On Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the month of January, outdoor enthusiasts met at L.L. Bean at The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley to attend L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discover School Winter Clinics. The store hosts a variety of these free clinics, geared to educate attendees on how to have fun and stay safe outdoors during winter in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Donna Kohut, a yoga instructor, river guide, and former employee of The Wildlife Conservancy, oversees L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discover School Program in Center Valley. Donna leads many of the clinics, while others are led by subject matter experts who work at L. L. Bean. Phil Tade, an L.L. Bean bike mechanic, and New Mexico transplant who formerly ran his own outdoor sporting goods store in that state, led a class on “Adventure Travel Essentials” that educated participants about what special gear to have on hand in order to be successful in the wild of winter in the northeast.
Veteran hiker, Jim Rowland, blazed the trail on L.L. Bean’s “Through-Hike Basics,” a course that took attendees outside the store walls on a hike over some of Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Trail. Jim has quite literally earned the title of “trail blazer,” with well over 25,000 miles in hikes under his belt. In in addition to these, Jim recently took a leave of absence to complete a 900 mile hike across a portion uncharted trails in the Canadian Rockies.
The store also hosted pet-friendly clinics, like “Outdoor Adventures with Your Dog,” that showed pet owners how to plan for being outdoors with their dogs, how to keep animals safe on water and trails, and even how to avoid parasites.
In addition to their free clinics, L.L. Bean also hosts “Yoga Hikes.” These special tours guide hikers along scenic, local wildlife trails, pausing periodically for yoga stretches. This month, L.L. Bean hosted “Yoga Hikes” on The Pinnacle Trail Head, near Hamburg, PA, and at Trexler Game Preserve, located in Lehigh County in Schnecksville, PA.
January ended with an opportunity to experience nature during the full moon! This paid clinic was a 3 hour long, “Full Moon Hike” at the South Mountain Nature Preserve and cost $25 per person. Hikers 12 years and older were permitted to attend this memorable adventure, that prepared them for a safe hike, taught proper equipment use and allowed them to safely experience trails after sunset while discovering the fascinating nightlife of nocturnal animals. L. L. Bean’s clinics will continue throughout the year and course matter will adjust to align with the changing seasons. L.L. Bean surely lives up to their motto “Be An Outsider;” sign up for a free clinic and let L.L. Bean teach you how to “Be An Outsider,” too!