You can go on an adventure at any time of year and in any weather if you have the right gear
The Great Outdoors
No matter where you’re from, the desire to explore nature lives in all of us. Ever since our ancestors first left nature to live in a world of their own creation, the wilderness has been calling. On Vancouver Island, we are among the luckiest in the world with parks the size of countries and views that will take your breath away. At Robinsons, we want everyone to be capable of experiencing our backyard first hand, which is why we’re here to help you get back into nature.
When going camping, you will need to bring a variety of things with you for safety, comfort, and pleasure. When you come into Robinson’s, the knowledgeable staff will be able to help you discover exactly what you need to make your camping experience a memorable one. So whether you’re preparing for a wild solo experience or a wholesome family adventure, we’ve got you covered for all the camping gear you’ll possibly need.
It’s not just your protection, it’s your portable home
Robinson’s has Vancouver Island’s largest display of pitched tents!
Whether it’s your home away from home on a fun-filled family camping trip, or a mere minimalist shelter from the elements on a light-and-fast trek, a high-quality, reliable tent will make any adventure that much better. Modern tents take advantage of advanced materials, so they are lighter, more durable and made for many specific different uses.
Robinson’s carries tents from the most respected tent makers, and we’re passionate about making sure we get you into a tent that’s right for your adventurous life. We have over 20 tents pitched upstairs—and staff who know them all inside and out—so you can easily see and compare the different brands and lines.
Click here for this year’s Tent Guide
Choosing a Tent
Your first step in buying a tent is determining how and when you plan to use it. There are four basic categories of tents to choose from: recreation, three-season backpacking, four-season convertible and expedition.
These are generally more spacious and best suited for warmer-weather (or three-season) use. The emphasis here is on comfort over light weight.
These lightweight tents are designed for summer and shoulder-season use. They offer excellent ventilation and large or dual doors for ease of use.
If the weather is just a variable and any conditions are good conditions, these tents are for the bravest of us all. These tents have less mesh, burlier poles and other features specifically designed for all-year use.
The true workhorses. They are designed to withstand the worst weather conditions—high winds, heavy snow loads, etc.—and are brightly coloured in order to be visible during whiteouts.
Never compromise your comfort
A good night’s rest will only going to be as good as the sleeping bag you’re using. At Robinson’s we feature one of BC’s largest selections of high-quality sleeping bags—including a full line of women-specific bags—bivy sacks and accessories, such as compression stuff sacks, so choosing the model to suit your needs is easy.
Let us help you select from the latest lines from brands like Marmot and RAB who offer multiple insulation options—from synthetic to natural goose down—rated for a range of temperatures. Our expert staff can explain the benefits and features of these various lines and make sure that, regardless of the weather conditions you find yourself in, or the position in which you sleep, you get a good night’s rest will only be as good in the proper sleeping bag.
Click here for this year’s Sleeping Bag Guide.
Because eating out should include fantastic scenery
Backpacking stoves may add a few ounces to your pack, but just a few. Today’s stoves are lightweight, versatile, dependable and fuel efficient, all absolutely necessary features for outdoor cooking, whether you’re deep in the backcountry or at a campground. At Robinson’s we feature the best selection from top manufacturers like Mountain Safety Research, Jetboil, GSI and Primus.
For three decades Mountain Safety Research has been making the most powerful and dependable stoves around—for all kinds of conditions and all kinds of adventures. Their WhisperLite stove is famous for its compact size, high BTU output, and its ability to work like a champ in cold temperatures and high altitudes. The DragonFly has an incredible 14,000 BTU output, simmers well and will conveniently burn just about any fuel available—a must for international travellers. This stove is—hands down—the staff’s favourite winter stove.
Sometimes the best ingredient is a little fresh air
Whether you’re looking for an ultralight, minimalist titanium set, or a deluxe, fully stocked outfit big enough to feed a group, our broad selection of cookware kits and individual pieces offers numerous options for both serious backpackers and casual campers. In addition to complete kits and individual pots and pans, we also have plates, cups, bowls, mugs, cutlery, cooking utensils and everything else you might need to complete your outdoor kitchen.
The primary consideration for the kind of cookware you’ll need is based on how you’ll use it: will you be mostly boiling water for dehydrated meals on backpacking trips or cooking food (perhaps in multiple pots) for more complicated meals? Lightweight titanium cookware is ideal for the backpacker—with pots, kettles, mugs and cutlery weighing at mere ounces per piece—while stainless steel offers excellent durability and affordability and is perfect for most other uses. Outdoor gourmets will also want to check out the GSI hard-anodized aluminium cookware—available in a 2-piece boiler, 5-piece cookset, 7-piece cookset and 8”, 10”, and 12” fry pans—which has a thick base to ensure even cooking and a durable non-stick coating for easy clean up.
The outdoors can be enlightening
Lighting options—from headlamps to lanterns—are now more efficient and reliable than ever thanks to the outdoor industry’s adoption of LED technology. Headlamps have gotten smaller, their LED “bulbs” (which are actually diodes) never burn out and they use a fraction of the power of traditional incandescent bulbs, providing much longer battery life. A perfect example is the Petzl Tikka, which weighs a mere 70g, including 3 AAA batteries, and offers 150 hours of usable light out of a single set of batteries.
Sometimes you need to stay hydrated, my friends
Clean water is an absolute essential for every outdoor adventure, and Robinson’s carries a complete line of products—many that are designed to work together—that will help keep you well hydrated.
For water treatment options—both filters and purifiers—we offer high quality products from MSR, Pristine and Katadyn. Whether you’re heading out for an overnight backpacking trip in a local provincial park or a six month safari through Africa, our staff will assist you in selecting the right product for a safe and comfortable trip.
The little things can go a long way
Sure, we’ve got you covered when it comes to all the major categories of outdoor gear—tents, sleeping bags, packs—but we also understand that it’s the little things that can make a huge difference. Here are some of the other categories and brands we offer to make sure you have everything you need for any adventure.
- High-quality sunglasses from Smith and Suncloud
- Hiking and trekking poles from Leki and Black Diamond
- Waterproof stuffsacks and padded storage sacks from Sea to Summit
- Guide books and maps of local areas
- First aid kits, Fox 40 whistles and other safety gear
- Hammocks from ENO and Sea to Summit
- Yeti coolers, drinkware and accessories
Sit back, relax, and enjoy some nature
Since we know it’s unlikely that you can remember the last time you wanted to sit on a rock, we carry lots of things to sit on instead while you’re out camping. From mud to rocks, there is no terrain that cannot be overcome by the wonderful comfort of camping furniture. Whether it’s an inflatable cushion, packable chair, ultralight hammock, or luxury recliner, the only question is, which one is right for you?
Our selection includes quality gear from: