Last Call For Fall Fun: 10 Autumn Activities

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on Oct 21, 2020 10:10:49 AM

Last Call For Fall: 10 Autumn Activities

The leaves are changing, the days are shortening, and there’s a chill in the air. It’s fall time, and before you know it, winter will make its icy appearance. But before we head into months of snow, slush, and shivers, let’s get out there and soak in the fall fun.

Keep reading for 10 fresh ways to make the most of our Autumn days and "nites."

 

1. Leaf through town

Leaf Peeping Drive

What’s fall without a leaf-peeping drive? If you live in a state with changing seasons, you might be able catch the vibrant Autumn colors come to life in person. Research the best leaf-peeping spots in your state (and make sure to check you haven’t missed the color change) and set off on your journey with your Steelie® Phone Mount to give directions along the route.

If you prefer to get out of the car and see the changing colors up close, nothing beats an Autumn hike or bike ride. Just make sure to bundle up and gear up your bike with one of our tool-free bike lights! Especially adventurous folks can take their leaf-peeping trip to the next level on a four wheel or ATV too — check out local rentals if you’re craving a little adrenaline rush.

 

2. Carve Out Some Fun

SpotLit XL Pumpkin

Carving pumpkins is a universal way to embrace the spooky season, unleash some creativity, and step up your decorating game while you’re at it. Grab a gourd of your choosing from your local pumpkin patch or grocery store and make sure to get durable carving tools that can get the job done (or kid-safe tools for little ones). Once your masterpiece is complete, throw in a SpotLit® XL or NiteGem for color-changing, fire-free illumination that will shine for nights to come.

Not up for a pulpy mess? Painting pumpkins might be a safer bet.

 

3. Drink It All In

Pumpking Beer

Get in the Autumn spirit with some spirits. Check out local cideries to sample sweet and spicy hard cider varieties, or pick up your favorite 6 pack of pumpkin ale for an at-home happy hour, complete with an Ahhh… Bottle Opener. If you prefer the winer things in life, visit your local vineyard or winery to sip on some fall blends.

 

4. Plan A Picnic

Fall Picnic

If you live in a state with harsh winters, you know you’re in for months of being buried under a heavy winter coat, scarf, boots, and gloves get-up. Soak in the sun while you can on a peaceful picnic at the park or even in your backyard.

 

5. Train for The Long Run

SlapLit Rechargeable LED Slap Wrap

Local Fall 5ks and Fun Runs are a popular way to get your blood pumping and raise money for a great cause. Sign up and start training — you can even get the whole family involved to get some fresh air away from screens.  If you're training in the morning or after work hours, be sure you’re staying safe and visible. The Rechargeable SlapLit LED Slap Wrap and TagLit Magnetic Marker are great ways to stay visible in the dark mornings and evenings, and a headlamp will help light your path.

 

6. Bake Up a Storm

Apple Pie

After watching a few seasons of the Great British Baking Show, you’ve probably learned a thing or two. Put your skills to the test and try out a homemade pie, pumpkin bread, candy apple, or other Autumn recipe everyone in the house can enjoy. Free fall aromas included!

Keep the recipe on your phone visible and flour-free with a Steelie Bendable Arm + Ratcheting Clamp or Steelie Pedestal Mount to make your baking adventure a breeze.

 

7. Game On

Flashflight Light Up Flying Disc

Make the most of the warm days we have left with an outdoor family game everyone can play. Pick up a Flashflight Light Up Flying Disc to keep the games going after-dark, or even a GlowStreak LED Ball so your pup doesn’t miss out on the nighttime fun.

 

8. Paddle Your Own Canoe (Or Kayak)

RunOff Waterproof Phone Case

While the chilly temperatures might make swimming out of the question, an Autumn kayak or canoe trip might be just the thing to appease water lovers already missing summer days at the lake. Research around for leaf-peeping spots and their nearby streams to find an especially gorgeous Autumn route.

You can rest assured that your phone, gear and snacks will stay safe and dry in one of our RunOff Waterproof Bags while you paddle the waters.

 

9. Gather 'Round The Fire Pit

Campfire SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

Nothing screams fall like scary ghost stories told around the fire. Crack open an Autumn ale (wrapped in a SlapLit to keep it lit and chilly), and come prepared with your favorite spooky stories to set the mood. After everyone is scared silly, lift their spirits with a toasty S’more cooked over the fire.

