REI mountain bikeI might be a weekend warrior, but I’m happy to say my time away from the office is spent either cycling, hiking or skiing with friends.

However, my self-training and advice from friends can only get me so far.  Like so many other weekend warriors, I have to keep building my knowledge base and seek out professional advice whenever I can to not only reach my own potential, but to enjoy more fully the outdoor experience that gets me out of town every weekend. 

And while classes where skills can be honed often come with a steep price tag — $65 for the Colorado Mountain Bike Skills Workshop Level 2, I’m looking at you — things are going to change for at least one special weekend this summer when outdoor retailer REI will host more than 400 free outdoor events July 30-31.

In its inaugural year, the free weekend of Outdoor School is designed to encourage people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the cost of entry. 

Many of REI Outdoor School’s most popular paid classes will be free to members and non-members all weekend, including Wilderness Survival: 3 Season Skills ($65); Introduction to Outdoor Rock Climbing ($90); Learn to Stand-Up Paddleboard ($70); and Multi-Pitch Climbing-Level 3 ($185).

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If you’re not looking for a skills class but perhaps just a guided trip, some of REI’s most iconic guided hikes at local destinations such as Hikes of Rocky Mountain National Park: Lake Haiyaha (usually $55) will also be free.

With 145 stores in 35 states, join some of REI’s more than 6 million active members and grow your outdoor skills and experience free of charge this weekend.

Registration and details for all free REI Outdoor School events is available here.

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