Nite Ize Coworkers Come Together After Catastrophe

Posted by Kelly Richardson

Oct 5, 2017 4:23:00 PM

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It was called the “100-year flood.” In September 2013, the Colorado Front Range saw an uncharacteristic downpour that drenched, damaged, and devastated communities across roughly 150 miles – a scene reminiscent of the ones in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico this past month. Almost overnight, the rising waters of the St. Vrain Creek – a tributary of the South Platte River that flows through Longmont, Colorado – overflowed, turning asphalt roadways into raging rivers that quickly saturated homes, leveled businesses, totaled vehicles, and claimed victims.


Jen and Daughter.jpgFour years later, the effects are still felt by the Longmont community and surrounding areas. Many employees at Nite Ize, a Boulder-based manufacturer, are among those that call Longmont home and the grim memories of this unprecedented event still linger.

“Because a large percentage of our employee base lives in Longmont, deciding to work with American Rivers on a company cleanup event in our backyard was important,” Nite Ize Director of Marketing Brenda Isaac said. “We believe in the mission of American Rivers and, as an official supporter of the organization, we were excited to celebrate our partnership with an event that really meant something to our employees and their families.”

Last year, Nite Ize launched a new corporate giving initiative called The Brite Side and chose American Rivers as the first official program partner. “The Brite Side is about focusing on what we want to see in the world around us and working together with organizations that support that vision,” Nite Ize Founder and CEO Rick Case says. “It’s about doing good things, with good people, and always looking for The Brite Side.”

With that mission in mind, 55 volunteers collected 1,500 pounds of trash from roughly 1.5 miles along the St. Vrain Creek and Golden Ponds Park area this past August. Some of the more unusual debris found included a horse from a children’s rocking horse toy set, a University of Colorado letterman jacket, couch cushions, and a silver bracelet with a love note.

These items have a story that many will never know – but more than likely they were washed upon the shores of the St. Vrain during the flood and have remained half hidden and forever forgotten. American Rivers works hard to restore damaged rivers like the St. Vrain to conserve clean water for people and nature. Removing trash and debris from waterways and disposing of it properly is an important part of ongoing flood restoration for the City of Longmont and a task that both Nite Ize and American Rivers were not only dedicated to, but enthusiastic about.

Clearly, it takes many years and mny hands to help restore and heal a community after a disaster like this. For all those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria hang in there. There is a long road ahead, but with the help of friends, family, neighbors, and millions of others around the country, you will endure this.

For more information about our Brite Side progam, click here.

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Topics: endangered rivers, clean water, take action, outdoors

Back to School Survival Guide

Posted by Kristin Butcher

Aug 14, 2017 3:47:48 PM

 

It feels like yesterday that I watched my oldest son exit the bus as a second grader for the last time, while I explained to my five-year-old son that he was still a whole summer away from starting kindergarten.

“That’s, like, a year away!”

And in kid time, he’s right. But in adult time, summer goes by in seconds. I must have blinked a little too fast, because it's already time to shift from sunscreen and summer camps to books and backpacks. Transitions are hard for kids and adults alike, but here are solutions that help my family get back to school smoothly (while retaining some semblance of sanity).

MOOOOOOOM, WHERE IS MY…

Children’s ability to learn is almost as impressive as their ability to forget, which makes S-Biners a lifesaver for keeping easy-to-lose items secure and accessible. With a variety of colorful clippable solutions that can be connected to backpacks, gym bags, lunch boxes, water bottles and more, S-Biners keep the chaos (relatively) under control.

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FORGET FIDGET SPINNERS

Kids are programmed to keep their minds and bodies active. By keeping a handful of brightly colored Gear Ties stored in their backpacks, kids can use them for everything from fixing broken lunch box handles to sculpting Gear Ties into their favorite creatures. Our new Gear Tie Key Ring is both fun and functional, offering busy bodies a perfect way to fidget quietly.

Sometimes fixing a lunch box is a lot easier than convincing a five-year-old that his Twilight lunch box (don't ask) isn't the best lunch box ever.

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BIKE FOR BETTER GRADES

A recent Danish study that followed 20,000 school-aged kids determined that bicycling to school impacts concentration more than eating a healthy breakfast. Outfitting bikes with SpokeLit Disc-O Select and See'ems for side visibility provides safety through fun and colorful lights kids love. For walkers and riders, magnetic TagLits are super bright and easily attach to bags, jackets and more.

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FAMILY TIME, FUN TIME

After sitting in school all day, kids need to move their bodies—a feat made more difficult by shorter days. Closing out each day tossing around the Flashflight Jr. or playing catch (with or without Fido) is a great way to combine family time with fun time.

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GOODNIGHT MOON

When it’s time to crawl into bed, the BugLit makes for a perfect reading light that kids can enjoy while they rest up and get ready to do it all over again the next day.

