Katie S

Recent Posts

National Preparedness Month:  Building Your Emergency Car Kit

Posted by Katie S on Sep 18, 2019 9:30:59 AM

A few years back I wrote a post here about preparing your car kit for winter. As National Preparedness Month is in full swing, I find myself looking back at what I wrote and recognizing the need for an update. As one of my good friends in Indiana brought up, not everyone is preparing for winter driving through snowy mountains into spotty-reception areas, and my original kit might be a little overkill when that’s the case. I assured her that it is beneficial for everyone to have at least a small emergency car kit, and that is the inspiration for this new post where I’ll provide suggested items for your kit – both “full throttle” and “light” versions.

So here you go, first up, your full throttle car emergency kit for those who frequently drive in remote places, inclement weather, and through spotty cell reception.

CarKit-Full

The Full Throttle Car Emergency Kit - What to pack:

1. A Sturdy Container

Emergency Car Kit

Once you have all your items, you’ll have a better idea of what size this should be, but make sure it’s something you can close like a rubber bin or sturdy nylon bag that zips shut. You can also use a good backpack in case you need to carry it, however it’s important to note that if you are stranded on the side of the road, it is NOT recommended that you leave your car. Your car is the best protection from the elements and where rescuers are most likely to find you - so, hunker down for the long haul. If you are in an accident on an icy road, you also should NOT leave your car, if an icy patch made your car spin out, it’s very likely that other cars will do the same. If possible, move your car out of that trajectory.

2. Lights – Headlamp, Flashlight + Lantern

Most references tell you a flashlight - I may go a little overkill, but I have three lights – each of which is rechargeable through my car’s USB port. A headlamp in case I need to be hands-free for looking under the hood or under the car. An INOVA T8R handheld light which has an SOS mode with 782 Lumens behind it, and lastly a rechargeable lantern which conveniently clips under the hood of my car.

Radiant314-Car

3. Visibility Vest

In the case that I do need to get out of my car on a roadway, you better believe other motorists are going to see me.

4. Chargers

If you have cell reception, your phone will be your lifeline, but it won’t do you any good if it has a dead battery. There are classic chargers to plug into your car or innovative external batteries, and battery-integrated phone cases that can be life-savers in a pinch. I also keep this eton weather radio which is solar powered (and has a hand crank option) and from which you can also charge your phone and your flashlights.

5. Shovel and/or Kitty Litter

If you are stuck somewhere safely away from traffic, a shovel to dig yourself out and kitty litter or sand for traction can help you get moving again. If you don’t have either of these things, you can try wedging your floor mats under your tires to help them gain traction.

6. Blankets or Bivvies 

Wool blankets are a classic staple for a reason: they are really warm. I keep a heavy wool blankets in my car – it’s never been used in an emergency but has come in handy for many a road-trip naps and as extra layers on camping trips. The one downfall of wool is that if it gets wet, it’s miserable. That’s why I also keep two Escape emergency bivvies in my kit as well (so my husband and I don’t have to have that awkward conversation about who gets the bivvy to survive the night). These bivvies reflect 75% of body heat back to you, but are also breathable so you don’t get sweaty which is a pitfall of traditional mylar. In general, I recommend staying away from mylar blankets and bivvies as they shred very easily and are flammable - it’s worth spending a couple bucks more to get a durable upgrade. Along the lines of warmth, I always make sure that I have a hat, gloves, hand warmers, and extra socks in my kit - even in the summer months here in Colorado it can drop below freezing up high at night, these don’t take up much space and are probably at the top of the list for most used items in my kit.

EmergencyPrep-AMK-SOL

7. Other Warming Items

I keep fire starting supplies in my kit (fire cubes and a sparker in case I need to start a fire outside the vehicle). One family in Nevada survived two days in sub-zero temperatures, building a fire inside their spare tire to help keep warm. Some people suggest using emergency candles as well for warmth and light inside the vehicle, though I’m noticing them mentioned less and less on recommended lists, probably due to safety concerns. If using one, you should crack your window to avoid possible asphyxiation, and ideally burn the candle inside a coffee can or something similar because many parts of your car (and your kit) are flammable.

