camping supplies? You betcha! Full size kayaks and canoes? Wait…what? That’s right, Outfitters has an extensive paddling department. They carry everything to get you on the water including the boats themselves! They are also known in the community for having rare, hard to find items – if you can think of it, Outfitters definitely has it and, if the don’t, they’ll get it here for you. Their philosophy is all about the customer. They don’t just want to sell you a kayak, they want to teach you how to use it. They’re so much more than a storefront – they offer equipment rentals, instructional courses, full warranty servicing for their products, maps and trail guide information, plus they’ll even help you plan your next trip. It’s all about education – their staff is made up of enthusiastic hikers, climbers, kayakers and skiers – the staff not only sell the product, they teach you how to use it, because they have the know-how.
On the flip side, The Outfitters is also an adventure provider. They offer educational clinics in just about anything you can think of – camping, hiking, paddling and even rock climbing. Friday night snowshoe hikes, trail running groups and ski marathons are part of their wheelhouse. Their sea kayaking tour offerings are extensive and perfect for tourists. You can’t visit Newfoundland without spending a day on the water and there’s no better way to spend it than with The Outfitters.
Their tour launch site in Bay Bulls is located in one of the most scenic areas in the peninsula in a relatively protected harbour. Take a three hour tour and get up close and personal with 10,000 year old icebergs and majestic humpbacks. Discover hidden coves, sea caves and waterfalls!
Looking for something a little more adventurous? The Outfitters offers a full day tour with icebergs, whales and seabirds of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. Explore sea caves, rock stacks and mountainous rock faces then retire to Bears Cove beach for a picnic lunch!
Adventure can be relaxing too! Take in a sunset tour and watch the sun descend over the town of Bay Bulls as you cruise along it’s beautiful coastline. This 90 minute tour gives an excellent taste of their regular tours.
Tour season generally runs from mid-May to the end of September and they offer transportation from St. John’s to Bay Bulls and back. The Outfitters will even customize a tour for you – a fantastic idea for delegates travelling to St. John’s on a conference. I’ll be hitting the water next month so stay tuned for my first hand experience!
“Don’t just sell it, teach it” - it’s a motto The Outfitters live by and the outdoor community have certainly taken notice. It has been said that The Outfitters has more gear and gadgets within its four walls than St. John’s has hills. Whether outfitting oneself for the local pub-crawl or a trek along the East Coast Trail, you are sure to find what you are looking for within St. John’s finest outdoor shop.
Visit The Outfitters, take a class, get your gear and book a tour at theoutfitters.nf.ca