Rebecca Bear

REI Director of Outdoor Programs and Outreach

Rebecca Bear is an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for inspiring people — especially women — to explore the wilderness. Twenty years ago, she co-founded a nonprofit designed to get women and girls outside; it was called Passages Northwest (now the YMCA GOLD program). When REI launched its new movement to put women front and center of outdoor adventuring, she was part of the steering committee. “Today, the outdoor way of life is dominated by male imagery, heroes, and stories. This creates real barriers and stifles the power of inspiration the outdoors can hold for all. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’ 

Favorite places 

To relax Riding my bike on the West Snoqualmie River Road in Fall City and Carnation.

photo ©2017 Sean O’neill, Creative Commons

For dinner Tutta Bella

For coffee or tea Issaquah Coffee Co. in GilmanVillage.

To clear your head Mazama — I have a cabin in the mountains. It is where my soul resides.

Gear Guide

Hiking boots For backpacking, Asolo boots. For day hikes, Ahnu Montara boots or Salomon Speedcross trail runners.

Instant backpacking meal I try to stay away from them, although I do have Mary Jane’s Farm instant rice and beans in a pinch.

Sleeping bag For cold weather Marmot-30 down bag

Sunscreen After three decades of serious sun exposure, I have fragile skin. I use Vanicream 50 for protection and Dermatone zinc on my lips and nose for snow reflection.

Inspiration Board

TV show British drama — Downton Abbey and The Crown. 

Image courtesy

Movie Gone with the Wind

Music Indigo Girls

Reading To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, and Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Choygam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Favorite quote “The ultimate measure of a (hu)man is not where (s)he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where (s)he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. 


What’s one of the best local hikes to try?
My favorite hike for expansive views and a good workout is Granite Mountain. 

What do you love about the outdoors?
I get spiritual and physical rejuvenation every time I’m outside. I feel healthier, happier, and more whole. Since my childhood, it has also been the way I connect most honestly and deeply with family and friends.

Any advice for someone who has never adventured much?
Go with someone who cares about you having a great experience. People who haven’t spent much time outside will have some uncomfortable experiences (rain/weather, bugs, going to the bathroom outside, physical exertion, etc.), so it is important to have a good guide, good gear, and a good attitude.

is the managing editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
Find Out First
Learn about Eastside food,
fashion, home design, and more.
no thanks