 

10. See Stars

FallFun-Stargazing

Grab a blanket, snacks, and a Radiant® 300 Headlamp set to red mode for a cozy night under the stars. Whether in your backyard or off the grid, you’ll be in for a night of out-of-this-world views, nonetheless. Three meteor showers are due when the moon is in crescent this Autumn, giving you the best view possible. Look out the Orionids shower on the night of October 20th through the 21st, the Northern Taurids on the night of November 11-12, and the Leonids on November 16-17.

And don’t miss the especially rare (and especially spooky) full moon on Halloween night!

Topics: Visibility and Safety, Games & Toys, outdoors, Fun & Games, Flying Disc, Bike, Fitness, LED Products, runoff, waterproof bags, Holidays, headlamp, kids, daylight savings

5 Ways To Embrace “Fall Back” Time

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Oct 8, 2020 5:14:46 PM

5 Ways To Embrace “Fall Back” TimeVery soon we’ll all be setting our clocks back an hour on a Saturday evening, relishing an excuse to get an extra hour of sleep, yet dreading everything else that comes with the end of Daylight Savings Time. Most of us don’t tend to look forward to shorter days, and have trouble adjusting to the change. It’s amazing how just an hour of time can make that much difference, right? Along with that extra hour of z’s, there might be a few things to actually look forward to when we fall back, as well as several ways to help breeze through the adjustment better than ever.

 

1. Enjoy That Extra Sleep (Responsibly)
Steelie Pedestal Mount

Most Americans are already sleep deprived, so it’s likely you could use a little extra shut eye when you can get it. Although it may sound like a good idea to stay up late the night before while enjoying an adult beverage or two, resist the temptation. Get the most out of that extra hour by not shifting your bedtime schedule too drastically, and for a more restful night, limit caffeine and alcohol intake. Practicing good sleep hygiene is important for a good night’s sleep, and better sleep leads to better health. Check out these tips for better sleep from Healthline.

 

2. Savor the Sunlight
Ways to adjust to fall back

Seasonal depression is real, and it tends to make an appearance as the days get shorter, with less sunshine to soak in. Not only will getting out in the sunlight before and after we fall back help you sleep better, it can also improve your mood. Knowing that it will get dark earlier, plan to get outside in the morning or mid-day. Consider taking a walk, run, or bike ride at lunchtime. Getting out in the sunshine will also help your body absorb vitamin D, and align your circadian rhythm with the solar clock, which will aid in better sleep.

 

3. Brighten Your Nights
Pet lights

Just because it’s dark, doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun outside. With the right accessories, you can still get out for your evening activities. For bike commuters, check out our Radiant Rechargeable Bike Lights and Rechargeable SpokeLits, so you can see and be seen from all sides on your ride home. If you prefer to run after work hours, be sure you’re staying safe and visible. Our Rechargeable SlapLit LED Slap Wrap and TagLit Magnetic Marker are both great for staying visible after dark, and a headlamp will help light your path. Heading out for your nightly dog walk? A Rechargeable NiteDog Collar and Leash will make sure you and your pup are seen by oncoming traffic. Check out all our other ways to illuminate your pup here.

 

4. Winterize Your Attitude
Help adjust to fall back time

It’s time to get cozy! The annual time shift might be a good opportunity to officially change your wardrobe over to winter mode. Find those comfy sweaters at the back of your closet you forgot you owned and bring them back into rotation. A good way to think about the time change is how it symbolizes the start of the colder months and holiday season. While that might not sound exciting to everyone out there, we imagine there is something fun to look forward to for each of us – whether that be plush blankets and a roaring fire, cooking your favorite cold weather meals, decorating for the holidays, or indulging in an occasional pumpkin spice latte. Plus, you can start your movie nights earlier without having to employ the blackout shades.

 

5. Make An Annual Home Checklist
Annual home checklist

Okay, so maybe this one isn’t exciting in nature, but it is a good habit to form. Consider making the end of daylight savings a reminder to perform some annual maintenance around the home. Here are some tasks you might want to include in your yearly rounds:

    • Change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
    • Clean your gutters (or use a service to have them cleaned)
    • If you live in a region that freezes, winterize your sprinkler system if you haven’t already 
    • Change your air filter, and check your furnace and water heater
    • Check and restock your home emergency kit and/or go bag
    • Flip and/or rotate your mattress
    • Reverse ceiling fans for winter energy efficiency

Daylight savings time change

And finally, make sure you set your clocks back! Although most of our devices will set themselves on their own, check your wrist watches, and clocks around the house and turn them back on Saturday evening so you won’t be confused when you wake up refreshed from an extra-long night’s sleep.

