Stocking Stuffers from Nite Ize

Posted by Dave Taylor

Dec 18, 2018 1:38:21 PM

The average American spends over $700 on holiday gifts each year. The very best gifts are often small and thoughtful, rather than big-ticket items. Famous American painter Norman Rockwell would undoubtedly have called them stocking stuffers; the kind of small gifts that fit perfectly into that stocking hanging from a nail over the fireplace.

Modest, useful gifts are always a welcome way to show you're thinking about someone, whether or not you actually have stockings hanging from your mantel or a living room covered in holiday decorations.

Classic stocking stuffer gifts are tangerines, walnuts and, in my family, rolls of stamps. These days, stocking stuffers are distinctly more tech-and-gadget oriented, and that’s exactly what we love to create here at Nite Ize: products that make your life simpler, safer, and more fun.

Without further ado, here's our favorite stocking stuffers to sweeten every seasonal stocking, whether literal or just figurative…

DOOHICKEY® KEYCHAIN KNIFE

Whether your gift recipient is always looking for the next great camping location or just know how convenient it is to have a package-opening, apple-peeling, multi-purpose knife easily accessible, the Doohickey Keychain Knife is a winning gift. It’s small, lightweight, closes firmly and safely, and is light enough to clip onto your belt, backpack, keychain and/or purse. Better yet, it comes in a bunch of delightful colors. The Nite Ize DoohicKey line offers an entire line of everyday carry tools that fit right on a key chain. One of our favorites is the Doohickey® Fishkey™ Tool. What fisherwoman (or fisherman) wouldn’t love this addition to their kit?

GEAR TIES

Whether you’re organizing wires behind your desk or securing items in the back of your truck, there’s nothing quite like a Nite Ize Gear Tie®. Turns out that they also make terrific presents, whether the recipient is dealing with life in the dorms, looking for a better way to bundle their yoga mat, or a DIYer who likes to keep everything organized while on the job.

Start with one or more of our Pro Packs. We're a big fan of the little 3” Gear Ties that have a million-and-one uses at home, work, or in the car. It’s surprising just how useful it is to have a reusable rubber twist tie that lasts year after year (and use after use). You can’t just have one!

S-Biners

Another great option we have at Nite Ize is our S-Biner® line. Think of carabiners reinvented and redesigned to be even more useful, versatile, and convenient whether you're on the go, organizing the garage, or trying to find a way to keep your kiddo's water bottle attached to their backpack. 

The unique Slidelock® 360º Magnetic Locking Dual Carabiner  is a fun and functional spin on the dual-carabiner design. With locking steel gates on each side, this product functions like a class S-Biner, but with a big twist – the two carabiners are connected using a powerful magnet, making them easy to separate. This is ridiculously useful whether you want to quickly detach a set of keys, keep your fishing net at the ready, or hanging a multi-tool from a work belt.

Micro Flashlight

You can never have too many high quality flashlights, and here at Nite Ize we make a wide variety of them. Useful when clipped to a backpack, stashed in a purse, or on a kid's bedside table – a good, reliable flashlight can also be a lifesaver when the power fails.

But to fit into that mythic stocking, you probably aren’t going to want to gift one of our large professional-grade tactical lights, which are more of an under-the-tree kind of gift. Instead, check out our Inova® Microlight STS™ Flashlight as a fun and more modest alternative:

Most fun variation that turns out to be quite useful? The BugLit® LED Micro Flashlight. It’s the perfect critter to be peeking out of that stocking on Christmas morning!

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Whatever fun and pint-sized gifts you share with your loved ones this holiday season, we wish you all the best from the entire Nite Ize team!

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Topics: LED Pet Products, Visibility and Safety

Gift Guide for the Tech Enthusiast

Posted by Dave Taylor

Dec 14, 2018 4:16:47 PM

It’s that time of year, time to rise up and meet the challenge of finding the perfect present for everyone on your holiday gift list. Modern gifting often now involves tech essentials such as charging cables and batteries, along with WiFi or cellular plans. Keep in mind that a great gift is one that demonstrates your knowledge of the recipient, not the amount of money you spent on their present. Whatever your budget may be, there is a plethora of great gifts for tech enthusiasts on the market this year.

