Do You Believe In Luck?

Posted by Gareth Leah

Mar 17, 2017 10:56:01 AM

Photo Credit Cut Media/Adidas TerrexWe've all heard the phrase, "Good Luck!" It's the message delivered by friends and loved ones when you set out to try something new. The dictionary defines it as "success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions," but I don't agree. I think luck is made.

Learning from everyday events, we discover things about our environment and the nuances that contribute to both success, and failure in our life. Whether it's winning big on race day or watching someone slip on ice, we increase our success probability through knowledge and experience. 

Whenever i'm climbing big walls, I try to think of every possible turn of events that could unfold before I even leave the ground. This is the experience gained through such events as continuously falling off a ledge in the night, trying to poop into a small brown paper bag without a headlamp, and catching a large rock with my face, amongst many others. These events have taught me that being prepared, rather than fortuitous, leaves the odds stacked in your favor. 

For me, being prepared often comes down to what I pack. With big wall climbing, I must take with me everything I will need to survive on a wall for extended periods of time. It could be for a night, a week, or much longer. Once off the ground, I will need food, water, cooking equipment, sleeping equipment, a portaledge (packable hanging bed), a first aid kit, climbing equipment and of course, a backup plan. 

Photo Credit Cut Media/Adidas TerrexPhoto Credit Cut Media/Adidas Terrex

With so much gear to cram into such a small space, I often take dual purpose items. A simple change from a standard 3 piece cutlery set to a plastic spork will only save me a few grams, and switching out my inflatable sleeping mat for a foam one only saves a little space, but it soon adds up when you apply this critical thinking to all of your preparations. One of the pieces of gear that I took with me to Pico Cão Grande which came in particularly useful was the Gear Line. Due to the tropical storms that pounded the island, keeping everything dry was a daily battle. With limited anchor points and space on the ledge, I would use the gear line to help organize our gear and to keep it out of the rain. When it wasn't being used as a drying rack, I would use the Gear Line to hang solar panels from the cliff wall or to organize our gear rack. 

These micro adjustments in packing can make or break the outcome of a big wall climb. So rather than "hoping" something might work out, plan ahead. With a little preparation and forethought you'll be able to create your own "luck."

Watch the full story on Gaz's expedition to Pico Cão Grande in the Claim Freedom film presented by adidas TERREX.

Gareth (Gaz) Leah is a British adventurer, climbing developer, writer and photographer who has been obsessed with climbing since 1987. Gaz has been a Nite Ize Ambassador since 2016 and also works with Adidas OutdoorAdventure Medical KitsRevo SunglassesMad Rock ClimbingHanchorDMM ClimbingMaxim RopesVoltaic SystemsClimbers Against CancerEscalando FronterasPro Climbers International (PCI), Acceso PanAm, and Adventure 4 Good.  

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Topics: Emergency Preparedness, outdoors, Adventure

Six Tips for First Time Disc Golf Players

Posted by Matt Smoot

Mar 8, 2017 10:00:17 AM

As with any new sport, playing disc golf for the first time can be a little intimidating, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be fun. Whether your friends invited you out for a round, or you decided to try it yourself, I’d like to say, “Congratulations, and welcome to the most laid back intense sport you'll ever play!"

DG-Blog-5.jpg“What is disc golf?” you ask. Disc golf is very similar to traditional golf. However, the game is played with a flying disc rather than a ball and clubs. The object of the game is to complete each hole in as few strokes (throws) as possible. Play begins when a player throws a disc from a tee area towards a hole (disc golf basket). The player then makes each consecutive throw from the spot where their throw landed until they have successfully thrown the disc into the hole. A round of disc golf is typically 9 or 18 holes.

Disc golf is a fun, low cost sport that just about anyone can play. All you need are a few discs and a basket, and you’re in business. With new courses popping across the country, there’s likely to be one near you, and it may even be free to play as many city parks are have courses open to the public. If you’re looking for a place to play, then check out the course directory map on the Professional Disc Golf Association's website by clicking here.

Disclaimer--I’m no pro. I’d hardly even consider myself a “good” amateur player. But I have learned a few things playing disc golf over the past few years that I wish I had known when I got started. If you’re new to the game, or thinking about playing for the first time, then here are six tips to help get you started from an average Joe. For those seasoned players, let this blog post be a reminder of what your first days on the course were like and please share any additional tips you have in the comments below.

  1. Be Patient—Embrace your status as the “new guy/gal”. You’re not going to be the best player on the course, and that’s okay. Relax, and laugh at yourself when the disc goes nowhere near where you intended to throw it. Just have fun and do your best. The best players in the world were beginners once and even they still throw their discs into trees, lakes and other obstructions now and again.

