Cassie Ryan

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Plan Your Valentine’s Day Getaway

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Feb 3, 2020 9:28:17 AM

Plan Your Valentine's Day Getaway

The shelves are lined with pink cards, chocolate boxes, and teddy bears holding red hearts when you walk into any drugstore, which can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Fortunately, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, and on a three-day holiday weekend for some. The stars might be aligning for a quick weekend getaway with your Valentine’s date – whether they be a significant other, friend, family member, pet, or yourself (flying solo is fun too)! Here are some ideas to kickstart your inspiration, and some tips that might be a help along the way.

 

Where are you headed?

Valentine's Day Getaway

You might be already a step ahead of us and have already booked something. But if you’re more of a spontaneous person, you might consider somewhere driving distance if flights are already too pricey and hard to find. Look for cool places to visit within a few-hour radius around you ­– maybe there’s somewhere you’ve been thinking of visiting but haven’t had a chance yet. This might be the perfect time to book it! Browse some hotel or vacation booking sites and see what you find. If you live in a warmer climate, you could even consider camping or renting a camper van.

 

How are you getting there?

Already have plane tickets? Brilliant! Hitting the road? Fantastic. We have tips for both.

To help make packing easier, our RunOff Waterproof Bags are a great solution. For flying, the 3-1-1 Bag is a big help for consolidating your liquids for TSA. Plus, because the bag is waterproof, you can rest assured your shampoo won’t leak all over your date night attire if it bursts open. Because this is likely a short trip, you’ll probably want to opt for carry-on luggage only. The Medium and Large packing cubes are compressible, so you can fit more clothes into smaller spaces.

RunOff Waterproof Bags

 

For the road trip set, you’ll want a solution to keep your phone handy for GPS and music without having to mess with it in your hands while driving. Check out our Steelie mobile phone mounts to help you out. Don’t forget to make a playlist!

Steelie Orbiter Dash Kit

 

Pics or it didn’t happen

Valentines-FlipOut

Don’t fall victim to the feeling of coming home from an amazing vacation that you forgot to document with plenty of photos. Thankfully, we all carry cameras in our pockets these days, so be sure to use them. Snap some cute selfies with the help of a trusty FlipOut Handle for your phone, or keep it securely on your person with the Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether.

 

Light up your “nite”

If you’re headed somewhere with a jacuzzi or soaking tub, pack some Disc-O Select NiteGems for some flashy fun. They’re waterproof AND they float!

NiteGems

Bringing along your favorite beverage? Keep it cool and colorful with a SlapLit Drink Wrap. You wouldn’t want to lose sight of your drink in the dark, would you?

SlapLit-HotTub

Cross your fingers for a clear night – stargazing is a thoroughly under-appreciated activity. Better pack your headlamps so you can find a good spot to take in the show.

 

Remember, your dog is always your #1 valentine

Valentines Day gifts for dogs

Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other or not, your pet should be a part of the fun too. Check out some gift ideas for your dog here! If your furry friend is joining you on your vacation, a NiteHowl or SpotLit Collar Light is a great way to keep track of them during evening activities or potty breaks.

Are you planning a getaway of your own? Comment with your own tips or suggestions!

Topics: "travel", Pets, LED Products, runoff, waterproof bags, Steelie, Holidays, headlamp

Favorite Vanlife Products From a Full-Time Vanlifer

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jan 22, 2020 9:27:04 AM

By Guest Blogger Colin Boyd of Afuera Vida

Favorite VanLife Products From a Full-Time VanLifer

While every van dwellers’ home is unique, we all suffer the same challenges found in a nomadic lifestyle. A few that come to mind are - illumination, keeping our home strapped/tied down for bumpy drives, and keeping our kit organized. When planning to write a guest blog for Nite Ize I simply began looking around our 1978 Mercedes 508D converted fire truck for inspiration and realized that Nite Ize was quietly sitting in the background, providing us with greater ease with smart and effective solutions for the van dweller. So for those of you looking to increase your satisfaction with van life or wondering what application one of these nifty products may be used for, here is a list of our top six products in no specific order.