Topics: Visibility and Safety, outdoors, LED Pet Products, Run Safety, Home, Pets, LED Products, daylight savings

Halloween Decorating Tips (The Nite Ize Way)

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Oct 6, 2020 10:05:00 AM

Halloween Decorating the Nite Ize Way

It's that time of year again when the ghosts, goblins and witches come out to raid your candy bowl. Halloween is just a few short weeks away and it's time to get those decorations up so you're ready to scare the bejesus out of your neighborhood children. Nite Ize is here to help you hang, secure, and light up your spine-chilling adornments.

 

Hang it With an S-Biner

S-Biners: our versatile, iconic dual-gated carabiner clips are perfect for hanging spooky skeletons and more. (Be sure to pick up the orange aluminum variety for an extra touch of seasonal color.)

Hanging decorations with S-Biners

 

Gear Ties Get it Done

You can never have too many Gear Ties on hand, and it might be a good idea to keep some in your holiday decoration boxes you keep in the attic to dust off every year. Here's a 12" Original keeping this ghost secured to a tree limb, making sure he doesn't fly off into the night to terrorize the neighborhood.

How to hang Halloween decorations

No need to put holes in your porch railings with this spooktacular way to hang your seasonal lights.

Hanging-Lights

This 18" Loopable Gear Tie (orange of course) is the perfect solution for hanging wreaths where you need them.

How to Hang A Wreath

 

Lights. ALL the Lights.
SpotLit XL Pumpkin

 

Zombie Graveyard

We have all kinds of options when it comes to keeping your porch LIT on Halloween. First and foremost, kick the candle to the curb and use a NiteGem, SpotLit or Mini Glow Stick in your pumpkin. This one above is a SpotLit XL in Disc-O mode (for an extra bit of flair). And, after the festivities are over, you can clip this light to your dog's collar during those dark fall walks! 

Make your zombie graveyard an eerie shade of red and maybe light up a skull or two. NiteGems and SpotLits work great, and even our Radiant 100 Mini Lantern on red mode is a perfect fit for this creep-tastic scene. If you're going the extra mile with a cauldron full of dry ice, put a Disc-O Select NiteGem on green and drop it in for some seriously spooky witch's brew. NiteGems are also waterproof, so you can throw a few in a punch bowl or cooler to illuminate the beverage selection if you're planning on having some extra "spirits" join you (pun intended).

 

Crack a Cold One

Last but certainly not least, after your yard is sufficiently scary you'll need to kick back and relax while you wait for the trick-or-treaters to arrive  (if they dare). What better way to crack a pumpkin ale than with a DoohicKey SkullKey? It's the DoohicKey of choice for those who just can't get enough ghoulish vibes.

DoohicKey SkullKey

Have you used a Nite Ize product to help you decorate? Let us know in the comments, and tag #LifesAdventureKit in your photos for a chance to win a Nite Ize Adventure Kit. Happy haunting!

 

Topics: Party, halloween, Holidays, decorating

Nite Ize Employees Reveal Their Personal Favorite Products

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Sep 24, 2020 10:07:38 AM

Nite Ize Employees Reveal Their Personal Favorite Products

Okay, we admit it: we make a LOT of products. You might say we’re slightly addicted to bringing new, innovative products to market and we do it not once, but twice a year! With a product line of hundreds, it can be overwhelming to even know where to start when you arrive on the Nite Ize website. So rather than flood you with complex product recommendations, we let our staff do the talking! Nite Ize employees love to “geek out” about our gear. We also all tend to have personal favorites. We asked our team to weigh in on their favorite Nite Ize products, and here’s what they had to say.

 

Popular Favorites
Gear Ties

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

“I use Gear Ties for just about anything; from organizing my charging cables, attaching things to/in my car, and even baby proofing my house.”

- M.J., Marketing Manager

“They have infinite uses around the house, car, camper – anywhere.”

- Jeff, IT Director

“There are a million things I use Gear Ties for, and a million more that I haven't thought of yet.  Seriously I will have Gear Tie in all of my bags and all over my house, you never know when a Gear Tie will save the day!”