  2. Keep It Simple—One of the first things you’ll notice is other players carrying golf bags with 20+ discs in them. You don’t need all that. If you can’t throw one disc well, then what good is a whole bag of discs going to do? My recommendation is to purchase a driver, a mid-range and a putter when you get started. Then, go to a field and practice throwing them. Yes, practice. It’s important to get a basic feel for how to throw the discs and the different flight characteristics of each. Chances are pretty good that one of those discs will feel, and fly, a lot better for you than the others. That’s the one you should play with the most when you get started. There’s nothing wrong with throwing only one disc during a round. As you develop your skills then consider adding more discs to your game.

    Nite Ize's David Waisblum practices his backhand throw at the GoPro Mountain Games

  3. Learn to Throw Forehand and Backhand—Now that you’ve decided to practice throwing, there are two types of throws you should learn first. The forehand and backhand. Why these? Because their flightpaths are entirely different and you may be better at throwing one way versus the other. By better, I mean more accurate and able to throw a further distance. For the right-handed player, a backhand throw will fade to the left at the end of its flight path where a forehanded throw will fade to the right (this is opposite for lefties). By learning how to throw each of these, you’ll be able to navigate around trees and other obstacles to get your disc closer to the basket.

  4. Hole 4 at the Blue Ribbon Pines Disc Golf CoursePlay the Course—Intuitively we all start out playing by thinking that we should throw directly at the basket, but what if there is a tree in the way? Instead of thinking about getting closer to the basket, try thinking about how you can set yourself up for having a clear shot at the basket on your next throw. Throwing a shorter shot to a clearing that gives you a clear second shot at the basket will be better than a longer throw that’s behind a bush. Seems simple, but it’s one of the easiest things to overlook when you’re playing.

  5. Go with Experienced Players—The disc golf course is a judgement free zone, especially for the “noob”. We were all noobs once too, and we want you to love the game like we do. Playing with people that are better than you will help you to develop your own strategy, skills, and may also give you some inspiration to practice and get better. And, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I will caution you, however. Disc golfers love to give advice coaching to noobs. Be receptive and open to what they want to teach you, but decide for yourself which techniques work best for you. If you really want to hone in on certain techniques, then do a quick search on YouTube as there are a lot of technique videos online that you can learn from. Or, tune in to the live broadcasts of the Disc Golf Pro Tour and learn from the pros.

    The crew gears up for a night round with the Flashflight LED Disc Golf discs
  6. Have Fun—I can’t emphasize this enough. Have fun! Once you develop your basic skills, then you can think about shooting a low score. Until then, celebrate your good shots, laugh and learn from your bad shots, and play in a variety of places with a variety of people. One of my most memorable rounds of disc golf when I first got started was playing at night with a group of friends. Playing at night helps you to relax and focus on the fundamentals as you’re not able to see the obstacles that may be in your way and you can concentrate solely on throwing the disc. Some of my most memorable shots have come at night when I had no idea what I was throwing at, and instead let the disc fly with purpose towards the glowing basket.

I hope that you’ve learned something from my tips, and that you’ve realized that disc golf is about having a good time. At least, that’s what the game means to me. It’s a low cost sport that just about anyone can play, and that doesn’t take a lot of time to learn. If you’re a disc golfer and think there’s something else beginners should know, then please add your own tip to the comments below.

Now, get out there and play some disc!


If you’re ready to start playing disc golf, or are looking for some new discs to add to your bag, then check out the Flashflight LED Disc Golf discs. For a limited time, Nite Ize is offering 20% Off of the Flashflight LED Disc Golf discs when you check out with the discount code “DISC20”. Check out the discs here.

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Topics: Fun & Games, Disc Golf, Flying Disc, Flashflight

What's Hot at the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Winter Show

Posted by Matt Smoot

Jan 25, 2017 11:00:24 AM

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast then you already know that the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Utah is the place to be for new releases of the latest and greatest outdoor gear. Taking place twice a year during the winter and summer (January and August in 2017), the OR Show is a gathering place for outdoor equipment and apparel brands, both large and small, to showcase their product lines to retailers and members of the media. It’s also one of the shows where we, Nite Ize, release our newest products.

While this year’s OR Winter Market seemed to be a little quieter than last year’s show, new product releases from manufacturers kept the crowd buzzing with enthusiasm. When I had a chance to wander from the Nite Ize booth, I discovered a wide range of new products, some not so noticeable to the naked eye, that really caught my attention. Here are some of the items that I found most interesting.