We at Nite Ize are tech and gadget enthusiasts too, and we know a cool present when we see one. Dog lovers, outdoor adventurers, DIYers, parents and homebodies alike – we all charge our devices, listen to music, and travel with pocket-sized tech. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite gifts this year, all sure to receive an enthusiastic welcome in any home.

Google Pixel Buds

Wireless bluetooth earbuds are a saturated market and there are thousands of options you can buy online. Heck, your smartphone probably came with earbuds that work perfectly well for casual music listening and an occasionally phone call. But what if you had earbuds that could translate foreign languages as you heard them?

That’s the amazing promise of the Google Pixel Buds. Pair it with a Google Pixel phone and you can tap into Google Assistant to get real-time translation of dozens of popular languages, from Japanese to Spanish, Finnish to Latvian, Tamil to Mandarin Chinese. But that’s not all; the Pixel Buds also offer splendid music playback quality with a convenient charging case included.

$159 at The Google Store.

Amazon Echo Dot

Instead of hunting for remote controls or having to launch specific apps on your phone, imagine just speaking directly to your devices. That’s the promise of voice control systems, and there are a lot of them on the market now. None are better than the Amazon Alexa ecosystem, and the tiny little Echo Dot is a great way to join the voice-control revolution. Don’t be fooled by its remarkably affordable price – the Echo Dot has tons of capabilities. Better yet, if you have an existing stereo or music system (or even a TV soundbar with AUX input) you can hook it up and control your music and radio stations all with your voice.

But where the Alexa devices really become fun is when you realize they can answer questions, not just execute specific commands. It’s an amazing homework assistant, for example, solving mathematical equations, defining words, identifying authors, and much more. You can also make phone calls, message people and/or control every aspect of your smart home.

$49.99 at Amazon.com

Nite Ize Financial Tool RFID Blocking Wallet

Have a tough gift recipient who seems to already have everything in the world of gadgets and tech? The Nite Ize Financial Tool RFID Blocking Wallet will delight ‘em with its simple design and rugged looks. More importantly, credit cards are susceptible to hackers scanning people’s pockets or purses in public places, so an RFID shielded wallet is a must-own for travelers, concert-goers or anyone who’s out and about.

But this is a wallet with a secret identity: The Financial Tool features a bottle opener, 5 standard-size wrenches, 6 metric-size wrenches, a nail removing notch, phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, scraper and even a protractor – all disguised as a unique stainless steel wallet!

$14.99 at NiteIze.com

iHome iSP6X Smart Plug

Whether that tech fanatic already has a smart home with everything hooked up or they don’t realize how much smart home technology will revolutionize their world, this iHome smart plug will be a great option. Better yet, it is compatible with every smart home system on the market, from Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Wink, to SmartThings and Nest, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility.

Indeed, the combination of the Amazon Echo Dot and the iHome Smart Plug could let grandma walk into her house and just say “Alexa, I’m home” and have the light turn on. No fumbling in the dark. Or cousin Joey could say “Alexa, play death metal” and the music would start and the lights would turn off!

$29.99 at iHomeAudio.com

 

Nite Ize Steelie® Phone Mount Kits

There's a reason why Steelie users are so loyal – once you enter into the Steelie magnetic phone mount universe you'll quickly wonder what you ever did without it. The Steelie Ecosystem is a family of products that make mounting and viewing your mobile device easy and convenient. The product line, which uses a ball and socket system to allow for the perfect viewing angle, includes mounts for your car's dash, vent or windshield. Additionally, there are several attachment options for your device, so you are sure to find the right Steelie solution for anyone.

Steelie Orbiter Dash Kit

The Steelie magic doesn't have to end when you step out of the car – one of my favorite products in the line is the Pedestal, which provides a convenient docking station to use on your nightstand, desk, kitchen, or anywhere you might need hands-free viewing. Check out the complete line here and find the perfect Steelie for anyone on your gift list!

