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Opting outside got a little more interesting this week as REI unveiled a new app designed to help users go deeper and get more information out of visits to the national parks.

Called the REI Co-op Guide to the National Parks, the crowdsourced digital trail guide is timed to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Available on Android and iOS platforms, an REI news release says the app “helps you find and share content about hidden trails, unknown viewpoints and idyllic spots to enjoy life outside.”


REI says the tool was created by Adventure Projects, a Colorado-based developer of websites for outdoor enthusiasts that was acquired by REI last June. The company also created Mountain Project, an app used by climbers to record and share favorite climbing routes, according to REI.

“REI members are an incredible, ready-made network of guides and advocates,” Jerry Stritzke, REI president and CEO, said in a news release. “Together, we can better protect and promote broader enjoyment of these amazing national assets for the next 100 years.”

The co-op’s #OptOutside campaign during the holiday shopping season encouraged people to skip the frenzy of Black Friday sales and instead enjoy the outdoors. The retailer closed all 143 of its locations nationwide on the day after Thanksgiving.

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