- Matthew, Key Account Manager

“All of my cables are organized and color coordinated. NO mix ups, NO confusion.”

- Judy, E-commerce Support Specialist

“I use Gear Ties every day, and they and make my life as a dad so much easier. I can attach just about everything to anything.”

- Adrian, Sales Manager

“I have been tying up my guitar cables and cords with these since I started at Nite Ize.”

- Matt, International Accounts Manager

“I find the value of Gear Ties amazing and endless. Sealing bread and food bags, tying up excess cords, even my boyfriend uses them in the Geology lab for his research.”

- Taylor, Marketing Communications Specialist

“You can use them for everything!”

- Jan, SVP of Corporate Development

 

RadDog All-In-One Collar + Leash

RadDog All-In-One Collar + Leash

“I love the RadDog for off-leash hikes, trips to the dog park or the vet. It's so much easier than clipping the leash back on every time you need to grab your dog.”

- Cassie, Social Media Specialist

“I can take my dog on walks in the neighborhood and easily grab the leash when we need it.”

- Heather, Creative Project Manager

“It's a dream for apartment dogs when they need a potty break – no need to grab the leash. It's also amazing for road trip potty breaks and when camping/hiking - I can always grab him if he wanders too far.”

- Taylor, Marketing Communications Specialist

 

Steelie Magnetic Phone Mounts

Steelie Orbiter Dash Mount

“I use my Steelie literally every day, from when I take it off my lamp in the morning, to driving in my car, to having it on the Pedestal on my desk, to my bar mount on my bike, then on my fridge when I am cooking dinner, and back onto the lamp for sleep!  Couldn't imagine life without it!”

- Matthew, Key Account Manager

“Great hands-free way to secure my phone while driving. I love being able to see the screen without it distracting me from the road.”

- Diana, National Account Manager

“So versatile...you can use it in the car, office (with the Pedestal) and around the house. It keeps my phone visible and accessible, where and when I need it.”

- Jay, Director of Outdoor Sales

“I use the Steelie Pedestal all the time! I have one on my nightstand to put my phone on at night (for easy access) and one on my desk for meetings (so I don't have to hold my phone during work calls). I use it when baking to easily view recipes on my phone. It has so many uses! The Steelie Windshield Mount is great for taking selfies and filming Tik Tok videos. Just attach it to any window or mirror!”

- Amanda, Brand Protection Specialist

 

RunOff Waterproof Bags

RunOff Waterproof Bags

“I enjoy camping and backpacking, so I like to know that my gear/clothes will stay compact and dry without worrying about what elements my backpack can hold up against.”

- Mike, Mechanical Designer

“The RunOff Small Packing Cube works great as a front bag on my bike.”

- Todd, National Accounts Manager

“I travel a lot, and the RunOff 3-1-1 Bag is the perfect size for carrying necessities. Plus I like the fact that it stands up by itself.”

- Pete, International Sales

“The Large Packing Cube is great for travel and packing clothes into, then dirty laundry bag that doesn't co-mingle with other things for the return home!”

- David, Account Executive

“The RunOff Phone Case is like a Swiss army knife! It works so well on my bike and on the kayak, and I know I can trust it!”

- Matt, Key Account Manager

 

S-Biner Dual Carabiners

S-Biner SlideLock

“These things are truly super versatile and can be used for clipping, hanging and organizing. Anything from a keychain locking to a backpack to hanging a grass trimmer with a #8 to hanging a bike with a #10.”

- Truckie, Category Manager

“The S-Biner MicroLocks are great to secure my keys, and allow for removal of extra key weight when not needed - i.e. if I only need my car FOB, I can detach my house keys and lighten my load.”

- Diana, National Account Manager

“S-Biners are so useful in so many situations; hiking, biking, camping, you name it.”

- Jeff, IT Director

Flashflight Light-Up Flying Disc

Flashflight Light Up Flying Disc

“I played a lot of disc in high school and now we have one that lights up! That would have come in super handy on many occasions.”

- Tristan, COO

“Its the ‘Cadillac’ of flying discs, and beautiful at night, extending play hours!”

- David, Account Executive”

 

Noteworthy Accolades
DoohicKey Key Chain Knife
DoohicKey Key Chain Knife

“I use it so much! I never realized how many boxes I open or need to break down (probably from all the stuff my wife and I buy on Amazon). I recommend it to everyone I meet.”

