A fall sunrise wakes up O'Neill Butte in the Grand Canyon. Photo by Andrew Wisniewski

Thanksgiving. For many it’s a day wrapped up in kicking back and relaxing with family and/or friends, adult beverages, great food and—with a nice buzz and a full belly—maybe even hitting the floor for a quality post-dinner carpet nap.

In addition to all that goodness, it’s also a long weekend and opportunity to log time outside. In fact, a friend carrying a handful of what looked to be burritos from the breakfast joint in Flagstaff, AZ, where this post was written, passed me, wished me a happy Thanksgiving, and announced he was headed to the Grand Canyon for a holiday climbing trip. Awesome.

Whatever direction you choose, either of those options could hardly be considered a bad one.

Then there’s Black Friday. A day forever driven by materialism and consumerism, and blanketed in idiocracy. The lines between need and want blur away, and a different, uglier form of hunger takes hold.

In opposition of that gross ideology, two years ago, REI decided to close all their stores on Black Friday and pay employees to #OptOutside—a way to encourage people to reconnect with friends and family in the outdoors over the holidays. With 2017 being year three of that movement, and as an outdoor company whose heritage is in the mountains and whose office doors will also be closed on Black Friday, this holiday weekend, we at Kahtoola also encourage everyone to get outside.

In short, while much of a society blinded by a desire for “things” topples over one another in crowded stores, take to the public lands so many of us are fighting like hell to protect and tap into your own adventure. Whatever that looks like, and however far you may go, make tracks and find your way there.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Kahtoola!