November 2020 Newsletter

REI Employee
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November seemed to fly by, but not without lots of time spent outside by you allDepending on where you are located, this month meant anything from first big snows to finally cooling temperaturesAs always, you brought stories and lessons learned from your time outside back into this community and for that we are grateful.  

This month you shared over 950 posts and we had 557 new members join Conversations! With so much going on these days, it is wonderful to see you return time and again to engage, share your insights, and create great discussion around your passions in the outdoors. While there were many noteworthy conversations, we wanted to highlight a few that struck a chord with all of us. 

What’s New in Conversations? 

Early in NovemberREI announced we would be shutting our doors once again on Black Friday to #OptOutside. While countless things have changed since we first closed our doors five years ago, the value in getting outside is as strong as ever. Following the announcement, some of you shared your plans for the day after Thanksgiving. @Gary2 talked about a hike up Mount Mitchel with his family and @John was watching the weather to determine if it would be a day of hiking or biking!  

We’d still love to hear: how did you #OptOutside this year? Please share your stories and photos from your day out enjoying the fresh air.

Here are some other highlights from November: 

Anyone have any vintage outdoor books you’re willing to share (virtually)? 

This conversation started with excitement over finding a 1st edition Freedom of the Hills manual (from our very own @REI-JohnJand has turned into an amazing collection of outdoor books from shelves across the country. As of today, there are 31 posts, lots of photos, some recommendations that have already sent people heading to the bookstore, and even talk of an exchange! If you have some favorites on your bookshelf, we’d love for you to add them to this growing list! 

I wonder how many hundreds of thousands (millions?) got their start in hiking and backpacking with the advice from [Colin Fletcher’s book The Complete Walker]” - @Wanderer  


How do I learn the basics of bike repair and maintenance? 

During a year that has seen a boom in cycling popularity, the question of how to take care of your bike has become a common one. This thread did a great job at not only suggesting various ways to learn, but also addressing that the process might look a bit different with current social distancing requirements. From the conversation, it seems like everything from fixing your first flat to going forward with a complete bike overhaul can be learned through REI online classes, Lennard Zinn's popular books, numerous YouTube channels, or bike institute courses! 

I agree with you that nothing can replace an in-person class, especially for my personal learning style. Given the dark times we live in though, one can only be grateful to have an internet connection and so many online resources.” - @jloparco  


Keep it Local, Keep it Clean – Share your DIY Stewardship Stories with us!

With the Keep it Local, Keep it Clean initiative, REI is encouraging everyone to give back to the places that mean so much to us. From local stewardship events to guidelines on how to #RecreateResponsibly, there is lots of great information on how to support your local environment. It has been great to see community members share their stories and photos of cleaning up local sites. We would love for you to add yours to the thread as well!

"On Saturday 11/28 I hiked in Middlesex Fells and followed the reservoir trail mostly. I collected half a black trash bag with of garbage and it was disheartening to see the amount of used dog poop bags along the trail. On a more positive note, about a month ago I hiked trails in the fells from Greenwood Park and didn’t see ANY trash along the trails!" - @KS719 


As always, but especially during this season, we want to express how thankful we are to each of you for creating such a thriving, fun, and passionate community. Your genuine enthusiasm continues to shape this growing digital space into a great resource for the larger REI and outdoor communitiesWe imagine December is going to be just as busy and entertaining as November was, and we’re already looking forward to the questions, debates, photos, and stories to come!  

The Conversations Team