Pricing varies per product at NiteIze.com

 

Whatever gifts you choose for your loved ones this holiday season, we hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday. And don’t forget those charging cables!

 

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Topics: Tech and Gadget

Nite Ize 2018 Field Team Gift Guide

Posted by Cassie Ryan

Dec 7, 2018 2:16:58 PM

For this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, we asked our Field Team to send us their top two to four Nite Ize products they are giving this season. As expected, Gear Ties came in as a very popular stocking stuffer. Check out the full list from our team and get into the spirit!

 

Anthony Johnson: Action Adventurer & Outdoor Photographer

“The Steelie car mount is our go-to for gifting. It is something that everyone can use, and a great stocking stuffer.”

“We also tend to gift the Nite Ize Radiant 300 Rechargeable Lantern. We've given these to our family and friends who enjoy the outdoors, whether through backpacking or camping or just enjoying grilling on their back porch. It is also fantastic that you can charge other USB devices off the lantern, making this particularly valuable gift for friends and family who spend time in the backwoods.”

“ Finally, for our cycling friends, we have given the Nite Ize Rechargeable Bike Light. You can never have too many bike lights, and these are so bright and rechargeable. The beam is great and makes it easy to see for early morning and evening rides. The multiple settings also allow you to use the lights to alert cars you're on the road. It's a ready safety feature.”

Radiant Rechargeable Bike Light 

Joe Allen: Outdoor Sportsman, HuntCo on The Pursuit Channel

“I always have 3 or 4 attached to my pack in the field. The uses are infinite. On a particular occasion I used one Gear Tie to secure all four legs before loaded this deer into the bed of a truck.”

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

“This is another staple of my field pack to have handy in a pinch. I pulled out my lantern during this alligator hunt for extra light while securing the jaws and tagging the gator.”

“Our lamps are with us on every hunt to get us in and out in the dark. The red light option provides great light that isn’t as offensive to wild animals.”

INOVA STS Headlamp

“The S-Biner stays on every pack to help attach the extras.”

 

Jason Epperson: Family Travel & Adventure Blogger

“We love the SlapLit LED Bracelets for the kids. They're a great way to keep track of the kids when they’re running around outside at night, at home or in a campground.”

SlapLit LED Slap Wraps

“Gear Ties are great for any handyperson to wrap up extension cords and hoses, but they're also great for kids to play with to make 3D shapes.”


Willi Schmidt: Outdoor Sportsman

“S-Biners are a must for me in the field. I keep a couple attached to my backpack at all times, making it very convenient to attach items to the outside of my pack, quickly and easily. Whether they are plastic or metal, they don't add any meaningful weight and they get a lot of use.”

S-Biner Dual Carabiner

“I keep Gear Ties in my pack and in my truck. Many times they have come in handy, most notably when my truck's wheel lining was coming loose. They were the only thing that would work and they kept the truck together for the remainder of the hunt and the return drive home.”

Gear Tie Reusable Twist Tie

“This is a go-to lantern on my hunting adventures. With 300 lumens, it gives off plenty of light in a cabin, tent or even in the back of a truck. The ability to re-charge the battery and charge other electronic devices from the lantern make it very practical.”

“The Inova STS headlamp by Nite Ize is an absolute must for me when hunting.  It gives me hands free light for going into my hunting area. The Swipe-To-Shine, 265 lumens is easy to use and plenty bright. The ability use the red light and not spook game as an added bonus.”

 

Heidi Kumm: Fitness Buff & Dog Lover

“We love the dog stuff, especially the light up toys now that it's dark out before we get home from work! The GlowStreak ball + Flashflight Dog Discuit are a daily go-to!”

Flashflight Dog Discuit LED Flying Disc

 

Jose Flores: Outdoor Sportsman

“I love the Steelies. Whether I’m in my boat, truck, UTV, or wherever, I find something I can stick it to!”

Steelie Vent Mount Kit

“We love the dog stuff also! The light-up ball and flying disc are easy favorites for our dogs, as it’s all they can play with outside after 4 PM here in Alaska!”

“This season I started to use the lanterns and headlamps much more. I really like the new design on the headlamps. The rechargeable option for the lanterns was a hit this fall.”

