We Chat With 2019's Awe x Nite Ize Summit Scholarship Winner

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Mar 12, 2020 10:23:37 AM

MelissaBlog-Featured

Last year, we worked with our friends at AWExpeditions to create a scholarship for one woman to travel to Nepal for a mountaineering trip of a lifetime. We are excited to announce that we have again partnered with AWExpeditions to bring the Summit Scholarship back for year two! We caught up with Melissa, last year's Summit Scholarship recipient, to talk about her experience trekking to Everest Basecamp and summiting 20,305ft Island Peak with AWE. Read her interview here and prepare to be inspired.

 

Q: Hi Melissa! First off, tell us a little about yourself and how you got into mountaineering.

Sure! I have lived in Boulder, Colorado the last 8 years where I’ve been enjoying the Rocky Mountains, but am originally from California where I grew up exploring the Sierras and Cascades. I work as a water resource engineer and hydrologist, and feel lucky to work in a profession in which I can connect to the outdoor places I love. Although I enjoyed the outdoors growing up, moving to Colorado after college multiplied the opportunities for getting outside. I made a conscious effort to try every activity that sounded fun and at least a little bit terrifying, all of which led me to appreciate the numerous dramatic peaks in the Rockies. I had the opportunity to learn how to ice climb, started overcoming my fear of heights by scrambling (climbing low-grade exposed rock without a rope), then transitioned from resort snowboarding to backcountry skiing to spend more time in the wilderness. Simultaneously, I pushed myself to move higher and further on my trail runs. I started snow climbing after recovering from a near-death accident in order to conquer my PTSD and fell in love with it. I realized that all of these activities could naturally blend together as interesting and fun mountaineering objectives. 

 

Q: Why did you apply for the AWE x Nite Ize Summit Scholarship and how did it feel to win?

The AWE x Nite Ize Summit Scholarship embodied my journey into outdoor independence. Although I found great outdoor communities, nearly all my foundational experiences in the outdoors relied on a male partner.  I often depended on a significant other to plan objectives and felt like I needed him there to feel secure in challenging environments. If I wasn’t invited on outings or my partner wasn’t available, I felt like I couldn’t do the things I wanted to. After being excluded from a series of trips that I felt prepared for because I was told I couldn’t handle them, I decided to take charge of the situation by training myself to execute trips independently. I started getting outside more on my own and took classes to educate myself. I realized that many other female friends felt a similar lack of empowerment and began pushing others to do more all-female trips. The AWE x Nite Ize Summit Scholarship emphasizes female empowerment in the outdoors to encourage more equality in high altitude mountaineering and break down some of the barriers women have historically faced in getting into the sport. While I had spent a lot of time building the essential skills for mountaineering, I still wasn’t sure how to put together a high altitude expedition. Sunny Stroeer and her partners have recognized that this is a huge factor in the lack of female mountaineers and this scholarship was a great opportunity to break into the sport in a more controlled environment led by a woman that encompassed all of these values.  I was incredibly honored to win this scholarship. From what I understand there were women from over 20 countries who applied for this opportunity, all of whom had incredible stories. This speaks to the importance of the work Sunny, Nite Ize, and Lowa are all promoting.

 

Q: How did you train for the expedition to Everest Base Camp and Island Peak?

 Living in Colorado, I am lucky to have access to many peaks in the 14,000 ft elevation range. We had a fairly long winter prior to the expedition, so I spent the spring climbing and skiing the taller mountains in the state using the technical gear (crampons and ice axe) I would use on Island Peak. Over the summer, I got up to 14,000 ft. one to two days a week by squeezing in trail runs and scrambles up high into the dark hours after work and doing longer (7-12 hour) pushes on ridges at altitude on the weekends. I had just transitioned from graduate school to a full time job so efficiency was essential. My main goal was to stay acclimated and prolong my endurance as much as possible. Speed was not as critical as the expedition would require long days carrying a heavy pack at altitude.

 

MelissaBlog-Rocks

 

Q: What surprised you the most while on your expedition?