 

1. RadDog All-In-One Collar + Leash

RadDog All-In-One Collar + Leash

This smart and user-friendly collar constantly saves our butts. When we pull over in any new spot, we are comfortable letting our dog Lola hop out and do her business knowing if there’s leash laws or other dogs passing by, we’ve got her covered. I can’t tell you the number of times we couldn’t find a leash, but the collar was already on - letting us go ahead without searching every corner for it. Hands down, if you own a dog that behaves just as well on or off leash, you need this product.

 

2. RadDog Collapsible Bowl

RadDog Collapsible Bowl

Over the past year we’ve covered over 18,000 miles in every corner of the states and we  love to take our young family out on adventures when and wherever we can. With two toddlers - both of which who typically need a lift on any walk over an hour - we have little space for extras and Lola (our dog) is usually left to finding her own water or slurping out of a water bottle and my hand with most landing on the ground. The packable dog bowl is lighter than a toothbrush and literally takes up less space than one. It has kept Lola charging longer and makes it way easier to keep her happy on the trail.

 

3. Radiant 314 Rechargeable Lantern

Radiant 314 Rechargeable Lantern

When your family of four lives in less than 120 square feet, any light can affect bedtime routines and early mornings. With three dim settings, a handy clip, and a USB charge port out, the lantern is a swiss army knife for the van and mobile charging. I’ve found myself packing this during the day if we need extra cell phone juice and also having enough light to read bedtime stories at night. Since it’s lightweight and super durable, we often use it out of the van to light up our camp for the night and give it to the kids to play with.

 

4. Gear Ties

AfueraVida-4

The Nite Ize Gear Tie is quite possibly the most useful item in our gear kit. I have this holding bananas and books in place, my shower nozzle on, organizing my electric cords, and strapping our backpack guitar to the ceiling. In some of these instances rope may work, but with the simple twist and the guaranteed hold up over time, I’d find myself reaching for a Gear Tie over rope in many low consequence circumstances.

 

5. Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp

AfueraVida-5

Light is so critical and I never know when I will need it most. It could be a break down at night, taking our oldest out for a pee in the middle of the night or heading out on a backpacking or biking adventure. In any case, a Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp is always close by and since I have USB ports all over the van, recharging is easy ensuring I’m all set for the next night.

 

6. INOVA T8R PowerSwitch Rechargeable Flashlight

AfueraVida-6

I retired my Maglite after firing up the INOVA T8R PowerSwitch Rechargeable Flashlight. Bringing 762 lumens to the dark sky in a pocket sized light, this beast is my new best friend. Just the other night, we found ourselves (typically) arriving at our planned destination well after dark. The dirt road deteriorated quickly and we were entering what appeared like rock crawling terrain in the desert. With the high beams on, there still wasn’t enough light to assess if we’d be able to get out if we drop any further along the single lane track. With the INOVA T8R  in hand, I tripled my vision out the window and on further inspection by foot scouted the rest of the track and the campsite from over 300 yards away. In the past, I would have likely opted for the safe route and just shut it down before getting myself too deep up the creek without a paddle. With the INOVA T8R I feel so much more confident showing up to difficult boondocking sites at night. 

AfueraVida-7

As a practicing minimalist, I am very picky about what makes it into my space, and all of these truly have saved me time and energy over the course of the past few months. Literally from the moment I received a grip of Gear Ties, they went to use and the Steelie is literally my steadfast driving companion in any driving situation. If you are a van lifer or are looking to buy something for one close to you, consider any of our top choices as none will sit idly in a cabinet as the utility for the van life application is the perfect fit.

Topics: LED Flashlights, Gear Ties, Pets, dogs, camping, headlamp, vanlife

New Year's Resolutions – For Your Dog!

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jan 8, 2020 10:55:00 AM

New Year's Resolutions For Your Dog

It’s a new year, it’s a new decade, it’s a time to reset and make some personal goals for 2020. Whether your new year's resolution is to exercise more, improve your diet, or learn a new skill, we think it’s a great idea to incorporate a resolution (or two, or five) for the special canine in your life. January is National Train Your Dog Month, which is a great way to kick it off. Make 2020 your dog’s best year yet!

 

1. Daily Walks

NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace

Exercise is extremely important for both you and your pup, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Resolving to take at least one walk a day with your dog is a great way to keep you both fit while enjoying some fresh air. Winter is the hardest season to get started and keep up with daily walks due to cold weather and the dark mornings and evenings. Bundle up, add some lights, and you’re ready to go. For your furry friend, check out our Rechargeable NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace to keep him or her visible at night. For yourself, a good headlamp is key for nighttime walks. The Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp is a great solution to light up your neighborhood streets.

