REI’s Force of Nature – Women are the Focus!

Hiking Lady Disclosure: REI has an affiliate partnership with Hiking Lady, and may receive a percentage of sales if a product is purchased at As always, companies whose products are being reviewed are not allowed to exercise creative or editorial control over content.

Let the Force be with you! REI’s new Force of Nature campaign is centered around women, with the goal to advance gender equality. For a company with a long history of women leadership, this is the perfect opportunity to let the world know that the outdoors world is for women too, and all of us need to get outside and enjoy it!

Force of Nature Initiatives

Throughout 2017, REI’s Force of Nature initiative is hosting over 1,000 events and classes around the United States, in addition to women’s specific adventure travel programs. Women belong outdoors as do all humans, and it is so exciting that REI is making this their primary message this year.

Why REI?

REI is the perfect company to launch this initiative, because they have been “leveling the playing field” from the beginning. In fact, REI was co-founded by a woman, Mary Anderson, and from 2005-2013, their CEO was a woman, Sally Jewell. She only left REI because she was named Secretary of the Interior in 2013.

In addition to the Force of Nature events, REI is using this initiative as a platform to inspire outdoor companies to design quality, women’s specific gear (we all know that making something in pink clearly doesn’t make it women’s specific gear!). They also will be investing $1 million in community organizations that are doing work for women and girls to enjoy the outdoors. Plus REI is partnering with Outside Magazine for their first-ever all-women’s issue!

Hiking Lady Loves Force of Nature!

When I started Hiking Lady in 2009, there was a clear need for unbiased gear reviews, women’s specific information, and a place for women beginner and advanced hikers alike to share their thoughts, questions, and findings of the latest and greatest women’s gear and women’s specific hiking topics. Hence this website!

Women’s specific gear was just starting to hit the market in a meaningful way, despite the fact that women’s feet get colder at night and for a variety of reasons we require women’s specific sleeping bags, we have hips and breasts and really need women’s specific backpacking backpacks, and even trekking poles that are lighter with smaller hand grips. It clearly wasn’t widely discussed as to what to do when we are on our periods out in the middle of a forest for a week long backpacking adventure! I have attempted to serve all of us hiking ladies out there with information and advice just for you.

Throughout the years of writing countless posts, articles, reviews, and organizing giveaways of gear for my wonderful and loyal readers, I have learned a lot about what women want and need to get outside. Women want to meet fellow adventurers to go explore the trails, we need clothing of all sizes because we are all shapes and sizes, we want amazing gear that isn’t just the shrunken down men’s version, and we need to realize that we can overcome our fear of bears. 🙂

REI clearly gets it, and so let’s hope that REI’s Force of Nature initiative is very successful with well attended events, some interesting new women’s specific gear, and of course extended product sizing. All of this will lead to my ultimate goal – more women getting outside to enjoy our amazing planet!

Happy trails to all of you my loyal Hiking Lady readers 🙂


  1. Rita says:

    Love reading your articles. I also love REI. I just wish shoe/boot manufacturers would make hiking shoes in narrow width. I’ve tried them all and threw out a considerable amount of money on hiking boots/shoes. I found a pair of Merrell shoes that were on sale (in REI) because , as per sales person, “they run narrow”. They are OK…now going on 3 years with them. Keep up your great articles.

  2. Nate says:

    This is an eye-opener. This is not just for women but for men too. Thank you for making this blog. Good Job.

  3. HikingDoc says:

    Fantastic article Hiking Lady. I always look forward to your editorials. Yay for Lady Hikers!

  4. Dodger Fan says:

    Well done Hiking Lady!!! Let the force be you.
    Your articles and advice over the years has been not only helpful but most entertaining as well.

    Keep up the good work and by the way I am not afraid of one bear – Smokey the Bear and his/her advice is always welcome.

  5. Donna says:

    As always, Hiking Lady, thank you for your articles and all of the wonderful information you’ve shared with us over the years. I’m not sure though, that I’ll never be afraid of a bear 🙂

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