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  1. #1
    tideblazer
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    Default Ideas for REI Atlanta hiker community workshops?

    Hey Ya’ll,


    This thread is to gather some community input on some upcoming workshops to be held in conjunction with the REI “Atlanta” and “Perimeter” stores and myself, probably to take place in the late winter/early spring. If you wouldn’t mind taking a minute to tell me what you think about what could be done during these workshops, I’d appreciate it. My problem is that there are several ways to go with the workshops, and I am interested in hearing about what those who may attend are most interested.

    My first thought for the workshops is to teach a trail journaling workshop, with a heavy emphasis on the writing aspect. I want to include photography as well, but it depends how long and where the courses would be held (and if I could get my dad to come www.olive.com) . I could teach more of the photography aspect, or even balance them out (but 50/50 would mean the class would have to take longer).

    Is there interest in a trail journaling workshop? Photography?

    If there was a workshop that stressed both components, would you be willing to go overnight (Sat/Sun) and camp out?

    Also, when would be the preferred weekend?

    How much would you be willing to pay for a day or overnight workshop?

    I’ve come to you because the people I’ve talked with at REI and myself are interested in hearing what you have to say, so that we can join our cooperative interests and have a good time!

    Please speak up if you have other ideas!

    Thanks in advance for your input.


    -This personally exciting opportunity has come about from their sponsorship of the photo art exhibit, Dancing the Tidal Line. The individual pieces in the collection are a combination of my film photography and journal writings, ($35 and up -see them at www.thawookie.com). The whole project is the culmination of 20+ years of hiking, trail writing, and photographing. I hope to share the secrets I've learned along the way for you to you on your next hike, big or not-so-big.
    Last edited by Tha Wookie; 01-20-2006 at 02:11.
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

  2. #2
    Registered User general's Avatar
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    shakedowns. teach em how to lighten up. just a thought.

  3. #3
    ...Or is it Hiker Trash? Almost There's Avatar
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    Hey, what about those of us who are all good in that regard, General?
    Usually it seems that REI offers programs for new hikers, etc. I think it would be great if there were programs in the area for those of us who actually know what were doing, but still educational. Wookie's idea isn't bad. I would be willing to do an overnight out on a trail for something. As to price willing to pay...depends on what it is, and for how long, but $25-50 wouldn't be unreasonable depending on the event. Presentations on some of the other longer trails down in our neck of the woods wouldn't be a bad idea. Trails less hiked like the Bartram, McKaye, Duncan Ridge, etc. Those of us who have hiked the AT down this way numerous times are always looking for something different I think, granted many of us seek it out anyways...but it's still something I would attend as I am always interested in learning.
    Walking Dead Bear
    Formerly the Hiker Known as Almost There

  4. #4
    Slow and steady does the trick... AbeHikes's Avatar
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    Going to keep watching this thread. I walk to the Perimiter location on my lunch sometimes.

    How about "seasonal hiking health"? Condition symptoms to watch out for while hiking in cool weather as opposed to warm weather.

    Nutrition vs. energy depletion? Same thing for hydration?

    Preparing to receive help? What to do/expect as a casualty in an emergency situation to make efforts easier for rangers, first responders, etc.

  5. #5
    GA-VA 2005, VA-CT 2007, CT-ME ??
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    I'd be interested. I agree that a "how to go lighter" seminar doesn't really fit my needs anymore. But the trail journaling & photography is a cool idea. I'd be interested in improving both of those areas. Any of the 3 GA locations work for me.
    -Mark

  6. #6
    tideblazer
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    Default Interesting input so far....

    This is why I posted this. It would be easy for me to design something in my own little world and see how it works, but these ideas are things I already would not have thought of. I'm still in the brainstorming stage now and thru next week, so I will not shoot anything down and encourage more input based on the original post. Here are my thoughts so far on the responses....

