Pure Hunting's Willi Schmidt Reveals His Favorite Gear

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Aug 20, 2020 2:59:55 PM

Pure Hunting's Willi Schmidt Reveals His Favorite Gear

If you're familiar with the world of hunting, you might recognize our friend (and Field Team member) Willi Schmidt from his show Pure Hunting on The Sportsman Channel. Willi has been bow hunting for nearly 30 years, and enjoys sharing his expertise with the world. When Willi isn't hunting or filming his series, he loves to play golf, work out in his home gym, spend time with his family and dogs, and explore the great outdoors around where he resides in Bozeman, Montana. We asked Willi to share his go-to gear he uses for hunting, as well as his favorite products for other areas of his active lifestyle.


Favorite Products For Hunting

Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp

"It is very important to use products I can trust while on my hunting adventures. A few of my favorite items are my weapons, whether it’s my Hoyt bow or Browning firearm. They are high quality and I am confident when I use them. I am also sure to take a few lighting products from Nite Ize. The Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp is my “go to” headlamp. 300 lumens gives me plenty of light, and it has 5 settings, including a red LED option that allows me to get where I’m going without becoming night blind or spooking game. The INOVA T8R Flashlight is always in my pack as well. It also offers five lighting modes and is rechargeable, but can also run on CR123 batteries."

 

Favorite Products For Fishing

RunOff Waterproof Bags

"Fly fishing is a hobby I have that I haven’t spent as much time doing over the last two years until recently. Since I organized my gear recently, I made sure I have a few products with me at all times. Obviously my fishing rod, waders, boots and Umpqua fishing sling need to go on each trip, or I guess I’m not fishing. A couple of items I make sure to have in my Umpqua sling are by Nite Ize. I always need a couple of S-Biners, and at least one of their Runoff Waterproof Bags. I connect the S-Biners to my sling so I can quickly and securely attach items like hats, sunglass cases or bug repellant. The RunOff Waterproof 3-1-1 Pouch holds my license, car keys and phone, and I have total confidence in these items staying dry, even if I slip and fall in the river. The RunOff series of bags are truly waterproof with their TRU Zip waterproof zipper and RF welded seams."

 

Favorite Products For Camping

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

"When my wife and I moved to Montana, we starting camping much more often. We love enjoying the outdoors and rely on several products to make our time there more enjoyable. Our Rise flyrods are always with us as well as our Vortex binoculars. We don’t always get to use them, but when a bear makes a surprise appearance, it’s great to have good optics to enjoy the wildlife. We keep a Radiant 314 Rechargeable Lantern from Nite Ize in our camper. It has 3 modes for brightness, is rechargeable and can also charge other items with its USB port. We also love the Slap Lit LED Drink Wraps – they keep our drinks cold, and the LED strip gives a cool light around the campfire, plus the US Flag design allows us to show our patriotic side."

 

Favorite Products For Road Trips

Steelie Vent Mount Kit Plus

"I typically go on a couple of road trips a year. I might be traveling for a hunt, golf trip or visiting family back in Colorado. Whether it’s for safety or convenience, I make sure to always have the following products in my car at all times. For safety, I make sure I have a tow rope, jumper cables and battery charger/tire inflator under my seat. I also have a package of Nite Ize Gear Ties in various sizes. On one road trip for hunting, my wheel well cover came loose and I was in the middle of nowhere. I used a Gear Tie to reattach it until I could get back to civilization for some auto clips. For convenience I also rely on the Steelie Vent Kit to keep our phones handy for music, accepting phone calls, and charging, plus it keeps them out of cup holders or from sliding off the dash or console."

 

Favorite Products For Dogs

RadDog Collar + Leash SpotLit XL

"My wife and I have two dogs, which need frequent walks and other entertainment. Most of our favorite pet products are made by Nite Ize. We use everything from the locking S-Biner for attaching their tags to their collars and the Huck ‘N Tuck GlowStreak ball and thrower to exercise our Lab, who seems to go non-stop. Two of our favorites are the RadDog All-in-One Collar + Leash. This short leash is integrated into the collar so you always have a leash at the ready and when you can take them off leash, you just release it and it retracts into the collar. No one likes to talk about poo, but the Pack-A-Poo dispenser and refill bags are great. The dispenser can be clipped to a leash or a belt loop to keep it accessible, and the bags are easy to tear off, durable and compostable. Nite Ize has so many products you need for your pet."

 

Favorite Products For Around The House

Gear Tie Foam

"Keeping up a house and the yard can be hard work, but my wife and I use a bunch of Nite Ize products to make things easier. Sometimes we’ve used their products to solve a problem we didn’t even know we had. I have used their S-Biners for years on my backpack and hunts, and have found a few uses for them around the house as well, including hanging bird feeders and wasp catchers. Nite Ize has a wide variety of Gear Ties in different styles and sizes, and we always have a supply around the house. We use the smaller sizes for managing all kinds of cords and cables, and their new Gear Tie Foam Reusable Twist Ties have come in handy for our trees and garden. We have a Nite Ize bin in our garage full of different sizes of S-Biners and Gear Ties – we never know when we’ll have a use for them."

