Thursday, June 3, 2010

Local, Easy Ways to Get Charlotte-area Families Outdoors

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a retail co-op providing quality
outdoor gear and clothing, helps Charlotte-area families reenergize
their summer adventures with fun and friendly programs, events,
products and resources.

REI's Family Adventure Program (formerly the Passport to Adventure
program) helps adults and children explore the outdoors together. To
get started, families can visit an REI store or for free
adventure journals, filled with games, activities and outdoor diaries.
Parents can also discover an online resource of local kid-friendly
hike and bike trails recommended by REI employees, in addition to
activities for their kids designed to inspire an interest in the

Families across the country are invited to share their summer outdoor
experiences with others on REI's Online Community by submitting a
photo of their adventures. Five randomly selected photos will be
awarded $50 REI gift cards.

The REI Family Adventure Program is launching in different stores that
have found local, family-friendly biking and hiking trails. The
Charlotte and Pineville REI stores teamed up to zero-in on best hikes
and bike trails for kids in the Charlotte area. This link,
features an interactive map. If you click on North Carolina it pulls
up the Charlotte-area trails that they identified that are best for
families. Both of the stores are also hosting free classes and events
in the Charlotte area.

To help prepare more families for their next outdoor adventure, REI
offers classes, presentations and events at each store. Events span a
variety of outdoor topics from classes that teach the basics of
biking, hiking, paddling and camp cooking to volunteer projects to
conserve natural spaces. Information on local events and how to
register is available at

For resources that are accessible from home,'s Expert Advice
section features in-depth articles and quick videos specifically for
family-friendly fun in the outdoors. Using tips and instruction
provided by REI employees, online visitors can learn how to teach a
child to ride a bike or go geocaching with their tech-savvy kids.

Families can find comfort in the outdoors with a variety of gear and
apparel available at REI. The REI Base Camp tents are easy to set up
and spacious enough to fit a family and its gear. REI also offers a
variety of thick sleeping pads and cots, in addition to the Lumen
sleeping bags to make for a more comfortable night's sleep for the
entire family. Just for kids, the REI Nodder sleeping bag comes with
an attached stuff sack that doubles as a space adjuster, allowing
parents to shorten or lengthen the bag as their child grows.

Families looking to discover new destinations together can explore
trips offered by REI Adventures. With national and international
offerings, the REI Adventures team helps ease the planning hassle by
providing local family-friendly guides and itineraries, and most food
and gear needed for each trip. Discounts are available to REI members
and for children under 17 years old on select itineraries. In
addition, families can sign up for one-day, entry-level classes with
REI Outdoor School, where outdoor instructors teach families the
basics from bicycling, navigating, paddling or hiking.

About REI
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring,
educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime
of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of
Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is
committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access
to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and
financial contributions.