  1. CM-EVA-Snowshoe.jpgCrescent Moon EVA—Gone are the days of flat, framed snowshoes. The new EVA foam snowshoe with a rockered platform from Crescent Moon is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and does not require a hinge under the foot thanks to the rockered shape design. For someone like myself who is a “weekend warrior” when it comes to snowshoeing (you won’t catch me doing any winter backpacking), the Crescent Moon EVA provides a great solution to get outside and play in the snow. Look for them in the fall of 2017.

  2. Goal Zero’s Yeti Fuel—When I think of Goal Zero, solar panels and lithium power cells is generally what comes to mind. The new Yeti Fuel, a gas power generator, stands apart from this traditional way of thinking while boasting a claim of being “20 times more efficient” than other similar generators, according to Goal Zero. For anyone who doesn’t drive a Sprinter van with solar panels on the roof, the Yeti Fuel is a great option for keeping devices charged and ready to go at basecamp, or for use during Nite Ize’s events where a battery cell won’t quite provide enough juice.

  3. Goal Zero-Yeti Fuel.jpggoTenna Mesh—For those of us that take our smartphones into the backcountry, the goTenna Mesh will help keep us connected by providing a private off-grid network that allows connection with other goTenna users through the goTenna app. While the device won’t connect you with non-goTenna users, it’s a great way to stay connected with other parties in your group when your paths take you in different directions or to use when traveling to foreign countries where you don’t have cell phone service.

  4. Patagonia’s Hyper Das Insulation—While the new Hyper Das Insulation from Patagonia is not something that you’ll be able to see, you’ll surely feel the warmth when wearing it. Boasted as Patagonia’s warmest synthetic insulation, the accordion like construction is very puffy and compressible making it great as an alternative to the classic down insulation. As someone who loves down jackets, the new synthetic insulations coming to the market are catching my attention by providing as much warmth as down, compressing into small packable sizes, and having the ability to quickly dry or keep you warm when wet. Keep an eye out for the new Hyper Das insulation that will be available in jackets from Patagonia this fall.

  5. Nite Ize’s Dual CamJam Tie Down System—I couldn’t write this post without talking about the new Dual CamJam as it received quite a bit of attention during the show. The new Dual CamJam Tie Down System has people rethinking how they get their gear from point A to point B. Unlike traditional tie down straps, the Dual CamJam Webbing Tensioner (ie. the buckle) is not attached to the webbing allowing it to create an anchor point anywhere along the length of the strap. This results in a more versatile tie down system that is easy to setup, allows you to use the full length of the webbing in your rigging, and is compatible with most 1” wide flat or tubular webbing. But my favorite feature, you can use it to rig a hammock!

Even after three full days on the show floor, I couldn’t quite cover everything that was new or exciting at the show and I’d love to hear from you if there was something that caught your eye. If there was something that jumped out at you, then please let me know by posting a comment below.

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. I was not compensated in any additional way for this review, and have used images provided by the retailers to help compile this review. I’ll also note that my personal interests skew towards backpacking, snowboarding, climbing, hiking, trail running, traveling, photography, and mountain biking.

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Topics: Tradeshows, Outdoor Retailer Show, OR Winter Market, outdoors

Through the Lion’s Lair with Leo Lesperance – Interview by Matt Smoot

Posted by Matt Smoot

Jan 12, 2017 4:39:43 PM

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-Looking south towards Green Mountain near the summit of Mt. Sanitas (Boulder, CO)

For most trail runners, a lap around the Lion’s Lair Loop that summits Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, CO is quite an accomplishment. At 5.3 miles in length with over 1,300’ in elevation gain, the Lion’s Lair Loop is the type of run (or hike for that matter), that your average weekend warrior may feel like running once or twice a year. While Nite Ize’s Leo Lesperance may consider himself a “runner”, his epic total of 109 summits of Mt. Sanitas during 2016 is anything but average, it’s extraordinary.

I had a chance to speak with Leo about his 2016 goal of completing 100 laps on Mt. Sanitas, and to learn what he had in store for 2017. As you’ll discover, Leo is just getting started. (What follows are excerpts from an interview with Leo Lesperance in November of 2016 where we discussed how he got started running, what motivates him, and some run safety tips that Leo uses to stay safe while on the run).

  • Leo-Running.jpgHow long have you been running, and how did you get started? I’ve been running for a bit more than 4 years, and I started running because the company I was working for gave us pedometers and paid us to get steps. It kind of made sense, eventually I figured out that if I run I get those steps faster and I could be done doing it sooner. That’s how I got started. Started walking, turned into running.