 

Catch Willi and Pure Hunting in its 9th season on Monday nights on The Sportsman Channel. You might spot a few of these products mentioned here, and maybe pick up some new tips to boot.

Topics: Gear Ties, hunting, Home, gardening, fishing, Steelie, dogs, camping

Everyday Carry Essentials from Nite Ize

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Aug 13, 2020 1:22:08 PM

 Everyday Carry Essentials from Nite Ize

If you spend time on social media and have an affinity for clever products to put in your pockets, you might be familiar with the acronym EDC. It stands for Everyday Carry, and it’s just what it sounds like – the pieces of gear you carry with you when you leave the house. When it comes to being prepared everywhere you go, you must choose those pieces of gear wisely, so you have the essentials you need without going overboard and weighing down your pockets.

So what makes an ideal EDC setup? It comes down to personal preferences (as well as what jobs you might encounter while you’re out), but let’s get down to the fundamentals.

 

1. Wallet

Financial Tool RFID Blocking Wallet

No matter where you’re headed, you’ll most likely need one of these. Although many might opt for classic leather, you might consider something unexpected. For a wallet that offers functionality, our Financial Tool Multi Tool Wallet (and its RFID-blocking version) offers 7 different tools in one lightweight, low-profile design. And, it’s TSA friendly!

For a streamlined wallet that is truly waterproof, check out our RunOff Waterproof Wallet. I personally started using this wallet during ski season, since it was slim enough to slide right into my jacket pocket. When COVID-19 hit the US, I kept on using it because I could wash it with soap and water whenever I got home from errands, and I haven’t looked back since.

If minimalism is your game, the Ca$hBack Phone Wallet attaches right on the back of your phone or case (with 3M VHB adhesive), so you can combine two of your most important items in one. The feature that makes the Ca$hBack stand out from other phone wallets out there is the safety tab, so you don’t risk losing your ID, cards or cash while out.

 

2. Key Chain

BigFoot Locker KeyRack

The number two item you should always check for when you leave the house is your keys. Keeping your keys organized and accessible can save you a headache of forgetting which is which, or losing them entirely (never a good feeling). Nite Ize offers a wide variety of key chains, so choosing one just comes down to personal preference and aesthetics.

My personal pick is the BigFoot Locker KeyRack. This key chain offers great functionality and organization of your keys, in a fun and unique design. The locking KeyRack features five “toes” equipped with MicroLock S-Biners that let you easily attach, remove and secure keys so they won’t get lost. And the best part? No split rings to frustrate you and break your fingernails!

Cinch-A-Lot Stretch StrapFor something a little different, check out the Cinch-A-Lot Stretch Strap. This stretchy silicone strap is a key chain that can cinch and grip around things like a water bottle, phone, sunscreen, or your wrist. The strap is paired with an S-Biner MicroLock and split ring, and features a metal cinch-slider so you can easily adjust the size for a secure and snug fit.

Incidentally, we just released the Cinch-A-Lot Mini this summer, which is a scaled-down version that’s perfect for keeping smaller items like wireless earbuds, charging cables, chap stick, or hand sanitizer clipped to your keys or bag.

 

Need more options? Here are my key chain honorable mentions: 

You can also visit our key accessories page to view them all.

 

3. Multi Tool

DoohicKey Key Tool

You never know what types of problems you might encounter whether you’re on the job, running errands, traveling, or around the house. Having a trusty multi tool on your key chain can help you tackle a variety of tasks from fixing a loose screw to opening a bottle.

Our classic DoohicKey Key Tool is our most popular multi tool, and offers five tools in one small TSA-friendly design that clips conveniently to your keys. It features a box cutter, bottle opener, wrench, ruler, and flathead screwdriver. This little guy is clipped to my keys at all times.

 DoohicKey in action

 

Our freshly launched DoohicKey+ Key Tool packs even more tools than the original! This multi tool features all the tools of the classic DoohicKey, plus an integrated serrated edge, scoring point, nail puller/staple remover, and Phillips head screwdriver – while still being TSA friendly.

 

4. Knife

DoohicKey Key Chain Knife

A trusty pocket knife can come in handy in many scenarios throughout the day, and for this reason I personally keep the DoohicKey Key Chain Knife with me at all times. This little knife is compact, lightweight, durable, and has a locking blade for safety.

When you know you’ll be opening packages or mail (as many of us are these days), or breaking down boxes, the DoohicKey Key Chain Hook Knife is the right tool for the job. The fold-out locking blade has both a smooth cutting edge and a curved bladed end so you can open your boxes without worrying about damaging what’s inside. Both DoohicKey Knives come in blue, orange, olive and red.

