10 Ways To Enjoy The Great Indoors This Winter

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jan 15, 2021 10:44:29 AM

10 Ways to Enjoy the Great Indoors This Winter

Winter is in full swing, and for some of us in the colder areas of the country, that means much more time inside. Perhaps a lot more time than you would prefer, which is why you’ll need some distractions to keep from developing cabin fever. With these weeks stuck indoors, it could be the perfect time to pick up a new skill or hobby. Consider some of these ideas to keep you busy, stimulated, and productive this winter season.

 

Get Crafty

Crafting with Radiant 170 Headlamp

Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or always wanted to dip your toe in, this is the optimal season to take on a project. You could learn how to crochet your own hats and scarves, and give them as gifts. New to knitting or crochet? Try looking up some instructional videos on YouTube to help get you started.

Other crafts you could try include cross-stitching, upcycling old clothing and items, soap or candle making, spicing up your old denim with some embroidery, or scrapbooking. Hop on Pinterest and do a quick search for inspiration and you’ll find the possibilities are endless.

DoohicKey Hook Knife

Pro Tip: If you’d prefer to do your handiwork in the evening by the low light of your favorite bingeable shows (or, if your eyesight isn’t quite what it once was), a headlamp will come in handy. Our Radiant 170 Rechargeable Headlamp is perfect for close-up tasks.

Pro Tip #2: If you’re working with fabric, Gear Ties are great for keeping it rolled and bundled, or you can keep spools of twine, ribbon, or yarn organized. For working with twine or thread, a DoohicKey Hook Knife is a convenient tool to keep on hand.

 

Organize Crafts with Gear Ties

 

Tackle a Home Project

Tackle a home project

Being stuck inside provides a great opportunity to take on one of those projects you’ve been meaning to get around to. Maybe you have a slow drain you’d like to try fixing yourself, or a light fixture you’d like to hang. Start with something simple that you can learn to safely complete yourself, and do some research online – YouTube is a great resource for instructional videos.

Pro Tip: For those jobs that need a little extra light, the Radiant 170 Rechargeable Clip Light is the perfect alternative to a headlamp for anyone who wears a hat. It simply clips onto hat bills, provides a bright, even flood lighting that’s perfect for tasks, and is conveniently rechargeable.

 

Try Some New Recipes or Get Into Baking

Cooking with the Steelie Pedestal

Winter is the perfect time to fire up that oven and cook some warm comfort foods. On the weekends, having some extra time on your hands will allow you to try something a little more complicated than your standard weeknight meal. If you’ve been waiting for the weather to cool down so you can start baking, the wait is finally over. For something simple, try a banana bread or a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Or, if you’re already a seasoned baker, research some more complex pastries and impress your family and neighbors!

Pro Tip:  These days, many of us find and follow recipes right from our smartphones. To keep it in view and make it easier to follow along, try a Steelie Pedestal (a must-have necessity for those who already use a Steelie car mount system). Alternatively, the FlipOut Phone Handle + Stand or QuikStand are great accessories to help keep your mobile screens and recipes in view.

 

Dabble in Woodworking

Learn woodworking

If you’ve always had the dream of crafting your own simple furniture (or even just a shelf), there’s no time like the present to try a simple woodworking project. Although this hobby requires a lot more equipment than a ball of yarn and crochet needle, if you’re serious about giving it a go, it might be something to consider investing in. Creating your own pieces can be incredibly rewarding, and as you get more experienced, you might even be able to sell them someday – or at least give them as gifts. Start by doing some research online about what you might need to complete your first simple project. You could try starting with a bird house just like in 7th grade woodshop! It’s fun to start looking around on Pinterest and YouTube for ideas of what you can create, and how to make it all happen.

Pro Tip: You’ll want to keep all of your essential woodworking tools in arm’s reach, so the Clip Pock-It’s XL Utility Holster is perfect for the task.

 

Read a Book

BugLit Rechargeable Micro Flashlight

Sure, this one is pretty obvious, but that doesn’t make it a stale idea. There isn’t a better season to cozy up with a good book than winter, and it’s a great way to take advantage of some extra time on your hands while at home. If you’re like many of us and the last book you bought is still sitting on your nightstand untouched, now is the time to crack it open. 

Pro Tip: If you get so enthralled that you find yourself reading into the night (just one more chapter!), it’s a good idea to have a reading light handy so you don’t disturb a sleeping partner. Our BugLit Rechargeable Micro Flashlight is a perfect companion for your late-night reading sessions, and can be positioned in a variety of ways with its Gear Tie “legs.”

