I recently attended the REI Outessa Summit in Kirkwood, California. REI Outessa is a three-day immersive event designed to bring women together to seek inspiration and gain new skills in the outdoors. Over the course of the event, REI instructors and brand ambassadors alike teach classes in a wide variety of disciplines: from mountain biking to wilderness first aid to how to pack your backpack for maximum comfort on the trail. Each day ends with fireside conversation, beer, wine, and s’mores as guest speakers and participants reflect on what they learned. I am an avid outdoorswoman, and I lead clinics with a local women’s group that I co-founded, PNW Outdoor Women. I went to Kirkwood hoping to have fun and make new friends while brushing up on some existing skills. And that I did. I also walked away with these fresh perspectives to incorporate in my daily life here in Washington.
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