 

5. Flashlight

Radiant 100 Keychain Flashlight

My go-to flashlight that I carry is the Radiant 100 Keychain Flashlight. It’s compact enough to fit right on your key chain, yet packs a powerful 100 lumens. If you’re used to flipping on your phone’s flashlight setting in dark spaces, note that it can only provide up to about 50 lumens, so you’re getting double the brightness with the Radiant 100.

For even more lighting power in a small body, the 185-lumen INOVA XP Pen Light is a solid choice for EDC enthusiasts. The push button end-cap switch activates a high or low beam, and the durable aluminum body is shockproof, crushproof, and waterproof.

 

6. Phone

Steelie Orbiter Dash Kit

Let’s face it, we’re almost all guilty of being glued to our phones. When it’s time to leave the house and hit the road, you’ll likely need a place to put it while in your vehicle. If you’re using GPS to get to your destination, you’ll also need to have it in view enough to see the directions (without it obstructing your view of the road). Our Steelie phone mount systems are the perfect way to do all of these things, and with several mounting options, you’ll be able to find the right fit for you.

An unexpected but highly useful accessory for your phone is the Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether. I am a solid convert to this product after trying it out while working a trade show last year, and I wasn’t planning on loving it as much as I do. I haven’t taken it off since! I mostly use it to carry my phone around my wrist when my hands are full (which is often), but I can also clip it to my belt loop so I don’t drop it with my notorious butterfingers.

Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether

 

7. Pen

INKA Key Chain Pen

Another item you should always have on hand is a pen – and, what would be an easier way to carry that pen than right on your key chain? The INKA Key Chain Pen allows you to use it as a quick-use pen or convert it to a full-sized writing instrument, and features a replaceable pressurized ink cartridge that gives it its amazing ability to write in all conditions – underwater, at any altitude, in extreme temperatures, and at any angle! Plus, it’s always more sanitary to use your own pen than to borrow one.

 Convert to full size pen

 

We hope we’ve inspired you to evaluate your own EDC setup, or at least to look beyond the split ring. What items are always in your pockets or bags? Share your favorites with the community in the comments, and if you happen to have any Nite Ize accessories stowed with you, post a photo on Instagram and tag #LifesAdventureKit for a chance to win a prize pack of our favorite gear!

Topics: LED Flashlights, runoff, EDC, multi tools, doohickey

New Products & Fresh Looks From Nite Ize

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Aug 5, 2020 1:41:18 PM

NPL-S2020-Featured

Nite Ize announced a variety of new innovative products this June, and they are now available to order! Scroll through to see what we're excited to debut.

 

New RunOff Waterproof Pouches

RunOff® Waterproof Small Travel Pouch

RunOff Waterproof Small Travel Pouch

Our innovative line of waterproof bags continues to grow, with all new Travel Pouches! Featuring our patented TRU Zip waterproof zipper, these bags are rated to IP67 and are adventure approved. The clear, touchscreen-friendly window allows you to use your phone while providing easy identification of enclosed items. The Small Travel Pouch is perfect for phones, wallets, keys, charging cables and other compact essentials to keep them organized, dry and protected. The Small and Medium Travel Pouches are available in classic charcoal or striking blue.

 

RunOff® Waterproof Medium Travel Pouch

RunOff Waterproof Medium Travel Pouch

Sized to accommodate more of your necessities, the RunOff Medium Travel Pouch protects and organizes your adventure essentials, from electronics and snacks to first aid kits and maps. The flat design is ideal for packing into luggage or packs, and the integrated anchor points allow you to clip the pouch where you need it. Whether you're hitting the beach, the lake, or the trails, RunOff has your gear covered.

 

 

New Sizes & Styles

Cinch-A-Lot® Mini Stretch Strap

Cinch-A-Lot Mini Stretch Strap

Honey, we shrunk the Cinch-A-Lot! Our original Stretch Strap now has a new little brother in the Cinch-A-Lot Mini. Keep easy-to-lose essentials like ear buds, chap stick, charging cables, or hand sanitizer in reach. The soft silicone strap grips and cinches small items, and the included S-Biner MicroLock clips securely to keys, bags, or zipper pulls. Keeping track of your necessities has never been more of a cinch.

 

DoohicKey® + Key Tool

DoohicKey + Key Tool

Look out multi tool aficionados, there's a new DoohicKey in town. The DoohicKey+ packs even more tools than the popular original model into one compact, modern design. TSA friendly, it features an integrated serrated edge, scoring point, flathead screwdriver and nail puller/staple remover on one end, and a bottle opener, Phillips head screwdriver, ruler and wrench on the other end. Add the DoohicKey+ to your everyday carry collection and always be ready to solve unexpected problems.

 

HideOut® XL Magnetic Key Box

 

HideOut XL Magnetic Key Box

 
Sized to fit electronic key fobs and bulky keys, the HideOut XL gives you more storage space than the original. This waterproof, plus-sized key hider is easy to secure under your car, deck, or around your home's exterior. Secure to metal surfaces with the powerful neodymium magnets or use the included adhesive to stick to plastic, wood, and other surfaces.
 
