Situated loosely between the Canadian Prairies and the foothills of the majestic Canadian Rockies in the province of Alberta, Calgary is regarded by many as the gateway to paradise. With its world class National Parks (Banff and Jasper) no more than a couple of hours away, Calgary provides the perfect access point for hikers, mountaineers and winter sports enthusiasts alike.
While Calgary is often used as an access point for the National Parks and Rocky Mountains, don’t be fooled in to thinking that the city itself is without its attractions or charm. Comprising a number of multicultural areas and a well established arts and music scene, the city itself – particularly downtown, easily identifiable for its huge sprawl of skyscrapers – provides an eclectic blend of bars, cafes and restaurants, along with parks, public squares, a variety of cultural venues and a whole range of shopping options. It’s also home to the Devonian Gardens, a huge complex comprising a vast urban garden, which is among the largest in the world. Add to that the endless amount of ultra modern bars and immensely popular nightclub scene and you’re looking at one positively thriving city.
With the Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park within such close proximity to the city, Calgary is well known and consistently popular for being a huge winter sports destination. Anything from bobsledding and ski jumping to cross-country skiing and snowboarding, Calgary and its surrounds really have got it all.
Naturally, this brings in hordes of additional tourists during the winter months who are either keen enthusiasts who travel the world chasing the winter or beginners who are up for getting as much out of their holiday as possible.
Whatever activity you choose, buying all the associated clothing and equipment is far from cheap. If this is a one-off visit, then it’s even more frustrating knowing that much of it is only going to be used a few times. It’s for this reason that many people choose not to purchase brand new items, and instead buy used.
Finding used items for sale isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. There are often classified ads put up by people moving on to other destinations, who are offering their equipment for sale, something that you could also do yourself when you finally move on. A local sports shop for example may have a special pre-season promotion, whereby they put all popular lines on sale at a very reasonable price. Online auctions or stores all offer great used items for sale and generally deliver within a day or two.
Choosing to spend more wisely in this way will ease a bit of the tension and you’ll generally find you’ll get a lot more out of your stay, as well as having saved a lot of money in the process. If nothing else, it will at least give you an extra few days up in the ski fields!