    General: Shakedowns are a great idea. I think REI might already be planning something similar, though, I have to check. If not, I'll definitely suggest it. I might not be the best person for that, however. My gearheadism has faded somewhat from what it once was, but of course I still love to help. We might be able to incorporate that into a course, especially for upcoming thru-hikers this season.

    Almost There: I like this post. Certainly there is a more specific focus that could benefit those who have already go their gear and logistical knowledge more or less "dialed in". One of the aspects I wish to achieve with the workshops is not only to challenge the participants, but to challenge myself as well. I find that working with a group in that manner facilitates another level of learning, where everyone involved becomes a student. That concept is fundamental to my approach on trail photo journalism -to always look for the lesson.

    I would be willing to do presentations on other trails, but what I want most is to get into the field with the class and do it. Murphy Candler Park could be a good place to do this for a one-day event, or some place in North Georgia could serve as an overnight alternative. Actually, so could Sandy Creek Park here in Athens. I think the price range would probably work, depending on the materials we would need. Wouldn't it be neat to work with a class on writing and photography, and then publish our results together on Trailjournals.com?

    Abe Hikes: That is certainly valuable information. I am not an expert on health, but Island Mama is a Wilderness First Responder. I will talk to her about those topics. Coming from the Caribbean recently back to Georgia really knocked me out for a couple days, so I know what you mean. We do cover that information in our private backpacking courses. http://www.thawookie.com/abcsite/

    Whistler: Those topics certainly fit my biggest interests. I'm glad to see you're interested. I've studied a lot in undergrad, grad school, and far beyond from some great teachers of those topics. Ray Jardine revealed some excellent writing strategies as did Deanne Delbridge, a book designer with whom I've been working closely on the Dancing the Tidal Line book (www.thawookie.com/book.htm). Interestingly, photography, writing, and hiking all compliment each other so well, that to me they all seem but metaphors of the same base endeavor.

    I'd love to hear any specific aspects in which you might be interested. Not only have I sought out the best writing advice, but also the best tools, methods for physically writing during a hike, and how to get writings published on the internet and in book forms. Right now, Island Mama is learning how to pulp paper and make books from scratch. On the photo side, I've spent my entire life in a photo studio. We could go any direction with that you wanted. Let me know, and I'll write it in the program.

    I hope to hear some more input.

    If you think you will come to a workshop, dream where you want to be with your hiking skills, let me know, and we can work cooperatively on getting you there.
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

  7. #7
    ...Or is it Hiker Trash? Almost There's Avatar
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    Wook, a great idea, I am starting to get more into trail photography, beginning to look at new digital cameras, as I want more clarity in my closeups, but it definitely could be fun!
    Walking Dead Bear
    Formerly the Hiker Known as Almost There

  8. #8
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    I'll guarantee you a large turnout of teenagers interested in the outdoors, and I know a win-win situation with REI and a major player in outdoor education. I'll bet the two organizations will do the promotion and advertising for your course.

    Offer a "Wilderness Survival" merit badge campout in conjunction with your local Boy Scout office and REI. It's a good fit. Scouting families are some of REI's best customers.

    Here's the requriements: http://www.meritbadge.com/mb/117.htm

    You can do it.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  9. #9
    Cool Change - Donating Member drsukie's Avatar
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    Great Idea! I am only 2 exits away from the Perimeter Store! I agree with Abe; something for new and seasoned hikers. And, as a healthcare provider, I'd be happy to help you find peeps for this part, or pitch in.

    If you do it later than March, though - I'll have to bag it -- hitting the Trail April 15th !!! Sue
    "there is no price too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself" - R. Kipling

  10. #10
    Registered User Ratbert's Avatar
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    I really like the idea of keying on the photography aspect of a hike. Sometimes I have trouble dovetailing landscape photography with backpacking and I'd love to hear some practical discussion about this.