 
 
Fits All Phone Cases

 

The new XXL-sized Fits All Phone Cases are designed to accommodate today's larger mobile devices. These high quality phone holsters are constructed from durable, rugged materials and keep your phone securely attached to your belt or waistband with our patented flex-clip. With both horizontal and vertical styles, the Fits All will keep your phone secure and accessible wherever you are.

 

 

CamJam® XT™ Aluminum Cord Tightener

 

CamJam XT Aluminum Cord Tightener

 

Our CamJam XT Aluminum Cord Tightener is now available with 10' of coyote paracord included in the package, giving you everything you need to secure your gear. This premium quality cast aluminum cord tightener is a rugged combination of a carabiner and cam locking mechanism, creating the ultimate system for securing loads, hanging canopies, or tensioning cords.

 

 

KeyRing Locker™ S-Biner Stainless Steel

 

KeyRing Locker S-Biner Stainless Steel

 

The sleek and strong stainless steel KeyRing Locker offers a simple and secure way to carry your keys. The KeyRing comes equipped with five stainless steel S-Biner MicroLocks – our patented twist-to-lock design – that can hold up to three keys each, allowing you to add and remove keys easily.

 

 

KeyRing Locker™ S-Biner Aluminum

 

KeyRing Locker S-Biner Aluminum

 

This lightweight aluminum counterpart to the stainless steel KeyRIng Locker is equipped with five S-Biner MicroLocks in assorted colors, allowing you to color code and organize your keys with ease.

 

 

 

 

Bold New Colors

GearLine® Organization System

GearLine Organization System
 
Our hang-anywhere, hang-anything GearLine is now available in a tacti-cool coyote colorway. The 4 ft webbing line with bar-tacked loops is equipped with plastic S-Biners so you can hang items from clothing to cooking utensils conveniently. An adjustable 12" Gear Tie on either end makes it easy to attach and hang - perfect for use at the campsite, around the house, in the garage, or just about anywhere else.
 
 
 

S-Biner Aluminum Dual Carabiner

Our iconic S-Biner Aluminum Dual Carabiners just got some fresh new colors! Check them out in our new red and olive green styles.

 

S-Biner® SlideLock® Aluminum

S-Biner SlideLock Aluminum

Like the original S-Biner Aluminum, our S-Biner SlideLocks are also now available in red and olive green.

 

SlideLock® Carabiner Aluminum

SlideLock Carabiner Aluminum

Check out these attractive new colors on our SlideLock Aluminum Carabiners as well.

 

SlideLock® 360˚ Magnetic Locking Dual Carabiner

SlideLock 360˚ Magnetic Locking Dual Carabiner

We also added an olive green to our unique and useful SlideLock 360˚. These locking carabiners are connected by powerful magnets allowing you to quickly access items from one side while the other remains clipped to your belt loop, bag, key chain, or other belongings.

 

INKA® Key Chain Pen

INKA Key Chain Pen

The Write Anywhere® INKA Key Chain Pen is the most convenient way to keep your own pen with you wherever you go. Its inventive design allows you to use it as a quick-use pen or convert it to a full-sized writing instrument. This unique pen features a replaceable pressurized ink cartridge that gives it its amazing ability to write in all conditions - underwater, at any altitude, in extreme temperatures, and at any angle. We're pleased to introduce the INKA in new bright blue and olive colors.

 

DoohicKey® Key Chain Knife

DoohicKey Key Chain Knife

Our handy little key chain knife puts the everyday-carry functionality of a high quality, fold-out locking knife in a compact body. We've added our new red anodized aluminum color to the existing lineup of blue, orange and olive green.

 

DoohicKey® Key Chain Hook Knife

DoohicKey Key Chain Hook Knife

This unique Hook Knife features a fold-out locking blade with both a smooth cutting edge and a curved bladed end that is great for opening packages without damaging the contents inside. The DoohicKey Hook Knife is also now available in red.

 

BigFoot Locker™ KeyRack™

NPL-S2020-Bigfoot

The fun and functional BigFoot Locker KeyRack is now offered in our eye catching "spectrum" stainless steel finish. This locking KeyRack features five "toes" equipped with MicroLock S-Biners that let you easily attach, remove, and secure keys.

 

SlideLock® Key Ring Aluminum

SlideLock Key Ring Aluminum

Our colorful locking aluminum carabiner and key ring features a SlideLock mechanism that locks the gate so it can be confidently secured to a belt loop, backpack, or purse strap. Like our aluminum S-Biners and SlideLock Carabiners, the SlideLock Key Ring Aluminum is also now available in red and olive green in addition to blue and orange.

 

Which new products catch your fancy? Let us know in the comments and be sure to tag your photos featuring a Nite Ize product on Instagram with #LifesAdventureKit to be entered into our monthly photo contest to win a Nite Ize Adventure Kit!