 This was my first trip to the Himalayas, and I made a point not to look up photos of the hiking region prior to the expedition apart from the necessary technical aspects of the climb. I was blown away by the dramatic, lush canyons below treeline and the enormous rivers we crossed over precarious suspension bridges. Once we climbed into the alpine, the mountains were on a scale that dwarfed every previous experience I had. It is an incredible feeling, hiking on a plateau at 14,000 ft. and seeing mountains stretch more than 10,000 ft. above you. That said, I think the Sherpa people were just as impressive. They live at elevations up to 17,000 ft. and are the loveliest and most generous people I’ve encountered.

 

 

Q: What was it like to reach the summit?

 Reaching the summit was even more satisfying and fulfilling than I anticipated. I say that because I had tried not to put too much pressure on myself to reach the summit so that I could embrace the experience regardless of the outcome. However, at about 19,000 ft. I really began to struggle physically with the altitude and wasn’t sure if I could finish the route. I think I had become weaker from having issues with sleep apnea at altitude a few days before summit day in which I would stop breathing at night and wake myself up. The final push is a 1,000 ft., steep headwall on which you need to simultaneously ascend with a jumar in one hand while climbing with an ice axe with your other hand. My team noticed that I was starting to deteriorate and provided an enormous amount of emotional support to help boost me up the final part of the climb. Pushing through that mental barrier was huge for me in recognizing my potential. It was also wonderful to celebrate with the team on the summit with a 100% success rate. One of our Sherpas celebrated by taking his shirt off (at 6,000m!) and opening a can of beer to share with the team. And I suppose I should mention that the views were spectacular!

MelissaBlog-Resting

 

Q: What Nite Ize product came in most handy on the trip?

I enjoyed using a variety of Nite Ize products on the trip, but I really relied on the INOVA STS PowerSwitch headlamp. Throughout the trip we had minimal to no lighting at night in our teahouse rooms and on our summit day we spent the first many hours hiking in the dark through technical terrain. I have often been disappointed with the brightness and reach of headlamps I’ve used, but this one is incredibly bright on high power. It also has a dimming feature to conserve power, as well as a red light function to use in the evening at camp when you don’t want to blind your climbing team. The other feature that was really helpful was the ability to swipe the top of the headlamp to change the settings and toggle it on and off. On Island Peak I was wearing enormous mittens and usually trying to press a button on a headlamp is challenging, but this technology allows you to have full functionality without exposing your hands. The other great feature is that the headlamp is both rechargeable and uses AAA batteries so you have backup methods for charging. I should also mention that the Nite Ize team was incredible to work with and was very generous in its support of this scholarship.

 

Q: What was your favorite part of the trip as a whole?

Everything! But if I have to choose something, I would say the relationships I formed along the way. I shared a room and tent with Kerry, one of my new role models and the other female participant on the trip. We bonded over our suffering, laughed at the deteriorating state of our cleanliness and ultimately pushed each other up the summit. I had wonderful talks with Sunny and her husband Paul, a climbing icon himself, about making goals happen and about general life wisdom. Alex, the only male participant kept the climb light-hearted with his humor. This team of strangers quickly became more like a family to me and I know these relationships will last the rest of my life. On top of that, our two Sherpas, MIngma and Phurba, introduced me to a completely new culture and became good friends. These two had climbed Everest multiple times as well as many more technically challenging peaks - coming from the land of super-athletes in Boulder, this was definitely a humbling experience.

Melissa-Blog-Climbing

 

Q: What’s the next adventure you hope to tackle?

This year I have a few smaller objectives including skiing a few more of the volcanoes in the Cascades  and completing the longest and steepest ultra running race I’ve done. However, next year I would like to try to ski Denali. It is almost exactly the same elevation as Island Peak, but has more relief and more objective hazards. I love Alaska and think skiing a high altitude peak would be incredible. Immediately after the trip I thought I wouldn’t be interested in more high altitude climbs because of the health challenges, but my memory seems to change over time...

