Nite Ize Triumphs After Two-Year Battle Against International Knockoffs

Posted by Kelly Wakefield

Apr 24, 2018 9:50:34 AM

ITC awards protection for popular Steelie product line with general exclusion order that prevents infringing products from entering U.S.

After a two-year battle before the International Trade Commission (ITC), our popular Steelie® product line is now protected against foreign companies infringing upon our intellectual property rights. Effective immediately, the ITC-issued general exclusion order directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency to bar infringing products from entry into the United States.

ITC SteelieThe patented, award-winning Nite Ize Steelie ecosystem includes a variety of products that feature a unique ball-and-socket magnetic connection that creates a convenient hands-free mobile device mounting solution. Since its launch in 2013, the innovative Steelie system has grown significantly in popularity and is widely recognized as the leader for hands-free device mounting. As a result, we’ve experienced an influx of knockoff products replicating the Steelie products’ designs being sold online at undercutting price points.

“Nite Ize has been working for years to find an effective way to protect our patents against unfair foreign trade,” Nite Ize Founder and CEO Rick Case said. “I am grateful to finally find justice supported by our United States International Trade Commission.”

The Nite Ize legal team plans to work with U.S. customs agents on what to look for in potential knockoff products shipping from foreign countries and is planning to visit ports where high numbers of knockoffs have arrived. We’ll also work closely with the National Association of Manufacturers, lobbying to prevent foreign manufacturers from shipping knockoff products at greatly reduced costs via China Post.

Read the entire story in our Media Center here.

 

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Cycling Croatia With the Field Team

Posted by Field Team Member Heidi Kumm

Apr 11, 2018 1:24:03 PM

I am a trail runner, not a cyclist or mountain biker. The one time I did own a bike it was a mountain bike + it lived on the trails with me. Riding a bicycle in traffic is terrifying to me -- I don’t trust that the people behind the wheels of all the cars will be paying enough attention to guarantee my safety. Not to mention the fact I don’t necessarily trust myself atop a bike. I’m far more comfortable in my running shoes with only thin rubber between me + the ground.

All of these fun facts were ignored when I decided to cycle the coast of Croatia...in July...for nearly a month...on a cobbled together bike...with my life strapped to the frame.

My game plan was to cycle from northern Croatia to southern Croatia over the course of about four weeks. I needed to venture out of the Schengen Region of Europe to stay within the regulations of my visitor visa + I wasn’t about to just hang out on a beach. I wanted something more, something exciting + something hard. So when it was suggested I cycle the coast of Croatia I jumped all over the chance to take on adventure.

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Instead of thinking about how much was stacked against me I focused on how much fun it was going to be. Not to mention how miserable it was going to be. I was looking at about 400 miles of cycling in the heat of a coastal country’s humid summer sunshine. Needless to say, I’ve had better ideas.

 

Nite Ize to the Rescue!

I mentioned this idea to the crew at Nite Ize about two months before I took off + they were even more stoked about it than I was! They asked how they could support my crazy. Nite Ize specializes in outdoor gear gadgets + some pretty spiffy bicycle accessories. Of course I wanted their help + support! It was a perfect fit! They supplied me with some awesome gear that came in incredibly handy when I was packing up my gear + decking out my new-to-me bike.

The bike lights were amazing + made my bike incredibly visible, which alleviated a lot of my stress about being visible on the highways. I strapped the INOVA STS Reachargable Headlamp to the front of the bike + the LED TwistLit to my back fender. This covered the basic requirements for bike safety, but I wanted more. I love color + what’s more colorful than multi-colored SpokeLits to spice things up?! Yea, no one was going to miss me on the road! But for good measure I packed along bright colors + reflective gear, because safety first!

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Another great product that Nite Ize has created for cyclists is the HandleBand mount for your GPS/phone. It straps to your handlebars + keeps your phone right in your view. I quite literally depended upon this gadget! Since my route was created as I went it was integral to have my phone with Google Maps in front of me at all times. I even rigged up some Gear Ties to hold a battery pack to my bike frame so I’d always be able to check my route.

The Gear Ties also came in handy to strap my tent poles to my bike frame + keep all of my cords intact [yup, I took along electronics -- that’s the life of a digital nomad!]. I also found nearly a million uses for the CamJam XT Cord Tightener, which could be paired up with paracord to become a bungee or clothesline or...whatever else you could possibly need with adjustable paracord. We washed our clothes in campground sinks, so we put the CamJam clothesline to good use!