8. First Aid Kit

This is essential, don’t bother with kits that are just chock-full of Band Aids, take your time researching kits and find one that meets your needs – and be sure to customize it further if you or any of your family members have special medications or needs. As someone who does a lot of camping and fishing in the backwoods, I carry an Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Kit which has comprehensive medical supplies in case of an emergency including QuikClot, and most importantly, the kit includes a book on how to use all the supplies in it.

9. Water

For drinking, for wound cleaning, for staying alive - I keep a gallon of human-water in an unopened jug. If you have a dog who’s usually your copilot, be sure to keep an extra jug for them too. I keep a RadDog Bowl clipped to my kit which is great pop-up bowl for the pup.

10. Food

Food isn’t essential for short term survival (you can theoretically go for three weeks without it), however, eating does allow your body to produce more heat, and it can make a huge difference in your mood and attitude which will often determine how well you handle an emergency situation. I go for the classics like jerky, energy bars, and dried fruit, and then swap them out annually (or if you just plain get hungry and eat them then replace as needed). A good rule of thumb is to go for items with a long shelf-life that are high in protein, and that you actually like. If you have an ever-hungry dog like mine, make sure your food bag is securely enclosed in your kit, or they might just rip open your kit and gleefully eat all your jerky when you’re not looking.

11. Car Essentials 

Jumper cables, Fix-A-Flat, ice scraper, a siphon (hopefully you’ll find a friendly motorist who doesn’t mind sharing fuel), flares and/or glowsticks, a tire iron, and jack are some basics that I keep because honestly, those are probably the only tools I would know how to use in a break-down situation.

EmergencyPrep-Car

12. A Knife and Cash

You won’t find this on most lists, but my grandfather taught me that the most useful item you can have on you at any time is a knife, and throughout the years it’s a piece of advice that has served me well. And so, I am passing it on to you. Cash, well cash is just handy depending on the type of emergency too, whether you need to pay for gas or a hotel room.

13. Add-Ons

A few other items have accumulated in my kit over the years: Duct Tape (need I say more?), a hatchet which most often doubles as a hammer, a poncho, CamJam Tie Down Straps and Bungees, Gear Ties because they are just too useful not to have a handful, and lastly, a quality whistle for signaling in an emergency.

Pre-made kits and other helpful tips for safety on the roads:

There are pre-made kit options on the market as well, some are decent some are very cheap and not worth the money. Do your homework, and if you do go with a pre-made kit, remember that you will still need to personalize it to you - if you are frequently on the road with your spouse, kids, and a dog, you need to remember to add supplies for them. If anyone in your family has a serious medical issue, always pack extra medication and supplies - you never know when a quick trip can turn into an overnight on the side of the road. Know the risks in your area, if you live near frozen lakes, keeping a window breaker easily reachable in your console is advisable.

Alright, so if that seems overkill for your lifestyle, here is my recommendation for a condensed version:

CarKit-Light

The “Light” Car Emergency Kit - What to pack:

  1. A backup phone battery or solar-powered charger
  2. A blanket or bivvy
  3. A small survival kit like this one
  4. A headlamp or flashlight
  5. Glowsticks
  6. Small first aid kit
  7. Duct tape, Gear Ties, and Bungees
  8. A Multitool/Knife
  9. Jumper cables

Other helpful resources:

American Red Cross, What do You Need In a Survival Kit?

The CDC, Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

Chicago Tribune, Tips to Keep You Going When Your Car Stops

 

That’s all I’ve got! I hope you found this useful, I hope you won’t need it, but I know you will be glad to have it if you do. Let me know the most useful items you’ve found for you kit in the comments section below.

Topics: Emergency Preparedness, LED Flashlights, Visibility and Safety, Gear Ties

National Preparedness Month: How To Build An Emergency Go Bag

Posted by Katie S on Sep 11, 2019 1:53:48 PM

Building Your Emergency Go Bag

A Go-Bag (also commonly referred to as a Bug-Out Bag) is a pre-packed bag that will be your lifeline in case of an emergency evacuation situation.  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way exactly why a Go-Bag is an essential item to have packed and ready in your home. It was the middle of December about ten years ago when I found myself standing outside our Bay Area apartment building with 60 other families watching flames chew through the wooden siding and smoke billowing in every direction. With all of our cars trapped in the building’s basement garage below, we had nothing to do but watch. I was wearing hot pink fleece pajama pants, rain boots with no socks, and a too-light jacket for the unseasonable cold winter we were having. Heat from the flames notwithstanding, it was a chilling moment in every sense of the word. Somehow, despite living in earthquake country and working for a company that specialized in medical and survival gear at the time, I had just never gotten around to building a Go-Bag – it was somewhere near the bottom of my to-do list. You can bet, it immediately moved to the top.