  • Would you consider yourself to be a “runner” or identify yourself in some other way?  Maybe, maybe I’m a runner. You might be a runner if you’re running more than 30 miles a week on a regular basis.  I love running! It’s one of my absolute favorite things to do.

  • When I first heard that you set a goal of running 100 laps on Mt. Sanitas, I was blown away. That’s not an easy feat! When did you decide to run 100 laps on Mt. Sanitas?  I had run it on January 1st as a New Year’s run with a bunch of my friends, and maybe the next week when my friend said, “Oh hey, I know you had a really good Strava segment but sorry, I beat your time!” That kind of got me started, and I ended up saying, “Well, I can do this at least every Friday,” and by the end of January it turned into, “I can get 100 of these (laps on Mt. Sanitas) done by the end of the year.”

    View-Lions-Lair-Snow.jpg
                                                                                                                                                 -A view from the Lion's Lair Loop on Mt Sanitas

  • What do you like about running?  Have you seen any of the pictures that I post!?  Sunrises, mountain tops, the connection with nature when you’re outside which might lead to your next question. I’m a trail runner more than a road runner. It’s where I find peace; it’s where I find time to unravel my brain.

  • Do you still run on the road?  I don’t run on the road if I can avoid it. It makes me nervous. I don’t really like running alongside cars.  Especially, you know, with everybody on their phones and Facebook and Instagram. It’s definitely a concern.

  • What can you do as a runner to feel safer, and to be more visible while you’re running? Wear bright clothes, reflective gear, put lights on, headlamp or armbands. Anything that helps to attract other people’s attention. I get a lot of attention when I run with ShoeLits. People always tell me that those (ShoeLits) are the coolest thing they’ve ever seen. I usually wear the green or blue.

    My favorite time to run is when I can time my run to be somewhere when the sun rises which means I’m starting in the dark. And, my favorite Nite Ize product is the Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp. I don’t use (run with) the spot light. I use the flood light, usually on low. On the trail it’s pretty perfect because there’s no other light, you don’t need a whole lot of light, and it radiates the right amount of light for what I need to see without being too harsh or have sharp edges. The spot light on that is pretty good too, but it’s brighter than I need for most trail runs.

    Leo-Sanitas-Summit.jpg
                                                                                                  -Leo on the summit of Mt Sanitas with the Indian Peaks in the background

  • Are there any other pieces of gear that you love to run with?  My phone. My phone has a kick ass camera and the reason I love running in nature is so that I can see it, and that I can look at it again.

  • Has there been a time that you’ve felt scared while on a trail run?  There are a number of times that I should have felt scared, but for some reason didn’t.  I think I’ve seen seven bears in the four years that I’ve been running, and one of them I almost ran into because I didn’t see it until the last second.  And, there have been two occasions that I tripped. The last time my friends were like, “I don’t know how you did what you did but one second your flying with your face and knee headed for a big rock, and the next second you did something to miss them both.”

    Bear.jpg
    -The bear that Leo almost ran into


  • Other than running, what activities do you participate in?  Y’know, the usual things.  Backcountry skiing, mountain biking, track cycling, climbing and ice hockey.

  • What are your goals for 2017? Hmmm. I think one of your other questions was, “What inspires you to run?” So, I’m going to start with that because I got into trail running by a colleague that I worked with who led a group run.

    He said, “Come on this Wednesday for a 5:30am run,” and I did it. It was my first time running a trail, Mt. Sanitas, during a downpour in late October. And, I didn’t miss that group (run) for another three years after that. Through that group I’ve met a number of friends, and they are all ultra-runners. Four of them are “Lead Men”. So, there’s some peer pressure to join that club. I also signed up for my first 50 mile ultra-race in February (2017).

    Sanitas-Summit.jpg

    -The summit of Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, CO



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Topics: Run Safety

Willi's Nite Ize Picks - Guest Blog Post by Pure Hunting's Willi Schmidt

Posted by Willi Schmidt

Sep 22, 2016 1:53:43 PM

Willi-Pure_Hunting.jpgAs an avid hunter and outdoorsman, I am always looking for gear that is useful in the field. One company that makes a ton of great gear, but is not known as an "outdoor" or "hunting" company is Nite Ize. There are several products of theirs that I never go into the field without.

Most outdoorsmen need lighting when they head into the field. Nite Ize makes several great options. The INOVA STS Headlamp has 142 lumens on the white, high setting and gives me plenty of light when hiking in the dark or setting up camp. It also has a red option, which is ideal when heading out in the morning and typically doesn't spook game like a white light does. It is a great design and the "Swipe-To-Shine" technology is unique and easy to turn the light on and off. They have an INOVA X5 UV - Ultraviolet LED Flashlight, which is always in my pack as well. The UV light allows you to follow a blood trail, even in the dark.

