What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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fonixmunkee
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What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by fonixmunkee » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:49 pm

For those of us who are REI members, dividend season is right around the corner. Keep your eyes on your snail mail and email...notifications should be going out soon.

So, what are you going to buy with your dividend and that sweet, sweet, sweet 20% off coupon?

I might not even buy camping gear this year; I might buy some ski bindings. Trader!

Funny store, but speaks about the quality of REI's customer service: last year I also didn't even buy camping gear with my dividend...instead I got some ski poles, which turned out to be really crappy. Almost 10 months later I was able to return them, without the tags or receipt, to REI and get store credit to buy a GOOD pair of poles. It was no-questions-asked, the clerk just looked up my purchase against my member number and gave me the store credit. Now that's treating the customer right.
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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by Base654 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:05 pm

I just got a tent with my excess dividend from last year. I don't spend mine straight away, the best sales are at season change so I go a 3 season ultralight tent in December for free. ( I can call it free because I don't interest).

P.S. The life time satisfaction guarantee has changed a bit. You now have to have a legitimate reason to return something (like crappy poles) and you only have one year. My local store has told me, for example, that too many people have returned blown out boots with obviously hundreds of miles on them, just to get free new ones. My store had a particular problem with one boy scout troop that would buy new gear in the spring and return it in the winter for refund. because of reasons like these, corporate has changed the policy.

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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by fonixmunkee » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:15 pm

Base654 wrote:I just got a tent with my excess dividend from last year. I don't spend mine straight away, the best sales are at season change so I go a 3 season ultralight tent in December for free. ( I can call it free because I don't interest).

P.S. The life time satisfaction guarantee has changed a bit. You now have to have a legitimate reason to return something (like crappy poles) and you only have one year. My local store has told me, for example, that too many people have returned blown out boots with obviously hundreds of miles on them, just to get free new ones. My store had a particular problem with one boy scout troop that would buy new gear in the spring and return it in the winter for refund. because of reasons like these, corporate has changed the policy.
This is good to know. Still, at a year, that's a killer deal. Especially for something that's wintery that I bought in the spring, and wouldn't use again until... Well, the winter.
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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by torpified » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:23 am

My usual: a national parks annual pass! Any excess gets converted to darn tough socks. (I'm not mature enough to sit on unspent REI dividends.)


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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by monica.schmidt » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:36 pm

Mine wasn't all that big this yaer, so I spent it already! Bought a GSI Haullite Ketalist set.


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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by Kevinl » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:58 am

I'm considering some kind of solar charger, mainly for my camera batteries.


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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by Tortuga » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:06 pm

I only have $27 this year, so maybe a pair of Darn Toughs or trail meals. I'm happy with all my current gear.


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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by Tortuga » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:09 pm

torpified wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:23 am
My usual: a national parks annual pass! Any excess gets converted to darn tough socks. (I'm not mature enough to sit on unspent REI dividends.)
I had no idea until just now you could purchase an annual pass through REI. Mind blown. :shock:


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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by torpified » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:39 am

https://www.rei.com/c/national-parks-pa ... ses&page=1

it has only one review, but it's 5 stars!

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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by thesneakymonkey » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:44 am

Wow didn't know that about the season pass. We have the REI credit card so our dividends are usually quite large (you get a % back on all purchases REI or not). You can wait and just cash the dividend out (they will send you a check) in July. We usually do that unless we need something from REI. That said I am traveling near one today, maybe I will stop in. You should also hold off a bit they will have a 20% off coupon for members coming by the end of the month. Save your dividend purchases until that comes out.
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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by michael.mast » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:54 am

I'm a new member here and am planning my first trip in June. As for what to do with my dividend this year I am on the fence about the Garmin Inreach. I know it would be good insurance to have with on my solo trip but I'm not sure it would be worth the investment. Do the park rangers at Windigo and Rock Harbor have these? It seems like the only communication option on the island and if I knew that they did and could be contacted directly via one then that would be a big plus.


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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:04 pm

I am pretty sure the park service does not use Inreach or this form of communication. They have their own private VHF radio system for communicating around the island, as well as marine channels. The manned stations, especially Mott Island headquarters, can communicate with the mainland office in Houghton as well as having limited bandwidth internet in Rock Harbor and Windigo. I believe the Lodge concessions in Rock Harbor (and maybe Windigo) also has sat-phones available for your use at a fee.

An Inreach (or similar product) would be your most reliable tool when you are anywhere inland when your emergency should arise. Cell service is somewhat reliable in certain areas (mainly the southwest end and at higher elevations or along some beaches, but no guarantees there) but for the most part is unusable or very spotty (and of course very much carrier dependent). With your Inreach you can send a text message to any telephone, so I think your best procedure would be to send a text to one or more pre-planned friends or family members who in turn would contact the park service or potentially someone like the Coast Guard (the CG would be guaranteed to answer the phone at 3 am). Once a first responder (i.e. a Ranger) was given your Inreach info, they could stay in touch with you somewhat directly.

I have an Inreach (the previous generation) and have used it all around the U.P. of Michigan. It has been very reliable and the battery life is excellent. I use the tracking option most all the time so my family can see where I'm at in "almost" real time. The builtin mapping and orienteering functions are best used in conjunction with a smartphone (connected via bluetooth). Their phone app is far, far better than what is integrated, plus the screen is tiny (which is a main contributor to the good battery life).

On a side note, unless you are bushwacking or going at the extreme ends of the season, you would probably be laying incapacitated on the trail for just a few hours before another hiker found you, but there could be many exceptions to that expectation.
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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by michael.mast » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:26 pm

That's pretty much what I expected to hear. Thanks for the information. I will probably get the Inreach with my dividend later in the month when the 20% off coupon comes out. Between the two the price won't be too bad. It will be good to know that I have it.

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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by DonNewcomb » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:44 pm

Just received my dividend card today. What can I get for $8.49?


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Re: What are you spending your REI dividend on? 2018 Edition

Post by paulbates » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:26 am

I’ve got a 4 day trip on the NCT in western Michigan in early may. Trail food is the only thing I’m missing. The store in Northville is nearby and normally has a good selection; I’ll make a trip there in a week or 2.


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