    Several years ago, on the spur of the moment, I attended a slideshow at REI hosted by Neil Chaput de Saintonge of the Rocky Mountain School of Photography and the turnout was extremely good. I was impressed and spent the next day at a workshop he taught at one of the local libraries. Then I signed up for one of RMSP's weeklong workshops in the Smokies...learned more in those six days than the preceeding six years of trial and error on my own. (Also had the good fortune to run into John Shaw at Morton's Overlook while we were shooting a sunset one night during that week...nothing like having him peer through your viewfinder and offer a few composition pointers!)

    Many posters seem eager to learn how to improve their photography and I'm no different.

    Keep us posted...either a one day session or an overnighter would suit me.

  11. #11
    GA-VA 2005, VA-CT 2007, CT-ME ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Wookie
    Whistler: ...I'd love to hear any specific aspects in which you might be interested. Not only have I sought out the best writing advice, but also the best tools, methods for physically writing during a hike, and how to get writings published on the internet and in book forms. Right now, Island Mama is learning how to pulp paper and make books from scratch. On the photo side, I've spent my entire life in a photo studio. We could go any direction with that you wanted. Let me know, and I'll write it in the program.
    I suppose I'm interested in the whole package, something like 'Techniques and Philosophy for Self-Documentary'.

    Writing: suggestions to get the word flow going beyond description, useful tools/ instruments, methods, publishing ideas... I like writing, and rhetoric, and appreciate good writing, so I'm always up for more ideas.

    Photography: more interested in composition, timing, stories behind the photos [seems like most good photos have one, huh?], and so on. Not so much interested in who makes the best bodies and lenses. Looking to learn about the skillful use of the technology, versus the available technologies themselves.

    The pulp paper and bookbinding is pretty cool stuff, but probably better packaged with basket-, rope-, etc. making. Thanks for asking for our feedback. There are so many opportunities to learn!

    -Mark

  12. #12
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Default Alcohol stoves

    What about a clinic on making alcohol stoves like the Pepsi can stove or Cat stove? I don't see those on the shelves of REI!

  13. #13
    GA-VA 2005, VA-CT 2007, CT-ME ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaks
    What about a clinic on making alcohol stoves like the Pepsi can stove or Cat stove? I don't see those on the shelves of REI!
    I think that's a great idea. You could demonstrate a couple types of stoves and how to make them. Pepsi, V8, SuperCat, etc. Maybe also a cozy-making session.

    Could also do a similar DIY session for Speer-type hammocks and bug nets.

    -Mark

  14. #14
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    Shakedowns are a good idea as long as REI folks don't do the shaking down. I went to the REI in Tempe, Az yesterday for a new jetboil stove and looked at sleeping pads. The clerk tried to sell me one that was an extra large and weighed almost 3 pounds. I was looking at the under one pound pads. When I mentioned the extra weight of the one he was trying to sell me he said that it was only a couple of pounds more, so whats the big deal?Needless to say I paid for my stove and left in a hurry.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    I'd be interested in learning about photography--the whole package, from camera choices and their respective advantages and disadvantages, to storage and transmission of photos from the trail, and the more elusive (it eludes me, anyway) info on how to take better photos.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  16. #16
    tideblazer
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    Default Responses....

    Almost There: We can definitely cover photography. I see this developming into a rather interesting workshop! This is exciting! I would like to publish the class results together on Trailjournals.

    Dances with Mice: That is a great idea, but I already have separate primitive skills courses with a long waiting list. We have had interest from Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, but honesly haven't had room for a troop. Those classes are separate from the REI classes. They are sponsored by Athens-Clarke County. Thanks for the link about the merit badge. That may come in handy when we can get to the scouts!

    drsukie: I don't think the health aspect will be covered this spring. I've decided to stick with the topics that go with my art exhibit -writing and photography for backpackers.

    However, we do teach that in our private courses, and I think that would be great to include at some point. But there are many great professional workshops on health, first aid, and Wilderness Responder topics.

    Ratbert: Thanks for the input. That is strong encouragement for the photography section. How much were those courses you took, including the REI, the library, and the week course? We could go as far as the students could possibly want behind the lens. We would only be limited by time.

