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By Miriam Raftery

April 28,2017 (San Diego) – Seeking to empower women through outdoor activities REI has launched “Forces of Nature,” a series of over 1,000 programs for women from May through September nationwide, including San Diego. Locally the series kicks off with events at Mission Trails Regional Park on May 6th that include rock climbing, and a free inspirational TED-talk style presentation by outdoor writer Shelby  Stanger. 

“Outdoors is a level playing field,” says Alyson Wright, outdoor programs and outreach market manager from REI in San Diego.  “You don’t have to behave a certain way.”  Nationally, REI is telling stories of women adventurers, makers and rule-breakers, encouraging women, “Let’s make outside the largest level playing field on earth.”

Besides freeing up your spirit of adventure, you can also get practical tips such as how to chosoe a backpack that best fits women.

Journalist Shelby Stanger will give a free talk at the Mission Trails Kumeyaay Campground from 7 to 9 p.m. about her personal journey and the wild leap of faith she took to pursue a life outdoors—transforming her passions into action.  A San Diegan who teaches surfing at Surf Diva and writes for Outside magazine, SELF, Surfer Magazine and others,  she encourages you to come meet other outdoorsy women around a campfire while stargazing with astronomers, enjoying outdoor games, a campfire with a deluxe S’mores bar (think strawberries,  peanut butter cups and more), and live music – free!

Jay Wilson from Mission Trails Regional Park says , “The majority of people have never lokoed through a  full length telescope.  It’s amazing.”  Guests can gaze at nebulae, stars and planets. “They’ve gone as far as 36,000 light years away,” he says of the astronomers who will be on hand.

Classes locally include a women’s introduction to rock-climbing, women’s rock climbing anchors with natural and fixed protections,  and more.

Get information or sign up for events here and other locations at

Sign up for the evening party at Mission Trails at .

You can also visit  for more information on outdoor activities and  equipment.