#OptOutside This Black Friday

The blood pounding in your ears. Sweat dripping down your face. Your muscles ache, and you desperately want to drop your bags and rest. But… You catch a glimpse of the prize over the seas of bobbing brown and auburn. You beeline for it. Reaching out, your fingers just barely brush the surface when… someone else grabs it off the shelf instead. “My daughter BEGGED for this, ain’t no way you’re getting it!”

Ahhh, Black Friday. Vendredi Noir. Viernes negro. As they say, only in America do people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have. And they make a very, very good point. Why is it that we’re all so willing to jump over each other just to buy something that we probably don’t need anyway? Maybe it’s because big business such a huge part of out lives today, or maybe it’s because consumerism is ingrained in our culture deeper than football, but whatever the reason it’s time to make a change. 

Last year, REI Co-op, one of the nations largest outdoor gear suppliers, “decided to close their stores, pay their 12,000+ employees to #getoutside, and invited the nation to join in on the fun.” This year, REI plans to offer the same incentive, adding a non-profit aspect into the fold. As per the REI Co-op Journal, several of REI’s corporate, government, and non-profit partners are joining in in to create one big, collaborative movement to get people outside. Even the nation’s dogs are getting in on the fun!

If the dogs and the charity aren’t reason enough for you to #optoutside this Friday, think of the families. Every store that stays open on Black Friday keeps employees away from their families for a day or two over the holiday weekend. Would you want to work Black Friday? I’m guessing not, and if you have worked Black Friday (especially in retail), bless you. Plus, it’s way cheaper and probably much more fun to explore the mountains or ride you bike down the rail trail than get trampled by crazed shoppers. So this year, before you throw on your heels and grab your wallet, imagine a different scene for yourself, and lace up your hiking boots instead;

The blood pounding in your ears. Sweat dripping down your face. Your muscles ache, and you desperately want to drop you bag and rest. But.. You catch a glimpse of the prize through the seas of brown and auburn. You beeline for it, and after a few more precious steps, you reach it. You burst through the last bit of tree cover, drop your pack, and gaze in awe at the view in front of you. Wilderness stretches for miles in every direction, the last of the golden orange leaves still cling to the brown of trees. And there’s no one there to take it from you.

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