Tired of watching from shore as kayakers glide over the water? Now's the time to join us for an on-the-water class designed to teach you the basics of paddling touring-style kayaks. We'll discuss gear selection, proper fit of boat cockpit and gear, and basic safety skills. Then we'll head out on the water to learn and practice the forward, sweep, reverse and draw stroke techniques so you can get your boat to go where you want it to. Come join us and expand your outdoor destinations to include the open water!
This class expands on the skills learned in our Kayak Level 1 class. Gain more advanced paddling skills! In this on-the-water class we will expand on paddle strokes and boat handling skills and we'll teach self-rescue techniques where you will get to practice safe methods of exiting your boat in a capsize, re-entering your kayak with a paddle float, and pumping it dry with a bilge pump. These recovery skills and the safety gear you learn to use are essential to paddling safely on large bodies of water.
Join our REI Outdoor School instructors as they teach you what you need to know to get the most out of using your bike for transportation. You'll learn to plan your route, to carry what you need on your bike, and to navigate through urban environments. We'll show you some tricks to bike commuting and take you out on a ride to help you increase your confidence in biking your drive!
Experience the thrill of mountain biking with our instructors as they teach you the proper techniques of shifting, braking, hill climbing and descent, body and pedal position, and navigating minor obstacles on the trail. This is designed as an educational ride, not a guided tour; we want to teach you how to get more out of your mountain biking experience. We’ll start by addressing proper bike fit, making necessary adjustments to improve comfort and performance. Next we’ll demonstrate riding techniques and teach important communication and safety skills to prepare you for the ride. We’ll teach you the trail etiquette techniques that mountain bikers can use to help keep trails open and safe for all trail users. Then it’s off for a great ride to practice all the skills you’ve learned. Novara mountain bikes provided at no additional cost for those without a bike of their own. Recommended for those 14 and older; those under 18 must be accompanied by parent or responsible adult. NO RIDER IS LEFT BEHIND!
If you've been riding for awhile and feel comfortable with your bike and want to take your riding performance to the next level, join our expert mountain biking instructors as they teach you to navigate advanced terrain and master singletrack portions of some great local rides. We'll build on the skills you've learned in Introduction to Mountain Biking with more practice handling obstacles, switchbacks, ascents and fast-paced descents. Learn to ride the areas you've wanted to explore but were afraid to attempt on your own. We'll also teach and enforce proper trail etiquette to make sure trails stay open and safe for well-behaved mountain bikers and all other trail users. New Novara mountain bikes provided for those without a bike of their own at no extra cost. NO RIDER IS LEFT BEHIND, but this trip is not for beginners, as we ride at a faster pace and cover tougher terrain.
Experience the rush of road cycling with our instructors as they teach you the proper techniques of shifting, braking, efficient hill climbing, safe descending, proper body position, and reading the road for safety. This is an educational ride, not a guided tour; we want to teach you how to get more out of your cycling experience. This class is designed for folks getting back into cycling and beginners alike. We’ll start by addressing proper bike fit, making necessary adjustments to improve comfort and performance. Next we’ll demonstrate riding techniques and teach important communication and safety skills to prepare you for the ride. Then it’s off for a great ride to practice what we've learned! New Novara road bikes provided at no extra cost for those without a bike of their own. NO RIDER IS LEFT BEHIND! Please bring your helmet and proper riding apparel. Recommended for those 14 and older; those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
Learn the basics of climbing in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. This limited-enrollment class will include an overview of the dynamic sport of climbing as well as individualized instruction. All gear provided.
Come learn the basics of vertical climbing in a natural setting. We’ll focus on building solid fundamental skills such as belaying, crack climbing technique, face climbing technique and maneuvering through the "crux" (most difficult section) of a climb. If you’ve only climbed inside or you are looking to explore climbing for the first time, this is your opportunity to practice with professional rock climbing instructors. We provide harnesses, helmets and all the necessary gear for you to try out this fun and challenging sport! Recommended for those 14 and older; those under 18 must be accompanied by parent or responsible adult.
Learn the basics of building climbing anchor systems. We will cover climbing gear, knots, evaluation and use of natural and fixed protection, and equalizing the forces on the anchor. Traditional climbing gear use is covered in Artificial Climbing Anchors. This is a hands on program where you will build climbing anchors.
Learn the basics of building climbing anchor systems with traditional gear. We will review topics covered in Climbing Anchors Concepts like climbing gear, knots, and equalizing the forces on the anchor. The focus will be on traditional climbing gear use.
Have you been carrying a compass for years and never actually known how to use it? For anyone heading to the outdoors, map and compass skills are essential to navigating safely. Join our Outdoor School Instructors for a class on learning to use a compass and read a map to help you find your way in the wilderness. Our Instructor will teach you all the parts of a compass and how to choose a style that works for you. We’ll talk about magnetic north, true north, and magnetic variation (declination), and help you make sense of it all. Then you’ll learn how to take a bearing, both in the field and projected onto a map, so you can learn how to triangulate your position and plan a route. Speaking of maps, what do all those squiggly lines mean? We’ll also discuss topographic maps and how to read them to understand your terrain. Join us for an optional Map & Compass outing to put your new knowledge into practice.