So, here are my recommendations for your Emergency Go-Bag. Mine is built for four people (two adults and two kids) for 24 hours. Given the type of disasters that are most likely to occur where we live (grass fires or floods), we should be able to reach a friend’s home or red cross shelter in 24 hours on foot. If you live in earthquake or hurricane territories, I recommend having enough supplies for all family members for 72 hours as those disasters can take out a much larger area of infrastructure at once. A coat closet near the front door or other place that you would pass on your fastest way out of the house is the ideal spot to keep your bag.

Without further ado, here is the list:

1. Water

I like this style of water pouch as it is packaged for a long shelf life and makes it easy to determine and regulate how much each person should get – two 4.4 oz packs a day. I have water carry bags as well as water purification tablets in case we need more than the pouches I’ve packed.

2. Food

RunOff Waterproof Pocket snack bag

If you are only packing a 24-hour kit, food is not technically essential, however eating can help you stay warm and keep you mentally and emotionally stronger. Plus, if you have kids, you know that snacks actually are essential for everyone’s sanity. I like the classics like energy bars and dried fruit, they have to be replaced more regularly than emergency ration bricks, but they are significantly more palatable.

3. Emergency Radio and Charger

I like this little one that Eton makes for the American Red Cross because it doesn’t take up much space in your pack and it has radio functionality plus you can charge your phone or rechargeable headlamp from it, just make sure you have the correct charging cords packed.

4. Lights

Nite Ize Headlamps

At the very least, pack a rechargeable headlamp like the Radiant 300 which can be recharged as you go using the Emergency Radio from item #3 above. I also have the Radiant 2-in-1 Lantern which pulls double duty as a flashlight and lantern, and the 3-in-1 Mini Flashlight so the kids can feel in control with their own light as well.

5. First Aid

First aid kit

I keep the UltraLight Watertight .9 Kit in my bag because it doesn’t add much weight, but it’s packed with high quality, well thought out medical tools, and has enough room for me to throw in a couple items to customize it for our family. I also keep N95 respirator masks in my kit. In the case of major fires or earthquakes, air quality often deteriorates to harmful levels. If your biggest concern is the next Superbug, these can also help you rest easier.

6. Survival Essentials

Again, weight is a consideration so items that are multifunctional in small packages are key. You have to be able to carry all of this on your back. I keep the Pocket Survival Pak Plus which kills a lot of birds with one stone. It has fire starting tools, a whistle and signal mirror, knife, water-purification tablets, duct tape (for gear repair, clothes repair, really anything repair), and much more.    

7. Emergency Blankets + Bivvies 

I have two emergency blankets and two emergency bivvies so everyone can wrap up warmly if we are sleeping out for a night.

8. Emergency Shelter

Prep2-shelter

I recommend a lightweight, heat reflective tarp that can act as an extra blanket or as a shelter. Make sure to get one with grommets (like this) and pack nylon cording so you can easily rig it up.

9. Extra Layers

RunOff Waterproof Bags

Your emergency blankets can be wrapped to keep everyone warm on the go, but I recommend packing up an extra set of clothes for everyone. I use a Large RunOff Waterproof bag that acts as a compression sack and keeps all of our extra layers dry in the pack.

10. Cash

Emergency cash

There’s no guarantee that you’ll have the ability or wherewithal to grab your wallet on the way out the door, keep cash in your go bag so you can purchase essentials or pay for a night in a hotel/motel if you can.

11. Emotional Support Items

Emotional support items

When thinking about survival, your mind probably goes to the food, water, shelter basics, but the truth is your mental state is equally important. Something as simple as a deck of cards can be a great way to calm your mind and bring levity if you’re holed up in a red cross shelter for the night. Disasters can be particularly difficult on children as they have a harder time processing the rapid change and understanding why this is happening. Our kids are still little and they each have cherished “loveys”. We have extras of these for traveling, laundry time, etc, but we also have an extra for each of them packed away in our go-bag along with one of their favorite books. I have no doubt that these items would bring immense comfort to them in an emergency.