Nite Ize has a family of cool gadgets too, which I have come to rely on. Their S-Biners are double-gated carabiners that have a ton of uses. I keep several clipped to my backpack all the time, which gives me the ability to clip a water bottle and any other accessory to the outside of my pack easily. I use them inside my tent to clip on a light or hang clothing to dry. Anything clips in easily and stays secure. They are very light weight, come in a ton of sizes, both in plastic and metal and some can even lock, preventing any accidental opening and losing gear.

I also keep several different sizes of Gear Ties in my pack. These cool, plastic coated ties have unlimited uses. I have used the larger sizes to keep my sleeping pad rolled up, hang gear from a tree, strap my elk bugle or rattling antlers to my pack and the smaller sizes are perfect for keeping charging cords organized and untangled. They are quiet, will not damage gear and are waterproof. They come in a ton of different sizes and colors and truly do have unlimited uses.


Another of my favorite products is the Steelie. Although this doesn't have an "in the field" use, I use it while getting to my adventures to secure my phone to the dash of my car. The Steelie allows me to see my screen to follow directions and easily turn it from portrait to landscape. If I need to grab my phone, the magnet makes it easy without having to unsnap or unclip the phone like other phone holders. Everyone in my family has one in their car and we’ve even put on in our golf cart.

Although these are some of my favorite products, it's a very small sample of the products that Nite Ize makes. They also make products like unique key chains, all kinds of electronic holsters and cases, lighted bike and dog accessories and the list goes on and on. Most of their products solve problems you don't even know you have. Be sure to check them out at NiteIze.com to see the full array of products and I am confident that like me, you will find many products you won't be want to head into the field without.
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Topics: hunting, outdoors

How to Throw an Epic Dog Birthday Party

Posted by Katie Sowyrda

Aug 12, 2016 3:42:56 PM

 

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A little background for you before I get into the nitty gritty of dog birthday planning - let me introduce you to the birthday girl, Daisy:

Daisy__Cake.jpg

In case it's not immediately apparent from the photo, Daisy is the best Labrador-mutt sidekick of all time. She hikes, fishes, naps and cuddles like a champ. For the past 11 years, Daisy has been an "only child", but life is about to change drastically for her as she's going to get a human sibling this fall. So, we (and I use the term "we" generously as my husband is more of an obliging enabler to my crazy dog-loving antics) figured, "what better reason to give her a big ole birthday bash before she relinquishes her only child status?" Meanwhile, I thought I'd share a few tips with you about what I've learned.

Now, on to the nitty gritty of dog birthday planning...

The key to throwing any successful party is to go big or go home. So, chances are Step 1 will be easy for you (you are, after all, the person reading an article titled "How to Throw an Epic Dog Birthday") it is simply to embrace your inner-crazy dog person. Will your friends think you're crazy for throwing a dog birthday party? Maybe. But, chances are they already know you are, and trust me, they're still going to come because let's be honest, who doesn't love free beer, snacks, and a reason to celebrate - especially a cute, fluffy reason?

Step 2: Choose a Location

You may love the idea of a bunch of dogs galloping around your house, or it might be your nightmare. If it's the latter, maybe look into hosting it at your local dog park, or there are even doggy day cares that will let you rent out their pools and host a doggy pool-party. We decided to go with the backyard party and to keep the chaos at home.

Step 3: Plan Your Activities

You are going to have a host of people and pets looking to be entertained. Lucky for you, just throw on some music and the people will probably be entertained, or at least preoccupied enough with their pets not to think about much else. We did set up a little makeshift station in the yard for folks who wanted to get a family portrait taken with their dogs which seemed to be a hit.

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For the furry guests of honor, we held a little "doggy rave". I work for an awesome company called Nite Ize, who sponsored our activity for the night with a host of LED dog toys and lights for our guests. Each four-legged guest received a Nite Howl LED Necklace, a SpotLit Collar Light, a GlowStreak Ball, and a Flashflight Dog Discuit. So, once the sun set, we lit up the backyard, cranked the music, and let the dogs run wild with their new toys.

Daisy_Ball_Extravaganza-3.jpgDoggy_Rave_1-4.jpgCooper_Catching_Ball-1.jpg

Step 4: Invitations & Guests

I like to use PaperlessPost for online invitations, they have a lot of cute easy-to-design options but there are tons of other user-friendly email invite sites out there as well.

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Step 5: Food & Drinks

Let there be cake! You can find dog bakeries everywhere that make great birthday cakes specifically for dogs. If you happen to be in the Boulder, CO area, our favorite is P.C.'s Pantry which makes these apparently delicious "Barkday Cakes" and we found out their most popular selling flavor is liver - yum.