 

We're excited to take the Summit Scholarship into year two by sponsoring one woman to join AWE on their expedition to climb Kilimanjaro this fall! If reading this has piqued your interest, applications are open on www.awexpeditions.org from March 16th - April 15th, 2020.

Topics: Adventure, Field Team, Mountaineering, AWE

Light Up Your NightTime Dog Walks

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Nov 6, 2019 10:33:34 AM

Light Up Your Nighttime Dog Walks

By Pet Photographer Adam Goldberg, AGoldPhoto

Make nighttime walks with your pup simpler and safer

We recently teamed up with Nite Ize and the Seminole Heights Dog Pack to test LED products that make nighttime walks with your pup simpler and safer. With Daylight Savings Time ending, it gets darker earlier and the Nite Ize LED products make it easy to keep track of multiple pets in the dark.

The Seminole Heights Dog Pack typically convenes on Saturday mornings, so their members were excited to gather on a weeknight to light up the night.

Pictured below is the Nite Ize SpotLit Collar Light, which easily clips onto the D-ring of your pet’s collar or harness.  A simple push of a button lets you switch from a constant glow mode to an attention-grabbing flashing mode.

SpotLit Collar Light

We walked around the neighborhood and the SpotLit Collar Light attracted a lot of attention from passers-by, which is exactly what you want when walking in the dark.

We’ve met pups in the past that need to walk at unpopular hours due to leash aggression, so walking later at night is a necessity. Having a collar light will make those walks even safer.

SpotLit XL Rechargeable Collar Light

Darker dogs are especially difficult to see at night. The SpotLit Collar Light is necessity to ensure your night time walks are safe.

Nighttime Safety and Visibility For Dogs

We also tested out the NiteHowl Rechargeable LED Safety Necklace, which is made with flexible polymer that’s illuminated by bright LEDs and can be recharged for hours of nighttime fun and safety. The NiteHowl makes identifying multiple dogs easy with the ability to choose from one of three selectable colors (red, green, blue), plus a unique Disc-O mode. By illuminating the polymer with multiple colors at the same time, Disc-O mode creates a flowing color-blending pattern that’s as fun as it is functional.

NiteHowl Rechargeable LED Dog Safety Necklace

A crowd favorite during the Pack Walk was the Nite Ize Leash Lit. The Microlight will help light the path ahead and keep your favorite furry friend and yourself seen and safe. Four Gear Tie legs are attached to the bright white light so the LeashLit can easily wrap around leashes, treat bags, belts, and more to create a conveniently accessible light that is always right at hand. The design allows it to be quickly attached or removed, as well as stand on its own for hands-free lighting. Last but not least, the LeashLit will always be ready to shine a light on the inglorious task of cleaning up after Fido.

LeashLit

Stay safe with your pups at night!

All photos by AGoldPhoto

AGoldPhoto Pet Photography is made up of Tampa-based husband and wife team Mary and Adam Goldberg. AGoldPhoto hosts Pet Photo Shoot Fundraisers all over the country and raises awareness about pet rescue and adoption.

Topics: Dog Party, LED Pet Products, LED Dog Products, Field Team, Pets, LED Products

Running Wild In China

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Oct 2, 2019 10:24:32 AM
Fastest Known Time on the TransQilian
By Nite Ize Field Team Member Sunny Stroeer
 
Tears of gratitude are welling in my eyes. I slow down my steps, switch off my Radiant 300 Headlamp, and take a deep breath as I look up into the sea of brilliant stars. Even without a moon the night sky is on fire; the starlight is strong enough to faintly illuminate the boardwalk path that snakes out in front of me, leading farther into a beautiful Chinese mountain scape. 
 
It is 3:15am and I am by myself, deep in the Qilian mountains of remote Western China. A shooting star traces a bright arch in the sky above me. I shake my head in wonder, take another deep breath, and switch my light back on.  “Onwards - let’s do this!” I mumble to myself as I break into a light jog on the boardwalk.
 
