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Women: Join REI at Outessa This Summer

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REI launches its second annual lineup of ladies-only active retreats for 2017, pushing the trend to empower women in the outdoors.

outessa summit women mountain bike

Paddle, climb, hike, and bike some of America’s most beautiful wilderness getaways. REI unveiled this year’s three Outessa adventures. It’s part of a female-specific program “designed to connect women with the outdoors in a supportive learning environment.”

The inaugural Outessa “Summit” brought together more than 400 women from 40 states and three countries. This year, organizers plan to more than double that, expecting 300 registrants at each event.

outessa women field hike

REI’s three-day retreats offer “more than 200 activities based on personal interests, outdoor goals, and skill levels” each day. Activities from climbing to kayaking, and trail running to yoga are available. REI’s major brand partners like KEEN, Big Agnes, Osprey, Leatherman, and more will demo gear and put on skills clinics.

There are also inspirational speakers and group conversations for those who want to connect and learn in non-physical activities.


The adventure packages include all meals, beer, wine, nonalcoholic beverages, a gear-packed goodie bag, and the opening-night party.

Best of all, participants have access to REI’s top female instructors and guides. It provides a great opportunity to learn new skills — climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, etc. — in a supportive environment.

outessa summit bike instruction

The retreats are not cheap, however: $799 per person. That does not include travel or lodging. But REI does offer three lodging options, ranging from rugged to luxurious.

Resort: REI has discounted rates available through participating resorts at each location. Spa services and incidentals run extra.

‘Fancy’ Camping: REI will set up canvas glamping tents that include lighting, cots, camping furniture, and rugs for one person ($599) or two ($299). 

DIY Camping: Reserve a nearby tent spot for $199. Bring your own tent, sleeping bag, and “everything else you need to camp” for three nights.

outessa diy camping

2017 Outessa Locations

  • July 14-16 — Kirkwood, Calif.: Thirty-five miles from South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood has a number of peaks, valleys, streams, and lakes suitable for climbers, bikers, and paddlers.
  • August 18-20 —Mt. Hood Skibowl, Ore.: One hour east of Portland along the southern slopes of Mt. Hood., there are miles of trails for hikers and runners, and mountain lakes for SUPers.
  • September 22-24 — Waterville Valley, N.H.: Two hours north of Boston, Waterville Valley is a fall foliage destination. There are ample spots for kayakers and mountain bikers.

Women-Only Gear, Adventure Summit This Summer

Calling all women! New events this summer invite 1000 women to camp, hike, explore, and party in California and Utah. Read more…

Early bird pricing, $749, is available for all registrants before March 5th. After that, each retreat goes up to $799.

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