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On the "people food" front, we made it easy on ourselves going with pizza, beer, and cupcakes. One thing I recommend doing before planning your menu though, is to check out the ASPCA's website, they have a helpful list of foods that can be toxic or harmful to pets that you’ll want to avoid. (Ok disclaimer - so beer is on their list, but just make sure your guests are responsible and not giving beer/alcohol to dogs - hopefully this shouldn't be a tough request).

Step 6: Puppy-proofing & Decorating

If you're having the party at home, be sure to do some puppy proofing. A roving hoard of dogs can get into all sorts of trouble. Check the fence for anywhere little dogs might escape and block off areas like stairways and carpet to keep all your fuzzy friends in an easy-to-spot area. It's also a good idea to set up a little "time out" area for dogs that might be getting a little over-excited or worn out during the party.

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Step 7: Party Time - Sit back and let the chaos begin!

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Topics: LED Pet Products, LED Dog Products

The month of May is National Bike Safety Month, are you prepared?

Posted by Brian Dekle

May 4, 2016 9:14:26 AM

Have you ever been out for a night ride and had a car pass by too close for comfort? Do you ride with a repair kit at the ready to handle any setbacks or quick adjustments on the go? Do you and your love ones, practice good habits when riding or sharing the road? Whether you’re a casual cruiser, the competitive cyclist, or a considerate motorist it’s always great to double check that you’re prepared and knowledgeable for any misadventures that the road or trail may throw at you. May is National Bike Safety Month, and I’d love to share some thoughts to keep you out and keep you safe.

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For an easy tip, here’s rule one… wear a helmet! I’ve seen this first-hand, wearing a helmet can save your life… no matter how slow you’re riding it’s only to your benefit. There’s a ton of options out there, so if you want a casual or a high performance life saver you’re going to be covered, literally. Here are a few great brands to consider: Nutcase, Bern, Smith, Giro, and Poc. The key to a great helmet is all about fit, as well as making sure it’s appropriate for the level of activity at hand. Be sure to pop into your local bike shop and try on several options to ensure you get the best fit possible.

Safety is a necessity in our lives, though the concept of the word doesn’t exactly inspire joy or fun I’ll admit.To explore that a little further, you may believe bike lights aren’t as necessary during the warmer seasons ahead. To some degree you’re right; however, you may be interested to learn that most cycling accidents occur during daylight, as well as low-light times such as sunrise or dusk. So how do you add safety and a little character to such a dry subject? Easy, you add LEDs. Thanks to LED lighting you can ride with a little extra personality. It’s always important to BE SEEN & BE SAFE… but you don’t need to be bland about it. For front & rear visibility I’d suggest a simple solution, like the TWISTLIT - LED BIKE LIGHT which is an easy “on-the-go” item. It’s a small, simple, and easily stowable form of visibility that can give you that extra bit of attention to others on the road. Another safety item with a bit more color for your night ride is the SPOKELIT - LED SPOKE LIGHT. The SpokeLit is a quick and easy install to your wheel spokes, and greatly increases your side to side visibility. There are a ton of color options as well. But that’s just the bike… what about keeping you seen? This is where one of my favorite Nite Ize products comes into the fold... the  SLAPLIT - LED SLAP WRAP.

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The SlapLit takes me back to my youth and the days of the Slap Bracelet. I mean come on, we all had them… and how do you make that better? Yep, you add LEDs. What was once a toy from my early days is illuminated to keep you visible in the dark, and it’s completely bike friendly as well. Most riders wear the SlapLit around the ankle for visibility and to keep your pant leg away from the chain. I personally prefer wearing it on my wrist, which enables me to use the light as a turn indicator to motorist that may not be able to see my arms clearly on dark roads.

There’s more to safety than visibility though, you also need to be prepared. It’s great to have a general knowledge of your bike and how to maintain it. A great resource for this is your local bike shop or REI as most will offer free courses in basic bike maintenance. These resources keep you connected with your local cycling community and are a great way to pick-up the skills to keep your bike in proper form should you get a flat or need to make some basic adjustments. Before every ride I suggest checking that your brakes are working properly, and that you have good tire pressure. To that effect, you should always be ready to tackle these issues when you ride. I highly recommend carrying:

  1. A new tube/patch kit
  2. A bike tool
  3. A tire lever
  4. An air pump/CO2 system


Having these items with you, as well as the knowledge to put them to use can be the difference between a ride and the dreaded “hike-a-bike” home. One of my favorite ways to keep your repair kit organized is to keep them together with our new BETTERBAND™ 5" ADJUSTABLE STRETCH BANDS. This is an easy way to secure your tools together, and keeps them easily stowable in a jersey pocket.

