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 REI.com 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 outdoors.

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, www.REI.com/family-adventure 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 http://www.rei.com/stores.

For resources that are accessible from home, REI.com’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.

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