 

Have a Family Game Night

Family game night

Time to dust off the old board games! You might be surprised how much fun you can actually have with your whole family on a cold Friday or Saturday night without even leaving the house. Make an occasion of it by ordering a pizza, and have members vote on their game of choice. It might be exciting to try out something new, or perhaps nostalgia is calling your name. Either way, have fun, and make it a night you and your family will remember fondly.



Work on a Puzzle

Work on a puzzle Radiant 170 Headlamp

A favorite pastime for a rainy day is putting a puzzle together – either by yourself, or with a family member. Not only is it relaxing, but it is completely satisfying once it’s finished. You can even glue it together with Mod Podge and frame it when it’s done to show off your hard work.

Pro Tip: If you’d like to put on one of your favorite movies on in the background while you work and turn the lights down, a headlamp is perfect for providing the right amount of light where you need it. The Radiant 314 Rechargeable Headlamp is the best fit for the job.

 

Get Artsy

Learn to paint

Break out the Bob Ross videos, now is your time for your own personal painting party. Whether you want to dabble in oil paints, acrylics or watercolors, do some research and visit your local crafts store to figure out where to start. And if you’ve always wanted to try some “happy trees” of your own, there’s no time like the present. If you’re not ready to go all in on creating your own masterpiece, but would like an artistic activity to help you relax, pick up an adult coloring book and a set of colored pencils. You’ll be surprised at how meditative and relaxing this activity can be (and it pairs well with a glass of wine).

Oranize your art supplies

Pro Tip: Use Gear Ties to organize your art supplies or craft bins. You can bundle brushes or colored pencils, hang items on a peg board, or wrangle the cords of your glue gun.

Wrangle cords with Gear Ties

 

Camp Out In Your Living Room

Camping in your living room

If winter camping in below freezing temps doesn’t exactly sound like your idea of a good time, but you (or your kiddos) can’t wait to set up the tent, why not try an indoor campout? It’s a fun way to put all that new camping gear you acquired in 2020 to use, and bring a little something out of the ordinary to your life.

Radiant 314 Rechargeable Lantern

You can eat camp food for dinner, make s’mores in the oven, and tell ghost stories with the lights out. The best part? Being able to use your very own indoor plumbing!

Pro Tip: Ditch the house lights and get in the mood by using lanterns, headlamps, and flashlights during your indoor campout. The Radiant 314 Rechargeable Lantern offers an “amber mode” to give your campout a real fireside feel.

 

 

Teach Fido A New Trick

Teach your dog a new trick

If you’re holed up with your pooch, make it a goal to include him or her in some fun too! If it’s too cold to enjoy your usual leisurely walk or trip to the dog park, a good activity you can do indoors that will entertain both of you is learn a new trick. If your dog has already mastered the basic commands, check out these 10 cool tricks you can teach them that are sure to impress your friends (or your dog’s Instagram followers).

Pro Tip: Play some glow-in-the-dark fetch (either in the backyard, or turn the lights down inside) with a GlowStreak LED Ball!

 

We hope this list has you feeling a bit more optimistic about being stuck indoors this winter. You might just find your new favorite hobby this season! The possibilities of things you can create are endless, and there’s no shortage of ways to stay busy. Let us know how you’ll be beating the winter blues this year, and leave us a comment with your own pro tips below.

Topics: Gear Ties, DIY, Home, Organization, LED Products, headlamp, kids

Big Ideas For The Year Ahead: VisualIZE Your 2021 Goals

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Dec 30, 2020 9:50:18 AM

New Year's Resolutions 2021 – Visualize Your Goals

If we’ve learned anything from this heck of a year, it’s that making plans doesn’t always work out, well, as planned. There may have been certain holiday traditions you had to forgo this year, but one that you should still make an effort to uphold is making your New Year’s resolutions for 2021. Even those might look a little different this year after taking time to reflect on all that was 2020. After a year nearly stuck on pause, there’s no time like the present to tackle your goals and focus on self-improvement, one resolution at a time.

Each month of 2021, we will reveal a Big Idea word designed to help you get motivated and make the most out of your year. This month’s Big Idea is VisualIZE – our way to help you dream up your aspirations for the coming year, and rise to meet them. If this year has you feeling a little less inspired to set some exciting goals for the next year, we’re here to help with some suggestions.

