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Welcome REI Co-op Members! We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community, click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

September 2020 Newsletter

REI Employee
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Hey everyone, 

Since our launch in July 2019, we have seen this community grow to nearly 13,000 members with 18,000 conversations – we couldn’t be more thrilled, and humbled, that you have chosen to join us in this adventure! The expertise and stories that you have shared during this time have been inspiring to read and show that we, as an outdoor community, are stronger when we come together. Thank you for taking the time to help this community evolve into a place where so many people can find answers for living a life outdoors. On the Conversations team, we’ve been busy the last couple of months (a pandemic and all-store closure may have had something to do with that) and we wanted to share a few highlights. 

Welcome Carter, Our Newest Moderator 

At the start of September, we welcomed Carter (@REI-CarterCto the team as a community moderator. She is an avid climber, kayaker, and photographer and lives in the mountains of Vermont. She has lots of backcountry, travel, and sustainability experience and we’re excited for you to get to know her 

What’s New in Conversations? 

In 1938, 23 friends came together in search of great outdoor gear and formed our co-op, centered around the idea that a live outdoors is a life well lived. While there are now many more members (almost 19 million)co-op membership still serves as a connection between us 

In the spirit of celebrating co-op membership, this month we launched a new member-only section in the community called “Co-op Members,” allowing us to further amplify the voices of our members in this unique, 2-way communication environment. We hope this section, over time, will provide space where members can share their ideas, stories, and voices with each other and with us 

The co-op member section has two boards, for now: 

  • Co-op Questions: a place for members to give us feedback on questions we have 
  • Continue the Conversationa place for members to engage in conversation about member-only events happening around the country 

If you are an REI member but are not seeing the “Co-op Members” section when logged in to the community, your member number is likely not linked to your account. Here are instructions on how to fix this. And, if you aren’t already a co-op member and want to bevisit our membership page to read about the benefits and join! 

Notable content in September: 

Newcomer to Backpacking! Trying to find friend(s) to tag along with as I learn the ropes. 

We love how open and encouraging our community is for newcomers to an activity! User @Bushcraft_Vega asked for some ideas on how to connect with folks who could help them get started backpacking. One of our favorite responses: 

I'm so excited that you've decided to start camping/backpacking. Both are AMAZING outdoor activities, and I'm sure you'll love them. I wanted to draw your attention to a similar post that was recently written by another individual living in Texas, @trails, who is also a beginner backpacker. Maybe you guys can get in contact! Here is the link to the post, which also has some suggestions/advice you may want to read.”  @bryndsharp 

Is the standalone GPS unit dead? 

This conversation was a great blend of expertise, experience, and foreshadowing, and encouraged folks to think about how technology interplays with our desire to get outside and ‘escape’. It also introduced us to the phrase ‘phil-osophy’, which is awesome. 

Here’s my thesis statement’ - the smartphone has made the hand-held GPS unit obsolete. There... I said it.” @Philreedshikes 

PTSD post sports accident. 

We really appreciated @Gypsea's willingness to share their experience with our community. This post is a great reminder of the power of connecting and supporting each other. 

Be patient and kind to your new self and trust, if you approach it slowly, a new level of fitness will emerge. I have to do it in baby steps. Leaps and bounds recovery did not happen for me. Good luck! @Roadrunner 


Thanks again to all of you for making this community such a vibrant, interesting and welcoming online space. We’re looking forward to another busy and fun month in October! 

The Conversations Team