Katie S

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5 Ways To Enjoy The Holidays at Home

Posted by Katie S on Dec 8, 2020 10:47:29 AM

5 Ways To Enjoy The Holidays at Home

For most of us, the holidays are looking a little different this year, but that doesn’t have to mean worse. Living out of state from both sides of our extended family, this will be the first year that my immediate family will actually spend Christmas in our own home. While we’ll be sorry to miss out on bigger family time, I am looking at this as an opportunity for a really relaxing holiday. It’s also a chance to get a little creative with the ways we are celebrating the season.

Here are a few ideas I have planned, and some trends I’ve noticed around our neighborhood and elsewhere:

 

1. Decorate Early + Often

Decorate for the Holidays Early

We’re all spending more time at home, so why not dress your house to the nines for all the holidays? We hung our lights before Thanksgiving and have been enjoying them immensely. Not only do you get to enjoy them for longer, hanging them earlier meant we were able to choose a nice mild weekend to do it – no frozen fingers while trying to wrap and hang lights. I’ve noticed a lot of our neighbors have jumped on this as well, and it’s not just nice for you – the neighborhood kids love it too. As a mom of small children, I’ve found myself extending evening car rides on a regular basis to loop through neighborhoods that have already put together strong light-displays. 

Decorate for the Holidays with Gear Ties

Nite Ize Pro Tip: Use Gear Ties to secure your Christmas lights in awkward places or spots that you wouldn’t want damaged by nails or staples.

 

2. Throw A Holiday Party For Two (or Four + Some Stuffed Animals In Our Case)

SlapLit Drink Wrap

I have always loved throwing a Holiday or New Year’s Party. So, despite not inviting “traditional” guests, I’ve decided I’m not giving this one up – at least not entirely. I am throwing a holiday party for our immediate family. And we are dressing up. And there will be eggnog. And we will have fun! …And we may zoom the rest of our family to join in after a few drinks.

So, the following is my advice for throwing your own household party. Pick a weekend night in the middle of December when there’s not a lot going on and when in a normal year, you probably would have had a work party or something fun and festive to attend. Tell your household ahead of time. If you have kids, let them make some invitations and pick out holiday clothes to dust off. If you don’t have kids, tell your roommate, partner, or best zoom-friend what time to be dressed and ready. If you like to cook – great! If you don’t, pick a special restaurant to order take-out and make some festive beverages. And lastly, plan an activity. Make it feel like more than a nice meal by adding a special activity. Buy a gingerbread house kit or have a cookie decorating contest with a prize for the winner.

Nite Ize Pro Tip: Grab your favorite holiday beverage and wrap it in a red, green, or blue SlapLit LED Drink Wrap for instant-festiv-ication!

 

3. Create A New Tradition

Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

There are a million fun ways to celebrate the season. Add a few new traditions to your family’s repertoire to make the season extra special at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started…

  • Build a gingerbread house, or a gingerbread palace. If you’ve got some time to kill at home, make a legitimate one from scratch. Make it a contest within your house or via Zoom if you desire. It can be a project that spans multiple days – just keep adding to it (or eating from it), then you can enjoy looking at it for the rest of the month. I am certainly no Martha Stewart, so for tips on this one, I’ll direct you to this two-minute video of the real Martha Stewart’s “Steps For Making the Perfect Gingerbread House”.
  • Start a candy-making night – have fun making and eating it, and you’ll have some delicious treats to give as gifts.
BugLit Micro Flashlights

 

4. Take Your Celebration to The Streets

Holiday Bike Parade

Let’s adapt caroling to be even brighter and more fun. Spread cheer in your neighborhood by doing your own colorful holiday bike parade around dusk. You can coordinate with neighbors for a socially distanced parade, or just head out with your family, a speaker, and some Christmas tunes on full blast to bring smiles throughout the neighborhood. Light up your bikes with SpokeLit Wheel Lights and See ’Em Mini Spoke Lights, and wrap them with a battery-powered strand of holiday lights if you want to get really crazy.