 

Get Fit + Don’t Quit

Fitness New Year's Resolutions

Likely the most basic and fundamental resolution is health and fitness related. Perhaps this past year has you thinking about making healthier life choices, or maybe you need to get back into the swing of an exercise routine after spending too much time in comfy pants. Whatever your reason may be, set your sights on a goal that is personally attainable. If you’re new to a fitness routine of any kind, an Ironman triathlon might be a bit too ambitious. Maybe aim for a 10K or half marathon instead this year, and work up from there. 

If you’re training for running or cycling, you might have to spend some early mornings or evening hours in the dark. Some new light-up gear to help you stay seen and safe at night might actually help motivate you to get out there too! Try a SlapLit LED Slap Wrap or a rechargeable TagLit Magnetic Marker to keep yourself seen and safe while you run, and a headlamp to light your path. If you’re getting into cycling, make sure your bike is outfitted with front and rear lights (for both day and night safety), and a rechargeable SpokeLit for side visibility.

Utilizing a fitness tracker or smart watch can be a big help in keeping you motivated and meeting your goals. If you’re currently missing classroom-style workouts, try a virtual one! If joining a membership-based program is out of your price range, there are great workouts you can find for free on YouTube. Even a half hour of yoga three times a week is a simple enough resolution that is fairly easy to keep, but can make a big difference in how you feel.

 

Tackle the To-Do List

Home Project New Year's Resolutions

Do you have a home project you’d like to accomplish but have been putting off? This might be the year to make it happen. Again, make your goals realistic. If you’re looking at a busy year already with work and/or family commitments, now might not be the right time for a complete remodel, but maybe you can start small with a bathroom, or a simple room repaint. Check out this list of 50 DIY projects that you could even complete in a weekend. This could also be a good year to finally plant a vegetable garden. Check out our tips for how to get started on one here

However big or small your aspirations are, get yourself the right gear to tackle the task. Once you’re fully invested, taking the next steps to complete your project will come easier.

 

Clean Space, Clear Mind

Organizing New Year's Resolutions

Do you feel slightly more anxious or stressed when your space is a mess? You’re not alone. Living with clutter can sometimes take a mental toll. Make a plan to organize your home (or even just a part of your home) in 2021. Kick the year off on the right foot by organizing your holiday decorations before storing them away. Buy some plastic tubs or drawers if you don’t already have some, and label them so you know exactly what’s in each. Use Gear Ties to wrangle your strings of lights – you’ll thank yourself next year!

If setting a goal of organizing your entire home is too daunting, maybe resolve to organize your garage, home office, closet, or even just the junk drawer. Just knocking out one of these tasks can help you clear your mind, and feel more accomplished. To get the ball rolling, check out these seven unique products to help organize your life here.

In this technological modern world we live in, we have to deal with all sorts of digital clutter in addition to the physical. Consider making a tech goal for yourself, such as regular hard drive backups, organizing and storing your files, or upping your online password game. If you have older but important files laying around on outdated external hard drives, consider investing in a brand new drive and migrating your files. Nowadays, solid state hard drives are more reliable, durable and have longer life expectancy than the older versions. For the more physical tech clutter, commit to keeping your charging cables tangle-free and fray-free. Preserve your cord ends with CordCollars and wrangle your cables with Gear Tie Cordables.

Does it seem like doing anything on the internet these days has you in a constant state of password hell? Either you fall into the trap of using the same password over and over (not recommended), or you are constantly clicking that “forgot password” button. Make a goal to organize your passwords – you can even consider a password management system. There are many out there, so read some reviews before you commit to one. It might take a day to set everything up, but it will save you time and headaches in the long run.

 

Dream Up a Getaway

Travel New Year's Resolutions

It might be finally safe to travel later on this year (hooray!), so now is a good time to start thinking about where you would like to go. Research has shown that even thinking about an upcoming trip can boost your mood. Give yourself something to look forward to by planning a getaway for when you think you will be safe and comfortable to venture out. You can certainly plan a camping trip now, and the sooner the better. Campgrounds have been booking up faster than ever before, so make your reservations as early as possible. If you’re planning to visit a National Park, you will also need a reservation these days, so don’t put that off either. If you’d prefer to use wheels than wings to travel, check out our 10 tips for planning the perfect road trip.

 

Try Something New

New Hobby New Year's Resolutions

Research has shown that people who regularly learn new things are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Keep your brain synapses firing full throttle by teaching yourself something new in 2021. This could be anything from taking a painting course, learning a new language, or cooking your way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you’ve been meaning to get into journaling for a while, make this your year. If you’ve never held knitting needles in your life, maybe set a goal to learn and craft yourself a piece of clothing by the end of the year (or give some as gifts next holiday season). You could even go big and treat yourself to a Masterclass subscription and learn loads of new skills this year! These virtual classes allow you to learn directly from the experts you trust in a wide variety of categories. For instance, you can learn photography from Annie Leibovitz, cooking from Gordon Ramsay, basketball from Steph Curry, or dog training from Lucky Dog’s Brandon McMillan.