- Matt, International Sales Manager

 

GearLine Organization System
GearLine Organization System

“I hang it between my headrests in my truck, and keep the things I need on it ... lantern, bottle opener, my hats/gloves, extra S-Biners and more.”

- Leo, Product Engineer

 

Radiant 100 Keychain FlashlightRadiant 100 Keychain Flashlight

“I carry it everywhere.  It's is incredibly handy and bright enough to find what I lost.”

- Brian, E-commerce Manager

 
CashBack Phone WalletCa$hBack Phone Wallet

“I love not having to carry a purse and I can leave the house with just my keys and phone and I'm set.”

- Jenna, Director of IS and BE

 

Radiant 170 Rechargeable HeadlampRadiant 170 Rechargeable Headlamp

“It provides just the right amount of light to get the job done.”

- Jan, SVP of Corporate Development

 

 

Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether
Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether

“This unique product is one I use daily. I usually use it to carry my phone around my wrist when my hands are full (which is often). I'm a notorious butterfingers, and I can say I haven't dropped my phone once since I've been using it!”

- Cassie, Social Media Specialist

 

SpotLit XL Rechargeable Collar LightSpotLit XL Rechargeable Collar Light

“These are great for dusk or dawn runs and walks with the pups.”

- Jay, Director of Outdoor Sales

 

 

 

 

NiteDog Rechargeable LED CollarNiteDog Rechargeable LED Collar & Leash

“Having two huskies of the same fur coat helps me identify which husky is which during our nightly walks or playtime.”

- Judy, E-commerce Support Specialist

 

 

Nite Ize HeadbandNite Ize Headband

“This is a sentimental choice, for one, because it's the only item we still make from when I started with the company and second, we all wouldn't be here if not for that item. BOOM!”

- Tristan, COO

 

We hope our team members have helped you get to know some of our products better, and have maybe given you some inspiration for how they could help in your daily life. Have a question about one or more of our products? Feel free to get in touch with us by phone, email, live chat on our website, or hit us up on social media. Our team is always happy to help you find the right gear for your life’s adventures.

Topics: Gear Ties, LED Pet Products, Flying Disc, Flashflight, Home, Organization, Tech and Gadget, LED Products, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, Steelie, headlamp, gearline

How To Prepare For Your Region’s Worst-Case-Scenario

Posted by Katie S on Sep 15, 2020 10:48:14 AM

How to prepare for your region's worst-case-scenario

Did you know that September is National Preparedness month in the U.S.? With so much going on in the world, you may be asking yourself, “how can I possibly prepare for all the things that could go wrong this year?” The simple answer is, you can’t. But, with relatively minimal effort you can prepare for the most likely types of natural disasters in your part of the country. That is the sentiment behind National Preparedness month. Have a plan in place so that you can be prepared and self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in case a disaster hits where you live. The more people who do this, the less overwhelmed emergency services are in a worst-case-scenario situation. Then they can focus all their efforts on those who need help the most. If you need motivation to start prepping, think of it as a future-kindness to the emergency service workers in your area.

Before I jump into tips on preparing for specific types of disasters, there are a few preparedness practices that apply to just about any natural disaster:

1. Always follow evacuation orders and directives from your local officials.

Maybe you have stayed in your house for the last four hurricanes and been fine, but guess what, there’s a decent chance that the next one you’re going to be that guy getting airlifted off his roof on the five o’clock news – and that’s not the worst case scenario. Experts are not perfect in predicting the movements of natural disasters, but they are experts for a reason, and they aren’t throwing darts here. Warning systems save lives. A great way to make sure you receive emergency warnings is to download the FEMA app on your phone and sign up for alerts for your zip code.

2. Make a plan ahead of time.

Take time with your household to talk through a family plan of what to do and where to go in case a disaster happens when you’re not together or can’t go home. FEMA has this helpful worksheet you can fill out as a family and leave on the fridge as a reminder. If you live alone, it’s important to let a nearby friend know that they will be your planned destination in case of an emergency, then they can look out for you. Communication lines often get knocked out or overwhelmed during natural disasters. Text messages will be more likely to go through than calls, but sometimes calling outside of your area will work too, so it’s helpful to designate a family member in another state as the call-in person who everyone can check in with and communicate through.