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Topics: Visibility and Safety, Commuting, Fun & Games, Back to School, Bike

Tips for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Posted by Katie S

Apr 25, 2017 10:19:41 AM

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Did you know that “Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day” is actually a program that is part of a legitimate foundation? Who knew? I always assumed it was a great excuse to save on a day of childcare and cause a little chaos in the office. However, according to the organization’s website, the intention is to show kids the value of their education and to help them discover the possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life. Not a bad sentiment. So, in case you are planning to bring your child to work in participation of the event this Thursday, April 27th, I thought I might help out. Below are some tips for a successful execution of the day and a few important lessons your child can learn while in the workplace with you. My seven-month-old son, Walter, obligingly came in for a “practice day” to the Nite Ize offices.  Here is what we learned:

 

1.SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS 

Kids and meetings don’t mix. If the actual day falls when you have a lot of important meetings scheduled, maybe pick a different day, or see if you can reschedule the meetings. On our practice day, Walter immediately hijacked my meeting and was, frankly, a bit of a dictator in the board room.

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2. COMMUTE THE FUN WAY

Even if you wouldn’t normally walk or ride your bike to work, wouldn’t it be great if we could teach the next generation to do it better? If you live close enough, plant the seed early and make it a fun, active commute that day.

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3. IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO TEACH THE IMPORTANCE OF COFFEE

Moms and dads who keep it together with herbal teas and green smoothies, more power to you, but this tip is for the rest of us. The kids are going to learn sooner or later what keeps mommy, and the world running, so you might as well use this opportunity to teach them how to brew a good pot of coffee for you and their future coworkers.

 

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4. EVERYONE STARTS IN THE MAIL ROOMMailroom_Shorter.jpg

It’s just a fact of life, and an important one at that. Whether your mailroom is theoretical or actual, take your kid through all the processes where you work and talk to them about the important relationship of hard work, accomplishment and reward.

 

5. THE ART OF CONVERSATION IS ALIVE AND WELL

It’s a digital era and sometimes terrifying to see “zombie” kids with their eyes constantly glued to screens. Regardless of whether you work in a traditional business setting or not, very few jobs are devoid of interaction, and none that I can think of where you wouldn’t at least have to successfully communicate in an interview. Be a good example and include your child in the conversations you are having at work, introduce them to your coworkers with handshakes and eye contact. If you have a phone call, put it on speaker so they can experience the full interaction and better understand the types of healthy communication expected in a workplace.

 

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6. BECOME AN EXPERT – READ UP

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received in the work place was from a boss who told me to become a voracious reader. Whatever your profession, reading up on what is happening in your industry, what competitors are doing, and what are the best practices can only help you do your job better. Alright, maybe seven months was a little early to be trying to impart this lesson, but I do hope to pass this practice on to Walter at some point!

 

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7. TAKE ACTIVE BREAKS

At Nite Ize, we are fortunate enough to have a gym on site where we can go to break a sweat, and we have some nice walking trails around with views of Boulder’s Flatirons. Where ever you work, chances are you’ve got somewhere you can walk, or a park nearby where you could go to for a quick break with your child. Remember they are used to having recess, and it’s not a bad thing for adults to take a little recess too. According to a Harvard Business Review article, regular exercise leads to improved concentration, sharper memory, faster learning, enhanced creativity, lower stress and other benefits to a productive, happy life in and out of the workplace.

 

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8. LET CURIOSITY DRIVE THE DAY

What you think is interesting about your workplace might be different than what your child finds interesting. Make sure to give them plenty of opportunities to ask questions, explore, and tell you what they find interesting. I never would have guessed that this display of our key accessories would be Walter’s favorite part of the day, but he could have played with these DoohicKeys all day.

 

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9. MAKE IT FUN!

This is the most important tip for you both. Okay, maybe butt-Xeroxing is going to warrant a call from HR, but you get the gist – make it fun for them and make sure they see you enjoying your day too.

 

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Well, maybe seven months is a LITTLE young for Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day, but hopefully you were able to glean some useful information from my and Walter's day together at the office. If you have helpful tips of your own for taking a child to work and would like to share with our readers, please leave them in the comments section below.

 

 

All images © 2017 Nite Ize Inc, all rights reserved.

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Because Size, and Lumens, Matter.

Posted by Matt Smoot

Apr 1, 2017 10:13:12 AM


We all have that friend. That guy in our crew that has every piece of gear he could ever possibly need but that continues to buy the newest, most light weight and high tech gear he can find. You know the type. He's the same guy that's always bragging about the new 50 lumens, 1 gram, 20 setting headlamp that he bought for $200 just before your last camping trip. Well I got news for you, bro. Size matters!

T10 Headband1_SQ.jpgThat's why I stopped playing around with all of those little, kid colored, not bright enough headlamps and stepped my game up to the Mega Headband Flashlight Holder with the Inova T10R Tactical Flashlight + Power BankAt an impressive 3500 lumens with a 6 hour run time, I'm sure to have the brightest, biggest, and most bad ass headlamp on my next camping trip with the guys. 

I know what you're thinking, and no, it's not the lightest or least expensive option out there. But I own a YETI cooler and if I can't keep my beer cold for 30 days or light up the entire campground with my headlamp, then what's the point of camping?

As a wise man once said, "If you're not first, you're last!" So stop playing around with those impractical headlamps that fit in your pack, and be the envy of all your friends by hanging the Mega Headband with T10R off your pack. Because size matters, and you're a big deal!

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Happy April Fool's Day!

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Topics: LED Flashlights, outdoors

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. 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.”

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                                                                                                                                                 -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.

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                                                                                                  -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.”

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    -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).

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    -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 S

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:

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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.

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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

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