Radiant 300 Rechargeable Lantern

 

Tara Schatz: Action Adventurer & Dog Trainer

"In the winter, we have no choice but to walk our pups in the dark. We use the Spotlit clip-on LED lights to keep our dark dogs visible to others, whether we're on the trail or walking through town."

SpotLit LED Carabiner Light

"Gear ties are indispensable for hikers, campers, and outdoor adventurers. We use them to pack our backpacks, keep our gear inside of our canoe, and organizing for road trips."

"I take a lot of solo road trips, and the Steelie Dash Mount is the best smartphone mount I've ever used. It provides easy access to my maps and my music."

 

Rob “Reker” Kretsch: Outdoor Sportsman

“As stocking stuffers, I’m giving out the See’em Spoke Lights for the little one’s new bike and Gear Ties and CamJam Tie Down straps for all the adults. The Gear Ties are by far the most used piece of gear I own.”

CamJam Tie Down Straps

 

Whether you’re shopping for outdoor enthusiasts, tech and gadget gurus, DIY masters, kids or dogs, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list!

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Topics: Field Team, outdoors, hunting, LED Dog Products, Visibility and Safety, Adventure

Of Happy Dogs and Dog Toys

Posted by Dave Taylor

Nov 20, 2018 4:19:29 PM

It’s been a few years since I had a dog, but I still love dogs and we definitely have a very pet friendly household. Like most dog lovers, I don’t have a huge bias regarding breed and understand the attraction of a lapdog like a Chihuahua or Teacup Poodle and the fun of a bigger dog. I also learned long ago that if you think of a dog as being roughly the equivalent of a 3-4 year old child, you’ll have a much easier time understanding their emotions and reactions to different situations.

As a result, I sometimes am offered the chance to dog sit a friend’s pup when they’re busy or have to head out of town for a short trip. My standard answer is an enthusiastic yes, and doubly so if the dog’s a larger breed, my personal preference with canines. The latest dog to make my short list is my friend's Pit Bull mix, Amber.

This is where the Nite Ize pet line proves invaluable, from reflective leashes and illuminated safety necklaces to play toys. Here’s what I have in my dog sitting kit to ensure things go smoothly: The Huck ‘n Tuck® GlowStreak®, a rechargeable NiteHowl® LED Safety Necklace and an S-Biner® TagLock™ to ensure their ID tag stays attached to their collar.

HUCK ‘N TUCK GLOWSTREAK

Huck 'N Tuck GlowStreak

Big or little, young or old, every dog loves to have fun, run around and chase things! Whether they bring the tossed toy back is another story, but regardless, this is where the GlowStreak is a true standout. Imagine a tough ball that lights up and glows as you launch it far into the dog park or along the trail. What dog wouldn’t be transfixed, eager to run and grab it?

The Huck 'N Tuck GlowStreak includes a collapsible ball thrower that easily fits in your pocket or a drawer, then extends to 24" for maximum ball launching power. From the dog’s perspective, they'll be stoked that fetch doesn't have to end when the sun goes down since the GlowStreak lights up with a color-changing LED!


NITEHOWL LED SAFETY NECKLACE


NightHowl LED Safety Necklace

Just as we humans forget what we’re wearing during a busy day, dogs don’t pay much attention when you tie a bandana around their neck or slip on a collar with an ID tag. Useful, but boring when compared to the super cool NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace. It’s an illuminated, battery powered safety necklace that will help everyone else see them and help you find the pup if she decides to bolt after a nocturnal squirrel.

What’s really cool about the NiteHowl, though, is that it’s made with a flexible polymer material that lets you easily cut it to size. Whether your howler has a tiny Chihuahua-sized neck or is a big dog like my buddy’s Pit Bull, the NiteHowl fits perfectly. This is also a great accessory for dogs who join their guardians camping and on backpacking adventures, ensuring they don’t just vanish into the dark chasing after a strange noise.

