Sam Waddington is a serious world traveller and is very passionate about the outdoors.
For a young 23-year-old, Waddington has travelled to more places than most people three times his age. When he was seven years old, his family went on a three-year sailing trip down the west coast of North America and into Mexico, then across the Pacific Ocean to the South Pacific islands. He’s been to 33 countries and has travelled throughout southeast Asia, French Polynesia, west Africa, the Middle East, Europe, New Zealand, and Central America.
Yet he always comes back home to Chilliwack.
“I didn’t have any foregone conclusions of what I wanted. Every time I came back to Chilliwack, I started to see it differently and with fresh eyes,” says Waddington.
“We have one of the best offerings of what I love here,” he adds. “Amazing lakes, rivers, mountains, and we’re close to the ocean. (Plus) a temperate climate, yet the snow is always right on our doorstep.”
Over the years he’s hiked many a mountain, scaled numerous rock faces, and spent countless nights outside. But getting the supplies needed for his outdoor sports was an adventure in itself.
“My buddies and I had to drive to Vancouver to get what we needed, and I think that we needed something out here,” he says.
Enter Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors.
It’s a cosy store with a wooden façade, and has a warm, cabin-like resemblance on the inside. His store has been open less than a month and it’s already doing well.
With the store located at the south end of Vedder Road, less than one kilometre from the Chilliwack-Vedder River, Waddington believes he’s found an ideal location.
“I think the beautiful part of this shop is its destination. I wanted to be nearest to our largest offering of outdoors in Chilliwack, and Chilliwack Lake Road is the hotspot for outdoor activities,” he says.
“We sell outdoor clothing and footwear, rock climbing and mountaineering equipment, back packs, sleeping bags, tents and camping gear. There’s stuff for snow sports as well, like back country skiing and snow shoeing.”
Throughout his adventures, he’s tried and tested a lot of equipment. He knows from firsthand experience what some of the best products are.
“I’ve distilled my products down to ones that I’ve tried or used, whether it’s the product itself or the product line,” says Waddington. “I can confidently say that I’ve used it and trust it, and I can stand behind what I sell.”
He also rents equipment so that people can try something before they buy it.
“Rentals are a big priority for my business. I want to make it as easy and affordable to get out there and enjoy the outdoors,” he says.
Waddington wants to pass on his appreciation and love for the outdoors to others in the area.
“For me (opening a store) came more from a raw passion — I did not come at this from a business level. I stand behind the counter every day and I want to outfit people with whatever they need to get outside. That’s the end goal.”
“I think a lot of people overlook it, but we live in a coastal rainforest and its a pretty amazing place to be,” he says.
The official grand opening of Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors is this Saturday, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The store is located at 5643 Vedder Rd. and is open seven days a week. For more info, call 604-846-1984, or go online to www.mtwaddingtons.com.