Sunny Strooer Fastest Known Time
 
“This” is a speed record: I am in China to try and break the fastest known time (abbreviated as ‘FKT’ among trail runners) on a 65 mile loop course high up in the Qilian mountain range.
 
As an adventure athlete and ultra runner, long distance trails are my speciality. I am actually not a particularly fast runner, but thanks to years of training I can keep going for hours or even days without stopping. The higher up and harder the terrain, the better I tend to do.  That’s why this course, the TransQilian, is a compelling objective for me: it starts at 9,600ft above sea level and climbs as high as 14,600ft where it crosses a remote and technical mountain pass, nestled below towering glaciated peaks. 
 
Sunny Stroeer Ultra Runner
 
Right now I am only about a mile into the record attempt – I started running barely fifteen minutes ago, at 3am, after waking up in the middle of the night. I know that the boardwalk that I am following right now will give way to high alpine tundra and talus in just a few short miles, and I will no longer be alone: there are a handful of strong local Chinese ultra runners waiting to accompany me for sections of the course as pacers, to help with navigation and ensure my safety. 
 
This is what drives my deep sense of gratitude as I move through this starry mountain night: not only do I get to run here and experience a side of China that I didn’t know existed; I get to do it with the support of the budding local adventure community, feeling welcomed and embraced by a group of mountain athletes who are on the verge of changing the landscape of the global running world
 
In a matter of minutes I reach the end of the boardwalk and my first two Chinese pacers. Together we continue through the night, now on rough mountain trails that lead higher and higher up.  It is dark and cold and the altitude makes breathing more difficult with each step we take. We are near 13,000ft when dawn finally breaks; a warm glowing red and orange line on the horizon announces the arrival of the morning.  
 
Sunny Stroeer TransQilian
The difficulty of the terrain increases the higher we go.  We approach the course high point in a steep, talus filled bowl.  The line that I have chosen is different - steeper and more direct - than that of my companions; I can hear the worry in their voices as they shout at me in Chinese, presumably beckoning me to abandon my route choice and come join them in lower angle terrain.  I shout back in English, knowing they won’t be able to understand: “It’s fine! I’ll see you at the top…”
 
From here on out, the course blends into a flurry of trails and climbs and rocks and miles. Beautiful single track trail alternates with dirt roads through deep and narrow gorges; creek crossings lead to steep alpine tundra with wide open views. The first aid station goes by in a blur, together with a change of pacers; then another, and another - before I know it I am at the last aid station before the finish, fifty miles and almost eighteen hours into my record run. One last fuel break surrounded by a dozen pacers, crew and fans (I’m very glad for my SlapLit drink wrap here to keep tabs on which beverage is mine!) and I am on my way again.  
 
At this point my feet are tired and my legs are sore from a full night and day of racing - but my feeling of gratitude is as fresh as it was back on that boardwalk at the beginning of my run. I now know that I am about to break the TransQilian speed record by a good four hours… but that is not the point; because records are never the point: they are just a reason for others to care about the feat. At the end of the day, it’s the experience that counts - and what an adventure this one has been, start to finish! 
 
Sunny Stroeer FKT on the TransQilian
 
#LifesAdventureKit
 
—— 
Nite Ize Field Team member Sunny Stroeer completed the TransQilian course in 20 hours and 59 minutes, breaking the previous (men’s!) course record by over four hours. You can read more about the speed record and its genesis over on Sunny’s blog here and here, or follow Sunny’s adventures on Instagram
 
Sunny Stroeer
 
Sunny used the following Nite Ize Gear in China: 

Topics: Field Team

Life’s Adventure Kit: Vanlife Edition

Posted by Sunny Stroeer on Jul 18, 2019 10:27:24 AM

By Nite Ize Field Team Member Sunny Stroeer

I am many things: I am an adventurer, a record breaker, a wife; a Harvard MBA, a recovering strategy consultant, and – as of the last four years - I am also somewhat of a serial #vanlifer. 

