I thought the day would never come, but it seems pure insanity and people’s greed for material things have finally reached a boiling point.  I’m honestly shocked because I didn’t think it would be this soon.  For years I (and 75% of the WR crew) worked retail for a very reputable and big outdoor company.  Although they asked that I never stop exploring, they insisted I work longer and longer hours during the holiday season, particularly around “Black Friday”.  I remember when the first big box store’s starting opening a few hours early, then it was midnight, and next thing you know it’s the evening of Thanksgiving.  This year many stores will open Thanksgiving morning.  No company gave much thought of what this means for the workers who have to leave family behind to staff a store filled with crazed shopper willing to trample others and fight for cheap junk.  It's all about making as much money as possible.  It has become pretty sad and has made me very thankful to have left the madness of the retail world. Leave it to an outdoor company to not only value their employees, but recognize the importance of getting outside, and leaving behind the material world.  I’m seriously impressed with REI.  Although some REI shoppers may be upset, I really applaud REI for breaking the mold to do what's right.  Every year since leaving the retail world, I spend Black Friday outdoors and refuse to visit stores.  It reminds me of all I'm thankful for.  So glad REI employees can now do the same.  All of us here at WR love the outdoors, and companies who help support folks like us are worth mentioning.

Check out REI's #optoutside campaign and help spread the word.