They were also kind enough to send along a cycling jersey to make me feel legit! I am not a cycling short convert, but the jerseys are rather incredible with their back pockets! It’s the little things in life I tell ya.

Adventure Bound // Cycling Coastal Croatia

I arrived in Rovinj, Croatia via bus after more than 24 hours of travel. I drug my bagged up bike over to a tiny park near the bus station, unpacked it + put it all together. Within about 30 minutes of getting off the bus I was on the road, following my phone’s GPS toward a campsite about 10km away. The sense of accomplishment I felt when I arrived at the campground + managed to set up camp without incident was glorious. I did it! I rode a touring bike + didn’t fall over [at least not entirely!]. I had remembered enough of my gear to at least set up my tent. Boom...I had this! I was going to do this!

This all changed the next day when I spent the entire afternoon sprawled out in the shade, willing myself not to vomit everywhere. In my excitement to ride I had forgotten to eat or drink for the entirety of a very hot, very sunny 20km/13mi jaunt. By the time I arrived at camp I was trashed. My ego was crushed...I am an ultra trail runner, I was supposed to be smarter than this!

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Later that day my friend, Sophie, arrived via plane with her touring bike in tow. We were planning to spend the next few weeks cycling together. She knew cycling, I knew suffering. It seemed fool proof.

It definitely wasn’t a fool proof plan. It was a plan made by fools. We knew we were pushing our limits, but we were optimistic. Over the next few days we learned exactly what our limits are + how unprepared we were. Phew. Did you know Croatia is crazy hot + insanely humid in mid-July?! Well, it is. Heat + humidity are brutal, especially for a mountain girl [me!] + a girl from the United Kingdom [Sophie!]. The conditions ate us alive + eventually we gave in. Or, in my mind at the time, we gave up. We rented a car.

 

The car was barely large enough to fit our tire-less bikes into it, but it came with air conditioning + a motor. That’s exactly what we needed in that moment. It took some time for me to accept the feeling of failure that came with this tiny European car, but in the end it was definitely a worthy decision. The car took us inland where we were able to explore Plitvice Lakes National Park + Krka National Park. Both were incredible + would not have been possible with our bikes + schedule.

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We spent a week in the car, then returned it for a few more days of cycling once we arrived in southern Croatia. It actually felt good to get back on my bike as I rode along a nearly empty road leading from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Hercig Novi, Montenegro. It was freeing + calming. I loved it more with every pedal turn. After a few too many days of wishing my bike tires would just fall off I was now plotting how I would take it back home with me.

 

I will always identify as a trail runner first...but at my core I am happy to get outside, however I can. Even atop a bicycle that I learned how to put together in the days before a four week adventure.

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Between the bikes + the rental car we were able to visit Pula, Zadar, Split, Makarska, Plitvice Lake NP, Krka NP + Dubrovnik in Croatia. From Dubrovnik I head to Herceg Novi + Kotor, Montenegro while Sophie ventured north to Munich, Germany. I closed out my Croatian adventure with a stop in Zagreb, then met up with Sophie before we both returned to the mountains of Switzerland.

You can read up on more of the adventure over on my website: Heidi Kumm // Oversharing Life. You’ll find the full story, a run down of the logistics + the details of how I packed my life into a few pannier bags. I learned a lot while roaming + exploring on a bike...so much so that I’m fairly certain I will be acquiring a new bike this summer. While the bike I used in Croatia did come back to Colorado with me there’s a very high chance I’ll be popping my colorful SpokeLits on another new-to-me bike. One created for trails, to mesh a bit more with my trail running ways.

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Topics: Visibility and Safety, Commuting, Adventure, Bike, Field Team, "travel"

Breathing Fresh Air into Fishing with CPR (Catch, Photo, Release)

Posted by Kristin Butcher

Mar 5, 2018 1:46:16 PM

An interview with Nite Ize Field Team Member Chad Hoover

Professional fisherman, TV show host and Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) Tournament Series founder Chad "Knot Right" Hoover has dedicated his life to providing the best possible leadership to help grow the sport of kayak fishing.

 

 

 

 

What led you to fishing?

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I couldn’t tell you. That’s like asking somebody, “Hey, so what made you want to walk?” I grew up in Louisiana where we were surrounded by water. As a kid, fishing was what you did when baseball season wasn’t in. It was just one of those things that everybody did.

 

 How did you discover Nite Ize?