S-BINER TAGLOCK


S-Biner TagLock

Any dog I’m going to dogsit must have a collar and ID tag, even though it’s a nightmare to work with those annoying split ring devices to attach the ID tag to the collar. Enter the terrific S-Biner TagLock. It’s a really simple idea: The S-Biner has already proven itself invaluable for camping, backpacking, skiing and all sorts of other uses. Why not use it for pet ID tags? The TagLock is the perfect size for attaching a pet ID to a collar. It’s safe, it’s rugged and weatherproof. And it’s easy. Why make it hard on yourself attaching that ID tag when you can use an S-Biner?

Bonus: This works great for cats who have ID tags on their collars too.

WE LOVE DOGS

There’s something really delightful about spending time with dogs, whether they’re shy or rambunctious. It’s why we humans have such a close affinity to dogs in just about every culture around the world. A happy dog is also a source of joy for every dog lover and happy dogs are safe, busy and active dogs. 

As for me, Amber looks like she needs to go for a walk so it's time to slip a NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace on her and go for a stroll around the neighborhood.

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Topics: LED Pet Products, Visibility and Safety

Field Team Spotlight: Extinct or Alive Host Forrest Galante

Posted by Dave Taylor

Nov 6, 2018 12:06:12 PM

From catching venomous snakes as a child to searching the wild for animals thought to be extinct, Animal Planet  star Forrest Galante has a story (or ten) to tell.

Q: Hi Forrest! Tell us about yourself and how you got into wildlife adventuring?

I grew up in the Southern African Bush of Zimbabwe Africa. When I wasn't on safari with my family, which is what they did, I was living on a farm so I’ve been surrounded by wildlife my entire life. In fact, I’ve been involved with wildlife from a very young age when I used to catch and sneak venomous snakes into the house without my parents knowing. Now I do it professionally!

Q: What is wildlife adventuring? How does it differ from people just encountering wild animals?

I don't know that there is a specific difference for wildlife adventuring. I'm a scientist, a wildlife biologist by trade, and I've taken that biology to an extreme level where it's an adventure to do the type of surveys and studies that I do on an ongoing basis. A biologist may conduct a survey in one location for a short amount of time, but as a wildlife adventurer, I conduct lots of surveys in extremely remote places throughout the world. Oftentimes no other people have ever been there, let alone a western academic.

Q: Your Animal Planet TV show Extinct or Alive is fun and crazy. How did you come up with the show idea and what's the craziest experience you've had while filming the show?

You’re right, Extinct or Alive is fun and it’s crazy. The idea came when a producer approached me and said, "Hey, you're a crazy wildlife biologist and I love the stuff you do, I have this idea for tracking down supposedly extinct animals, do you think any of them could still be alive?" I turned to him and said, "As a matter of fact I know that some of these ostensibly extinct animals are still alive because my grandfather discovered a coelacanth that had been thought to have been extinct for 66 million years. If he can find that, I'm certain that we can find some of these other not-really-extinct animals." That's how the show came about.

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The craziest experience I've had, well, it’s a long list, from climbing treetops in the Madagascan jungle canopy to chasing giant lemurs to repelling down thousand foot cliffs to seeing the grind at Wale Slaughter in the Faroe Islands. There have been a lot of ups and downs, high and low moments! If have to pick just one, though, the craziest experience was actually uncovering evidence of the Zanzibar leopard, a large 100 pound cat believed to be extinct for over a century. That was the pinnacle of my career, and was by far the craziest and best experience.

Q: You are known as the perfect combination of Steve Irwin, Bear Grylls and Jacques Cousteau. Can you tell us what inspires you about each of these three adventurers?

I think the names speak for themselves. Steve Irwin is my original hero, the king of wildlife media, the man who entertained us all by showing how incredible wildlife can be. He is just a legend.

Bear Grylls and his survival knowledge, his showmanship, his expertise in the outdoors and getting through tough situations is unparalleled and he's just the most entertaining guy that's been on television in a long time.

Jacques Cousteau, what a hero of underwater adventure. His discoveries beneath the surface are unparalleled, he is an incredible adventurer, incredible seaman, ocean explorer, a six-time world record holding freediver, spear fisherman, hundred-ton ship captain, and dive master.