Nite Ize Pro Tip: Gear Ties will definitely come in handy for wrapping holiday lights on things like bikes, strollers, and cars to hold strands securely in place.

Decorate Your Bike

 

5. Gift Big & Give Big

It’s been a year. If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, help pick someone else up. Helping others has been scientifically proven to make people happier. So, if you can, donate your time to a local organization. And if your finances haven’t gotten too dinged up, then take the money that you would have used traveling or partying for the holidays and put it towards brightening someone else’s season. There are many fantastic organizations out there that can help. Participate in a local food drive or “adopt” a family to help provide presents and meals for their Christmas. Check in with your local Toys For Tots or Salvation Army to find a program in your area.

 

The holidays are a special time of year, and we want to say thank you for being a part of our community and making it brighter. If you have more creative ideas to light up the season, please share them in the comments section below. Happy Holidays from all of us at Nite Ize!

Topics: Gear Ties, Bike, DIY, Holidays, decorating

Holiday Decorating Made Brighter And Easier With Nite Ize

Posted by Katie S on Nov 19, 2020 3:00:00 PM

Holiday Decorating Made Brighter and Easier

It’s the hap, hap, happiest time of year! Let the holiday decorating, caroling, cocktail parties, and family gatherings begin. As everyone knows, with all the fun also comes stress. So, we’ve put together a few of our favorite Nite Ize tips and tricks to make sure you sail smoothly through this holiday season.

 

Deck The Halls With A Twist

How to hang holiday wreaths easier

Sometimes getting those lights and garlands hung just perfectly can be an art. Make it simple with Gear Ties or cut-to-length Gear Tie Foam Twist Ties to attach those lights and decorations just about anywhere. 

Decorating-2020-wreath

Gear Ties have literally thousands of uses, so get creative! You can use them to hang wreaths in unexpected places, attach strings of lights to railings, or keep ornaments secure.

Gear Tie Foam Reusable Twist Tie

Pro tip: if you get a warm weekend in November, hang your light then! You don’t have to plug them in, but when the chilly weekends of December roll around, you’ll be glad to already have the job done. And if you do get stuck hanging lights on a chilly day, just remember: nothing warms you up like a cold beer. With the Traveler Drink Holster, you never have to work without a beverage close at hand.

 

Dual CamJam Tie Down System
Don’t Be That Guy Who Leaves A Tree On The Highway

Twine is an imperfect solution for strapping trees to the roofs of cars. Don’t chance it with user error or failed twine that leads to a Christmas disaster on the highway. The easy to use Dual CamJam Tie Down System is easy to use and lets you achieve the right amount of tension to confidently keep your tree snugly in place for the drive home – no matter how far you have to go.

 

Trees Won’t Be The Only Thing Getting Lit

Light Up Your Punchbowl with NiteGems

Light up your holiday punch bowl with the floating, waterproof NiteGems. They can be set to a variety of colors so you can reuse them throughout the year for all your other holidays too or when you just want to add a bright pop to your beverage. If you want to get really fancy, make your own garnished ice cubes to float alongside your NiteGems, like these cranberry-and-rosemary ones:

Light Up Your Beverage with a NiteGem

And don’t forget about your beer and other-beverage drinkers – keep some SlapLit LED Drink Wraps around to keep hands warm and spirits bright all night long.

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

 

Fill The Stockings, Then Light Those Up Too

Add SpotLit LED Carabiners to the stockings to color-code them or for a fun pop of color. You could even color code everyone’s gifts with their stocking light color as a creative theme.

SpotLit Carabiner Light

 

Save Your Future Self A Headache

When it’s time to clean up after the holidays, take a minute to wrap and organize your lights with Gear Ties – it’s worth an extra minute so you’re not sorting through a mangled mess of lights next year.

Organizing with Gear Ties

Share your holiday tips and favorite uses for Nite Ize products in the comments section below.

Topics: Gear Ties, Home, LED Products, Holidays, decorating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Make a plan ahead of time.