    Whistler: Excellent feedback. Thanks. I'm taking notes..... I like the title!


    Peaks and Whistler: I will not be doing stoves for this, but might do a workshop on it associated with my backpacking courses. I've done one before, and had poor turnout (but the several folks that came made awesome stoves!)

    digger51: I understand this completely. If I do shakedowns at any point, it wouldn't be to sell any body anything. It would be more about returning gear!! REI would probably NOT want me doing shakedowns. Remember, I usually carry 12 lbs dry weight -and 4.5 of it is camera gear. But... I guess I would push those "space" pens!

    Marta: OK- thanks for the input. I think we are definitely going to have both aspects of photojournalism.

    MY QUESTIONS TO YA'll:

    Many of you are in the Atl area. What if this workshop was held in Athens? OR, what if we had a one-day thing in ATl, and then a weedend thing in Athens, where we could hike the Cook's Trail, backpack, and practice trailjournaling/photography?

    If we did this, what do you think of publishing on Trail Journals as a class?

    Waht would be a resonsable cost for a one-day, or two-day (and night) class?

    What do you think about the class location?

    What is your interest level (%) in photo/writing? 50/50?

    Do you you have your own camera, or would you need to buy/rent/borrow one?

    Also, do you have overnight gear for a two-day workshop?
    Last edited by Tha Wookie; 01-23-2006 at 12:19.
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

  17. #17
    Registered User Ratbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Wookie
    How much were those courses you took, including the REI, the library, and the week course?

    MY QUESTIONS TO YA'll:

    Many of you are in the Atl area. What if this workshop was held in Athens? OR, what if we had a one-day thing in ATl, and then a weedend thing in Athens, where we could hike the Cook's Trail, backpack, and practice trailjournaling/photography?

    If we did this, what do you think of publishing on Trail Journals as a class?

    Waht would be a resonsable cost for a one-day, or two-day (and night) class?

    What do you think about the class location?

    What is your interest level (%) in photo/writing? 50/50?

    Do you you have your own camera, or would you need to buy/rent/borrow one?

    Also, do you have overnight gear for a two-day workshop?

    The REI evening was free, consisting of Neil's slideshow and a question / answer session mostly surrounding travel photography, if I recall. I believe that the one day seminar at the Dekalb Library was free as well. More slides, but this time they were critiqued and dissected with lots of emphasis on composition and exposure, rather than just telling travel stories. Most folks there were taking copious notes.

    The RMSP workshop was six days and cost around $715 or so I believe. That did not include any lodging or meals. With their workshops, you are paying for your time with the pros. It was a great week, with field shooting in the morning and evenings, then classroom instruction and slide critique of the previous day's work during the middle of the day. I would heartily endorse any of their programs if anyone is interested in enhancing their nature photography skills.

    Regarding your questions:

    1. Sounds like a good plan
    2. Likewise, publishing on TrailJournals.com
    3. Not sure, but I'd probably pay $10 for 1 day and $25 for the combo, depending on what supplies were needed
    4. Anywhere in North Georgia works for me
    5. Photo 80% / Journalism 20%
    6. Own
    7. Have gear

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    I'm having internet problems and my previous reply disappeared into cyberspace, so I'll make this brief.

    Photo 80%/writing 20%
    $50/day seems reasonable to me
    North Georgia is fine; I don't know the area so I can't be more specific than that
    A class album on TJ sounds fun and interesting
    I have old cameras (digital and 35mm), but am interested in seeing and possibly experimenting (renting) newer, more compact and/or better-performing equipment
    Have backpacking gear
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  19. #19
    Registered User Rhettamus's Avatar
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    Teach them how to be minimalist, and not get ripped off by REI "experts", i go to REI once in a blue moon, and laugh me arse off at the citified folks buying some expensive pack with all the bells and whistles which is fine, cause i will buy it back on the scratch and dent sale, ....

    THANKS CLUELESS HIKERS!!!!

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