I'd been using Nite Ize products for a long time, but the first place I ever saw the Gear Ties was at a Batteries Plus and I just thought they were so clever. I owned a kayak shop at the time, I saw the Gear Ties and immediately knew that I could use them for everything from bundling rods together to hanging my boat to deer hunting. With all the different sizes, I’d use them for almost anything you can think of.

 

14730769093_d671166e59_z-1.jpgWhat made you decide to start the Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) Tournament?


Competition drives innovation and competition drives marketing. There’s no sport that exists without there being a competitive series that is its figurehead. There’s MLB for baseball, NASCAR for car racing, PGA for golf – There is no sport whether it involves four wheels, two wheels, a ball, skis, that isn’t driven by a competitive series. I knew there was a need and an opportunity for that to get established in kayak fishing as a subset of the overall fishing industry.

I did the first online tournament in 2009 and the first live event in 2012. Today we are the premier organization of kayak bass fishing and we are pioneering the Catch, Photo, Release (CPR) format.

 

Catch, Photo, Release preserves fisheries while making competition fishing something people can do right in their backyard lakes.

Tell us about Catch, Photo, Release.

It’s a movement we started 21 years ago and it resonated across the country. With most catch and release tournaments, participants would drive around with their fish in the tank all day, often killing the fish due to nitrogen build up. I see Catch, Photo, and Release as being the future of fishing tournaments. It helps preserve the natural balance of the fishery. You don’t need to have 150 boats go out and catch 5 fish apiece, then all the fish are released in one location. With CPR, we’re helping to preserve the resource that we depend on to make a living.

 

 

 

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How does conservation affect the fishing community?

It’s at the root foundation of what I do. If I can make catch, photo, release popular and mainstream, I don’t have to vilify people who kill fish for the sake of a tournament. I don't believe in being divisive within my own community. I believe in finding a better solution instead of telling someone they're doing it wrong without offering a solution. I see it as my responsibility to promote and market a better way to fish, but not to vilify and denigrate the other way.

As participants in this earth, we want to get out there and appreciate it. If conservation is only an ideology, but not an actual part of your life, then it's not going to be as important to you. For me, the number one thing that we need to do as conservation minded people is to get people to out using that resource. The more people using the resource, the more we ensure that it will be valued and that there'll be people willing to fight for it.

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Who should give competition fishing a try?

Everybody. We have kids that are six years old competing in the series with their dads. We have single mothers who have four kids and all five of them compete together. We have a young guns series with kids up to 16 years old and we give away scholarships.

Start wherever you’re comfortable. Start slow and start small. That’s why we’ve developed a tiered system with the KBF tournaments. We have an online series where you pay a $20 entry fee for the whole month. You fish wherever you are, you catch it, photograph it, and upload it. With four tiers of competition from online to national championships, there’s a place for everyone to compete.


What’s your favorite snack when you’re on the water?

Beef jerky. The spicier, the better. If it’s so hot that it makes me sweat when I eat it, it’s perfect.

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If you had a magic wand, what would you do with it?

I’d probably do an attitude adjustment for every American in the country for a middle ground for all the divisive issues. It seems like there should be some type of moderation because everyone seems so divided over everything. There’s so much energy and efforts spent on dividing and fighting each other. Think of all the good stuff we could accomplish if we put that same energy into positive actions.

  

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You can follow Chad Hoover's kayak fishing adventures by watching his YouTube channel KayakBassinTV, or by following him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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A River's Reckoning

Posted by Kelly Wakefield

Jan 17, 2018 3:57:08 PM

The story of a 5th generation ranching family working to sustain their agricultural legacy while bringing back a healthy Colorado River.

Ranch life is a hard life, especially when ranching in a closed mountain valley where the lowest mountain road to the outside world is over 10,000 feet in elevation. Short, cold seasons and harsh conditions challenge even the toughest lot. For the Bruchez family, ranching is literally in their blood. Working with the land to grow food and carry on a legacy of agriculture, this fifth generation Colorado ranching family has faced plenty of challenges, and is determined to carry on. But when the intense Colorado drought of 2000 – 2002 struck, stretching the Colorado River to its limit, the Bruchez family realized they needed to strike a new balance working with the river to keep their agricultural production sustainable.

Nite Ize is proud to support American Rivers and their work to bring this video documentary to life. Get a glimpse into the lifestyle, and tough choices, that confronted the Bruchez family in this critical moment for both them and the Colorado River in the short video – A River’s Reckoning.

 

This film was produced by American Rivers and Trout Unlimited, with support from Nite Ize and River Network.

 

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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 MJ 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 Field Team Member 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."

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 MJ 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

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