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


Go bag checkllist

3. Keep emergency provisions on hand.

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

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

How to prepare for an earthquake

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

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

 

Wildfires: They move fast - so should you.

How to prepare for a wildfire

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

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

 

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

How to prepare for a hurricane

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

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

 

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

How to prepare for a tornado

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

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

 

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

how to prepare for a winter storm

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

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

 

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

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

Earthquake Information

Wildfire Information

Hurricane Information

Tornado Information

Winter Storm Information

Topics: Emergency Preparedness

Create The Ultimate New Home Gift Basket

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

Create The Ultimate New Home Gift Basket

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

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

 

1. Go Traditional

Housewarming gift ideas

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

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

 

2. Go Practical
Housewarming gift ideas

 

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

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

Home Emergency Kit

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

4. Buck The Trend With A Bucket

New home gift basket

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

 

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

Topics: Garage Organization, Gear Ties, DIY, Home

Four Ways To Have a Phenomenal Father’s Day

Posted by Katie S on Jun 9, 2020 10:35:58 AM

Four Ways To Have A Fun Father's Day

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year to honor those big loveable lugs in our lives who we call Dad, Daddio, Papa, Poppi, or Pops. The point being, let’s make sure that this Father’s Day brings out “fun-dad,” because everyone loves when dad is being “fun-dad” – especially dad! As a starting point, let’s assume that dad might be in the current mindset of “bored-dad." So, let’s get him out of the house. There’s a very good chance the dad in your life doesn’t need too much “stuff”– what he’d probably most like is to get out and do something memorable with his kids. If the dad in your life also now goes by “granddad,” pick an activity that can include all the generations. Grandpas really love to teach their grandkids new skills. And even better, a lot of dads really like activities that don’t involve big crowds. Without further ado, here are our suggestions for showing dad a great time on his day:

Hit The Links

Ways To Have A Fun Father's Day

Sure, it’s stereotypical, but a lot of dads really do love golf. If the sport has never tickled your fancy, maybe give it a shot and let him teach you the ins and outs. Or you can look up some of your local courses and book a tee time for him, then meet up for a picnic or BBQ when he wraps up.

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

 

*Step Up His Game With Nite Ize Gear*

Amp up his day with a couple S-Biners for his golf bag – they are great for clipping a towel, cleaning brush, or variety of other useful items for quick access on the course. If he likes to enjoy a cold drink on the course, give him a SlapLit Drink Wrap to light up his beverage and keep it cool.

 

 

 

Feel Groovy On A Night Ride

Best Father's Day Ideas

Who doesn’t love a bike ride? Make it extra memorable by lighting up his bike with SpokeLit Wheel Lights, and a Radiant Head and Tail Light, then you could all cruise out for an evening ride to pick up ice cream and dine al fresco at your favorite creamery.

 

Get Out And Catch The Big One

Father's Day Fishing Day

If the dad in your life loves to fish, then that’s probably exactly what he’d love to be doing this Father’s Day weekend. Temps are warming up and the fish are hungry. This is definitely one where bringing all the generations will make it an extra special day, a perfect time to learn about dad/grandpa’s favorite sport.

SlideLock 360˚ Magnetic Locking Carabiner

 

*Help Him Net The Big One With Nite Ize Gear*

If you want to give dad a little something extra for his fishing day, our SlideLock 360° makes a versatile locking net release, and our RunOff Waterproof Bags mean no one soaks a phone, wallet, or car keys – keeping it a truly happy Father’s Day for all.

 

 

 

Knock Out A Project Together

Father's Day Ideas

Have you been watching all these overly-productive people cranking out project after project in their homes, but you just haven’t quite found your motivation? Let dad help you do it. Pick a project and work on it together. If your dad is handy, great! But even if he isn’t it can be a fun experience figuring out a problem together, and hopefully at the end of the day or weekend, you’ll have finished project to celebrate.

FathersDay-ClipPockIts

 

*Some Nite Ize Gear To Help Projects Run Smoothly*

If your dad is a handy guy, he’ll love the Clip Pock-Its XL utility holster to keep tools readily at hand, and you can’t go wrong with a mixed pack of Gear Ties to organize, maneuver, and MacGuyver any problems that come up as you work together.