 

2. Learn a New Trick

dog riding scooter

Despite the old sayings, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Or maybe you have a younger dog that could use more basic training. Whatever your dog's skill level, it’s always good to keep his or her brain active by learning new things. If your dog has mastered the basics, consider a fun trick like “speak,” “spin” or “take a bow.” Here’s a list of 10 impressive tricks to try, and how to get started.

 

3. Make New Friends

Making New Friends

If you have a social butterfly, let them spread their wings. Try scheduling a doggie play date with a friend who also owns a dog, hit up a dog park, or look for a dog walking meetup. Socialization training is key for puppies, but older dogs also benefit from being around other animals. Playtime is great for physical exercise and brain stimulation. Plus, a tired dog is a good dog!

 

4. Go Somewhere Fun

Road Trip With Your Dog

If one of your resolutions involves travel, camping, or hiking, consider bringing your pup along for the journey! After all, they’re the happiest when they’re with you, and you can find pet-friendly hotels and rentals if you plan ahead. Most dogs love road trips, but we recommend securing them with a seatbelt. (We’ve tried this one from Kurgo for a 70-pound Labradoodle, and he gives it two paws up.) If your dog has a tendency to get car sick, visit your vet before you head out and they can prescribe something to help. For easily packable food and water dishes, look no further than our RadDog Collapsible Bowls! If you have a dog that is reliable off-leash and you’ll be in an off-leash area, the RadDog All-In-One Collar + Leash is perfect for allowing them to roam, but quickly get a hold of them when needed.

 

5. Schedule an Annual Check-Up

Did someone say Vet?

Your pet needs a yearly physical just like you, but with the busy day-to-day lives we all have, it’s easy for that to get pushed down on the priority list. Resolve to get it done so your vet can make sure everything is looking good. If there might be a problem, catching it early could make a huge difference. You should also be sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date so he or she can enjoy all the fun in 2020 and beyond!

Pi the Puggle

 

We asked some of our own dogs what resolutions they’re making this year, and the most popular answers were “eat more treats,” “chew on more toys,” “play more fetch” and “more belly rubs please.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: LED Pet Products, LED Dog Products

Light Up Your NightTime Dog Walks

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Nov 6, 2019 10:33:34 AM

Light Up Your Nighttime Dog Walks

By Pet Photographer Adam Goldberg, AGoldPhoto

Make nighttime walks with your pup simpler and safer

We recently teamed up with Nite Ize and the Seminole Heights Dog Pack to test LED products that make nighttime walks with your pup simpler and safer. With Daylight Savings Time ending, it gets darker earlier and the Nite Ize LED products make it easy to keep track of multiple pets in the dark.

The Seminole Heights Dog Pack typically convenes on Saturday mornings, so their members were excited to gather on a weeknight to light up the night.

Pictured below is the Nite Ize SpotLit Collar Light, which easily clips onto the D-ring of your pet’s collar or harness.  A simple push of a button lets you switch from a constant glow mode to an attention-grabbing flashing mode.

SpotLit Collar Light

We walked around the neighborhood and the SpotLit Collar Light attracted a lot of attention from passers-by, which is exactly what you want when walking in the dark.

We’ve met pups in the past that need to walk at unpopular hours due to leash aggression, so walking later at night is a necessity. Having a collar light will make those walks even safer.

SpotLit XL Rechargeable Collar Light

Darker dogs are especially difficult to see at night. The SpotLit Collar Light is necessity to ensure your night time walks are safe.

Nighttime Safety and Visibility For Dogs

We also tested out the NiteHowl Rechargeable LED Safety Necklace, which is made with flexible polymer that’s illuminated by bright LEDs and can be recharged for hours of nighttime fun and safety. The NiteHowl makes identifying multiple dogs easy with the ability to choose from one of three selectable colors (red, green, blue), plus a unique Disc-O mode. By illuminating the polymer with multiple colors at the same time, Disc-O mode creates a flowing color-blending pattern that’s as fun as it is functional.

