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A New Way to #OptOutside with REI This Year

Courtesy of REI

Two years ago, REI made news by closing all of their stores on Black Friday. They dubbed it #OptOutside and encouraged their employees and customers to skip the shopping and retail madness on the day after Thanksgiving and head outdoors for a little fresh air and adventure. It quickly went viral on social media, with thousands of people tagging their photos and adventures with the #OptOutside hashtag.


On November 23  it will be time for the annual Black Friday shutdown and time for everyone to get outdoors again. This year, REI upped the ante and also launched a custom search engine for people to share and discover adventures. In a collaboration with Instagram, they curated thousands of #OptOutside tagged posts and users can now search by activity and location to help them decide on where to go and what to do.


Users will click on a photo of a hiker, for example, and be able to see the name of the trail featured, its difficulty rating, directions to the trailhead, recent user reviews and related expert advice from REI professionals. You can also use hashtag categories to narrow your search and sort by interest—topics like cycling, hiking, climbing, kids, dogs, women who hike and more.


The search engine has already gone live, so you can start planning your Black Friday #OptOutside adventure now. Some of the best kid-friendly hikes in Seattle, like Franklin Falls and Denny Creek are highlighted. For more ideas, check out our article on Short Hikes for Short Legs.

Reminder: Keep in mind our mountain snowfall has arrived early this year. Be sure to call 511 for road conditions before heading out for recreation in the mountains, dress for the cold and check the Washington Trails Association website for current trail conditions. 

Visit www.rei.com/opt-outside to check it out.

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