 

 

Have other great ideas for unforgettable Father’s Day activities that Nite Ize can help with? Share your suggestions in the comments section below. Have a happy and safe Father’s Day everyone!

Topics: Gear Ties, Fun & Games, Bike, DIY, Fitness, fishing, runoff, waterproof bags, slaplit, golf

Build Your Own Backyard Camping Adventure

Posted by Katie S on May 6, 2020 10:18:33 AM

Backyard Camping

The days may feel like they are dragging, but look on the bright side, they are actually getting longer – as in more daylight and warmer! So, if you’re running out of ways to keep your family entertained indoors, then it’s a great time to move outside. A backyard campout kills a lot of birds with one stone. You get the kids out of the house and entertained (and no screens!), you can test out your camping gear and make sure it’s ready for the season, and you can test your skills and teach your kids new ones in the privacy of your backyard – judgment free from other campers if you don’t quite remember how to set up that tent. 

Here in Colorado we’ve had a nice sustained temperature spike, so it seemed like the perfect time to dust off the tent and spend a night of “practice camping” outside with our one and three-year-old. Here are a few tips based on how our adventure went.

 

1. Set up the tent in the morning.

GearLine Organization SystemThe novelty of having a tent set up in the backyard was exceptional entertainment. The kids played in it ALL day. Get your bedding and camp gear set up and organized from the start – the kids enjoyed clipping items to the Gear Line throughout the day, and we used it to hang up our wet clothes after a run through the sprinkler. We had snacks in the tent, we read books, we set up our air mattresses, we jumped around on the air mattresses (yes, that’s plural…see tip #2).

 

 

2. There are no limits on comfort.

Have a family backyard campout

With backpacking, you’re limited by weight, with car camping, you’re limited by trunk space, but with backyard camping it’s no holds barred – load that tent up with all the good cushy stuff. Especially if your kids are new to camping or haven’t done much, you want to give them the best shot at a good/warm/fun night’s sleep. We have a behemoth car camping tent, so I loaded in two large air mattresses, a Pack N Play, and let the kids drag out all their favorite blankets and big stuffed animals to make it cozy. I was also hoping for a half-decent night’s sleep. 

 

3. Take this opportunity to show them the ropes.

Baby bunnyHave your kids help set up and take down the tent and teach them how to properly and safely build a fire (I grew up building fires log-cabin style, but now more often go for the teepee – to each their own). Also, include some of the basic camp rules like washing dishes right away and no shoes or food in the tent (the latter rule we broke of course, but that’s the nice thing about backyard camping – it’s a lot less likely a bear is going to come sniffing for snacks). You can plan a little “nature walk” around the house too. We managed to find two garter snakes and a baby bunny. You never know what you’ll find when you slow down and look a little closer!

 

 

4. Light up the night for added fun.

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

If your kids are younger, sleeping in new places can be unsettling, even if it’s just the backyard. Having lots of lights can make it feel safer and more fun. In true Nite Ize style, each of the kids had their own BugLit  Micro Flashlights, and everyone’s drinks had SlapLit LED Drink Wraps (which turned out to be the perfect night light and an easy way to track down water bottles in the middle of the night too)!

We kept a Radiant 100 Lantern hanging in the tent, and just after dark, the kids were mesmerized by the color-changing Flashflight.

Flashflight LED Flying Disc

Just before bed, we loaded them up with chocolate and marshmallows by the fire (because it’s not really camping if there aren’t s’mores), climbed into the tent, and read books by headlamp, hoping that everyone would go right to sleep.

Backyard Camping with Kids

 

5. Don’t set your expectations too high.

Maybe don’t go into this expecting beautiful Instagram-worthy family camping photos and the greatest night of sleep ever. If your kids are anything like mine, by the end of the night it may resemble something more like Lord of the Flies, and it could be that no one actually sleeps the whole night outside. I knew that the chance of all four of us waking up in the tent the next morning were slim. I was pleasantly surprised however, when I woke up around 7AM to my three-year-old grinning ear-to-ear and so proud of himself for sleeping outside the whole night. That was easily the best morning news I’ve gotten in months.