12. Hygiene Items  

Bath wipes, a roll of TP, and dog poop bags…not just for the dog. Let’s just leave it at that, and you’ll be covered until you can get settled into a shelter or friend’s home.

13. Rain Protection

In a worse-case scenario, everything you own is now being carried on your back. Don’t let it get soaked in a rainstorm to boot. Throw in ponchos and make sure at least one is big enough to cover you and the pack. I also keep certain items in waterproof RunOff bags inside the pack for extra protection like my cash, batteries, food and clothes.

14. A Sturdy Pack…or Two 

Prep2-backpack

Once you have all your items laid out, you’ll have a better idea of the pack size you’ll need. Ideally you have an old one in the basement that would love to be given a new life as your Go-Bag. Because ours is packed for four people and pretty heavy, I keep a second smaller bag rolled up and clipped to the side of the pack. This way, assuming my husband and I are together, we can get clear of the emergency and then split up gear into the two packs or cut leg holes in the smaller pack to use as a kid carrier. I also have a bunch of S-Biners, Carabiners, and Gear Ties clipped and strapped to the pack so if we have time to grab extra items, I can quickly clip or strap them to the bag on the way out the door.

If you have suggestions of what to pack in a Go-Bag based on your experiences, please leave them in the comment suggestion below.

Topics: Emergency Preparedness, LED Flashlights, Home

National Preparedness Month: 10 Tips to Prepare for an Emergency Situation

Posted by Katie S on Sep 4, 2019 9:11:03 AM

10 tips to prepare for an emergency situation

September is National Preparedness Month here in the U.S., a reminder that we should all have plans and provisions in place in case of a natural disaster or emergency that affects our area. This year’s theme is: Prepared, not scared. I like the sentiment behind this statement because my intention with this month’s series of posts is not to scare you with the what ifs, but for you to be prepared and therefore less scared if you find yourself in one of those “what if” situations. So, over the next few weeks I’ll be giving you my tips and suggestions for building your Go-Bag in case of evacuation, your Home Emergency Kit for times when you need to shelter in place, and your Car Emergency Kit in case you are stranded or have a roadside emergency.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of what to put in your kits  (we’ll get into specifics in the subsequent posts this month), here are a few of the most practical tips I have learned from first responders, insurance officials, and from my own experiences working in the survival industry, living in parts of the country where earthquakes, blizzards, fires, and floods are common, and from having to evacuate my own home due to fire.

 

1. Make a Plan

If you live alone, just write it down to help you commit it to memory – what to grab and where to go. Then, pick a friend or family member in a nearby town and let them know that their home is your destination in an emergency, so they’ll know to watch out for you. If you live with other family members or roommates, have a dinnertime discussion to determine a meeting point for everyone in case you aren’t home or together when a disaster occurs – FEMA has this helpful worksheet you can fill out as a family and leave on the fridge as a reminder.

 

2. Telecommunicate Smarter 

communicating in a disaster

In emergencies, phone lines often jam up and getting calls through is difficult. Texting is more reliable, but it can also be easier to place a call to someone out of the affected area, so you should choose an out-of-state relative who everyone in your family knows to call and check-in safe, and who can be a communication point for all of you. (Choose your relative who is most reliable at answering their phone).

 

3. Tell Each Other Your Most Important Item

There’s a chance you won’t be home when a disaster happens but someone else might be. Have a discussion to communicate everyone’s very most treasured item so if there is time before evacuating, the person at home can grab what is cherished most for their family members.

 

4. Document everything. Today.

Take photos of every room and the contents of every closet then send them to a friend or make sure they are backed up to a cloud service. I can tell you from experience, trying to remember all of your belongings when making a list for insurance is impossible. If you haven’t done this and you are given time to evacuate in an emergency, have one person be in charge of packing belongings while the other walks through the house and takes a quick video of all the contents and state of your home.

 

5. Grab the Hampers

laundry hamper

This is a very simple but practical tip, if you are given time to evacuate and are unsure what to pack just throw the clothes from everyone’s hampers in a bag. You know those are ones that currently fit and no one cares about slightly smelly clothes in an emergency.

 

6. Learn Alternate Ways To Use Your Appliances

If you need to shelter at home and have a wood burning fireplace, you’re in business for warmth and cooking. 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. 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. Always have working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home as well.

 

7. Strengthen Your Community Ties 

strengthen your community ties

Communities that are organized and well connected are able to respond better and recover more quickly from disasters. Get to know your neighbors and keep phone lists so you can notify each other if something is happening or to contact anyone who may be unaccounted for. Online communities like Facebook Groups and NextDoor are a great resource for branching out within your neighborhood.

 

8. Mental and Emotional Survival are Important Too 

Experiencing a disaster can be even more devastating to your mental health than to your physical. If you are a parent, your mental state can greatly affect how your children cope and heal as well. Here are some helpful resources if you have been through a disaster situation:

For Adults: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/recovering-disasters

For Children/Parents: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ohsepr/children-and-families

 

9. Be Informed

Ready.Gov is a National Public Service campaign designed to “educate and empower the American People to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate emergencies, including natural and manmade disasters.” This page in particular has action plans for handling most every type of disaster you can think of – from tornadoes and flooding to nuclear explosions and space weather. So, my recommendation, if you’re an anxious person, don’t go down this rabbit hole. And even if you’re not, only click on the ones you’re genuinely concerned about, or you might become an anxious person.

 

10. Look for the Helpers

look for the helpers

In times of disaster it is easy to focus on what is scary, and often fears of increased crime are greatly exaggerated. The truth is though, more often than not, disasters bring communities together and strangers go to great lengths to help one another. So, when you’re feeling scared, think back on the wise lessons of Mr. Rogers who once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” And if you are safe and able to reach out to someone in need, be that helper.

Communities are stronger together. Please help our online community by providing your own tips and suggestions of how to prepare for emergency situations in the comments section below.

Topics: Emergency Preparedness

What to do when you drop your phone in water (and how to prevent it in the first place)

Posted by Katie S on Aug 14, 2019 11:51:10 AM

What to do if you drop your phone in water

I have an uncanny ability to kill phones. Ashamedly, over the past two decades I have killed more phones than can be counted on one hand, and every massacre involved water (or beer). My high school days tended to involve being pushed into a pool or lake with a phone in my pocket, college it was bar toilets and once an unfortunately aimed drop into a pint of beer. But those days it was a butterfly-cased Nokia or Motorola Razr that bit the dust, something that came free with my phone plan and the frustration came only in having to track down all of my friends’ phone numbers again. It wasn’t until my 20s when I dropped my first iPhone in water and the meager paycheck from my first job wasn’t going to cover the replacement that the consequences really hit me.

Dropped iPhone in water

So, after nearly 20 years of assassinating phones, here are the best practices I’ve learned for saving them (and for destroying them).

 

Myths – What NOT to do With a Dropped iPhone In water:

• Rice will make things worse. 

Rice dust is your phone’s worst nemesis, even worse than water. Phones are sleek and tightly made, but rice dust is sneaky and it will get into the cracks and ports and jam your buttons and if the water didn’t kill your phone, the rice dust definitely will.

• Do not heat it in any way.

No blow dryers, no oven, no microwave, heating your device isn’t going to dry it, it’s just going to fry it.

• Don’t turn it on!

This is the hardest one, you want to check if it’s ok. Don’t do it, you’re much more likely to short circuit everything. Leave it off.

 

Miracles – Here’s what you should do to fix a water damaged phone:

Phones these days are resilient. I once dropped a smartphone off the dock into Lake Winnipesaukee. I had to walk to the marina, borrow a mask, dive down into the murky depths of who-knows-what to find it, pulled it out after about 20 minutes submerged at about 15 feet, and turned it on in working condition two days later. So, if you’re reading this in a panic, hold on to hope, there’s a chance your phone is going to be just fine. Here’s what to do:

1. Retrieve it Quickly

Many phones are getting closer to waterproofness, and can be submerged for a couple minutes at shallow depths. If this is your phone, just grab it, wipe it off, and go! Regardless, if your phone isn’t water resistant, the less time it spends in the water, the less damage is likely to be done.


2. Remove Your Case and SIM Card

Take off anything that could trap water around it. (For an iPhone, insert a paperclip into the tiny hole halfway down the phone below the power button to pop out the SIM card).

How to remove SIM card from iPhone
What to do if you drop your phone in water

3. Make Sure It’s Off and DON’T Turn it on!

Let it sit for 48 hours before charging it and turning it back on.

Drying Option 1:

Place it upright on a paper towel in a dry sunny place for 48 hours.

Drying Option 2:

Keep a bag full of silica gel packets (my husband saves these for me, knowing my past luck with phones…) place your phone in the bag, prop it up in a window, and wait 48 hours to charge it up and turn it on. Fingers crossed you and your phone will come through the process unscathed and happy from a little time being “unplugged”.

How to prevent the plop:

Even better than saving your phone, is to never dunk it in the first place. I am proud to say that since learning about and using Nite Ize products over the past four years, I have not lost a single phone to water. I use the Hitch with Tether on a daily basis to keep a better hold of my phone. Steelie is my go-to for hands-free driving, but the magnet on my phone also makes it stick to things like the toilet paper dispensers in bathrooms so no more potty-swimming for my phone. And, when I get out on the water to go fishing or am hanging out at the pool, I have learned to always put my phone in a RunOff Waterproof Pocket – what a novel concept!


RunOff Waterproof Pocket

Topics: Mobile Device Accessories, Tech and Gadget, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, Steelie

How To Put Together The Ultimate New Puppy Gift Basket

Posted by Katie S on Jul 25, 2019 1:26:17 PM

The Ultimate New Puppy Gift Basket

There are few moments in life more exciting than bringing home a new puppy. In my life, I have been lucky enough to bring home three of the best dogs in the world. Very different dogs with very different personalities, but over the years each one taught me about love, loyalty, and friendship in ways that only the most devoted four-legged friends can. They also taught me a lot about surviving the energetic puppy years and thriving into the sunset ones. So, when a friend or family member is adopting a new dog into their family, I love putting together a gift basket with some of the essentials that have helped our household to maintain happy puppies and happy dog-parents. If you’re looking for gift ideas, below is the list of my favorites. If you’re thinking, “Why would I give a puppy gift?” then just watch this GIF for a bit:

puppydog tail

Without further ado, here is your ultimate new puppy gift guide:

New Puppy Gift Guide

1. Anything that Squeaks 

The first couple months with a new puppy are basically about saving your house from destruction, both from accidents and from sharp little puppy teeth. The squeaky toys won’t last long, but they are essential to distract the new pup from chewing on everything else. I learned this the hard way. Daisy, my first dog on my own, destroyed my first apartment when she was bored. The molding – gone. The carpet – toast. The curtains – what fun she had pulling those down! Some dogs will even eat drywall. And you won’t believe how quickly they can do it. Vigilant supervision, endless entertainment, and exercise – these are the keys to saving your home from a new puppy.

 

2. The Gift of Exercise
Huck 'N' Tuck + GlowStreak Ball

A tired puppy is no longer a destructive puppy. The Huck ‘N Tuck by Nite Ize is my all-time favorite ball launcher. It comes with the LED GlowStreak ball so you can play into the night without losing it, and the launcher is a life-saver for shoulders (if the puppy has any retriever or herder in it, throwing the ball at least a thousand times a day will be necessary). The launcher is also collapsible so it’s convenient to tuck into your pocket or keep in the glovebox for quick stops at the dog park.

 

3. The Quickest Way to Their Heart is Via the Belly

Puppies are typically uncomplicated creatures. They simply want your attention, affection, and delicious treats all day long. Include a pack or two in your gift basket. I like to shop local, and we are lucky enough to have I and Love and You based in our Boulder backyard. They make tasty puppy food and treats that are perfect for bribery, distraction, and training.

 

SpotLit LED Collar Light
4. Light ‘Em Up for Safety 

Dogs are great at getting into trouble and wiggling away unexpectedly. Nite Ize makes a host of products dedicated to keeping pets safe at night. The SpotLit LED Collar Light and NiteHowl Rechargeable LED Safety Necklace are two of my favorites. Not only do they keep pets safe, they are just plain fun to watch at night.