Topics: New Products, runoff

How I Tie Down My Gear (And Keep It There)

Posted by MJ Smoot on Jul 23, 2020 10:08:48 AM

How To Tie Down Your Gear And Keep It There

As a rock climber for over 10 years, I never really paid much attention to tie down straps. I was a knot-tier and felt confident that I could secure just about any load with a piece of rope and the right knot. After losing a few items and pulling over to re-tie my loads one too many times, I’ve learned the value of quality tie-downs the hard way. And after years of trial and error, I’ve found the perfect tie-down options for my rig that ended up being a total game changer and time saver. With that said, I’ll jump right into the types of tie down straps that I like carry and some examples of how I’ve used them.

 

Outside the Vehicle

Whenever I am securing something to the outside of my rig – be it the roof rack of a car/SUV or in the bed of a truck – I prefer a tie down option that won’t accidentally come untied. The one that I always have in the storage box of my SUV are the Dual CamJam Tie Down System.

Dual CamJam Tie Down System

The Dual CamJam is great for larger items, and I’ve used mine to secure a lawn mower in a truck bed, mattress and box spring to my roof rack, as well as paddle boards and kayaks. The loop on the end of the webbing makes it easy to attach the strap to one anchor point and the dual cam system on the buckle allows you to rig your system in ways that a traditional cam strap won’t. Such as, wrapping the webbing around your load so that it does not slide around when driving (i.e. a load of 2x4s hanging out of a truck bed). The Dual Camjam also gives you a 3-to-1 mechanical advantage when tightening the webbing, meaning that pound-for-pound, you can put more tension on your load than with a traditional cam strap.

Dual CamJam Tie Down System

Pro Tip: When in doubt, buy a cam strap that comes with a longer webbing length. That way you’ll never come up short, and if you have extra webbing, you can tie up the unused portion so that it doesn’t flap in the wind when you’re driving down the road.

 

Inside the Vehicle

Inside my rig, the CamJam XT Aluminum has been just as handy. I’ve used it to secure a propane tank and cooler to the back of my SUV, not to mention a baby stroller to the side of my cargo area while still allowing enough space for my dog. The CamJam XT has even doubled as a dog leash when I forgot to grab one for a camping trip.

CamJam XT

In other situations, I’ve found the CamJam XT Aluminum to be perfect for securing lightweight items and when there are eyelets to clip onto. To make setup easy, I keep a loop tied in the end of the paracord I use with the XT so that I can loop it over, around, or girth hitched to whatever I’m securing. Then to tighten the line, all I need to do is pull the cord through the CamJam XT and the camming lever on the buckle does the rest. This little tie down has come in handy when securing camping gear on my roof rack, a tarp over dirt in the bed of a truck, and when picking up a Christmas tree during the holidays.

CamJam XT Aluminum

 

The “All-Arounder” Tie Down

There have been more than a few times when the object I want to tie down isn’t quite compatible with a cam strap or paracord, and for these miscellaneous “How am I going to tie this down?” moments, I’ve come to love the versatility of Gear Ties.

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

These reusable rubber twist ties have a soft, grippy rubber coating that won’t damage whatever they are tied to, nor will they slip or move about when tied to a roof rack or in your car. I’ve used the 32in. and 64in. lengths to bundle and secure pieces of trim molding in my car and have also used the thicker Mega Gear Ties to hold a ladder on my roof rack.

Gear Tie Mega

One of my favorite out-of-the-box uses was when I secured a milk crate to the roof of my SUV to transport firewood during a camping trip to Wyoming and Utah. I’ll be honest, I had my doubts but after driving several hours through Wyoming at 85mph without the milk crate moving, I was sold. With a few twists, those Gear Ties were rock solid!

 

How I Tie Down My Gear (And Keep It There)

Whether you use a cam strap, ratchet, Gear Tie or tie a trucker’s hitch when securing your loads is a matter of personal preference. No matter what method you choose, what is most important is ensuring that your load is secure and won’t come undone on a fast-moving highway, possibly putting other drivers at risk. For this reason alone, I always make sure I have a few tie-downs in my SUV. That way, I never have to worry about being stuck without one and can always lend a hand (or strap) to other drivers stranded on the road after their last-minute tie-down solution failed.

Topics: Gear Ties, Adventure, DIY, Tie Downs

10 Tips For The Perfect Road Trip

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jul 15, 2020 1:39:01 PM

10 Tips For The Perfect Road Trip

If you’re in need of a change in scenery but airline travel may be out of the question, a good old-fashioned American road trip could be just what you need to vacation responsibly and on a budget. Whether this is your first foray into multi-day road tripping, or you’re a seasoned traveler in need of a refresher, here are some basic tips to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch.

 

1. Check Your Vehicle

Most likely you’ll opt to take your own car (or a friend or family member’s) when you hit the road. Before you roll out, it’s a good idea to get your car checked out and serviced. Make sure you’ve had a fresh oil change and your tires are in good shape.

Another option you might consider is renting a car for the drive. Maybe you need something with a little extra space, or maybe you don’t want to add extra miles to your own car. You could also consider renting a camper van so you don’t have to use hotels or bring your own camping gear.

