‘Black Friday’ at REI

You may as well grab your old tent and camp outside to hold your place in line. REI plans to give the first 300 customers at each of its stores a gift card and a reusable shopping bag this Friday morning (“Black Friday,” as it’s called).

It’s up in the air as to how much money will be on each of the 300 free gift cards — they will range from $5 to $100 apiece. With each store opening at 8 a.m., you may need to bring your trekking poles to beat off other people trying to get a piece of the action.

REI Pittsburgh in Settlers Ridge

A more sane alternative for holiday shopping: Hit up REI’s Web site via your smart phone or other Web-enabled device. The company recently launched its mobile-enhanced site just in time for Black Friday and the holiday shopping spree beyond. www.rei.com

—Ryan Dionne

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.