Join us for an instructional trip to learn how to use a compass and read a map to truly find your way in the wilderness. We'll teach you the parts of a compass and how to make use of them. We'll talk about magnetic north, true north, and magnetic variation (declination), and help you make sense of it all. Then we'll learn how to take a bearing from the terrain, and from your map, so you can triangulate your position and plan a route. Speaking of maps, what do all those squiggly lines mean? We'll look at topographic maps and learn how to read them to understand your terrain. We'll also discuss strategies such as using "handrails" for "aiming off' to improve the accuracy of your backcountry navigation. Map and Compass Basics Class is recommended (but not mandatory) to get the most from this outing.
Join an REI Outdoor School instructor as they lead you through the basics of GPS navigation. Learn how to use your pocket-sized navigator to pinpoint your location, mark waypoints, plot courses, and create routes. Learn about using online maps and transferring route and waypoint information to the GPS. As the Instructor reviews the features to consider when choosing a receiver, they will introduce you to some of the fun and practical applications of using a GPS unit in your outdoor activities. At the end of the session, you will get hands-on experience outdoors with a GPS. If you own a GPS unit, please bring it to the class. Some demo GPS units will also be available.
Are you tired of getting lost on the trail? Learn the latest GPS navigation techniques to keep you headed in the right direction. Head out into the field for a day of hands-on navigation training with our experienced Outdoor School instructors. You’ll practice pinpointing your location, projecting waypoints, plotting courses and creating routes out on the trail, so that you can successfully navigate through local parks and your favorite backcountry destinations. Learn to transfer information from the GPS to your map and from the map to the GPS. We will even show you how to utilize your GPS to give you driving directions to your destination (not all units have this ability). If you own a GPS unit, please bring it to get detailed instruction on its features. Demo GPS receivers will be available, as well as maps and compasses, as we enjoy a scenic hike through a local park. This class will provide an overview of the different techniques needed to fully utilize your GPS receiver. GPS Navigation Class is recommended but not mandatory to get the most out of this class.
Tired of always eating the same old camp food? Heading out for your first camping or hiking trips and not sure what to pack? In this hands-on field seminar, REI Outdoor School instructors will teach you how to build a safe, efficient camp kitchen, design a menu, and prepare nutritious, tasty meals that will delight your campers and elevate your wilderness experiences! Learn about proper food handling and sanitation techniques and tips on preparing and storing your food to minimize clean-up. We will discuss what stove and fuel types are best for your needs, then we will prepare and cook a shared meal on a variety of MSR stoves. We’ll be sampling ultra-convenient freeze-dried meals, along with some of our staff’s favorite camp recipes from a mix of dried and fresh ingredients that are sure to please! All stoves, kitchen materials, and food ingredients provided (with options for both vegetarians and meat eaters.)
This easy excursion will introduce your kids to exploring the outdoors and will leave them wanting more. Join our REI Outdoor School instructor on a kidfriendly hike in a local park to discuss tips and tricks for planning family trips into the outdoors. Learn how to pick a good trail and how to keep the kids interested and happy on the hike. A kid-specific version of Leave No Trace principles will be taught to emphasize good habits in the outdoors. The instructor will tailor the class to your family’s needs. Kids need to be old enough to hike or be carried. Bring your child carrier backpack if needed.
Have you ever wanted to extend your adventures when the snow flies but weren’t sure how to proceed? Join REI Outdoor School instructors for a wintry snowshoe hike. We will cover the basics of snowshoeing, from selecting and using the appropriate snowshoe model to winter travel techniques, necessities and tips for a successful trip. On the trail we will help you fine-tune your technique, answer questions and share our gorgeous Sierra surroundings. We provide the snowshoes—you bring your sense of adventure and join us for a great winter wonderland hike! Trip operates rain or shine unless conditions are unsafe.
Liam has been with REI for over two years and has an extensive background as an active outdoor participant. His climbing experience includes training in anchor systems and rope management, top-rope site management, traditional climbing & Sport climbing techniques. Liam truly has everything we are looking for in a quality instructor and is a welcome addition to the REI Outdoor School team. Liam is certified in Wilderness First Aid, and has a degree in Art.
Sunnys experience includes leading backpacking trips on Mt. Buller, Australia, the Appalachian Trail, as well as various areas of Yosemite and the Sierra. She has also facilitated activities such as rock climbing, ropes courses, and canoeing for kids and adults. Her experience and positive attitude will be a welcome addition to the REI team! Sunny is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, is bilingual in English & Mandarin Chinese, and has a degree in Sociology & Community Studies/Wilderness Therapy.
Jarod has been with REI for over four years and teaches the entire Introduction to GPS, and Hands on GPS clinics. He also has taught many of the Map & Compass clinics and trains all new presenters of GPS and Map & Compass. Jarod is our navigation guru and will be an all around instructor as well for the Outdoor School. He is Wilderness First Aid certified and is on his way to attaining a degree from San Diego State in Biology.
Jaye has been with REI for over two years and has been teaching the Wilderness Basics Course with the San Diego North County Sierra Club for the past nine years. For eight years she has also been a certified Sierra Club Outing Leader and is an incredible backcountry gourmet cook. Her experience and skills with a camp stove are invaluable to the REI Outdoor School and its participants. Jaye is certified in Wilderness First Aid, is bilingual in English & Spanish, and has a degree in Computer Information Science.