Camping With Kids

The last few months have left us all adapting to new norms. We hope you are all staying safe and healthy and are finding your silver linings in the current situation. If you have tips for our community on staying sane at home, please leave them in the comments section below – added bonus if they include Nite Ize products!

Topics: Flashflight, Home, camping, slaplit, gearline, kids

The Fishing Mom-Life

Posted by Katie S on Apr 28, 2020 9:40:08 AM

The Fishing Mom-Life

When it comes to fishing, you might say I was hooked at a young age. My mom taught me how to break a worm in half and bait a hook early on. Her dad, my grandpa, who I can still remember teaching me the fisherman’s knot, referred to me as his “little fishing buddy” till the day he passed. When I migrated out West for college, I learned to fly fish and joined the CU Fly Fishing club. It was there that I met my husband and life-long fishing partner, Drew.

We spent the next decade fishing as much as we could on our home waters and beyond. Then, after welcoming two children to the family, we learned to adapt our hobby and expectations from hard-hitting fishing days to “let’s make this fun for the kids”. Truthfully, we were still able to fish a fair amount, but it was much harder for the two of us to get out together. So, when Nite Ize approached to ask if we’d be interested in shooting a fishing film with them, I thought “Great! We get a fishing date weekend together!” When they asked about including the whole family, I thought, “Great! They have no idea what fishing with kids is like – I hope the filmmaker is patient.”

Fishing with kids

Fishing with kids is all about planning, patience, hope and luck. Anyone with toddlers knows if you’re planning a full day out to do anything, you’ll probably need a big bag of stuff to keep everyone happy and entertained – especially snacks, you need to pack SO many snacks. Add sun, water, unpredictable mountain weather, flying hooks, and wiggling fish, and the packing list gets longer: sunglasses, sunscreen, extra outfits and layers, water safety gear, some toys that can get muddy, and waterproof bags to hold it all. And hey, guess what? Nite Ize just happens to make the best waterproof bags out there: RunOff Waterproof Bags. So, if you plan just right, shift your expectations to a kid-paced mentality, hope for the best, and get a little luck on the river, you just might have one of those days your kids will never forget.

Fishing with your kids

Lucky for us, the filmmaker was extremely patient, and all the other pieces fell into place for a few days of unforgettable family fishing. It was a blast to share our experience as a fishing family and see it come together in a film. The truth is, as much fun as we had traveling to far-flung destinations and fishing from dawn to dusk all through our 20s, now there is something so deeply rewarding about passing on a love of the sport and of the outdoors to our little people. It just can’t be beat. If we go all day without catching a fish, or we spend more time eating snacks and splashing rocks than holding a rod, that’s ok. It’s still a great day on the river. Sharing that time and doing something we love together feels like a much more important story to tell than any exotic-destination, bro-ed out fishing film full of drone shots (full disclosure, we still got some pretty cool drone shots too). Everyone learns to fish from someone else, and often that’s a parent or grandparent, looking to share a passion, hoping to build lasting memories, and wanting to impart an understanding and respect for the great outdoors. Or if we’re being honest, maybe that person just wanted to fish, so you got to tag along! But it’s a story all anglers can relate to – that first time you got to go along, your first bite, your first miss, your first fish, and the genuine joy of it all.

The fishing mom life

So, a little PSA on behalf of all the fishing moms out there: if you learned to fish from your mom, this might be the perfect year to thank her with a little Mother’s Day fishing outing – an ideal “socially distant” activity. And if that’s not possible, dig back in those old photos, frame a good one of you fishing together and write her a heartfelt thank you – we moms really dig those. (This is your friendly reminder that Mother’s Day is May 10th.)

P.S. Sign up for the Nite Ize Newsletter for updates on when our full film will be released.

Topics: fishing

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