NiteHowl Rechargeable LED Dog Safety Necklace

A crowd favorite during the Pack Walk was the Nite Ize Leash Lit. The Microlight will help light the path ahead and keep your favorite furry friend and yourself seen and safe. Four Gear Tie legs are attached to the bright white light so the LeashLit can easily wrap around leashes, treat bags, belts, and more to create a conveniently accessible light that is always right at hand. The design allows it to be quickly attached or removed, as well as stand on its own for hands-free lighting. Last but not least, the LeashLit will always be ready to shine a light on the inglorious task of cleaning up after Fido.

LeashLit

Stay safe with your pups at night!

All photos by AGoldPhoto

AGoldPhoto Pet Photography is made up of Tampa-based husband and wife team Mary and Adam Goldberg. AGoldPhoto hosts Pet Photo Shoot Fundraisers all over the country and raises awareness about pet rescue and adoption.

Topics: Dog Party, LED Pet Products, LED Dog Products, Field Team, Pets, LED Products

How To Prepare For A Power Outage (And How To Stay Sane During One)

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Oct 24, 2019 10:42:41 AM

How to prepare for a power outage

You see them on the news all too often – hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, hail, ice, lighting earthquakes and fires. Severe weather and emergency situations can happen at any time, but fall is especially high for storm systems and fire hazards. If you checked out our September blog posts for National Emergency Preparedness Month, you’re already ahead of the game when it comes to putting together your home emergency kit so you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. (Catch up on those here if you haven’t already.) But aside from the supplies you’ll want to have on hand, you’ll need to be mentally prepared as well.

We’ve become so accustomed to having power that you barely even realize it’s there – until it isn’t! Ever tried to sit in a dark room with nothing but your thoughts for extended periods of time? We don’t recommend it. Here are some tips to keep you sane.

 

Immediately After Losing Power…

First things first – when you’re suddenly left in the dark, check your circuit breaker and surroundings to see if the outage has affected other homes around you (although your first instinct is likely to check your phone battery). Although it’s easy to assume one of your neighbors is or has already done this, take it upon yourself to report the outage to your electrical company. They might have more information for you, but it will definitely help them in identifying the problem (thus, restoring your power quicker).

 

Gather Your Gear

Radiant 314 Lantern

Hopefully you’ve already built your home emergency kit, but if you haven’t yet, start with gathering your light sources. We recommend lanterns, headlamps and flashlights over candles to reduce risk of fire. You should also have some extra batteries on hand to fit your light sources (who knows how long this outage could last). We also encourage you to have some portable chargers at the ready, or even better – one that is solar powered (like this), so your devices can stay charged. The Radiant 314 Lantern from Nite Ize actually doubles as a power bank if you need to charge your devices without losing light.

 

Assess Your Food Situation

Note the time of the outage right when it happens because your refrigerator is now a ticking time bomb of food freshness. The USDA says food will stay cold for only four hours following loss of power, but remember to NOT open the doors until needed – this will only speed the warming process. A full freezer should stay cold for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full). It’s good practice to keep thermometers in the fridge and freezer to make sure the temperature is right for keeping your food safe.

Backyard barbecue

It might be a good opportunity to have a backyard barbecue if you don’t get power back before your time window is up. Better drink those brews while they’re still cold too. Light ‘em up with a SlapLit Drink Wrap and call it a party!

 

Have Some Fun!

Family game night

Power outages might not be “fun” per se, but they’re a great time for a good old-fashioned family game night. Break out the board games, set up your lanterns and transport yourself back to a time before smart phones, tablets and video game consoles. It’s worth having some non-electronic entertainment at home for situations like these. If you’re by yourself, fear not! We’re willing to bet you have some books (the ones with paper pages) lying around that you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to yet. For a small, cute little reading light, the BugLit works great!

Keeping your head up, mind occupied and remaining calm during a power outage is important for your safety and mental wellness. Hopefully you won’t be left in the dark for too long!

