REI Co-op to Opt Outside year-round: Enoy 300+ free classes and events across the country

Nearly 6,000 people expected to join hiking, paddling and other programs as they prioritize time outside.. Specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op is doubling down on its bold commitment to Opt Outside by calling a time out when life feels like it is on autopilot. REI will host 300+ free classes and day tours on Saturday, June 15 to highlight how the co-op supports its members and broader outdoor community with resources, expertise and inspiration. Registration opens today at REI.com/OptOutsideFreeDay.

“Opt Outside is much bigger than one day of the year—it’s the way we live. It’s the clearest expression of what REI is all about,” says Ben Steele, REI executive vice president and chief customer officer. “Simply put, time outside is fundamental to the health and happiness of individuals and communities. Today, too many people feel like their time isn’t their own and all of us know we spend too much of our time indoors. We can make a different choice. From our incredible store staff to our professional guides and much more, the co-op is here to be a resource for everyone to have a healthy, active life outside.”

On June 15, REI will host a free curated collection of its most popular in-store workshops and local guided hiking and paddling tours with retail staff, the co-op’s experiences guides and community partners. In a single day, nearly 6,000 people will get outside and learn new outdoor skills and activities. At select stores, REI will be joined by body positivity influencer and yoga instructor Adina Crawford, Adaptive Adventures, All Bodies on Bikes, Black Girls Do Bike, Black Girls RUN!, Latino Outdoors, and The Venture Out Project.

REI’s Opt Outside landing page, REI.com/opt-outside, serves as an easy-to-access tool to learn more about virtual and in-person resources offered year-round by the co-op. For example:

  • Over 38,200 enthusiasts participated in 4,800-day experience programs across 14 communities last year. REI teaches more people how to ride bikes every year than any other outfitter.
  • REI offers 150 adventure travel trips throughout North America, including three new itineraries launched in partnership with Outdoor Afro, Inc. that celebrate Black joy in nature. 
  • Stores regularly host introductory classes on a wide range of activities for hiking, camping, cycling and more.

REI is also amplifying its partnerships with Hipcamp and Strava to broaden awareness of meaningful ways to prioritize time outside. The world’s leading campsite booking brand and the co-op launched the “Summer of Magic Campout Series” to surprise thousands of people with free campouts during peak weekends throughout the summer. The co-op will also continue to team with Strava, the leading subscription platform at the center of connected fitness, through new challenges that will be announced in the weeks ahead.

As the co-op has done since 2015, REI will continue to pause operations on Thanksgiving and Black Friday so that all employees can spend the day outside. This holiday season marks 10 years of REI calling on the broader community to join the co-op in its action. Over the years, Opt Outside has evolved to a movement that advocates for causes important to the co-op, including environmental welfare, inclusivity in the outdoor industry and responsible recreation. Since its inception, hundreds of organizations, state and local parks, and businesses have joined the co-op in opting outside on Black Friday. 



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