Vanlife has long graduated from its renegade counter-culture beginnings to cover a broad spectrum: from folks living out of their barely converted hatchbacks all the way to the fully-tricked-out $80,000 Sprinter van with 4WD and a custom interior that would give the most luxurious RV a run for its money.

My personal vanlife experience falls closer to the humble end of the spectrum - I bought my first dream mobile in 2015, an old Chevy Astro van named Eddie, for less than $3k on Craigslist. Ripping out the seats and a bit of basic carpentry gave me just enough headroom and storage space to have a little mobile adventure basecamp for one.

Sunny and Eddie

Paul and MerlotThree years and one wedding later, it was time to upsize so my husband Paul and I could live on the road as a couple. Once again, we scoured Craigslist and finally settled on a 2003 Ford E350 XL - a spacious but rusty bargain for $7k - whom we named Merlot the Van.

If there’s one thing that I have learned in my years of living on the road, it’s the importance of space and functionality in a van.  That’s why I’ve come to use and love a ton of Nite Ize gear; here are five of my favorites that I work with on a daily basis:

 

Gear Ties. Everybody loves Gear Ties, but it’s hard to overstate their usefulness in the van. We use them to secure our curtains, as a handy paper towel holder, for bookends, to hang lanterns, to organize our door storage space, and as a sunglasses holder in the driver’s cab. We’ve even used Gear Ties to fix a loose mounting bracket on our exhaust system that was causing a rattle!

Vanlife Gear Ties

GearLine. The GearLine is one of my new favorite tools. With space at a premium it’s important for us to be able to use hanging space efficiently, and that’s exactly what the GearLine was designed for. Back in my old one-person van I actually used to (poorly) jerry-rig a homemade version of the same concept, stringing paracord and spiffing it up with knots for spacers… but that didn’t work very well for anything but the lightest loads.  You can imagine my joy when I got my hands on my first GearLine.

Vanlife GearLine

Steelie. The Steelie phone mount system is an obvious choice for any driver, but we get a lot more use out of it than handsfree navigation: many surfaces in Merlot The Van are metal, and that means that my phone sticks to just about anything!

Pro tip: even though I use the Steelie Phone Socket directly on the van’s walls, you may want to consider using a Steelie Dash Mount to keep painted surfaces scratch-free.

05_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife

Vanlife RunOff BagsRunOff bags. The new line of RunOff bags has been getting tons of attention - and awards - since their introduction a few months ago. I love them in the van for three reasons:

    • Their revolutionary zipper seals gear and documents from the dust, dirt and spills that are all an inevitable part of living in a van.

    • They are hangable - remember what I said about the GearLine above!

    • The bags’ clear windows mean I know exactly what’s inside.

SlapLit LED Drink Wraps. Okay, these are just pure fun. One of the best parts of vanlife is getting to enjoy amazing views and a cold one at the end of a hot day of playing outdoors. Having different colored SlapLits to insulate, tell apart and light up our beverages is practical, yes, but mostly it’s simply just awesome.

07_SunnyStroeer_NI_VanLife

Now… these five items may be my favorites, but they are far from the full list of Nite Ize gear that Paul and I rely on to keep us organized and efficient in the van. We use a plethora of S-Biners, Nite Ize lanterns and headlamps - and the HideOut Magnetic Key Box has saved us more than once from getting locked out of the van.

08_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife

In the end, vanlife is all about freedom and mobility - but in order to enjoy that freedom and mobility, you first have to learn to navigate minimal space in an organized and efficient way; that’s why Nite Ize is with us every mile of the road.

10_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife-1

 

Follow Sunny's adventures on Instagram at @sstroeer, visit her website and blog at www.sunnystroeer.com, and check out her organization Aurora Women’s Expeditions (AWE) at @awexpeditions and www.awexpeditions.org.

Topics: Gear Ties, outdoors, Adventure, Field Team, Organization, runoff, waterproof bags

Field Team Spotlight: Adam Goldberg, AGoldPhoto Pet Photography

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Apr 18, 2019 12:03:39 PM

Adam Goldberg

We caught up with Tampa-based all-star pet photographer Adam Goldberg, who is on a mission to raise $7,000 for local animal rescue charities in the next couple months. We chat about his journey as a pet photographer and how fundraising is playing a big role.