Topics: Emergency Preparedness

Halloween Decorating Tips (The Nite Ize Way)

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Oct 10, 2019 12:23:12 PM

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 treat-seeking 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

 

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 flock in (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

Running Wild In China

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Oct 2, 2019 10:24:32 AM
Fastest Known Time on the TransQilian
By Nite Ize Field Team Member Sunny Stroeer
 
Tears of gratitude are welling in my eyes. I slow down my steps, switch off my Radiant 300 Headlamp, and take a deep breath as I look up into the sea of brilliant stars. Even without a moon the night sky is on fire; the starlight is strong enough to faintly illuminate the boardwalk path that snakes out in front of me, leading farther into a beautiful Chinese mountain scape. 
 
It is 3:15am and I am by myself, deep in the Qilian mountains of remote Western China. A shooting star traces a bright arch in the sky above me. I shake my head in wonder, take another deep breath, and switch my light back on.  “Onwards - let’s do this!” I mumble to myself as I break into a light jog on the boardwalk.
 
Sunny Strooer Fastest Known Time
 
“This” is a speed record: I am in China to try and break the fastest known time (abbreviated as ‘FKT’ among trail runners) on a 65 mile loop course high up in the Qilian mountain range.
 
As an adventure athlete and ultra runner, long distance trails are my speciality. I am actually not a particularly fast runner, but thanks to years of training I can keep going for hours or even days without stopping. The higher up and harder the terrain, the better I tend to do.  That’s why this course, the TransQilian, is a compelling objective for me: it starts at 9,600ft above sea level and climbs as high as 14,600ft where it crosses a remote and technical mountain pass, nestled below towering glaciated peaks. 
 
Sunny Stroeer Ultra Runner
 
Right now I am only about a mile into the record attempt – I started running barely fifteen minutes ago, at 3am, after waking up in the middle of the night. I know that the boardwalk that I am following right now will give way to high alpine tundra and talus in just a few short miles, and I will no longer be alone: there are a handful of strong local Chinese ultra runners waiting to accompany me for sections of the course as pacers, to help with navigation and ensure my safety. 
 
This is what drives my deep sense of gratitude as I move through this starry mountain night: not only do I get to run here and experience a side of China that I didn’t know existed; I get to do it with the support of the budding local adventure community, feeling welcomed and embraced by a group of mountain athletes who are on the verge of changing the landscape of the global running world
 
In a matter of minutes I reach the end of the boardwalk and my first two Chinese pacers. Together we continue through the night, now on rough mountain trails that lead higher and higher up.  It is dark and cold and the altitude makes breathing more difficult with each step we take. We are near 13,000ft when dawn finally breaks; a warm glowing red and orange line on the horizon announces the arrival of the morning.  
 
Sunny Stroeer TransQilian
The difficulty of the terrain increases the higher we go.  We approach the course high point in a steep, talus filled bowl.  The line that I have chosen is different - steeper and more direct - than that of my companions; I can hear the worry in their voices as they shout at me in Chinese, presumably beckoning me to abandon my route choice and come join them in lower angle terrain.  I shout back in English, knowing they won’t be able to understand: “It’s fine! I’ll see you at the top…”
 
From here on out, the course blends into a flurry of trails and climbs and rocks and miles. Beautiful single track trail alternates with dirt roads through deep and narrow gorges; creek crossings lead to steep alpine tundra with wide open views. The first aid station goes by in a blur, together with a change of pacers; then another, and another - before I know it I am at the last aid station before the finish, fifty miles and almost eighteen hours into my record run. One last fuel break surrounded by a dozen pacers, crew and fans (I’m very glad for my SlapLit drink wrap here to keep tabs on which beverage is mine!) and I am on my way again.  
 
At this point my feet are tired and my legs are sore from a full night and day of racing - but my feeling of gratitude is as fresh as it was back on that boardwalk at the beginning of my run. I now know that I am about to break the TransQilian speed record by a good four hours… but that is not the point; because records are never the point: they are just a reason for others to care about the feat. At the end of the day, it’s the experience that counts - and what an adventure this one has been, start to finish! 
 
Sunny Stroeer FKT on the TransQilian
 
#LifesAdventureKit
 
—— 
Nite Ize Field Team member Sunny Stroeer completed the TransQilian course in 20 hours and 59 minutes, breaking the previous (men’s!) course record by over four hours. You can read more about the speed record and its genesis over on Sunny’s blog here and here, or follow Sunny’s adventures on Instagram
 
Sunny Stroeer
 
Sunny used the following Nite Ize Gear in China: 

Topics: Field Team

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