Go bag checkllist

3. Keep emergency provisions on hand.

The type of emergency kit you build should be customized to the type of emergency you’re most likely to encounter, especially whether it’s likely you’ll need to shelter in place or evacuate (I’ll get into those details more in the section below), and customized to the number of people in your household and any special needs they may have (think: prescription meds, diapers, formula, glasses, pet food, leash, etc…) As you build your kit, the goal to keep in mind is having the essentials needed to keep your family safe and sane for 72 hours without power or support in any season. If you have children, don’t underestimate the importance of comfort items like a favorite lovey – if you don’t have a backup one you can keep in your kit, make sure to add this to your family’s list of “most important items to grab in an evacuation”.

Prepping by Region
Earthquakes: When the ground is shaking, don’t stand in that doorway.

How to prepare for an earthquake

In the moment: Earthquake protocols have changed over the years, but many people still think that the classic Hollywood move of standing in a doorway is what you’re supposed to do – it’s not. The safest thing to do, according to FEMA, is to immediately lay down and cover your head with your hands, if you can easily get under a table, do so, then grab onto a leg to anchor yourself. If you’re outside, great, stay outside and away from buildings and power lines. If you’re in a car, pull over and put on the parking brake.

Preparing ahead of time: Unfortunately, an earthquake early warning system in the U.S. is still in the development phase (learn more about USGS ShakeAlert here), however there are many ways you can prepare ahead of time. Talk through your family emergency plan, research where your local shelters will be, anchor TVs and top-heavy furniture to the walls, and have an emergency go-bag packed. I recommend a go-bag rather than a traditional home kit because in a serious earthquake situation there is a good chance you will need to evacuate, but you should still store extra water and food in your house and use the bag for your other survival items in case you are sheltering in place. Some of my friends in California keep their emergency bags in weatherproof trunks or sheds outside their home. This way, even if their home is unsafe to enter, their emergency supplies are accessible. Click HERE for a comprehensive list of suggested items for your Go Bag.

 

Wildfires: They move fast - so should you.

How to prepare for a wildfire

In the moment: Wildfires are unpredictable and susceptible to rapid changes in size based on wind and other natural elements. If you are under a warning or evacuation order – take it seriously and leave the area. If the fire is very close, N95 masks are great for filtering out smoke and particles, but a bandana will help too. Once in your car, the filter will help do the trick.

Preparing ahead of time: If you live in a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) or a Grassland Urban Interface (GUI) you should have a Go Bag packed in case of an immediate fire evacuation, and a car emergency kit with food, water, a flashlight, blanket, and phone charger in case you’re not able to return to your home. You should have a discussion with your family members of the single most important item in the home to each of them. If you have time, grab those items along with your Go Bag and call it a day. Do not linger, if a fireman comes to your door and tells you have five minutes to clear out, they don’t mean ten. Fires are scary. My intention is not to scare you here, it’s for you to be prepared and therefore less scared in case you find yourself in one of these situations. Here are my suggested packing lists for Car Emergency Kits and Emergency Go Bags.

 

Hurricanes & Tropical Storms: Don’t be that guy on the roof.

How to prepare for a hurricane

In the moment: One benefit of hurricanes is that they aren’t stealthy. They are huge, relatively slow-moving storms that can easily be tracked and therefore people can be warned of their arrival ahead of time. These benefits are also what can make them so devastating. They are huge and can take down power grids and cause devastation over hundreds of miles. They are slow moving and wet, bringing large storm surges and dumping tens of inches of rain before heading inland. If you do find yourself in a scary situation with rising waters, move to the highest interior point in your house but where you could still get to a window to climb out if waters came that high. Never walk, drive, or swim through flood waters. Call for rescue.

Preparing ahead of time: Know your evacuation routes and heed local evacuation warnings. Make a plan with your family, and have an emergency Go Bag packed ahead of time. If you need to pack for your whole family quickly, just grab everyone’s hampers – that way you know it’s a variety of clothes that currently fit. If you are in an area that isn’t at risk for flooding or storm surge and plan to wait out the storm, make sure to have a well-stocked Home Emergency Kit with extra water and food (see a full list of suggested supplies here). When it comes to large storms you should have provisions for the grid being down for at least a week, and water supplies can be tainted for even longer. Two weeks after hurricane Katrina, only 30% of the area’s drinking water facilities and 40% of the areas wastewater facilities were operating (more details here).

