An Invitation to Take the Path Less Traveled


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For some, the pursuit is happiness. That’s what this publication is all about. It’s a collection of stories for readers who explore life outside for connection, meaning, adventure, health and just plain fun.

Back in 1938, Recreational Equipment, Inc., was founded as a cooperative by 23 friends who shared a love of the outdoors. They chose a different path, putting passion ahead of profit. For generations, the co-op has been selling the best outdoor gear, the kind that helps people climb mountains, get on trails and explore untamed, wild places. REI has become a community of 18 million members, and every purchase funds the future health of the outdoors. Together, we make a big impact.

The spirit of the co-op hasn’t changed, but the world has. Today, the average American spends more than 70 years of their life indoors. The walls are closing in, and we can feel it. But our community is pushing back, fighting to defend our relationship with nature. And as our community grows, so do our stories.

Uncommon Path chronicles the experiences, events and ideas that shape the relationship between people and life outside. We’ll explore issues that face our environment and the challenge of our generation: climate change. Our stories aren’t limited to trails and peaks. They take us to parks and urban places closer to home. And yes, we dig into the best gear to help you get out there—wherever out there is for you.

No matter where you come from, what you look like or what you knew before, everyone’s welcome outside. This is your invitation to take the path less traveled.

—Editors at REI Co-op