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REI

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    • Pretty much every day I will see on an Internet hiking forum someone ask a gear question and the answer is always "go to REI". My reply has always been that this isn't very useful since the closest REI is 142 miles away. Well that is changing. In May they are opening one just 12 miles across town. It will be interesting to see what they have. I actually got an REI membership about 40 years ago. I'll have to resurrect that membership number. I was at a local backpacking store last week and noticed they carried only one brand of packs (Osprey). This is why that convential advice of "you should not buy a pack without trying it out in the store first" given on-line daily is so bogus. For a lot of people, your local store may give you just one pack to choose from and that will not be a closet company that may be your best option. Innovative products such as Tarptent, Zpacks, ULA, etc... would not exist if everyone followed the conventional wisdom. So I am torn. I am excited to get a major brick and mortar store, but on line shopping is still pretty important. I hope they can both thrive..
    • odd man out wrote:

      Pretty much every day I will see on an Internet hiking forum someone ask a gear question and the answer is always "go to REI". My reply has always been that this isn't very useful since the closest REI is 142 miles away. Well that is changing. In May they are opening one just 12 miles across town. It will be interesting to see what they have. I actually got an REI membership about 40 years ago. I'll have to resurrect that membership number. I was at a local backpacking store last week and noticed they carried only one brand of packs (Osprey). This is why that convential advice of "you should not buy a pack without trying it out in the store first" given on-line daily is so bogus. For a lot of people, your local store may give you just one pack to choose from and that will not be a closet company that may be your best option. Innovative products such as Tarptent, Zpacks, ULA, etc... would not exist if everyone followed the conventional wisdom. So I am torn. I am excited to get a major brick and mortar store, but on line shopping is still pretty important. I hope they can both thrive..
      I went to REI after about 25 years..... I just gave them my name.........I was in there....no number search needed.
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • I'm on my 3rd backpack. Bought the first two on-line and never was able to adjust either to fit me well. Went to REI with a good idea of what I wanted and got a knowledgeable associate who convinced me to downsize. He loaded up the pack with sandbags and pillows then made all the right adjustments. I'm happier now even when I'm carrying 40 pound loads. When my daughter was ready for her pack, I took her to REI and they hooked her up with a pack that fits her well. She was able to try on several models and pick the one that felt the best.

      Nothing wrong with combining the knowledge from REI with products from other places. I'm pretty sure the folks at REI don't expect to make a sale with every customer that walks in the door. With that said, I always think it's a good idea to support the brick & mortar stores with some level of business.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • StalkingTortoise wrote:

      I'm on my 3rd backpack. Bought the first two on-line and never was able to adjust either to fit me well. Went to REI with a good idea of what I wanted and got a knowledgeable associate who convinced me to downsize. He loaded up the pack with sandbags and pillows then made all the right adjustments. I'm happier now even when I'm carrying 40 pound loads. When my daughter was ready for her pack, I took her to REI and they hooked her up with a pack that fits her well. She was able to try on several models and pick the one that felt the best.

      Nothing wrong with combining the knowledge from REI with products from other places. I'm pretty sure the folks at REI don't expect to make a sale with every customer that walks in the door. With that said, I always think it's a good idea to support the brick & mortar stores with some level of business.
      Agree. Glad it worked for you. The problem is you need a store like REI to make that work and there are so few of them around. I will be interested to see what brands of packs (and tents, etc...) they carry. For example, I know that the ULA is among the most popular pack among long distance hikers, but have never seen one in a store. One thing I gave up trying to buy on-line are clothes. For this the brick and mortar store is quite useful and I do try to support them.
    • Went to the members-only pre opening party at our new REI today. I've been a member since 1978 but never been to a store. Got a free REI buff. They were serving free snacks and beer (New Holland Brewery). Blugrass band played all evening. Got a stainless pint tumbler with the local store logo for a 5$ donation to our local nature education center. Also got a package of freeze dried backpacking food. I normally don't use these but was intrigued by this one. It is Himalayan Lentils and Rice (Dal Bhat?) by Alpineaire. Have not seen this brand before, but was impressed that their foods we're not overloaded with excess sodium. Maybe will try some for lunch tomorrow.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      I got an e-mail invitation to join them for a grand opening celebration in North Conway, NH.
      I'm thinking it's just toooooooo far to go for a day.
      Interesting, North Conway has always been an Eastern Mountain Sports town, EMS had one of their first stores there. I guess REI is now taking them on head-to-head.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Astro wrote:

      CoachLou wrote:

