It’s hard to believe we are already in the midst of spring! From dreaming up big travel plans to testing out new springtime gear, you all have reminded us that the change of seasons is an exciting time to love the outdoors.
Just over a month ago, our community saw a big jump in new members and we are continuing to feel the positive effect of having so much new engagement! In March we welcomed 1,556 new members with 423 new conversations and more information being shared between you all than ever before! We’re appreciative that you continue to take the time to share your knowledge, inspire us with your stories, and make this community the friendly and knowledgeable online space that it is.
What’s New in Conversations?
You may have recently noticed some community members with the Superuser role or a unique activity icon next to their usernames. Wondering why? This month we launched the REI Digital Community Superuser program. These are co-op members who love to spend time outside, readily share their stories and know-how, and are some of our community’s most active users. Whether they are answering questions, starting meaningful discussions, making us laugh, or sharing their stoke of getting outside, this group has been fundamental in making this community such a welcoming place to connect with other people who are passionate about the outdoors. The program was created to recognize the high quality of their engagement and we’re excited to have it formally launched!
This first group of superusers is just that — the first group! We are continuously on the lookout for our community’s most enthusiastic members and will be considering new superusers on an ongoing basis. For more details about the program, you can read the About: Superusers post on our Community Tips board.
To our current superusers: we are so grateful for the passion and energy you all have put into making this community such a helpful and welcoming space. Thank you!
Here are some highlights from March:
@cassie0528 started this topic sharing their process for picking up trash along the trail and then asking others how they go about it. Many people have chimed in with their own systems, including everything from dry bags for soggy aluminum cans to (not always successfully) using hiking poles. The common thread for everyone is the desire to leave places cleaner than we found them and wishing more people would be proactive about litter. Do you go out of your way to clean up outdoor areas where you spend time? If you have any suggestions or input, we’d love for you to add them to the list. This unique approach to “pay” for a campground really stood out to us:
“Took a scout troop to an Army Corps of Eng. campground before doing a creek trip. They charged us 3 black garbage bags to fill on the way down the creek to stay the night.” - @GregA
Bucket list adventures are often discussed in our community, but @Dad_Aint_Hip went in the complete opposite direction with this engaging post. His fear of snakes put the Florida Trail on his “Nope! Hard Pass” list. A few people said that starting a family shifted their acceptable limit of risk and changed their outdoor trajectories, while conga lines, alligators, heights, and slime were also called out as defining factors. Alaska often gets a lot of love here in the community, but @SolaceEasy shared this funny, frank view:
“For years I lusted for Alaska. Then I found out more about it from people I trusted. Bears eat people there. The mosquito is the state bird of Alaska. When it's not raining it's windy. ‘Oh, you should have been here last week, you could have seen the mountain then.’” - @SolaceEasy
Technology in the outdoors is always evolving. After @AngiePaddlesandMore’s bike was stolen, she wondered whether switching from a bike computer to something that would live off of the bike was a good idea. A lot of valuable input followed, including adding smartphones to the list of possibilities and whether there really is “One Electronic Device To Rule Them All“. For Angie, a Garmin Fenix watch won out in the end and she provided this feedback:
“I am a believer in old fashioned maps and compasses, and I don't think this will change that, but it's great to have a way of calling up an instant map if I get myself lost or if I just want to double check my own interaction.” - @AngiePaddlesandMore
As always, thanks to each of you for what you do to make this community such an engaging, fun, and helpful place. We’re excited to see what conversations y’all come up with in April!
The Conversations Team