 

Tornadoes: Hiding in the basement, it’s the right thing to do.

How to prepare for a tornado

In the moment: If you hear sirens or receive an alert, move to a basement or secure interior room without windows immediately – tornado winds can move at over 200 MPH. If you’re outside and can’t get in, do not seek shelter under a bridge – they can create wind tunnels that blow debris even faster at you. Lay down flat in a ditch and protect your head and neck, cover yourself with blankets, jackets or anything to help protect you from flying debris.

Preparing ahead of time: Be familiar with your local sirens and sign up for digital alerts from FEMA in case you can’t hear the sirens during a storm. Meteorologists are often able to issue tornado warnings ahead of time – there is no shame in heeding these and moving to the basement. Growing up in Indiana we had our fair share of tornadoes, but my parents did a good job of not making it too scary. We just got to do a basement “campout” and all bring our sleeping bags down for the night. Tornadoes are unpredictable and not something to be taken lightly. Even if they miss your house, they can do serious damage to an area and leave you without power for days, that’s why it’s important to keep a well-stocked home emergency kit if you live in the Midwest or South.

 

Blizzards: Is that a “Polar Vortex” or a “Bomb Cyclone”?

how to prepare for a winter storm

In the moment: There are a lot of severe winter weather terms out there that the media loves these days, but good old snowstorms and cold can cause serious emergency situations. If you live in Colorado, you know that sometimes they are predicting 3” and we get 30”. If you live in Buffalo, you know it might end up being 50”. It’s good to be safely indoors when a storm hits. If you have a generator, do not use it in the house or garage. Generators emit high levels of carbon monoxide and have led to many post-disaster injuries and deaths – check out this article by Consumer Reports for generator safety tips. If you are in a car and lose visibility, pull over and turn on your hazards – stay in your car. At the end of the storm, if you are healthy, safe, and home (and maybe have a good snowblower or shovel), use the opportunity to go check in on older neighbors and friends who may need help.

Preparing ahead of time: Keep a Car Emergency Kit stocked with food, water, blankets, flashlights, etc…in case you need to stay in there overnight. At home, if you have a stocked pantry, flashlights, water, and a wood-burning fireplace, you’re in pretty good shape. If you have a gas fireplace, you’ll have a heat source, but if the power’s out and it requires a switch you might think you’re out of luck. However, most gas fireplaces have either an igniter bypass to the switch, or a box that you can put batteries in to turn it on. Look into this before an emergency situation so you’ll know how it works. Always have working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home as well. And, as I suggest to most anyone, keep a well-stocked home emergency kit.

 

Strong community ties are essential in preparing for and rebuilding after disasters strike. You are our community and we value your feedback. If you live in an area that is prone to any of the disasters listed above and you have valuable tips to share, please leave them in the comments section below.

Want more information? Check out these useful resources from Ready.Gov:

Earthquake Information

Wildfire Information

Hurricane Information

Tornado Information

Winter Storm Information

Topics: Emergency Preparedness

Upgrade Your Gravel Ride With This Hack

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Sep 3, 2020 10:38:45 AM

Upgrade Your Gravel Ride With This Hack

By Guest Blogger Todd Brady

Todd Brady

There's no doubt cycling has become a way for many of us to get out of the house and connect with nature during this time of social distancing. For me, cycling became a way of life in the early 90s, and since then I have seen the evolution of mountain biking, the decline of American road cycling, and now the success of GRAVEL riding.

If you are not familiar with gravel riding, it is the latest trend in the world of cycling. Take a mountain bike and a traditional road bike, put them in a blender and what you come out with is the ultimate adventure machine. Gravel bikes feature drop bars for when on the tarmac, disc brakes for quick and easy braking, and wider tires for stability in the dirt. 

Gravel Bike

In order to prepare for a long ride on the trails, it's a good idea to pack a handlebar bag full of food, sunscreen, and other essentials you'll need.

This year I entered my first Gravel race – The SteamBoat Gravel – with over 100 miles of racing.  Like many events this year, it was canceled due to the pandemic and was made into a virtual event instead. In preparation for the event, I chose the Nite Ize RunOff Small Packing Cube as my handlebar bag, and attached it onto my bike with a couple of 12" Gear Ties. There were a few reasons that I chose this specific RunOff bag:

 

1. The size and shape of this bag fit perfectly on the front of my handlebar.

Gravel Bike Handlebar Bag

 

2. It can hold all of the essentials I need for a ride of this length.

Gravel Ride Snacks

 

3. Nite Ize Gear Ties can be looped through the bag's anchor points for easy attachment and removal.

RunOff Small Packing Cube

 

RunOff Handlebar Bag

 

4. Lastly, knowing that this bag is completely waterproof (thanks to the TRU Zip zipper) gave me peace of mind during the 9-hour ride, in case we were hit by a stray rain shower.