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I feel like all of my accomplishments just pale in comparison to anything Jacques Cousteau ever did. These are three truly inspirational men, and to be considered a combination of those three is tremendously flattering.

Q: What pets do you have? We expect that they're probably quite exotic and possibly numerous too.

Hang on to your hat! My wife calculated that I have 91 pets, though that includes our pond which has over 20 turtles. We also have a miniature horse, a miniature donkey, a miniature pig who is a rescue from Hurricane Katrina, a giant cicada, various tortoises, peacocks, guinea fowl, turkeys, chickens, giant Flemish rabbits, dogs and snakes. I have two snakes that I'm looking at right now on my computer desk. Oh! And a bunch of hermit crabs too.

It's a long list and they're almost all rescues, something that we love to do. We also love taking care of them too.

screenshot-4Q: If you could travel anywhere on the planet for your next adventure, where would you head?

The number one place on my bucket list right now is the Pantanal. It's in the Brazilian Amazon and is the largest wetland in South America. Clear water, giant caimans, fresh water turtles and huge anacondas, not to mention jaguars and all the crazy South American fauna. I've been to South America before but I've never made it to the Pantanal, so that is top of my list at the moment.

Q: When you're not wrestling dangerous and exotic creatures, what's your day job?

This is it! My day job is planning for the wrestling of dangerous and exotic creatures. I spent tons of time doing research, investigating stories of extinct creatures, looking at these critically endangered animals, and time-sensitive situations, and then I work towards funding, financing, filming and exploring them all. My day job when I'm not in the bush is planning how to get back into the bush.

Q: What’s your favorite Nite Ize product and why?

Oh man, this is such an easy one for me. It's the INOVA® T10R™. It is the greatest flashlight on earth. I mean it’s unbelievable how bright it is and how well it works. Mine's been underwater, through torrential downpours, dropped in the mud, dropped off cliffs, and it keeps going. It's absolutely bulletproof and that intense spotlight beam is the most essential tool that I have for spotting wildlife at night. If I walked through the jungle at night looking for things up in the canopy without that INOVA T10R, I would be unable to spot half the animals that I’ve identified in the last year.

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People love the flashlight, too. Thanks to your team at Nite Ize, I've been able to share it with three or four different crew members and they all say it's now one of their most valued possessions. I cannot recommend that flashlight enough!

After the T10R,  Gear Ties® are a huge win too. Heck, Gear Ties hold my life together. From the cable that is currently attached to my iPhone with a microphone on it, to cords all around my house, to keeping spear guns together on my boat, to strapping things to the struts of helicopters, I use Gear Ties for everything. They are in every corner of my life!

Q: What else is happening in your world, Forrest?

My passions are deep and intense. I'm an avid rugby player, love the game and coach youth rugby. I do a lot of freediving and spearfishing. I harvest all of my own edible proteins sustainably from the ocean and do a ton of mushroom foraging too.

And I use Nite Ize products for all of it! Whether it is the INOVA flashlight or the headlamps or the Gear Ties to hold my dive gear together or the GearLine®, all of it is super valuable to me and I'm so grateful to have your support and innovations. Thank you guys!

Q: Great stuff, really fun to talk with you. How can people keep up with your adventures and find you on social media?

You can find me as @Forrest.Galante on Instagram, @ForrestGalante on Facebook and @ForrestGalante on Twitter. I do have a YouTube channel. It's mostly diving and spearfishing related, but I’m much more active on the other three channels.

And then there’s the TV show. Check out Extinct or Alive on Animal Planet. It's available on Animal Planet Go or Amazon at any time. It's a great show, it's family friendly, it's fun, it's an adventure show and it inspires hope and conservation. Kids love it, adults love it. If you're into wildlife, if you're into adventure, please check it out!

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Topics: Adventure, Field Team

Stay Seen, Safe, and Smiling on Halloween

Posted by Dave Taylor

Oct 25, 2018 3:52:25 PM

All Hallow’s Eve is coming up. Your kids know it as Halloween and they’ve probably already been excitedly discussing costumes, candy and treats with you and their friends. But walking around at night can also be dangerous because, while some communities have lots of street lights, there are plenty of roads where it’s quite dark between homes. 