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So let’s do a quick recap: now you have a great fitting helmet, you’re ready to illuminate the day or night to be seen and safe, and you have some basic tools and bike knowledge to keep your rig rolling. That’s a great start, but be sure you know the rules of the road and how they keep you safe in your area. Here are a couple good resources to consider: bikeleague.org, safekids.org, as well as peopleforbikes.org. You may also be able to find some great programs in your neighborhood. Local to Colorado, I’ve had the great fortune of working with two programs that are reaching out to increase bike awareness and safety for children. Both are actively engaging youth communities to be safe, knowledgeable, and courteous riders. Our very own Boulder Valley School District is working with various age groups to develop good fundamentals early, as well as put these techniques to work on the road. It’s pretty inspiring to see a local education program coach student health and safety at such a priority. Another great program is tripsforkidsdenver.org which works with at-risk youth to foster life skills of personal empowerment. They focus on kids who have had no experience on a bike, while all the way creating achievement based programs in which these young participants can even earn a bike.

The important thing to remember on the road is to be safe, be courteous, and always remember to enjoy the ride. I can still remember when my Dad took the training wheels off my bike. For me it was a day of accomplishment and triumph… I found a new sense of exploration and freedom. For my family it was a sense of trust, a belief that they had instilled the proper knowledge and respect in their son to keep him alert, safe, and happy. I can say first-hand that this passion is still alive inside me today. I hope that you too have the same smile on your face during every ride.

Stay safe - Rubber side down,
Brian

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Topics: Emergency Preparedness, Visibility and Safety, Commuting, New Products

American Rivers Announces America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2016

Posted by Kelly Richardson

Apr 21, 2016 4:02:36 PM

Collapsing ecosystems...dwindling water supplies...destructive pollution; these are serious threats to communities across the United States. In an effort to raise awareness about these important issues and stimulate change, American Rivers exists to protect wild rivers, restore damaged rivers and conserve clean water for people and nature. Last week, the organization released its annual America's Most Endangered Rivers® report for 2016.

American-Rivers.pngThe report highlights how outdated water management is threatening rivers and communities from the East Coast to the West Coast. In the Southeast's Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin (no. 1 on the list), and on California's San Joaquin River (no. 2), wasteful water use and outdated management are killing the lifelines we depend on for drinking water, agriculture, industry and recreation. More than eight million people depend on clean drinking water from these two river systems combined, and water shortages threaten billions of dollars in agricultural production and fisheries.

There's a lot at stake, and we have a choice: will we let waste and mismanagement drain our rivers dry, or will we work together to ensure healthy rivers can benefit all generations to come?

Water is one of the most critical conservation issues of our time and Nite Ize® is enthusiastic about supporting the efforts of American Rivers. We must move away from an era of water conflict to a new era of water cooperation. This means working for better balance among all users and ensuring a legacy of healthy rivers benefitting communities upstream and downstream - today and far into the future.

Together, we will make a difference for this year's #EndangeredRivers. Find out how to join Nite Ize and take action to be part of the solution at AmericanRivers.org/EndangeredRivers.

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Topics: endangered rivers, clean water, take action

The Best Flashlight You’ll Ever Have

Posted by Matt Smoot

Apr 5, 2016 9:40:23 PM

When you work for a flashlight manufacturer, there are a few questions that you'll be asked at nearly every tradeshow and event that you attend. What's the brightest flashlight? Which is the most expensive? And, of course, which flashlight is the best?

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The INOVA® T4R shines brightly on Shiprock Peak in New Mexico (Photo by Bradley Adventure)

The first couple of questions are easy to answer. At 672 lumens, the INOVA® T5 LED Flashlight is the brightest light in the lineup, and for $149.99 you can purchase our most expensive flashlight, the INOVA T4R LED Rechargeable Flashlight. But, which flashlight is the BEST!?

It turns out that is not an easy question to answer. Identifying the "BEST" flashlight for you depends on many factors. For what activity will you be using the flashlight? How long will the flashlight be used? A couple of hours, or all night? Does it need to be waterproof? Will you need to keep your hands free while using the flashlight? Are you on a search and rescue mission, or taking your dog for a walk in the park? As it turns out, many factors play a role when determining which flashlight is the best for you.