RunOff Waterproof Small Packing Cube

The RunOff Small Packing Cube worked fantastically as my handlebar bag, and I highly recommend it. It is worth mentioning that you will have to pull over to access your belongings inside of the bag due to the zipper being positioned underneath in this configuration. However, this offered me a good excuse to pull over to snap some photos or have a snack while enjoying the scenery.

For me, the fact that this compact bag holds as much as it does in addition to being totally waterproof makes it my new Gravel bag of choice.

Topics: Bike, runoff

Create The Ultimate New Home Gift Basket

Posted by Katie S on Aug 28, 2020 10:08:01 AM

Create The Ultimate New Home Gift Basket

Did you know that the term “housewarming” comes from a time when people actually brought gifts of firewood to warm the new home of their friend or family member? Although the type of gifts has evolved and the sentiment is more metaphorical than literal, warming someone’s new home is still a valued tradition.

If you are looking for creative ideas for a housewarming gift that bridges meanings both historical and modern, and that is both thoughtful and useful, we have just the list for you.

 

1. Go Traditional

Housewarming gift ideas

One of my favorite housewarming gifts our family received when we bought our home was filled with some of these traditional items that carry with them a blessing for the new home.

    • A fresh loaf of bread: “That your home may never know hunger.”
    • Honey: “That you always know the sweetness of life.”
    • Salt (or a favorite spice): “That there always be spice in your life.”
    • Coins :“For luck or good fortune.”

 

2. Go Practical
Housewarming gift ideas

 

Whether your friend is buying a new home or a historic landmark, they will soon feel the pains of home-ownership. Literally the night we closed on our home, horizontal rains caused a roof leak which led to a huge bubble of water in our guest bathroom. It happens. There’s always something that happens. And then, something else. The good news is, this is where Nite Ize excels. Throw in some of our essentials that quickly become homeowner-favorites for repairs or sprucing up the place. These are way better gift options than a house plant that may inevitably die.

  • Gear Ties: when it comes to a “fix anything” tool, Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties can’t be beat. Hold anything together. Organize cords. Hang everything neatly in a nicely organized new space. These are a new homeowner’s best friend.
Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie
  • A Giant S-Biner: when it’s DIY time, having a big ole S-Biner #10 around can make light work of heavyweight tasks. Carry multiple paint buckets, hang up the heavy stuff, or clip it and use it as an extra hand.
S-Biner
  • A Great Flashlight To Explore Those Not-So-Great Crawl Spaces: The INOVA T4R is an intensely bright flashlight, perfect for spotting all those spiders in the attic or for looking under that new deck when trying to figure out those “where is that smell coming from?” questions.
INOVA T4R Flashlight
  • Slick Accessories For That New House Key: New houses tend to come with a handful of new keys. Help keep the new homeowner organized with handy IdentiKey Tags to label any key. And, no home is complete without a super-secret place to hide the spare key – upgrade theirs with the HideOut XL Magnetic Key Box.
HideOut XL Magnetic Key Box
Clip Pock-Its XL and GearLine
 
3. Go For Safety

Home Emergency Kit

Here’s a thought – give them something you hope they’ll never use, but that they will seriously thank you if they do. Every home should have an emergency kit – something to help in power-outages, storms, and other emergency situations. Throw in a few items to get your friends started on a kit. For a comprehensive list of ideas, check out our Home Emergency Kit Checklist.

4. Buck The Trend With A Bucket

New home gift basket

Baskets are lovely, but if you want to give them something really useful, make it a gift bucket instead. A 5-gallon bucket is worth its weight in gold when it comes to house projects.

 

Whether you opt to give something symbolic, sentimental, or practical, your new homeowner friend or family member will surely appreciate this time-honored tradition. Although any housewarming gift is a nice gesture, it's even nicer when you can give something that they'll use in their new home for years to come.

Topics: Garage Organization, Gear Ties, DIY, Home

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