 

Include Rover

New Year's Resolutions For Pets

Speaking of dog training, maybe make a New Year’s resolution that includes your best four-legged friend, too! If you feel like you’ve been slacking in the walk department, shoot for daily walks, which will benefit both of you. It’s easy to blow them off during the winter months when it’s always dark and cold (do we really have to get out?), so help motivate yourself with a NiteDog light-up collar and leash! Not only will this make you visible to oncoming cars or bikes, you’ll be surprised how many compliments you receive for looking so cool. Check out our other ideas for New Year’s resolutions you can share with your dog here!

 

So what do you visualIZE for 2021? Once you’ve landed on a resolution (or maybe a few, if you’re ambitious), take a moment to write it down. You might start a new journal for the new year and put your resolution(s) on the first page, write them on a notecard and stick it to your fridge, or even a sticky note on your computer screen to help remind you throughout the year what you are working toward. And don’t forget to check out our VisualIZE collection of curated products to help you reach your 2021 goals, and check back next month for February’s Big Idea! We’ll be here to help you realIZE your goals all year long.

Topics: Visibility and Safety, Run Safety, "travel", DIY, Home, Fitness, Pets, dogs, Surprize

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

Prepare Your Home For Winter With These Hacks

Posted by Brian Lambert on Nov 24, 2020 1:59:00 PM

Prepare your home for winter with these hacks

It happened again. It seems to happen every year. I am sitting on the patio of my mountaintop home in 70-degree weather plotting out my next bike ride when the weather forecasters start sounding the alarm for winter. In my area, that means snow and wind. We have regular sustained winds of 60 mph and gusts up to 85 mph as storms roll through, so it is essential to be prepared, or risk serious consequences.

My first year living on the hill I used bungee cords to try to keep everything in my yard from blowing away, but the weather was just too severe for the elastic. The cords disintegrated over time and became useless. When I saw a lawn chair connected to a bungee hovering over the hill like a kite on a string, I knew I needed a better solution.

Keep your patio furniture safe from wind storms with Gear Ties

Since I don’t have the storage space to bring in all the patio furniture, I use Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties to fasten most of the pieces to the deck rails. I use the 18” and 24” most frequently because they are easy to tie and untie when I want to move a chair.

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties

Once our first hard freeze is in the forecast, I know it’s time to blow out the irrigation system. I also wrap insulation around the exposed pipes, and secure it in place with 12” Gear Ties.

Insulating your sprinkler pipes

The hoses get disconnected, wrapped with 24” Gear Ties, and hung up for the season.

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

I also have rain barrels that I remove from the gutters and store outside. I use KnotBone Adjustable Bungees as well as 12’ Dual CamJam Tie Down System to affix the barrels to the fence for the winter. I love both of these products because I can adjust the length and tension of the bungees, and respectively move the CamJam buckle to anywhere on the webbing, so it is easy to manage when I need to tighten or adjust.

KnotBone Adjustable Bungee and Dual CamJam Tie Down System

The heavy wind and wet snow can sometimes knock down trees or power lines, so we lose power a couple times each winter and must rely on our generator. We keep the starter battery inside the house and connected to a trickle charger, so it’s always ready when we need it. The rubber band that originally held the battery in place rotted, so I use an 18” Gear Tie to keep it in place when it’s running. I also keep 10 gallons of fuel just in case we have a sustained outage.  

My last little hack is for my truck.  There is not much room for me to chain up in the canyon and I’m concerned that someone won’t see me as I’m lying in the road at night, so I have a winter chain up kit I repurposed from summer products, including two NiteGem LED Luminaries, a red LED Mini Glow Stick, a Radiant 250 Headlamp, three extra AAA batteries, a pair of winter work gloves, and my Carhartt coveralls, all stored in a RunOff Waterproof Large Packing Cube. I can just grab it, suit up, and feel safe while I'm crawling around in the snow putting on the chains.

Winter chain-up kit

And just like that, we’re buttoned up and ready to hunker down for winter. Granted, it’s taken me a few failures before I found what works, but such is life. That being said, I’m always on the lookout for new tips. Leave a comment and let me know what other improvements I should consider for my winterizing strategy.

Topics: Gear Ties, DIY, Home, runoff, Tie Downs

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

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

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

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