If you feel shaky on two wheels, this is the class for you. Our trained instructors will patiently teach you the basic skills of riding a bike, including how to balance, how to adjust the bike to your size, and how to shift and brake. We’ll also teach you how to fall off your bike effectively. This outing can help prepare you for our Introduction to Mountain Biking and Introduction to Road Cycling instructional outings. We provide bikes, but be sure to bring your own helmet.
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! 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.
If you've been riding for a while, you feel comfortable with your bike and you want to take your cycling performance to the next level, join our expert road cycling instructors as we teach you to refine your technique, work on cadence, and climb hills on some great local rides. We'll build on the skills you've learned in Introduction to Road Cycling with more practice and longer distance. Learn to ride the areas you've wanted to explore but were afraid to attempt on your own. Novara road 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 longer distance.
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!
Let us help you with your first backpacking experience. Join our instructors on an overnight trip to a nearby scenic camp. You'll learn how to pack your backpack for comfort, proper campsite selection, camp cooking and Leave No Trace etiquette. Our instructors will also help you understand the best equipment for your needs to maximize your comfort and fun. Price includes all required gear (backpack, tent, sleeping bag, pad, stove, all cookware, trekking poles, and water filters) and food.
Come with us for an instructional hike at one of Northern California’s scenic hiking destinations. We’ll share our favorite tips and tricks to make every hiking experience extraordinary.
Develop your mountain sense. During this outing wilderness survival, navigation, first aid, and backcountry skills all will be taught together. We will be hiking around on and off trail, navigating by compass and GPS, discussing appropriate backcountry gear and know-how, and even practice some what-if scenarios.
This easy excursion will introduce your kids to exploring the outdoors and will leave them wanting more. Join our REI Outdoor School instructors on a kid friendly 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 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.
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.
Join our REI Outdoor School instructor as we teach techniques enabling you to turn everyday snapshots into beautiful compositions. You will learn to see beyond your primary subject so that everything in the frame improves the image. We will analyze numerous photographs as we discuss composition techniques including eliminating distractions, utilizing human subjects, and using leading lines and the Rule of Thirds to create more dynamic images. Begin to shoot with an eye that draws the viewer's attention into a vibrant and stimulating photograph. These classes and the associated outings are open to digital and film photographers of all experience levels.
Cameras don’t take pictures, people do. But cameras are not always easy to understand. Learn more about your camera and how to make ordinary subjects extraordinary. REI Outdoor School instructors will share creative approaches to landscape photography and demystify some camera functions. Learn how to eliminate distractions, use line and texture and the Rule of Thirds to create more dynamic images. Begin to see beyond your primary subject so that every feature in the frame improves the image and draws the viewer’s attention into vibrant and stimulating photography. This trip is open to digital and film photographers of all experience levels.
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.
Take the next step into anchor building, rappelling, and lead climbing with the REI Outdoor School. When completed, you will have the confidence and skills you need to venture forth on your own, whether sport climbing, bouldering or traditional climbing. Prior completion of Introduction to Outdoor Rock Climbing or Rock Climbing Basics recommended.
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 surroundings. We provide the snowshoes - you bring your sense of adventure and join us for a great winter wonderland hike!
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.
Are you ready for the next step? Head out on snowshoes with the REI Outdoor School to gain a summit or a destination at elevation. Along the way we’ll explore aspects of technique, navigation, and know-how necessary for Sierra winter adventure. You’ll be exhilarated with your experience on this steeper, more technical snowshoe outing.
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! Kayaks, PFDs (life vests), paddles, and all accessories are provided. Recommended for those 14 and older; under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
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. All kayaks, PFDs, paddles, and rescue equipment provided.
Jeff has been a member of the REI team for three years. He is passionate about the company and appreciates the fact that being an Outdoor School instructor has added to his “life of adventure”. Jeff is an avid road cyclist who was introduced to the sport by his father, a Velodrome racer and one time Oakland courier.
Cathy has been conducting snowshoe clinics for REI for the past 13 years. She is certified in CPR, Wilderness 1st Aid, Level 1 Avalanche Safety and Awareness, and American Red Cross 1st Aid. Cathy enjoys sharing her love for snowshoeing with students of all ages and skill level.