Series expands in 2018 with retreats and fests to grow the community of women in the outdoors
01.10.2018
SEATTLE – REI, the nation’s largest consumer co-op and leader of outdoor experiences that inspire a life outside, announces the expansion of the 2018 REI Outessa series – outdoor events designed to grow and strengthen the community of women in the outdoors. The REI Outessa property now offers three unique event series beginning this summer, including retreats, festivals, and a virtual join in so women can select the experience that’s best for them, whether close to home or a destination location.

For the third year, REI Outessa will offer retreats for women who want to push their limits and learn new skills through immersive experiences during a three-day weekend. In 2018, there will be two Outessa retreats held in inspiring mountain settings: a new location in North Lake Tahoe at Squaw Valley, California from Aug. 2-5 and, for the second time due to its popularity with participants, the White Mountains of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire from Sept. 13-16.

Women can fully customize their retreat experience. For example, participants can join workshops like Wilderness Survival, Map and Compass Navigation, Sunrise Yoga, and Reframe on Goal Setting, and activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, standup paddle boarding, and introduction to backpacking, taught by top REI Outdoor School female instructors and brand partners. The day starts with a full breakfast before heading out to the trail, crag, or water, while evenings are filled with chef-inspired meals and fireside relaxation complete with s’mores, wine, inspirational speakers, and conversation. In 2017 the retreat series brought close to 1,000 women together to experience the outdoors and find their community of likeminded women.

New for 2018 will be REI Outessafest. These one-day festivals will take place near urban centers and will bring together thousands of people to connect through female-forward music, art, wellness, and adventure. Inspired by women but open to families, friends, and allies, REI Outessafest celebrates life outside by spending a full day in nature. REI Outessafest tickets will go on sale in late spring.

In order to provide many different ways in which women can engage with REI Outessa, REI will also host a virtual join in for the first time. For a low entry fee, participants from all over the country will come together on one day to pledge miles and work toward a collective goal REI will set. Women, their friends, families, and allies can conquer these miles on their own time while empowering women in their communities and potentially meeting new friends that have the same common goals. Women can engage with others through hiking, walking, paddling, or running to reach a milestone achievement. Additional details will be announced this summer.

“From experienced adventurers to women completely new to the outdoors, to women who are traveling with a crew to those who are participating alone with an interest to find their community, REI Outessa offers something for everyone,” said Sally Johnson, senior manager, events marketing at REI. “REI Outessa celebrates a life outside and helps break down some of the barriers women face to spending time outside. The growth of the series will allow women to choose the best experience for them while tapping into the inspiration and empowerment that comes through being in nature. We’re so excited to welcome everyone in 2018.”

REI Outessa partners include some of the best outdoor brands and products. These organizations share an interest to inspire more women to have an active outdoor life. Top partners include Garmin, Osprey, Sea to Summit, Smartwool, The North Face, Hydro Flask, PROBAR, Salomon, Maui Jim, and Yakima.

Outessa is part of REI’s broader effort called Force of Nature to advance gender equity in the outdoors. Force of Nature aims to ensure women are just as inspired and equipped as men to embrace life outside. Launched in 2017, Force of Nature featured four components: over 1,000 events designed for women, a comprehensive marketing effort to change the male-dominated imagery of people in the outdoors, an increased effort to develop and offer high-quality technical gear and apparel for women, and a $1 million commitment to support nonprofits that create opportunities for women in the outdoors.

Visit www.Outessa.com to learn about the retreat locations and dates. Tickets for the REI Outessa retreats will go on sale in February. On this day, participants can also begin to build their schedules for the three-day weekend. 
The 2017 REI Outessa recap video can be viewed HERE and 2017 photos can be found HERE. Like REI Outessa on Facebook for news and updates on 2018 dates.
 
About REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 16 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 152 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI-Garage.com or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.
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