      I got an email this week that said I had a $27.08 REI Kohl’s Kash! So I got those fancy spiral pegs from MSR, and replaced the center line for the Hooch, which I lost two weeks ago.
      How did you "lose" the center line?
      I also use it to haul my pack up a tree, at the end of a bike hike. When I came back to get it, I rolled it up and but it on top of my pack....in carrying it all back to my car, I must have dropped it and not noticed. I even went back Saturday after my Bike Hike to look for it.....nope! So on the way home I got the pegs and a 50 foot piece of 4mm Kermantle......which makes way better knots.
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • A friend is taking her 2 oldest grandsons (9 & 10) and their 2 friends backpacking this weekend. It's a program through the state Natural Resources Dept. So, it's a 5 mile hike today, camp tonight and hike back out tomorrow. Well, she had little to no equipment and no knowledge about hiking, much less backpacking. So, she contacted the person that she knew who had the most experience (yours truly). In talking with her earlier in the week, it was determined that all she would need to borrow was one of my sleeping bags and a sleep pad.

      She came over yesterday. First I imparted a whole lot of information about backpacking, then as I showed her all my gear, we determined that she needed to borrow more equipment so she left with sleeping bag, pad, pack cover, pocket rocket, fuel canister, bic, titanium cup, gaiters, hiking poles, camping pillow and probably some other things I'm forgetting (didn't make an inventory). I had previously told her NOT to wear any cotton so she had asked me what I wore. I showed her everything (including my merino wool underwear) and she said she was going to stop by REI so I showed her on google maps where one was that she would be going past. Later I decided to go to the REI website to find the shirt that I like to wear. It's a quarter zip lightweight long sleeve with 50 SPF. Well, there is a newer model that has side mesh panels and thumb loops. I liked it so much that after I texted the link to her, I ordered one for myself.
    • Trillium wrote:

      A friend is taking her 2 oldest grandsons (9 & 10) and their 2 friends backpacking this weekend. It's a program through the state Natural Resources Dept. So, it's a 5 mile hike today, camp tonight and hike back out tomorrow. Well, she had little to no equipment and no knowledge about hiking, much less backpacking. So, she contacted the person that she knew who had the most experience (yours truly). In talking with her earlier in the week, it was determined that all she would need to borrow was one of my sleeping bags and a sleep pad.

      She came over yesterday. First I imparted a whole lot of information about backpacking, then as I showed her all my gear, we determined that she needed to borrow more equipment so she left with sleeping bag, pad, pack cover, pocket rocket, fuel canister, bic, titanium cup, gaiters, hiking poles, camping pillow and probably some other things I'm forgetting (didn't make an inventory). I had previously told her NOT to wear any cotton so she had asked me what I wore. I showed her everything (including my merino wool underwear) and she said she was going to stop by REI so I showed her on google maps where one was that she would be going past. Later I decided to go to the REI website to find the shirt that I like to wear. It's a quarter zip lightweight long sleeve with 50 SPF. Well, there is a newer model that has side mesh panels and thumb loops. I liked it so much that after I texted the link to her, I ordered one for myself.
      Hopefully they all have a great time and there are 4 young kids who like to get outside and go hiking after this experience.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Trillium wrote:

      A friend is taking her 2 oldest grandsons (9 & 10) and their 2 friends backpacking this weekend. It's a program through the state Natural Resources Dept. So, it's a 5 mile hike today, camp tonight and hike back out tomorrow. Well, she had little to no equipment and no knowledge about hiking, much less backpacking. So, she contacted the person that she knew who had the most experience (yours truly). In talking with her earlier in the week, it was determined that all she would need to borrow was one of my sleeping bags and a sleep pad.

      She came over yesterday. First I imparted a whole lot of information about backpacking, then as I showed her all my gear, we determined that she needed to borrow more equipment so she left with sleeping bag, pad, pack cover, pocket rocket, fuel canister, bic, titanium cup, gaiters, hiking poles, camping pillow and probably some other things I'm forgetting (didn't make an inventory). I had previously told her NOT to wear any cotton so she had asked me what I wore. I showed her everything (including my merino wool underwear) and she said she was going to stop by REI so I showed her on google maps where one was that she would be going past. Later I decided to go to the REI website to find the shirt that I like to wear. It's a quarter zip lightweight long sleeve with 50 SPF. Well, there is a newer model that has side mesh panels and thumb loops. I liked it so much that after I texted the link to her, I ordered one for myself.
      Do you care to post details about the shirt...still haven’t spent my dividend.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis