Katie S

Recent Posts

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

10 Beginner Tips for a Successful Vegetable Garden

Posted by Katie S on May 16, 2019 11:11:55 AM

10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden

If you’ve never grown a vegetable garden before or if you’ve only dabbled with the occasional potted veggie plants, fully committing can be an intimidating prospect. So, let me put your mind at ease. Everything will be OK. If you plan a little and set aside a bit of time for regular maintenance, you will succeed in your garden. You’ll probably hit a few speed bumps the first year, but you’ll learn a lot, and you will have the satisfaction of eating your own vegetables.

The three essential factors for a successful vegetable garden are sun, water, and protection, but here are a few other helpful tips for getting started:

1. Like all good things, it starts with a healthy foundation. 

Nutrient-rich soil is key for growing healthy vegetables. If you’re filling empty raised beds, it’s worth buying good planting soil from your local garden shop so you have a weed-free starting point. (Plus, it’s great to make friends and support your local shop – they will have expert tips for growing in your area.) If you are turning an existing bed into a vegetable garden, you may want to work-in a bag or two of soil conditioner. Or, to save money a great way to renew nutrients is by burying your leaves. In the fall, mow over your fallen leaves, then bury them 6-8” down in your bed, or layer them over the top then work them down by doing multiple passes with a tiller before the ground freezes. 

 

2. In the battle against pests, take the high ground and fortify your borders. 

Do you think bunnies are adorable fuzzy neighbors? When you see a deer in the yard do Disney-esque memories start playing in your head to a cheerful tune? Just wait till you start your vegetable garden, you may develop a new perspective on these agile, hungry nemeses. Raised beds/boxes are a great option for beginner and seasoned gardeners – fewer opportunities for weeds, natural protective border (though I still recommend chicken wire above this if you have bunnies or deer), less back pain, and control over possible soil contaminants.

 

3. Know your bugs.

When it comes to vegetables, there are good bugs, and there are bad bugs. For some of the best bugs see tip #7 – because we need BEES. For the bad bugs, enter aphids, AKA “gardeners arch nemesis #1” and slugs, or “Ugs” as my toddler calls them. Unfortunately, both these bugs are common just about everywhere in the U.S. Let’s begin with slugs. The way my mom taught me to deal with these pests is to put a small saucer or tuna can in the garden and fill it with beer. The slugs climb in and drown themselves in a drunken stupor. It might sound crazy, but I swear it works – and it doesn’t need to be the good stuff, you can use your cheap beer. Also see tip #4 for another way to deal with slugs – *hint* it’s snakes. Getting rid of aphids can be fun too. When I moved to Colorado, I learned it’s common practice to buy ladybugs and release them into your garden in late spring and they will take care of the aphids for you. You can order small buckets of these beneficial beetles online or pick them up at your local garden shop, then store them in your fridge until you’re ready to release them (try not to think too hard about a couple thousand bugs escaping in your fridge…they basically don’t move in the cold). Then just before nightfall, water your garden well and sprinkle the ladybugs throughout. With a nice damp environment and local aphids to feast on, the ladybugs will settle in and make your garden their home.

10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden 

4. Embrace the slithery.

Unless snakes are truly the things your nightmares are made of, there is no downside to good ole garters in your garden. Yes, the beady eyes and slithering startle me every time, but these effective little hunters will decimate many of those problematic bugs listed above. And despite encouraging my husband to pick the little guy in this photo up to show our son, I don’t recommend picking them up in general – they emit a horrendous odor on your hands, and frankly you want them to continue living unbothered in your garden.

 10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden

5. Mother knows best.

For the Middle and Northern U.S., Mother’s Day marks the time when you are generally safe from snow and frost to plant your garden.

 

6. Set yourself up for success with hardy growers.

For your first go, I highly recommend choosing vegetables that are easier to grow and maybe throw in one of the more difficult ones to play around with while you get your feet wet. These are the ones I suggest before you move on to the more finicky species: tomatoes, zucchini and squash, cucumbers, peas, and potatoes.

 

7. There’s no shame in starting with starts. 

Sure, growing plants from seed is a great feeling of accomplishment, but it also requires more advanced planning and patience than picking up healthy starts from a local shop. If patience and pre-planning aren’t your thing, or if you feel more confident in picking up starts, go for it! This is often the most popular route anyways, especially for tomatoes.

 

8. Expect big things. 

Remember that your little seedlings or starts have months more growing to do. Place your stakes and tomato cages at the same time you plant so as not to damage roots or branches later when the plants are larger. Support heavy branches with Gear Tie Reusable Foam Twist Ties and prune off over abundant growth if needed. Zucchini plants will be enormous and cucumbers and other vine vegetables will take up most of your garden space if you let them, so I recommend placing a trellis for them to grow up rather than out – this also helps keep the slugs off them.

10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden 

9. Don’t forget the flowers.

A common problem in vegetable gardens is poor pollination – if your plant doesn’t have cross pollination, it won’t fruit. Bees are the answer (wind can help too). One of the best ways to attract them throughout the growing season is by having flowers near your vegetable garden to bring them round. Most flowers will attract bees, but if you want specific suggestions for the best, check out this article by the Honeybee Conservancy: “21 Flowers That Attract Bees”.

 10 Beginner Tips For a Successful Vegetable Garden

10. Herbs for the win. 

I love having a kitchen garden on our back deck where I can easily pick fresh herbs for our meals. Mine is separate from the vegetables, but there are many benefits to planting herbs in with your veggies, a practice called companion planting. For detailed info on companion planting with herbs, check out this article by the Gardening Channel: “Herbs that Pair Perfectly as Growing Partners”. Many herbs help to repel unwanted insects and even rodents, while the flowering ones tend to be great bee-attractors. You don’t want the ones you cook with to flower though (pick off they buds when they start) as it negatively affects the taste. So, if you have the space, plant twice as many as needed and let half go to seed for the bees while keeping the others pruned for eating. If you are looking forward to fresh mint for your mojitos, plant it in a pot – it’s invasive and while it smells delightful, it will take over everything if planted in the garden! And, if you’re not much of a cook, you can plant a cocktail garden instead, because of course that’s a thing now: “Grow a Cocktail Garden”.

Those are my tips for getting your vegetable garden started. I hope you’ve learned something new and are feeling excited and confident about planting. Please feel free to leave your own tips in the comments below for the community.

Topics: outdoors, DIY, Home, gardening

Tips for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Posted by Katie S on Apr 25, 2017 10:19:41 AM

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Did you know that “Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day” is actually a program that is part of a legitimate foundation? Who knew? I always assumed it was a great excuse to save on a day of childcare and cause a little chaos in the office. However, according to the organization’s website, the intention is to show kids the value of their education and to help them discover the possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life. Not a bad sentiment. So, in case you are planning to bring your child to work in participation of the event this Thursday, April 27th, I thought I might help out. Below are some tips for a successful execution of the day and a few important lessons your child can learn while in the workplace with you. My seven-month-old son, Walter, obligingly came in for a “practice day” to the Nite Ize offices.  Here is what we learned:

 

1.SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS 

Kids and meetings don’t mix. If the actual day falls when you have a lot of important meetings scheduled, maybe pick a different day, or see if you can reschedule the meetings. On our practice day, Walter immediately hijacked my meeting and was, frankly, a bit of a dictator in the board room.

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2. COMMUTE THE FUN WAY

Even if you wouldn’t normally walk or ride your bike to work, wouldn’t it be great if we could teach the next generation to do it better? If you live close enough, plant the seed early and make it a fun, active commute that day.

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3. IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO TEACH THE IMPORTANCE OF COFFEE

Moms and dads who keep it together with herbal teas and green smoothies, more power to you, but this tip is for the rest of us. The kids are going to learn sooner or later what keeps mommy, and the world running, so you might as well use this opportunity to teach them how to brew a good pot of coffee for you and their future coworkers.

 

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4. EVERYONE STARTS IN THE MAIL ROOMMailroom_Shorter.jpg

It’s just a fact of life, and an important one at that. Whether your mailroom is theoretical or actual, take your kid through all the processes where you work and talk to them about the important relationship of hard work, accomplishment and reward.

 

5. THE ART OF CONVERSATION IS ALIVE AND WELL

It’s a digital era and sometimes terrifying to see “zombie” kids with their eyes constantly glued to screens. Regardless of whether you work in a traditional business setting or not, very few jobs are devoid of interaction, and none that I can think of where you wouldn’t at least have to successfully communicate in an interview. Be a good example and include your child in the conversations you are having at work, introduce them to your coworkers with handshakes and eye contact. If you have a phone call, put it on speaker so they can experience the full interaction and better understand the types of healthy communication expected in a workplace.

 

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6. BECOME AN EXPERT – READ UP

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received in the work place was from a boss who told me to become a voracious reader. Whatever your profession, reading up on what is happening in your industry, what competitors are doing, and what are the best practices can only help you do your job better. Alright, maybe seven months was a little early to be trying to impart this lesson, but I do hope to pass this practice on to Walter at some point!

 

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7. TAKE ACTIVE BREAKS

At Nite Ize, we are fortunate enough to have a gym on site where we can go to break a sweat, and we have some nice walking trails around with views of Boulder’s Flatirons. Where ever you work, chances are you’ve got somewhere you can walk, or a park nearby where you could go to for a quick break with your child. Remember they are used to having recess, and it’s not a bad thing for adults to take a little recess too. According to a Harvard Business Review article, regular exercise leads to improved concentration, sharper memory, faster learning, enhanced creativity, lower stress and other benefits to a productive, happy life in and out of the workplace.

 

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8. LET CURIOSITY DRIVE THE DAY

What you think is interesting about your workplace might be different than what your child finds interesting. Make sure to give them plenty of opportunities to ask questions, explore, and tell you what they find interesting. I never would have guessed that this display of our key accessories would be Walter’s favorite part of the day, but he could have played with these DoohicKeys all day.

 

Curiosity_JP.jpg

 

9. MAKE IT FUN!

This is the most important tip for you both. Okay, maybe butt-Xeroxing is going to warrant a call from HR, but you get the gist – make it fun for them and make sure they see you enjoying your day too.

 

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Well, maybe seven months is a LITTLE young for Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day, but hopefully you were able to glean some useful information from my and Walter's day together at the office. If you have helpful tips of your own for taking a child to work and would like to share with our readers, please leave them in the comments section below.

 

 

All images © 2017 Nite Ize Inc, all rights reserved.

How to Throw an Epic Dog Birthday Party

Posted by Katie S on Aug 12, 2016 3:42:56 PM

 

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A little background for you before I get into the nitty gritty of dog birthday planning - let me introduce you to the birthday girl, Daisy:

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In case it's not immediately apparent from the photo, Daisy is the best Labrador-mutt sidekick of all time. She hikes, fishes, naps and cuddles like a champ. For the past 11 years, Daisy has been an "only child", but life is about to change drastically for her as she's going to get a human sibling this fall. So, we (and I use the term "we" generously as my husband is more of an obliging enabler to my crazy dog-loving antics) figured, "what better reason to give her a big ole birthday bash before she relinquishes her only child status?" Meanwhile, I thought I'd share a few tips with you about what I've learned.

Now, on to the nitty gritty of dog birthday planning...

The key to throwing any successful party is to go big or go home. So, chances are Step 1 will be easy for you (you are, after all, the person reading an article titled "How to Throw an Epic Dog Birthday") it is simply to embrace your inner-crazy dog person. Will your friends think you're crazy for throwing a dog birthday party? Maybe. But, chances are they already know you are, and trust me, they're still going to come because let's be honest, who doesn't love free beer, snacks, and a reason to celebrate - especially a cute, fluffy reason?

Step 2: Choose a Location

You may love the idea of a bunch of dogs galloping around your house, or it might be your nightmare. If it's the latter, maybe look into hosting it at your local dog park, or there are even doggy day cares that will let you rent out their pools and host a doggy pool-party. We decided to go with the backyard party and to keep the chaos at home.

Step 3: Plan Your Activities

You are going to have a host of people and pets looking to be entertained. Lucky for you, just throw on some music and the people will probably be entertained, or at least preoccupied enough with their pets not to think about much else. We did set up a little makeshift station in the yard for folks who wanted to get a family portrait taken with their dogs which seemed to be a hit.

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For the furry guests of honor, we held a little "doggy rave". I work for an awesome company called Nite Ize, who sponsored our activity for the night with a host of LED dog toys and lights for our guests. Each four-legged guest received a Nite Howl LED Necklace, a SpotLit Collar Light, a GlowStreak Ball, and a Flashflight Dog Discuit. So, once the sun set, we lit up the backyard, cranked the music, and let the dogs run wild with their new toys.

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Step 4: Invitations & Guests

I like to use PaperlessPost for online invitations, they have a lot of cute easy-to-design options but there are tons of other user-friendly email invite sites out there as well.

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Step 5: Food & Drinks

Let there be cake! You can find dog bakeries everywhere that make great birthday cakes specifically for dogs. If you happen to be in the Boulder, CO area, our favorite is P.C.'s Pantry which makes these apparently delicious "Barkday Cakes" and we found out their most popular selling flavor is liver - yum.

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On the "people food" front, we made it easy on ourselves going with pizza, beer, and cupcakes. One thing I recommend doing before planning your menu though, is to check out the ASPCA's website, they have a helpful list of foods that can be toxic or harmful to pets that you’ll want to avoid. (Ok disclaimer - so beer is on their list, but just make sure your guests are responsible and not giving beer/alcohol to dogs - hopefully this shouldn't be a tough request).

Step 6: Puppy-proofing & Decorating

If you're having the party at home, be sure to do some puppy proofing. A roving hoard of dogs can get into all sorts of trouble. Check the fence for anywhere little dogs might escape and block off areas like stairways and carpet to keep all your fuzzy friends in an easy-to-spot area. It's also a good idea to set up a little "time out" area for dogs that might be getting a little over-excited or worn out during the party.

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Step 7: Party Time - Sit back and let the chaos begin!

Topics: LED Pet Products, LED Dog Products

Preparing Your Car Emergency Kit for Winter

Posted by Katie S on Nov 24, 2015 11:01:02 AM

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In the wise words of Game of Thrones - winter is coming. As I look out at a bluebird-Boulder day from my office, I know it's only a matter of time before our first big snowstorm hits. Which reminds me, I still need to clean the gutters, replace my balding tires, and blow out the sprinkler system. Oh, and update my car emergency kit which somehow always falls to the bottom of my list, even though I know it could be the most important item on there. I have no excuse for not having an up-to-date, comprehensive emergency kit in my car. I worked in the survival industry for five years and now at Nite Ize where I have access to myriad products which are specifically designed to perform in a pinch. On top of that, I have a dad who always gives us "kids" Christmas presents like two-way crank radios and avian flu emergency kits (everyone's dream gift - thanks, Dad!).  So, as I am preparing for my annual kit update, I'd like to share some preferred kit items and other great resources to check out. I hope this will help you to build or update your own car emergency kit.

What to get:

  1. A sturdy container

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    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. Flashlights

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    Most references tell you a flashlight - I may go a little overkill, but I have three flashlights. For my primary light I use the INOVA X3R LED Rechargeable Flashlight which I can recharge through my car’s USB port. I also keep an INOVA STS Headlamp in my bag in case I need to be hands-free for looking under the hood or under the car. Lastly, I have the Nite Ize 3-in-1 FlashStick, which can be used as a flashlight or lantern, but most importantly in an emergency it has a glowstick on one end which can be set to SOS mode to signal for help. In addition, I stock extra batteries for the two non-rechargeables.

  3. High-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. I keep a Nite Ize LED Run Vest in my bag which is neon yellow, has two bright red LEDs that glow and flash, and reflective accents. Paired with my 3-in-1 Flashstick, I feel confident that I will be seen and therefore safer on the side of the road.

  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 like the LifeProof FRĒ Power that can be life-savers in a pinch.

  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.

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  6. Blankets or Bivvies - Wool blankets are a classic staple for a reason - they are really warm. I keep two heavy wool blankets in my car - they’ve never been used in an emergency, but have 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, and extra socks in my kit - even in the summer months here in Colorado it can drop below freezing 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.

  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 my 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 tin 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. If you have kids, there are family-focused ones that have kids’ dosages of meds and more often-needed items for them. 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 there in case I am far from medical care.

  9. Water - For drinking, for wound cleaning, for staying alive - I keep a gallon of human-water in an unopened jug, and then I also have a liter of water in a separate Olly Dog container/bowl combo for my pup since most often she is along for the ride too.

  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 and energy bars (peanut butter is a popular choice too), 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), 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. For those of you who are more handy with cars, the DMV has a helpful list that includes more suggested car repair items: http://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/emergency-kit.php

  12. A Knife - 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. One small one in your pocket or purse, and a utility one in your car kit - just trust me on this one, they come in handy!

  13. The 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 (this particular Gerber hatchet also has an integrated handsaw that slides out of the handle which is a nice bonus), 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.

Other helpful resources:

    American Red Cross, Red Cross Recommends Preparing Your Vehicles for Winter:
http://www.redcross.org/news/article/pa/bethlehem/Red-Cross-Recommends-You-Prepare-Vehicle-Now-for-Winter-Weather

    The CDC, Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter:
http://www.cdc.gov/features/winterweather/

    Chicago Tribune, Tips to Keep You Going When Your Car Stops:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-01-03/news/8902220535_1_trunk-car-candle

 

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!

Topics: Emergency Preparedness

Back to School & On-the-go LED Safety

Posted by Katie S on Aug 20, 2015 3:46:00 PM

Back to School

There is an almost imperceptible shift in the days, nighttime falls sooner, the leaves are still green yet somehow seem crisper. The summer heat is at its peak, and still a suggestion of change is in the air, a new season is approaching.

The end of summer is a bittersweet time for parents. We all want our children to have the same fond memories of their summers that we do: feelings of unburdened freedom that can only come with youth, sunshine, and carefree fun with their friends. We feel a bit bad for looking forward to our own adult freedoms that come with the fall, until we remember a different kind of excitement and trepidation – back to school.

We can’t prepare them for everything they will face in the upcoming year, the challenges this “tech” generation faces we can only begin to imagine but, as parents, we do our best to send them off with smiles on their faces and the right tools for success.

Back to school shopping starts with the usual supplies, and then we move on to new shoes and outfits for the ever-growing crew. I can’t claim to have the faintest idea what new gadget or device is the cool, must-have item for 10-year-olds this year (I am certain that saying “cool” is also considered very lame by 10-year-olds), but I’m sure I will find out soon enough. However, these are the types of items that concern me the least. As someone whose background is in the preparedness industry and now works at Nite Ize, my mind goes to the “in between times”. These are the times when the kids are heading to and from the bus, the times when they are waiting to be picked up after soccer, the times when riding their bikes or walking to a friend’s house, the times when I need to know that they are safe.

As you may have guessed, I am an anxious mom! Fortunately, working for Nite Ize, I have knowledge of, and access to a lot of products that help to put my mind at ease. Fortunately for my kids, Nite Ize has done a phenomenal job of disguising these safety products to make them look really “cool”.

Exhibit A: The See ‘Em, TwistLit, and SpokeLit LED Bike Lights:

LED Bike Lights

I guarantee, no one can ever claim they didn’t see my kids coming! We have their bikes lit up like Christmas trees! They love it, and I have peace of mind that I’m doing my part to keep them safe.

Exhibit B: Backpacks – as far as I’m concerned, the brighter the better.

BugLit and SpotLit BugLit SpotLit

I have SpotLits clipped to their bags, to our keys, and to just about anything that’s portable. They’re helpful when you need a light, but also add another spot of visibility on the kids as they’re walking home on these shorter days. For the younger kids, I like to wrap a BugLit or two around the straps on their bags. They are cute and fun little characters crawling up the strap, but can be used as a flashlight, or put in strobe mode to give the kids important visibility.

Exhibit C: I like to save the best for last.

SlapLit

SlapLits are my kid’s favorites. That’s right, remember slap bracelets? They’re baaaack! And apparently kids still love them as much as we did growing up (OK, I’ll be honest I might still really love them too). The Nite Ize SlapLits use the same “slap it to snap it” style, but have the added benefit of being illuminated by a red LED that glows and flashes – so as you can imagine, endless fun, and not just for the kids, I wear mine any time I go jogging in the evening.

Whatever your back to school shopping list looks like this year, just remember it’s not only about the “cool” stuff and the new stuff, it’s about the important “stuff” too. So, we do our best to prepare them, send them off with that smile, and now, it’s time to sit back, relax, grab a cocktail, and enjoy the peace and quiet of autumn. Happy back to school everyone!

Topics: Visibility and Safety, Games & Toys

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