 

2. Plan Your Route

Steelie Magnetic Phone Mount

After deciding where you’re headed (National Parks make for great destinations), you’ll want to map directions. You might consider taking a scenic route and hitting some points of interest along the way. Check out the site roadtrippers.com to discover fun places to stop and see along the way – all you need to do is enter your start and end points. You can even edit your route accordingly on the site. When you’re ready to hit the road, load it up into your Google Maps.

You’ll also want to keep your phone handy for GPS and music without causing distractions while driving. Steelie magnetic phone mounts are perfect for the job, with several options to fit your needs. My personal favorite is the Steelie Orbiter Dash Kit because the metal plate lays flat on your phone case. If you’re renting a vehicle, you can use the Steelie Vent Kit, which just clips right onto the vent of any car.

 

3. Book Your Accommodations

Road Trip Tips

Whether you’re opting to camp along the way or take advantage of some local stays, planning your accommodations ahead is important. For camping (or van camping/RVing) you’ll have to research where you can stay, and make reservations. (Don’t count on walk-up sites being available, especially in the busy summer months.) If you’re relatively new to camping, we have a great guide to help you get started here.

You can also check vacation rental sites like Airbnb or Vrbo to check for any unique and budget-friendly stays along your way. There are a plethora of hotel deal websites out there these days, but when I don’t have a specific hotel in mind, my go-to is Hotwire. They don’t show you the name of the hotel until after you book – just the area it is located in and the review score – but the deals are worth it if you make sure you book one with great reviews.

 

4. Curate The Ultimate Playlist

No road trip is complete without an epic soundtrack. Take some time before your travels to curate your playlist on iTunes or Spotify. You can also ask your travel buddy (or buddies) to make their own as well so you can take turns and share your favorite songs (although generally speaking in my car, the driver gets to pick the music). You can also download some of your favorite podcasts, or an audio book for the ride to add some variety to your listening.

If you’re using Spotify, keep in mind that cell service could get spotty on the drive, so it’s best to download your playlist directly to your phone to keep the tunes rolling.

 

5. Prepare for the Unexpected

Car Emergency Kit

Although fingers crossed you won’t need it, it’s important to be prepared for things that could go wrong. Make sure to keep a first aid kit in your car (we have a handy guide on making your own here). You should also keep jumper cables, a backup phone battery, blanket, flashlight, knife, and a few other essentials you can read about in our Emergency Car Kit blog here.

I also check that my AAA membership is up to date in case I run into any car trouble.

 

6. Hit the Grocery Store

I always stock up on my favorite Trader Joe’s snacks (and lots of water) before a road trip. I like a balance between healthier snacks like nuts and dried fruit and some indulgences (for me, cheese crackers and chocolate). We also like to pack some beers in a cooler so we have a cold refreshment at the ready when we make it to our destination. (Pro tip: how many times have you arrived at your hotel room equipped with brews only to find there’s no opener? Save yourself a failed party trick and clip an Ahhh… Bottle Opener onto your cooler.) I often prep some PB&Js and stick those in the cooler as well, in case we get hungry while driving through an extended stretch of nothingness.

 

7. Pack It Up Pack It In

Road Trip Tips

Without going into a lengthy list of items to pack (I found a great one here), I do want to talk about how to pack. It seems whenever it’s time to hit the road, I always have a hard time fitting everything in the car (add in a dog and a kiddo or two and it gets even harder). My RunOff Waterproof Packing Cubes are now a must-have when it comes to consolidating my clothes. As a notorious over-packer, these have saved me on numerous occasions. They keep my clothes organized, and I can compress them down to fit inside my suitcase or duffel bag.

Still running slim on car space? If you have a roof rack, you’re in luck. Strap some luggage on top and secure it with a Dual CamJam Tie Down System to be sure it doesn’t become roadkill.

 

8. Bring Your Furry Family Members

Road Trip With Dogs

When I’m traveling by car instead of plane, I try to take my dog along for the ride if possible. If we’re camping, I double check the campground’s website to make sure dogs on leash are allowed. If I’m booking a hotel or Airbnb, I look for places by checking the “pet friendly” filters. A handy site to bookmark if you’re traveling with dogs is bringfido.com. You can put in the city or town you’re visiting and it will give you restaurants, breweries, stores or parks you can visit with your pooch in tow. They also have an app that gives you on-the-spot results based on your location!

If this is our dog’s first road trip or you’re not sure how he or she will do on the ride, check with your vet beforehand and they might prescribe a sedative or something to settle an upset stomach. Make sure the drive is safe for them too, by investing in a dog seatbelt or car seat so they don’t go flying if you have to make an abrupt stop. When it’s time for a bathroom break, a Pack-A-Poo on your leash will make sure you’re ready to clean up the mess. Before you load back up into the car after a pit stop, offer them some water (they need to stay hydrated too). I keep two of the RadDog Collapsible Bowls in my dog’s travel kit – one for water and one for food. They pack down super small so you don’t have to worry about large dog bowls taking up space in the car. Last but not least, clip a SpotLit onto your dog’s collar before you set out so they can be visible after dark for nighttime walks and potty breaks.

