KOUNTZE - A campaign called “Opt Outside” started last year. State and national parks are encouraging people to swap shopping for the great outdoors.
Grant Cooper and his family hiked along the Kirby Nature trail at the Big Thicket National Preserve today.
Cooper says he'd rather spend hours wandering the woods than waiting in line at a store.
"I think it's a good stress reliever. Um, that's what holidays, part of what holidays are about is relieve stress, not build more," Cooper said.
Cooper was unaware of the campaign but loves hiking and camping.
Cooper and his family say they would much rather go shopping on a less crowded day.
"I love the outdoors, so you know, shopping for Christmas, we can do that all the time and my wife is mostly done anyways," Cooper said.
Outdoor recreation company, REI, started the social media campaign last year.
REI gave over 12,000 employees paid time off on Black Friday, encouraging their workers to go outside instead of shopping.
Many people across the country are spending the holidays together in nature.
Justin Lee and his son Jax are happy to trade crazy crowds for a fun hike.
"We don't necessarily like the crowds that come with Black Friday, we also don't like standing in line. You pretty much know what you're going to get in the shopping centers, and out here you just never know you might come across a family of deer to watch or anything like that," Lee said.
Black Friday for this family is as painless as a stroll in the park.
To learn more about the Opt Outside campaign, click here: https://www.rei.com/opt-outside
(© 2016 KBMT)