My Favorite Holiday…

My favorite holiday is just around the corner. Not Thanksgiving, definitely not Christmas. It’s #OptOutside! Technically it’s not a holiday; it’s a movement – literally and figuratively!

In case you’ve never heard of #OptOutside, in 2015 the outdoor gear store, REI, made the decision to close on Black Friday (that nightmarish quasi-holiday that turns people into paycheck-blowing, spending-frenzied, zombie-beasts) so that their employees could have the day to play – outside. A pretty gutsy move for a retail store.

“The best data we have says that, in any given year, 150 million Americans don’t spend any time outside. That’s half the country. Day in, day out, we’re looking down instead of up, looking at our phones instead of the world around us,’” says REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “We’re asking people this year to reevaluate that picture of themselves. To see technology as the starting point to a journey outside, not the destination. And to go explore the world with someone they love – on Black Friday and every day.”

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While late November water and air temperatures may not be ideal for kayaking, there are plenty of other opportunities to get outside. Here are a few ideas:

(If you aren’t going to be here at the beach on #OptOutside Day (Nov. 23), REI has an activity search page on their website showing hiking, biking, and running trails in your search area.)

The main thing is to have a plan. Think of a few different options depending on the weather. Look at the forecast so that you can mentally prepare and won’t allow a cool or cloudy day derail your intentions. And most importantly, once you get to your outside destination, get rid of that plan! Have fun! That’s the whole point of #OptOutside.

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