Outdoors enthusiasts have a decent collection of retailers to which they can go when they’re in need of equipment. However, many of these retailers possess such a large variety of sporting goods that their outdoor gear can sometimes leave a little something to be desired. Aside from seeking out local outdoors retailers, hikers and campers have another incredible option for all the gear necessary for a day in the woods. For any avid outdoorsman—rock climbing to kayaking—this retailer needs no introduction, but there are undoubtedly some who are unaware of the one-stop-shop for hitting the trail, REI.

REI, or Recreational Equipment, Inc, is a rapidly growing company, due largely in part to its attention to growing trends in technology, as well as a deep commitment to providing its customers with quality gear. In each store, you’ll find a plethora of gear for a variety of activities—camping, hiking, running, cycling, climbing—from legendary manufacturers like Marmot, Thule, Novara, Deuter, Keen, and Gerber, just to name a few.

When you walk into an REI store, you immediately realize that it’s a retailer created by outdoorsmen, for outdoorsmen. For instance, when I walk into my local REI, I’m met by an impressive rock climbing wall that customers can try out. Furthermore, the company ensures that its staff is knowledgeable and passionate about the outdoors, as well as passionate about helping customers learn and share that love. You can see the staff’s experiences in the form of photos from camping and hiking trips that are posted on a bulletin board at each entrance.

One of the best things about REI is its appreciation of each and every customer that walks in the door. Those who enroll in REI’s membership program see such appreciation in the form of a dividend awarded each spring, through which the company returns 10% of each member’s purchases over the course of the year. Sweet deal, right? Furthermore, members also have access to REI’s garage sale, in which they’ll find returned products at incredibly discounted prices. You can find great items that have been gently used or have a minor problem at a fraction of their original cost. Add to those a professional bike repair shop and numerous contests that reward the winner free trips and free products, and any outdoors enthusiast would agree that REI is the trailhead of any trip.

REI is a company truly devoted to the natural beauty of the outdoors and the people who enjoy them. By offering only the finest outdoors products, a knowledgeable staff, great rewards for avid customers, and even making changes at the production level to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure that the outdoors we all love remain majestic for years to come, REI embodies everything that true outdoorsmen love. Any hiker, camper, kayaker, or cyclist should make REI their first stop whenever they hit the trail next. 

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