 

5. Safety, Safety, and More Safety

I can’t reiterate enough that dogs are great at getting into trouble. I have made more trips to the emergency vet than I’d like to admit. Throw a pet medical kit into your gift basket, especially for first-time or very outdoorsy dog owners. These ones from Adventure Medical Kits are my favorites and the larger ones have an instructional book written by a veterinarian to guide you through using the kit components in an emergency. If you are a really good friend, you can even gift your buddy pet insurance for the first year -  a great option for pet owners.

 

6. The Essentials

RadDog and TagLockEvery dog needs a good collar and leash – why not knock out two birds with one stone. The Nite Ize RadDog is a collar with a retractable leash built in – perfect for hitting the trail or dog park, places where you’ll want to be able to go quickly from unleashed to leashed and vice versa. Nite Ize even has a better way to attach dog tags to the collar too – S-Biner TagLocks. These might be my favorite/most practical item on this list because I hate the snug little split rings that come with dog tags. They are too little to actually attach to collars in any sort of reasonable way that doesn’t end in bleeding fingernails. Just throw these in the gift basket, the new dog owners will thank you endlessly.

 

7. Give The Gift of Silence

It turns out the jingling sound of dog tags drives my husband to near insanity. Hence, I discovered Quiet Spot Tag Silencers. Super easy to use, these just wrap around dog tags snugly to keep them from clinking together. In our case, they were a marriage saver.

 

8. Poop Prep

Pack-A-PooYep, it’s just a fact of life, and responsible dog owners need to be prepared on the go. The Pack-A-Poo has a super easy-to-use design that clips on with an S-Biner, but what I especially love are the compostable bags that come with it. When wrapping up your dog’s poo, it seems better not to be preserving it for 10,000+ years in a plastic bag.

 

Sweet PeaThe adorable puppy enjoying this gift basket in the photos is named Sweet Pea. She was recently adopted from The Humane Society of Boulder Valley, which houses a host of other wonderful furry companions. The family who adopted her received the gift basket along with their new forever friend. 

 

The ultimate puppy gift basket

We’d love to hear about your favorite dog products. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below for other readers.

Topics: LED Pet Products, LED Dog Products, Pets

Running Off with the RunOffs

Posted by Katie S on Jun 25, 2019 1:43:28 PM

Being an angler and seeing that it is in fact runoff time here in Colorado, it seemed appropriate that I put the new Nite Ize RunOff© Waterproof Bags to the test. They have been getting a lot of attention after all (see here and here).


For those of you unfamiliar with runoff season, it’s the term associated with springtime in mountain states when the seasonal snow melts up high and this “runoff” causes rivers and creeks to rise with muddy water. It’s not generally considered a great time of year for fly fishing (who doesn’t prefer stalking trout in crystal-clear, calm streams on warm days?) but I find it makes me more motivated to try new spots and to be more strategic in my planning. It’s all about timing.

RunOff-BlogImage1

So, my husband Drew and I packed up our new set of RunOff bags and made some plans. The bags hit the road with us on our springtime trips to visit the San Miguel River, the Uncompahgre River, the Green River through the Flaming Gorge, the Upper Colorado River, and to the good ole Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond in Boulder. I was stoked to see that these are truly badass waterproof bags that stood up to the tests of float fishing, wade fishing, toddler snack-tantrums, and all the variable weather that springtime in the Rockies has to offer. The super-tough toothless zipper is bomber and the bags are totally impenetrable – even to the raging rivers of runoff season. They lived up to their name perfectly.

RunOff-BlogImage2

After our memorable spring on the water, here are the best tips I can give you for fishing during runoff time – and then forget it all and let’s get excited for summer fishing!

Runoff fishing

 

1. Fish Tailwaters

Tailwaters are sections of rivers below dams. The dams help control the influx of runoff and maintain lower flows while typically also leading to better clarity. Float fishing the Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam was near perfect conditions for catching browns from the boat all day long.