INOVA STS Headlamp

I can recall two recent instances from Nite Ize Ambassadors who's "best" flashlights were not the ideal lights for the situation. The first came from Forrest Galante, whose primary dive light had broken during a trip at sea to hunt lobsters 25 feet underwater. Faced with the decision to either not dive or to come up with a backup, Forrest took a look around and realized that he had his STS Headlamp with him and thought he'd at least give it a try even though it was only rated as being waterproof  to three feet. Luckily for Forrest and his dive partner, the INOVA STS Headlamp exceeded his expectations and performed well throughout the dive even after taking over 60 plunges below the rated depth of the light (read the full story at LifeView Outdoors.com).

In another situation, ambassador Matt Moniz and his climbing partner Willie Benegas were descending from the 8000m peak Makalu in the Himalayas when Willie realized that he had forgotten his headlamp at the last base camp. After a quick search for a backup light, the only flashlight Willie could come up with was the STS Microlight that was attached to his gear. While not ideal for the situation, the STS Microlight was the best light in this situation and provided just enough of a beam for Willie to safely navigate his way down the mountain over the next several hours.

So, what's the moral of these stories? Be prepared and always have a backup. Had Forrest or Willie not had a backup flashlight, there is no telling how their days would have turned out. For me, there is one flashlight that I've made part of my everyday carry and that has come in handy more times than I can recall. My go to flashlight, and #1 backup, is the INOVA XS.

INOVA XS

The lip balm sized XS has a powerful 80 lumen LED, will attach to a key chain, and has an impact resistant aluminum body. From finding my car in a dark parking lot to setting up a tent at night, the INOVA XS has always been there when I've needed some extra light.

By now I hope that you've come to the same conclusion that I have. Ultimately, the best flashlight is the one that you have on you when you need it. Plan ahead for your adventures to determine which type of light would perform the best for your activity based on how you will be using it, the amount of time you'll be using it, and how bright of a light you'll need. No matter which light you determine is best for your situation, bring a backup. It could be the same light, or something more compact. Just bring a backup. After all, even the brightest and most expensive light can't help you when it's out of batteries or broken.

 

 

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Topics: LED Flashlights

Wherever You Go, There We Are

Posted by Ian Capezzano

Apr 1, 2016 7:23:07 AM

You never know where you will find Nite Ize products. From campsites to jobsites, you can find our products almost anywhere you go. Here are some of the unusual places you can find Nite Ize products.

When we combined our Steelie Vent Mount and Pedestal into the Desk & Dash System, we thought we had you connected everywhere you needed your mobile device. But, you can’t bring your Pedestal everywhere, so we are now offering our Steelie Mega Ball to businesses everywhere to ensure you have a Steelie to dock your phone to. From waiting rooms to board rooms, you and all of your coworkers will have a space to call your own.



 

Wearable Technology is all the rage today and Nite Ize was a pioneer in this burgeoning area. Our first foray was the Action Armband, but we knew our knowledge of bike safety was where we would really have success. While not fiscally reasonable for anyone to own, the BugSquatch LED Macro Flashlight was an early example of our engineers pushing the boundaries of fashionable bike safety.

 

From the highest peaks to the wildest jungles, Nite Ize products have been part of many adventures.
The Figure 9 has been a trusted knot tying alternative of many who seek to push their limits. And, when your adventure requires all the brute strength you can muster, you can only depend on the best. That’s why we are the go-to source when the world’s strongest people do their thing.

 

Our relationship with inventors is well documented. But, we rarely talk about our contributions to the world of science. Here’s a few examples of recent partnerships.

When you’re floating around in space, you need equipment that is versatile and dependable. The Gear Line Organization System was an obvious choice for the International Space Station Repair Crew. The Gear Ties easily affix to the outside of the ship and the S-Biners are easy to use, even with your space gloves.

 

Inova UV Flashlights are very popular among scorpion hunters, but did you know entomologists use our Micro Collars to help wrangle their specimen collections?

 

Some Nite Ize products are designed for one task, but wind up having practical use. You might use your Gear Tie Loopable for organizing clutter in your garage. But, many scientists have been using tiny versions to help move cells around when viewing under a microscope.

 

But, the most incredible discovery of a Nite Ize product has to be when CERN released images of the Higgs Boson Particle. When we zoomed in, we were not surprised to see the universe is made up of Gear Ties.

 

What interesting places have you seen our products?


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Thoughts on Innovation, the Nite Ize way.

We have over 400 innovative problem/solution based products that appeal to anyone who has ever faced a daily frustration and found that perfect product to solve their problem. Whether you are into the latest tech products, love to walk your dog, enjoy hunting & fishing, biking with your family, or just love a helpful gadget, we hope that you will find a Nite Ize product that makes your life easier, safer and more fun – night and day! We love to share stories & ideas with our friends and customers. Enjoy!

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