 

9. Carry Cash

If you’re anything like me these days, your wallet carries a lot more plastic than paper. It’s always a good idea to have cash on hand while traveling in general, but especially when you’re on unfamiliar roads. Not all highways are free, and there’s a chance you could run into some tolls, so it’s best to arrive prepared. Not to mention that many National Parks and campgrounds accept cash only.

 

10. Document, Document, Document

Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether

Last but not least, make sure you take lots of photos along the way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve regretted not taking enough pictures on a trip, and when I do stumble upon photos from vacations 10-20 years ago, it’s always a welcome reminder. The FlipOut Phone Handle + Stand is great for snapping perfect selfies or scenic shots, and the stand comes in handy for catching up on your latest Netflix binge once you’re ready to relax at your destination. I’m also a big fan of the Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether, which acts like a “leash” for your phone. This helps me carry my phone around on my wrist when my hands are full, but also ensures that I don’t drop it off the side of a cliff while trying to capture the moment.

 

Now that your vehicle is in top shape, your route is planned, the car is packed, the tunes are cued up, and your snacks are in reach, it’s time to hit the open road. My final word of advice? Watch out for speed traps, especially in rural areas. Keep note of speed limit signs because if there’s one thing that will ruin your fancy-free vacation mood, it’s a speeding ticket. What are your road trip tips? Share with the community in the comments section below. Have fun and stay safe out there!

Topics: "travel", Steelie, camping, vanlife

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

Posted by Brian Lambert on Jul 1, 2020 11:13:57 AM

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

If you consider yourself a Do-It-Yourselfer, have home projects, or are thinking of adding a new feature to your personal sanctuary, the Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster is going to be your new favorite accessory. This is the story of how it became mine….

We purchased our dream home in the mountains a couple of years ago, and with it came the customary honey-do list of things to update. This included replacing some electrical outlets, installing blinds and replacing light fixtures. 

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

I broke out the Clip Pock-its XL Utility Holster to begin the job. In mine I keep a Phillips and standard screwdriver, my DoohicKey Key Chain Knife, crescent wrench, pliers, and wire cutters, so I'm always ready to tackle basic tasks. I added a contact voltage tester for the work around the house and the holster carried everything I needed to complete the list (and maintain a healthy marriage).

NiteDog and NiteHowl in the snowIt was still dark when my dog Dexter came running into my room at 5:30am and woke me to let him out. It had snowed almost 3 feet the night before and it was still snowing. The moon was almost full, and it lit the falling snow like glitter gently falling to the ground. I could have used an extra hour of sleep, but the winter scene made it worth getting up early, plus I was going to have to plow the road in order to get to work. 

It was about 15 below zero, so I layered up, brewed a cup of coffee, climbed into my Polaris ATV, and started plowing down the mountain. I was about halfway down the road when I heard a loud pop. I didn’t think anything of it since the occasional rock would bounce into the plow, but when I attempted to brake as I started down a steep descent, the pedal went to the floor. I quickly dropped the plow to stop the rig and climbed out into the cold morning to see what happened. My tire chain had popped, snagged the brake line, and ripped it off. There was no way to move it safely, so I put a couple of rocks under the tires and hiked back up the hill. I was pondering trying to blast through the last half mile with my truck so I could get to work and to the store to get a new brake line, but the wind was picking up and covered what I had just plowed. Plan B…. It was MacGyver time. 

I grabbed my Clip Pock-Its Holster (already loaded with the tools I needed), as well as some silicone tape and sealant and skied back down the hill to fix the brake line. I dug under my rig through the snow, untangled the chain, re-routed the line, wrapped the holes in silicone tape, and spread the sealant to try to stop the leak. Even though I was crawling back and forth in the snow, the holster stayed snuggly on my belt, giving me easy access to my tools without having to take off my gloves. I started the engine to try to warm it under the Polaris enough for the silicone to dry. It worked! The brakes were soft, but I was able to run two lanes to clear enough snow enough to get out. (Warning: It was a temporary fix in an emergency sort of situation. I do not recommend this.  Broken brake lines should always be replaced.)  

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

Living in the mountains has many advantages, but anyone with a house in a remote area that is forested is concerned about fires.  Wildfire mitigation to create a defensible space around the home is essential and, in many states, a mitigation plan is required by law. In my case, the area I live unfortunately already burned down. The fire mitigation plan is oriented towards clearing the dozens of downed trees and when possible, harvesting the tree for firewood. This was the perfect excuse to buy a new chainsaw.  Anyone that has used a chainsaw will tell you that it is essential to keep it sharp. I might have to sharpen the saw a couple of times a day, depending on the number of trees.  A good sharpening kit will include a couple of round files, a flat file, and a round file guide and depth gauge. I like to include my DoohicKey Knife and a tweezers, which all fit perfectly in the holster. I wear it around the property so I don't have to walk back to the house when my chainsaw needs to be sharpened. I ended up using it so often that I bought a second holster so I can keep my chainsaw kit at the ready when I need it.