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We at Nite Ize have lots of fun solutions and tips to help you and your little ones stay safe while trick-or-treating -- and best of all, these light up products are all super bright and use replaceable batteries. Costumes may not make it through the night in one piece, but these fun light-up products can long after the candy is all eaten for night time walks, early morning runs, or family bike rides around the neighborhood.

Kids love hanging LED Mini Glowsticks™ from their trick-or-treat containers, which are perfect for keeping them visible and casting light into their treat bag to assess their booty. And since kids are more likely to lose their own shoes than their candy buckets on Halloween, parents get to rest assured that the kids will never be far from their light-up glowsticks.

 

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Pets, parents, and kids all benefit from wearable illumination, and products like the NiteHowl™ LED Safety Necklace are a great addition for every family member. Young'uns get a kick out of the festive lighting, which can be set to glow or flash. For the furry family members, these can be cut down to size making them perfect for Pugs and Great Danes alike. And parents who don't necessary want to dress up in a costume, can still partake in a little extra fun while escorting kids.

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Ditch the candle and add a little extra color to your Jack-O-Lanterns by putting a Disc-O Select NiteGem inside. This waterproof light means that a little rain (or snow) won't put a damper on your pumpkin fun, plus you can choose from one of six colors or leave it in color-changing Disc-O mode.

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If you are trick-or-treating in a particularly dark area, another great addition that you can reuse for your night runs or winter biking is the LED TagLit™. With strong magnets built inside, these can be clipped to shirts, capes, or wolverine fur to ensure that drivers see your little ones well before anyone crosses the street.

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One of my personal favorites is the BugLit®  LED Micro Flashlight because of its legs. These can easily be twisted to cling to various parts of a costume, and in the dark they look creepy. You can also get creative and glue glow-in-the-dark googly-eyes to ‘em for extra creepiness. And most kids love a little benign creepy!

BGT03W-07-1703_F_0001_SQRGBFinally, we parents know the challenge of walking around with little ones excited about trick-or-treating and getting way more candy than is probably good for them. That’s why a hot beverage - or other brew of your choice - tucked into a Traveler™ Drink Holster might well make this one of the best family adventures you’ll have all year!

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Happy Halloween from the team at Nite Ize!

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Topics: LED Pet Products, Visibility and Safety

One Man, One Row Boat, and 2,485 Miles of Ocean: The Colin Sanders Interview

Posted by Dave Taylor

Oct 19, 2018 1:32:04 PM

Nite Ize Field Team member Colin Sanders accomplished a feat most would consider impossible when he rowed for 83 days straight to cross the Atlantic, alone, in a rowboat. We were able to talk to him about his adventures, struggles, and triumphs -- and about how this massive goal was fueled by wanting to help others.

 

Q: Hi Colin! First off, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into ultra long distance rowing?

About four years ago I decided I needed a grand adventure, something that would challenge me physically, mentally, emotionally and even financially. I spent a lot of time skiing in the mountains when I was younger and always suffered from the altitude. Climbing Everest was out. To be honest, climbing Everest seemed mundane in some ways anyway, since thousands of people have summited at this point.


Solo rowing the Atlantic was different and definitely more unusual. Few have done it and it fit my personality better. When people ask me why I rowed across the Atlantic Ocean my answer is typically “ego and self-gratification”. Sometimes I wish there was a more profound motivation but at age 64 I think I had something to prove to myself, that I could take on something incredibly tough and succeed.

Q: How does a multi-week rowing journey work? Do you row for 8+ hours a day and rest the other 16? Heck, don’t you drift while you're not rowing? 

I rowed for 10-14 hours each day. At the beginning of the trip I had a routine where I rowed for three hours then took 15 minutes off. Again and again. As I got further across the ocean and started to wear down physically I had to shorten the shifts and take more frequent breaks.

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I would usually start just as the sun was rising because rowing in the dark just isn’t fun, particularly when the seas are rough.

