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View Diary: Urbanites and public lands (103 comments)

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  •  I agree "that's who REI is for" (5+ / 0-)

    Instead of weighing everything I toss it in the second hand Kelty I bought in Salvy Army and just go.

    I do belong to REI, and I do buy there when I have to get something I can't get cheaper elsewhere, but it is very elitist. When I walk in I understand that it's for maybe the 5%.

    When we can stop buying all this crap to do something as simple as go outdoors we'll be a lot better off.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:52:08 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. One thing I have noticed is that between (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elizaveta, grover, ban nock

      50-60% of REI's floor space is devoted to clothing, not equipment -- judging from the one that I go to.  And a lot of that clothing is what I would consider casual and not essential to some rugged, outdoor task.  Also, I have noticed over the years that REI's climbing department has shrunk to a smaller and smaller corner of their store.  And this is kind of sad since they were originally founded in the 1930's as a climbers' co-op.   I consider REI pretty much along the lines of Hudson Trail Outfitters or EMS.  The co-op structure doesn't really matter that much.  It's not like REI is all that price competitive.  The rebate barely covers sales tax, and it isn't a real rebate.  It's a voucher for future purchases.

    •  hear hear (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elizaveta, grover, ban nock

      I joined REI in 1966 or thereabouts, when their catalog mostly contained climbing gear that I wouldn't have known how to use ('course, I was only in my early teens),and was printed in lousy half-tone on newsprint.  Number 108551 I am, still, but I avoid the place like the plague, in particular the flagship store in Seattle.  Basically it's Cabella's for the urban elite (or wannabee elite).  

      That said, I still use the cruiser pack my Pa bought in 1968 (mine disintegrated, more or less, at the mercy of luggage handlers overseas), and I can still smell the original store on Pine Street, a mixture nylon, boot grease and early freeze-dried meals that, today, would be banned as rank poison.

      The wilderness doesn't much care what you wear on your feet or how you carry your chow; all it cares about is the respect you accord it.

      The truth shall make ye fret... -William DeWorde

      by flagpole on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:25:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  REI, The North Face, Patagonia, etc (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, bigtimecynic

        A couple decades ago, it was decided that performance clothing was "cool." That pretty much doomed performance clothing at the entry level, unless you know the rocks to look under for gems.

        Prices stayed the same, but quality spiraled. Production was offshored. To get truly reliable performance clothing in the "popular" names, you often can't even get it at REI unless you special order it,  or you can buy it at more speciality stores or on the manufacture's website.

        I remember when I used to walk through REI and could always find something I could use. I'm a total gearhead; it's not hard for me to find an upgrade that i think is pretty swell.

        But the last 6 or so times I've gone to REI, I've wandered around and just left feeling like I left Nordstrom: lots of pretty clothes, but absolutely nothing I need.

        When they started holding regular sales like regular stores, it said that REI really didn't want to differentiate itself anymore.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 11:29:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cabellas? (0+ / 0-)

        We visited Cabella's mothership store in Michigan last year and it was nothing like an REI.  The largest department was guns and it had more stuff animals than a big city museum.  

        Let's see how she does.  I'm happy to see an outdoorsperson as Sec of Int, regardless if she's a coop capitalist.  

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