The REI store in Salt Lake City hosts a number of presentations free of charge to the public. Write these dates down as you don't want to miss the fun and the lessons on being safe in the backcountry.

Stay Safe In The Outdoors: Basic Wilderness Life Support Class: Saturday, Dec. 6, 9:30 a.m.

The Basic Wilderness Life Support certification is a one day course Created for all outdoor enthusiasts designed to help you prevent and treat injuries and illnesses common in outdoor activities. The course, developed at the University of Utah School of Medicine will teach you to prepare for your outing, assess injuries and scene safety, decide whether to evacuate or treat a patient, and methods of evacuation.

The course includes morning lectures at REI and an afternoon outdoors (weather permitting) participating in hands on scenarios. At the end of the day you will receive your BWLS certificate. Tuition is $95. Call 801-486-2100 to register. 

Avalanche Awareness: Tuesday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m.:

This is the Utah-based Know Before You Go program taught in schools throughout the Wasatch Front. The Utah Avalanche Forecast Center decided education is the best prophylactic after a series of avalanches killed kids, skiers, and snowmobilers statewide. The rise in popularity of backcountry skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling comes with an increased risk in avalanche danger.  You'll hear a local avalanche professional tell their stories of close calls experienced in the backcountry. They'll also show a narrated video of avalanches, people triggering avalanches, and the destructive power of these white waves.

This presentation will teach the basics of how to recognize avalanche terrain and the obvious signs of instability, safe travel practices, basics of avalanche rescue equipment and self-rescue procedures, and where to obtain information about current avalanche conditions. This lecture always fills to capacity, so arrive early to ensure that you get a seat.

Snowshoeing 101: Tuesday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

They say if you can walk you can snowshoe. But  drop into REI and meet Tubbs Snowshoe Ambassador and adventure athlete Danelle Ballengee if you are still a bit tentative about exploring this energetic winter sport.  Ballengee will provide tips on gear and clothing, teach you how to choose the right snowshoe, demonstrate basic snowshoeing skills, and provide you with some great resources to try it out, such as Winter Trails and the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series.

The R2S event comes once again to the Mountain Dell Golf Course just east of Salt Lake City Feb. 7, 2009. Register before Jan. 1 for a $10 discount. You also can collect pre-event pledges to be eligible for the prize packages from the various event sponsors. One hundred percent of event proceeds and participant fundraising go directly to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Visit the Tubbs Romp To Stomp Out Breast Cancer Web site for more information.

 REI is located at 3285 East & 3300 South.  Call (801) 486-2100 for more information on instruction.