When I stowed the oars at night I just drifted. Depending on how big and steep the waves were that evening, I had to decide whether to drift free, put a warp off the stern or para anchor.

Note: A “warp” is a thick line that provides drag and some directional stability downwind and a para anchor, also called a drogue, is about the size of a bushel basket and gives the boat enough drag to produce excellent downwind stability.

It was always a fine line because I always wanted to pick up as much free distance as possible by drifting and the MRE drag I had, the less I would drift. Insufficient directional stability downwind could end up turning the boat sideways to the wind and waves and even end up with the boat capsizing.

And capsize it did. New Year’s Eve while the boat was on the warp. She got hit by a large wave as it broke and ended up rolling over and over several times. Anything not locked down flew everywhere, including a liter of olive oil!

The boat righted itself but after composing myself I had to go on deck in the pitch dark - in a really choppy sea with big waves - to pull the warp in and set the drogue. Setting the drogue isn’t easy even in the smoothest of waters because it uses a bridle attached to each side of the stern, but in big waves, high wind and darkness? It was very tough.

Q: How do you train for a rowing marathon like you did? You just rowed across the Atlantic Ocean! How on Earth did you prep for that?

I had a really great trainer. It was a partly strength in the upper body, but a lot more about core strength and flexibility. We spent a lot of time on stretching to ensure that my back and core were the strongest possible. I actually spent very little time with an indoor rowing machine because it has little in common with ocean rowing when you often only have one oar in the water at any given time. 

Q: Your Trans-Atlantic journey was from Puerto de Mogan in the Canary Islands to English Harbour in Antigua. How did you choose that route and did you ever run afoul of whales, sharks or enormous cargo ships en route?

Actually, that particular route is the classic course to get across the Atlantic Ocean. Originally, I was going to head for Barbados, but I just couldn’t get far enough south to make that a viable destination. Halfway across Stokey my UK-based navigator said, “You’re going to Antigua, mate!”.

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I did see the odd cargo ship but really not that many ships at all. Part of that is the vastness of the ocean: They could have been passing within five miles and I would have never known. In terms of wildlife, I remember seeing one pilot whale, lots of dolphins and several swordfish but no sharks at all.

Q: What’s one aspect of the row that was the toughest?

The emotional and mental side of the journey was the most difficult. Being completely alone for 83 days was hard, especially in tough sea conditions. The loss of my music 28 days out was a real blow to my emotional state too: I had spent a year curating downloads on Spotify, never realizing that you have to sign in every 30 days to keep the downloads active. I didn’t know that and one month into the trip suddenly had no music at all. I ended up giving monologues and speeches on a wide variety of subjects that I knew something about, singing songs, coming up with thought experiments, and trying not to go crazy out there in the middle of the ocean. It wasn’t easy, but I made it! 

Q: What's your favorite Nite Ize product and why?

I started out with a lot of Nite Ize gear, but to be honest, it wasn’t until I was doing the actual row that I realized the excellent quality of all the products. The Gear Ties I used every single day. It was typically so rough at sea that it was critical that they quickly and easily secured equipment on the deck. I also used the S-Biner Marine to secure equipment that I viewed as “mission critical”, including my multitools and water bottles. They were on deck every single day and at the end of the journey none of them had a single spot of rust. I could hardly believe it, because so many other tools or pieces of my kit rusted or corroded with the constant salt water exposure. The Nite Ize equipment never, ever corroded!

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Q: Are you ready to circumnavigate the entire Earth in your boat now? What is your next grand adventure?

Ummmm no. The Atlantic was enough at 4000 km (2485 miles). Not sure what my next adventure will be, but it’ll be something. I have lots of living to do yet!

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your charity A Million Possibilities?

I raised about $150K for Community Living Ontario. Community Living supports people like my son Jeff, who has intellectual disabilities. We came up with the name “A Million Possibilities” hoping to raise $1 for each stroke I took crossing the Atlantic. Ultimately, we didn’t raise a million dollars but we were still very happy with the results. 

Congrats on your remarkable achievement, Colin. We look forward to hearing about your next adventure!

 

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Topics: Adventure, Field Team, outdoors

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