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2. Fish mornings

The early bird really does get the worm, or the fish in this case. For the first few weeks of runoff season the nights are still freezing and the actual snow melt doesn’t happen until later in the day, so mornings on the river are often still clear. As we typically had two toddlers fishing with us, the early morning option wasn’t a problem. On closing day at Telluride Ski Resort with skiers stopping by to watch, we spent a nice cool morning fishing dry flies to little rainbows on the San Miguel, but by 10 or 11 a.m. the sun was warm overhead, and the river had turned to chocolate milk without a fish rising in sight.

fish

 
3. Be flexible and watch for temperature swings

Runoff season isn’t finite, it can start and stop with the weather. We “lucked out” with snow storms in the mountains just before memorial weekend and saw that with the colder temps, flows had dropped on the Upper Colorado River for the weekend. We called up our good friends and got out for an epic day of float fishing. This time of year, fishing streamers can be really productive and always fun, so that’s just what we did.

RunOff-BlogImage4


4. Hit the local lakes and ponds

If you’re at a low elevation, your lakes and ponds will be largely unaffected by runoff. So, take a turn at fly fishing for bass, pike, or carp (yes, carp – you don’t need to be ashamed). Or just rig up some kid rods and make it a fun family day. Never trust the weather though – our fishing day could have been ruined by this deluge, but fortunately we had the snacks packed in the RunOff 3-1-1 Pouch, so the day was saved!

Spring storm

RunOff 3-1-1 Pouch

I’d love to hear your best tips for runoff season in the comment section below.

Topics: "travel", fishing, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags

7 Ways to Take Your Backyard Barbecue To The Next Level

Posted by Katie S on Jun 6, 2019 1:57:04 PM

The days are getting warmer and that evening light is starting to linger. You can feel the approach of summer in all those subtle ways around you. And that means it’s time for everyone’s favorite BBQ season.  Let Nite Ize light up your celebration with these memorable products and tips.

7 ways to take your backyard barbecue to the next level

 

1. Illuminate Your Beverage Selection

Throw the bright LED NiteGems into your cooler for colorful effect and to make it easy for guests to find their beverages, because yes, these are the drinks you’re looking for.


NiteGem LED Luminary

2. Keep Bottle-poppin’ Fun at Your Fingertips

A missing bottle opener can make for figuring out some creative alternatives at a party, but no one wants to deal with that! Fortunately, with an Ahhh Dual-Action Bottle Opener tethered to your cooler or drink station with your favorite Gear Tie, a bottle-poppin’ solution is never far away.


S-Biner Ahhh

 

3. Identify and Track Your Drink

We sure like our drinking products, huh? Once you’ve picked your drink by the light of the NiteGems and opened it with your Ahhh, then you can wrap it up nice and cozy in our insulated SlapLit LED Drink Wrap which, of course, lights up! Everyone can choose their own color and easily keep track of their drinks with the bright LED band.

SlapLit Drink Wrap

 

4. Hands-Free Beverage Time 

Will there be lawn games at your BBQ? Will there be millennials? (Millennials love lawn games.) Then you need hands-free beverage solutions for drinking activities. Enter, the Traveler Drink Holster – the perfect place to keep your favorite drink safe and accessible right on your hip. No need for risky setting-your-drink-in-the-grass behavior.

Traveler Drink Holster

 

5. Perfect Patties Every Time

Grilling at night can be tough, but with the our Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp, you can light up your food while leaving your hands free to do the flipping. As far as cooking tips, we leave that up to the experts check out this article by Taste of Home on burger cooking tips.


6. Keep Track of Those Kiddos and Pets

With the commotion of a BBQ after dark, make it easy to spot kids and pets underfoot with the NiteHowl LED Necklaces. Plus, they are just plain fun for the kids.

NiteHowl

7. After-Dark Games

Once it’s too dark for corn hole and bocce games, then it’s time to break out the Flashflight. This color-changing LED flying disc is both mesmerizing and fun for your BBQ guests of all ages.


Flashflight LED Flying Disc
There you have it – a few easy ways to make your next BBQ more memorable and fun with some of our favorite products. Leave us a note below to share the creative ways you use your favorite Nite Ize products. Tag #LifesAdventureKit on Instagram or Twitter and show off your Nite Ize party hacks to be entered for a chance to win your own Adventure Kit!

Topics: LED Dog Products, Fun & Games, Flashflight, Party, LED Products

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Over the past 30 years, Nite Ize has grown from a cabin-based startup to distributing 500+ products worldwide. We pride ourselves in being fun and functional, trusted and innovative, and obsessively dedicated to making products that are not only guaranteed for life, but guaranteed to improve your life.

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