How The Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster Became My Favorite Accessory

To sum it up, whether I'm accomplishing a simple task, or in a critical situation, the Clip Pock-Its XL Utility Holster makes the job easier. I don't have to constantly hunt for my tools or worry about how to get them where I need them. If you want an incredibly convenient way to carry essential tools, this holster is the accessory you need…plus, it works much better than a tool belt if you want to wear shorts. 

Topics: Emergency Preparedness, DIY, Home

6 Tips for Your 4th of July on the Boat

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on Jun 23, 2020 11:33:00 AM

6 Tips For Your 4th of July on the Boat

When it comes to celebrating the USA, bringing out the boat for a 4th on the water only feels right. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or just learning the ropes, here are a few universal tips to ensure you don’t rock the boat when you hit the open waters this 4th of July.

 

1. Check official state regulations

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thirsting for a swim or cruise on the water after months stuck inside. I hope I’m not bursting anyone’s boating bubble here, but there are still many strict guidelines in place when it comes to waterway activities and gatherings. Check with official local mandates before launching off this 4th—there may be limitations to the type of watercraft allowed, as well as the number of people per boat. Generally speaking, you should only be boating with members of your household, so keep the party in the family this year.

 

2. Scan the skies

Summer Boating Tips

On top of government regulations regarding waterway use, we can’t forget to follow the most important authority for a good day on the water: the weather forecast. Check local forecasts and apps for the most up-to-date predictions to avoid any stormy seas. When in doubt, defer to the old-as-time saying that my boating family (Coast Guard members included) still follows: “Red sky at night, sailors’ delight; red sky at morning, sailors’ warning."

 

3. Break out the ‘Merica gear
USA SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

 

As long as the skies are clear and your boat’s in the clear per state regulations, you’ll be smooth sailing. Now for the fun part. Stock up on your fave USA gear and make sure to grab a float or two – after a few hours on the water, your legs will want a break from all that swimming. One of my favorite items to get me in the patriotic spirit is the SlapLit™ LED Drink Wrap in the new USA pattern. Not only does it provide great insulation to keep your beer at optimal chillness, but also great illumination after the sun sets.

Boating bonus: Speaking of sunsets, make sure to grab a hoodie, hat, or pair of pants for when that after-dark chill sets in. And don’t forget to pack a mid-day snack too. You’ll need to fuel up after a day of swimming, drinking, and soaking up the sun.


4. Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock
RunOff Waterproof Pocket

 

Enough said. Lather up liberally with water-resistant sunblock and make sure to apply extra to your face, shoulders, and any hotspots for sunburn. Bring the sunscreen with you on the boat and reapply every few hours—just toss it in a RunOff® Waterproof Pocket, along with your ID, keys, and any other must-haves for instant protection and accessibility.

Boating bonus: If you’re planning to set sail in ocean waters, make sure to grab a reef-friendly sunblock to protect the corals’ home while you’re visiting!

 

5. Protect your phone

RunOff Waterproof Phone Pouch

Let’s face it: It’s too hard to part with your phone for a day on the water, and you’ll want to capture some memories while you’re out there anyway. But being surrounded by water with a drink in hand and zero pockets for storage doesn’t exactly sound like a phone-friendly environment. Have no fear, RunOff is here. The RunOff® Waterproof Phone Pouch is perfect for boating days, keeping your phone protected while keeping your hands free with its attached lanyard. You can even send texts, use apps, and snap underwater pics with your phone safe in the pouch, giving you the power to stay connected and protected all day long.

S-Biner Marine SlideLock

 

Boating bonus: On top of protecting your phone, keeping your boating equipment, keys, and other valuables stowed and secured is an important lesson in Boating 101. And trust me, one big wake or gust of wind will send your stuff flying if not properly anchored to your boat. Lock down your cooler, life vests, boat keys, and more with an aquatic-friendly and rust-resistant S-Biner® Marine SlideLock®.

 

 

6. Follow the sun
Radiant 300 Rechargeable headlamp

 

Once the sun is headed for the horizon, it’s probably time to bring in the boat and take the patriotic party ashore. However, it’s likely you’ll still get caught in the dark on your way back in, so make sure to prepare with a few portable lights. Check that your boat lights are up to snuff before heading out and grab a few handheld lights for any on-the-spot navigating and diagnostics. Most of our INOVA LED flashlights are waterproof, and come in a variety of sizes and lumen counts perfect for scanning the waters to your port and starboard, while the Radiant® 300 Rechargeable Headlamp is a must for any underway hiccups and when returning back into hoist.

 No matter how you celebrate the stars and stripes, always celebrate safely and smartly. Sail away and happy 4th!

Topics: Adventure, fishing, runoff, boating

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