Q: Thanks for speaking with us, Adam! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into pet photography?

A: I worked at Humane Society of Broward County 2013-2015. I was originally hired to manage the website and social media. At the time, I didn’t know anything about photography, let alone how to take photos of animals. I trained myself by watching tutorials online and practicing every single day for 3-4 hours. I found taking photos of pets to be much easier than taking photos of people. Pets never ask to see the photo or to do a retake because their fur is out of place or their make up is bad!


Q: What are your go-to treats and toys to keep your photo subjects engaged?

A: Our go-to treats are Zukes. They are small in size and they have large bags that I can easily fit my hand into it while taking photos at the same time. We also like to use Justin’s Peanut Butter. Their squeeze packs are perfect for being on the go and the dogs love it! I always have a plastic squeaker on hand too.


Q: What is your secret to snapping the ultimate doggie portrait?

A: I try and keep a very calm demeanor. If I am calm, the dog will stay calm too. I also make TONS of noises to get their attention. The treats and peanut butter help a lot too! 

AGoldPhoto
Q: What has been the most surprising part of your journey as a pet photographer?

A: I actually met my now wife, Mary, through pet photography. She was working for an ad agency who had the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as a client. We met on the day of a shoot for a fundraising campaign and have been inseparable ever since. We got married on 3/1/19.


Q: How did you become involved in raising funds and awareness for animal rescue?

A: After leaving my job at the Humane Society of Broward County, I moved to Tampa to take a corporate job in marketing. I missed working with dogs every day, so I went to volunteer at Humane Society Tampa Bay on the weekends. They loved the photos and asked me to host a Pet Photo Shoot Fundraiser in their conference room. The first one was in July 2016. We have hosted over 250 events now and just surpassed $100,000 in donations. 


Q: Nite Ize is a sponsor of your 2019 Pet Photo Shoot Fundraiser Road Trip. What does this trip entail and why is it important to you?

A: We’re traveling from Tampa, Florida to Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary in Utah May 4 - June 4, 2019. We’ll be hosting Pet Photo Shoot Fundraisers in multiple cities along the way. Pet owners can bring their pup to one of our events to help raise money for local animal charities. Spots must be booked in advance. Our goal is to take photos of 200 pets and raise $7,000. 
 
At the Sanctuary, we’ll be taking adoption photos in the Utah mountains and spreading awareness about pet adoption and responsible pet ownership.  


Q: What is your favorite Nite Ize product and why?

A: We love the Nite Ize Pack-A-Poo. When we travel with our dogs, we don’t always know if poop bags will be available. The Pack-A-Poo easily attaches to the dogs' leashes and even lets you roll up excess bags! Ours used to unravel constantly. Not anymore though! 

Pack-A-Poo
Q: If you were a breed of dog, which one would you be and why?

A: I have never been asked this question, but I like it! I would just have to pick a mutt though. When a dog is a mix of a few different breeds, they’re so distinct looking and are really fun to photograph. The more unique, the better! 


Q: How do people find you online to follow you on your road trip and beyond?

A: You can find out more about our 2019 Pet Photo Shoot Fundraiser Road Trip at agoldphoto.com/roadtrip. We also post lots of photos on our agoldphoto Instagram

Topics: Field Team, Pets

Field Team Spotlight: Sunny Stroeer, Aurora Women's Expeditions

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Apr 4, 2019 9:40:40 AM

We are excited to welcome Suzanne (Sunny) Stroeer to the Nite Ize Field Team! Sunny is a nomadic high-altitude endurance athlete and mountain adventurer with a penchant for pushing the limits of human endurance in unconventional terrain. She recently founded an organization built upon her passion for mountaineering and female empowerment, and she has some big news to share.

Sunny Stoeer

Q: Hello Sunny! First off, tell us a little about yourself and how you got into adventuring and mountaineering.

