April 2021 Newsletter

REI Employee
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The month of April marks the traditional start of the long trails! Whether they’re planning on thru hiking the PCT while creating as little waste as possible or Section Hiking the Appalachian trail, it has been fun watching folks connect and brainstorm over their plans and gear in our Pacific Crest Trail Hikers group and our Appalachian Trail Hikers group. We've tagged the folks who have let us know they’re hitting one of these trails in a separate post, feel free to head over there to wish them the best in their journeys. 

As we are moving deeper into spring (summer is almost here!), it has been rewarding to watch all the warm-weather plans and schemes you have been talking about in the community finally coming to fruition. While April weather can be tricky to plan around, you all reminded us that there is still so much fun to be had outside. With all the changes to plans and different challenges in the last year, we are very much looking forward to spending as much time as we can outside in the coming months.

What’s New in Conversations?

We love hearing from our members and this month users in the community were given several opportunities to connect with REI in new ways. We collected questions from co-op members to be answered at the Annual Member Meeting on Monday, May 3rd, announced the launch of the Cooperative Action Network to enable everyone to take a stand and raise a voice in the movement to protect and share life outdoors, and helped celebrate National Parks Week by hearing about all the different National Parks you have been to.

We welcomed over 1,100 new users this month and you all posted over 1,700 times and gave each other over 1,600 ‘likes’! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, ideas, and inspiration with us!

Here are some highlights from April:

CSI: REI Conversations Edition – Our community helped close a ‘case’ in April. In the post Tent pole configuration on REI Quarter Dome T1@OldGuyot guessed correctly how the tent poles went together on @Gregfromga's REI tent, which was confirmed after some sleuthing from our Co-op Brands engineers managed to track down the schematics for the pole set up!

‘This is incredible! I am never going to learn my lesson now about having labeled the pole ends before all this happened to avoid this! Thanks so much. Wow!’ -@Gregfromga

In their posts, Effectiveness of Bear Spray on Wild Hogs and Everglades NP canoe/kayak trip – wish me luck!@Flipperfla and @Philreedshikes reminded us that even the most experienced of us still can find new things to be afraid of in the outdoors! Pythons and wild hogs? Hard pass, thanks! These posts generated good conversations about some of the risks involved in the outdoor activities we know and love.

No research has been done on the effectiveness of Bear Spray on hogs......However the pepper based spray will cause discomfort when sprayed in the face of any species with eyes, nose, and mouth and will generally turn the animal away”.  Guess I’ll take that as a yes.” @Flipperfla

Gear To Hold Dear

Getting outside is often an exercise in determining which creature comforts one can do without. @Former community member's post about gear that ‘dances on the edge of Essential’ was a great discussion about where we all draw the line in what comforts we are willing to give up. There was a large contingent of folks who appreciate having a pillow to help them sleep. Some other items listed were extra socks, a camping chair, extra clothing layers, and (on occasion) four different hats!

For me, it's the pillow.  I tried for many years to put clothes in a stuff bag and use that, but could never get comfortable so I now use an inflatable pillow.” @Luv2Kayak 


We are looking forward to sharing more adventure, inspiration, insight, and stories with you next month. Thank you for all you do to make this community such a welcoming place to gather around a common belief in the importance of getting outside!