• The Compass blog
    The Compass blog
    • Your local outdoor resource hub

hammock camping vancouver island

Why Hammocks Rock

Hammocks: the fun way to pack light and camp We all loved hammocks as a kid even though it wasn’t always easy to figure out how to get into them. Hammocks as shelter have recently taken off in western cultures although they have been around for a very long time. A hammock is a very versatile option to replace the conventional tent shelter for outdoor […]

Gore-Tex clothing care

How to care for Goretex

Proper maintenance and care for Goretex and other waterproof fabrics We all love our Goretex on the west coast – or should we say wet coast. There is always that fear, however, of being out on the trail when the rain kicks in and as you look down at your sleeve you notice some of the drops absorbing rather than beading up. So what can […]

sunglasses in Victoria

Why you need to wear sunglasses

Why wear sunglasses and how to find the right ones for you and your eyes. We all think about sunglasses in the summer time when it is bright out and harder to see. Plus who doesn’t like finally getting to put on their sunglasses and walk outside to a bright summer day? Sunglasses, however, are such an important accessory that they should be worn year […]

Icebreaker Merino Wool Victoria BC

Top Five reasons we love Icebreaker Merino

Icebreaker Merino is a great clothing line. Here are the top five reasons why we love this brand.   Maybe you don’t know about Icebreaker Merino Wool yet. Maybe you’ve just heard about it but have not tried any yourself. Maybe you have tried it but don’t really know that much about the clothing. Well, we wanted to let you in on the top five reasons […]


Top Gift ideas for the Paddler

Don’t know what to get the paddler on your list for Christmas? We can help with that. Whether you are looking to get that one perfect large ticket item or fill a stocking with goodies we have the low down on what the paddler in your life is dreaming about for Christmas. Hint: it’s not sugarplums. Big item list 1) A new paddle It’s always […]


Squid skin on frame Kayak Kit

Ocean River is proud to announce a very exciting new product into the store: Skin on Frame Kayak Kits by Made Kayaks on Gabriola Island. The model currently being carried in the store is called the Squid and is the perfect kayak for a youth paddler or a paddler under 5feet and 110lb. The kayak itself is 12 feet long and 23lbs/10kg. The great thing […]

Paddling With Warm Hands

Hand Wear for Paddling   Every paddler has a different opinion of what constitutes the best way to keep your hands warm while paddling. Of course, a lot of the decision is based on the conditions you expect to be paddling in. It is because of the varying conditions when paddling that you will probably end up owning a couple or even several pairs of […]

Choosing the Right Footwear for Paddling

The Right Footwear for Comfort & Function What to wear on your feet while paddling is going to depend a lot on the time of year and the weather conditions but you will find that every paddler has their own opinion about what is the “best” thing to wear on your feet. In fact every time I am on a kayaking trip, this is one […]

PFD Wall

How to Choose the Right PFD

Lifejackets vs Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) First off lets eliminate the confusion between Lifejackets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). A true lifejacket is designed to turn an unconscious victim face up in the water. They have more buoyancy than a PFD, come in two sizes only and must be red, yellow or orange. They are bulkier and lack the comfort for long term recreational use. […]

Life Jackets and PFD’s, do you really need to wear them?

Life Jackets and PFD’s, do you really need to wear them? Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Regulations state that: “PFD’s must be comfortable and functional enough to be worn at all times. Highly visible, short models with pockets for distress flares, radio, and whistle are preferable”.  You should also be aware that the Transport Canada regulations also apply to stand up paddle boards, even when leashed.  […]

GPS on Kayak

Do You Really Need a GPS?

Do you really need to take a GPS on your paddling adventures? The simple answer is no, but there are some very compelling reasons why they can be a valuable asset. However, if you do decide to try one, don’t expect to be able to plug in your destination and happily follow the arrow and turn directions until you arrive. The small handheld units suitable […]