See you on the trails.
Last year, REI (Hiking Project's parent company) closed its doors on Black Friday to start a movement: Forgo long lines and big box department stores on November 25—and head outdoors instead. Company employees embraced the trend. The East Hanover REI team, for example, went hiking in Jockey Hollow, part of Morristown National Historical Park. And Mick Minard, of REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach for the Tri-State Region, spent it sailing a 1920s boat off the coast of Cape Cod. "To #OptOutside is to intentionally choose personal freedom, health, and well-being over all else that distracts us in our daily lives," says Minard.
So this year, after stuffing yourself silly at Thanksgiving dinner, join the dawn patrol crew and spend Friday in the great outdoors. Because bagging peaks is about 1 million times more exciting than discounted DVDs. Grab your friends and family and hit the trails. We'll see you out there. And if you need a little inspiration, here are 10 reasons to #OptOutside this year:
1. For Some Peace and Quiet
"A small break in the cloud cover." —@ryan_field_
2. To Spend Time with the People You Love
"Start of the Grand Canyon Thanksgiving adventure with a bang, down 5,000 feet and up 5,000... in a day." —@christyrosander
3. Everything Looks Better From Up High
"So... who wants to go on an adventure?" —@stu_gallagher
4. ...And From Below
"Never stop looking up!" —@ginpolich
5. To Have a Few Laughs
"Now where did that darn ball go?" —@lizzie.bear
6. Because You Can Sleep When You're Dead
"There's an old saying in the Northeast that goes something like, 'When you hang out with @btonevibes, there's usually never much sleep involved.' Not only is that true, but those tend to be some of the best of times." —@hbmertz
7. For the Fresh Air
"Little windy up here, guys!!" —@theadventurousfamily
8. To Find the Best Seat in the House
9. To Explore the Unknown
"We explored Settler's Quarry on this unusually unsunny day and found some cool hidden spots." —@theboulderhikerchick
10. A Post-Hike Beer Always Tastes a Little Better
"Are you planning to #optoutside this Friday? Get this... Anyone who shows their @rei member card at @fortcollinsbrew this #BlackFriday will be rewarded with Buy One, Get One Free pints of FCB’s full-time beers. So enjoy the great outdoors this Friday followed by a tasty beer from Fort Collins Brewery!" —@greeneventscolorado
Share your own #OptOutside adventures by using the hashtag on any social media platforms. Happy Trails!