Get a free ride to the great outdoors this Black Friday, thanks to REI and Skedaddle

rei skedaddle app optoutside
Nothing better signals the start of the holiday season than family gatherings followed by the busiest shopping day of the year. While some traditions are worth holding onto, regardless of how dramatic and awkward they can be, REI and Skedaddle want you to “#OptOutside” on November 25 – aka Black Friday – and enjoy the great outdoors.

“We want to help people get outside,” said Adam Nester, CEO and co-founder of Skedaddle. “Hopefully, in about a week …, people will take advantage of the fact that they’re with their family and friends,and choose to explore national parks and nature rather than going to shopping malls and acting on consumeristic behaviors.”

About to celebrate its second anniversary, Skedaddle gives its users transportation options via an iOS and Android app. It gathers those interested in getting out of the city to areas impractical for Uber or Lyft, and instead of connecting users directly to passenger vehicles like those services, Skedaddle acts as a booking service, connecting interested travelers with underused charter buses. Skedaddle now moves about 50,000 riders a month, adding to its near 400,000 total to date.

Skedaddle users browse routes that originate and end based on their location, or they can suggest an entirely new route to where they want to go – be it to a ski resort, the beach, or music festival. Suggested routes can be seen by all users and go “live” once they reach a minimum number of seats, usually 10. The first person to suggest a route gets to ride for free, building in a strong incentive for Skedaddle users to be active in their trip planning.

As part of REI’s second annual #OutOutside campaign, the retailer has partnered with Skedaddle to offer rides completely free of charge from REI locations in Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Denver to gorgeous and peaceful locales guaranteed to be free from the frantic and chaotic shoppers on Black Friday. It’s worth noting that, while trips will begin at REI locations, the company has given its employees the day off to enjoy the outdoors as well, so stores will be closed.

“This eliminates a barrier for people to get outdoors,” said Rob Discher, REI’s director of communications. “For people living in a downtown area who don’t have cars, getting out to a national park is hard. This whole program is to help unlock the outdoors for more people, hopefully creating a new tradition on what people can do on Black Friday.”

Routes are filling up fast, so #OptOutside with Skedaddle soon if you’re interested. If the route you’re interested in is already full, remember to search for others – or suggest one of your own.

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Deals

Today’s best Amazon deals: Instant Pot, Dyson, and Ring

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but for retail giants like Amazon, the savings are only getting started. We've scoured the depths of Amazon to find you the very best deals going on right now.
Gaming

Find the perfect weapon in 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4' multiplayer with our guide

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has several different guns to choose from in its multiplayer mode, and they're split across multiple classes. Here's a guide to all of them and when you should use them.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Outdoors

Forget pumps. This innovative filter purifies H2O in 8 seconds flat

The Grayl Geopress water purification system removes more than 99 percent of all bacteria, cysts, and viruses from water in just eight seconds, providing clean drinking water to travelers and outdoor adventurers.
Outdoors

Conquer the cold season with the best heated clothing and outdoor apparel

If you're thinking about going outside this winter, heated apparel is a must. Luckily, we've rounded up some of the best heated clothing, whether you're looking for battery-powered gloves or heated insoles.
Emerging Tech

Warm ski beanie instantly hardens into a head-protecting helmet upon impact

Wool hats are way more comfortable than hard helmets. You know what they're not? Safer. That could soon change, thanks to an innovative new ski beanie which instantly hardens upon impact.
Outdoors

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.
Smart Home

Tired of running outdoors? Check out the best treadmills of 2018

Running can burn up to 900 calories per hour, melting away fat and strengthening your muscles.  Compared to running outdoors, you're safer staying indoors on a cushioned track. We've rounded up the best treadmills on the market
Outdoors

Need gift ideas? Here’s what to get the skiers and snowboarders in your life

You can't purchase snow, but you can grab your favorite skier or snowboarder some sweet gear this holiday season. We've hand-picked some of the best available that'll wow even the most well-equipped terrain park junkie we know.
Outdoors

Puma revives its classic 1986 smart shoe, complete with high-tech heel hump

More marketing stunt than serious effort to dominate the smart shoe space, Puma is about to re-release its classic RS-Computer Shoe. The high-tech footwear from 1986 was a breakthrough at the time, despite its unsightly heel hump.
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Outdoors

Drink what nature provides with the best water purifiers

Looking for reliable water purification? Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are hiking or camping far from civilization. Check out our picks of the best water purifiers for your camp, backpack, or pocket.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.