Several weekends ago, my family headed to REI with a gift card supplied by BlogHer so that we could explore the store and find some goodies to help our family have fun this summer. We met up with Sean who cheerfully showed us each section of the downstairs while chatting with us about all the exciting family activities REI can prepare us for. He shared with us about his family (he has a 6 month old baby) and told us they would be doing lots of hiking this summer.
Here’s Sean showing us the features of one of the child trailers you can hook up to a bike or convert into a jogging stroller. Its wheels also pop off super-easily so you can collapse the whole thing and throw it in your car. I had no idea these things had so many cool tricks.
Sean also took me to the in-store computer terminal, where we checked out the Expert Advice Articles, definitely a cool part of their website. On our way to the store, I had actually already read Cycling With Kids (my husband was driving) to get some ideas about what I needed to pick up at the store. I had just recently bought a used bike here on base, and ordered a bike seat for Anneliese. But I needed several other things to prepare us for our outings and keep us safe. We shopped for helmets and some other bike stuff, which I’ll tell you more about later.
Back to the expert advice stuff, REI’s website has a whole section of family activity articles, from your basic Hiking with Kids to the more obscure Snowshoeing with Kids. Each local store (click for the Fresno location) also offers classes, many of which are free.
Here’s Sean showing me the different babywearing options they carry for hiking with small children. I happily used my Boba to hike with Anneliese on my back, but REI carries Ergos and more heavy-duty structured (vs. soft structured) carriers like Kelty and Deuter.
Sean also told us about a great rental program REI has. All sorts of equipment, from tents and sleeping bags to kayaks (at stores near the water) can be rented for a very reasonable price. I think the tent we were looking at, which costs several hundred dollars, rents for about $30. I’m not sure on those numbers anymore, but it was VERY reasonable. That way, if you want to try out a new family activity but don’t want to commit to the “investment” of buying all the equipment, you can rent!
This summer, Anneliese and I will be biking around base together, for fun and exercise (for me, not her), and possibly even to run some errands.
What outdoor activity do you pledge to do with your family this summer and how would a $100 REI gift card help you get there? Take the REI Outdoor Pledge and submit your comment to be entered. (CLOSED).