REI members have done a lot of cool things, like the couple who got married at our DC flagship store and the two best friends who revisited an old trail together 50 years later. We also can’t forget the daughter who continued outdoor traditions with her dad’s beloved blue sleeping bag
We hear there are more co-op member stories out there and we want to know about them! Share your member story with us by replying below.
One of my favorite campfire stories involves a Great Smokey Mountain NP thru-hike with my sons, then 11 and 12, back in the 80's.
We had been warned, that if we encountered any bears - do not run!, just try to 'look big' and walk calmly on.
Well, sure enough, walking thru a large meadow we spotted a single bear, walking along side of us about 200' away. Soon it fake charged us.
So of course we ran, with me leading the way... the bear, mercifully turned away when we did not drop our packs.
And yes, that old story about 'you don't need to be faster than the bear, just faster than your partner' did occur to me!
It is a great memory and a good laugh for all of us!
I don't remember how, but we managed to snap a photo.
I remember my first purchase from REI - a Primus 71L stove - cost was 8 or 9 dollars. Shortly thereafter I purchased my first real climbing rope, around 20 bucks - 120 feet of 7/16 laid nylon. Ropes are now both longer and more expensive.
Mine is not just a story, but a series of stories. I have a friend here in the Midlands of South Carolina who started doing solo day hikes in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Her two adult kids were concerned about her hiking alone, in areas with sketchy cell phone service. So she posted a question on social media, wanting to know if anyone would like to accompany her on a monthly hike somewhere, with a stop afterwards at a brewery, or winery. She was expecting a couple of people to respond. Instead, she had several dozen. So, about 3 years ago, she started a group and called it “Sunday Sojourns”. We have hiked in the mountains, in lowland swamps, in state parks, in National Forests, on South Carolina trails such as the Foothills Trail, and the Palmetto Trail. She has taken us to waterfalls, crossed lots of foot bridges, seen scores of birds, deer, alligators, coyotes, and many others. In the 3+ years she has been planning and leading our Sunday Sojourns, we have not hiked the same trail twice, nor have we been to the same brewery or winery twice. This is a monthly thing that we all look forward to. We get outside. See some super cool things. Hike amazing places. And enjoy good local beer or wine with great friends. And, that is what makes life fun.
Our family story is still being written. It's been a great adventure for us as parents and incredible journey for our 4-year-old twins. Our story as parents is the joy of teaching and having them adventure outdoors. Their story will be a lifelong journey and has only started. Their love for the outdoors cannot be described. They truly love hiking and backpacking which gives us an opportunity to spend quality time together on the trail. Although young they have accomplished so much this past year. Our most memorable trip was definitely Mt Whitney which we did twice last year. The twins set a record for being the youngest (4 years 5 months old) to climb Mt Whitney on their own (not carried). They truly are an inspiration to us and many more.
Two pictures below, but you can see all of them on Instagram or FB: Super Hiking Twins
Thank you REI for having a store nearby that provides us with all the gear we need.
@Shaun wow, wow, wow, what amazing kids (and parents)! Thanks for sharing!
After being raised as the only child (a daughter) of a sportsman father, I enjoy nature and being outdoors, but in my own way. Not hunting & fishing as I did with my father, but canoeing, sailing, kayaking, camping, hiking, and taking photographs. I joined REI while living in Oregon in the early 70s to get the best gear for my adventures. Then life and career slowed down my outdoor pursuits. When I wised up and got back to nature, of course I turned to REI but in another state! In the store checkout line, the cashier asked if I was a member. I told him I used to be. He smiled and said then you still are! Now in my 70s and living near a different ocean I'm still an REI member with many happy memories and a lifetime of love for REI and the adventures your gear made possible.