I actually didn’t find my way to the mountains until I was in my late twenties.  I was mostly a couch potato as a kid, studied politics and business at Harvard University, and eventually worked long hours in finance and strategy consulting.  I started to dabble in climbing and mountain running while getting my MBA but it wasn’t until a seven-month backpacking trip after grad school that I learned about and fell in love with mountaineering and ultra-running. 

Q: What has been your favorite place you’ve visited? Is there one place you would like to revisit the most?

That’s a tough question - there are so many amazing places! I really love Nepal which is why I keep returning year after year - but I’m equally in love with the deserts of the American Southwest, and the Alps, and the Rockies, and… 


Q:You recently founded an organization called AWE (Aurora Women’s Expeditions). Tell us a little bit about the program and why you started it.

I started AWE because I didn’t like the gender dynamics that I encountered on many of my personal expeditions.  Just like the professional domains that I got to know in my twenties, mountaineering (and particularly high-altitude mountaineering) is heavily male-dominated and not always a welcoming environment for women - which is a shame, because there is something incredibly empowering about testing your limits in the mountain environment that carries over into everyday life.

I had already spent a lot of time in my education and my business career grappling with questions of gender bias and women empowerment, and finally decided that I shouldn’t just gripe about mountaineering not being inclusive to women but instead do my part to change things up. That’s how AWE was born. 
 
AWE Nepal


Q: Tell us about your next expedition with AWE.

I just wrapped up an AWE expedition to 22,838ft Aconcagua in Argentina a little while ago, and am now preparing to take a team to Nepal where we’ll first trek to Everest Basecamp and then climb 20,305ft Island Peak.  It’s going to be an amazing trip with a full 14 days on trail, as well as a bit of time to explore Kathmandu on either end. 

Q: Nite Ize is sponsoring one women to be a part of your next AWE expedition and you are currently taking applications for that spot. What do women who are interested in applying need to know?

I am so excited that we’ve been able to create this opportunity in the form of the AWE x Nite Ize Summit Scholarship!  I think the most important thing for prospective applicants to know is that you don’t need to be a seasoned high altitude mountaineer or pro athlete to apply. On the contrary, we created the scholarship to try and reach women who wouldn’t typically think they could participate in an expedition like this. That said, you do need to be in great cardio shape and/or willing to put in the work to get there prior to the expedition (to put that in more concrete terms, completing a 10k should not sound daunting to you). 

Applications are open until May 1st, 2019; the scholarship recipient will be announced during the second week of May. You can find the link to the scholarship page at the bottom of this blog post.

Q: What has been your most surprising experience from your adventure travels?

What’s been most surprising to me is how easy it generally is to get around on a budget and figure things out.  I specifically remember a time when I was backpacking in Fiji and needed to get from where I was staying to the airport that was two hours away, but I couldn’t afford a private car and there was no regular public transport.  I ended up putting my thumb out by the side of the road and got picked up by a school bus that was stuffed to the brim with Fijian second graders in school uniform, who were all very excited to give a Westerner with a massive backpack a ride to the airport before having to report to class. 

SunnyStoeer-2019-002

Q: What’s your favorite trail food or snack to bring along?

I always have an assortment of freeze dried meals from Backpacker’s Pantry - they’re easy, nutritious and taste great - and I also like to bring Wasabi peas for snacks as they’re quite high in calories and a fun treat. 

Q: What Nite Ize products do you bring on these types of expeditions and why?

I always carry the INOVA STS PowerSwitch Headlamp - I love that it’s powerful, adjustable, and USB rechargeable.  I also bring with me an assortment of Gear Ties and S-Biners as they’re handy for so many things, and I love the new RunOff bags to keep my passport, money and climbing permits safe from snow, water and tearing; and when I’m in particularly wet environments I use them to protect my phone, too. 

Q: How do people find you online to follow your adventures?

I am quite active on Instagram and also write regular blog posts - find me at @sstroeerwww.sunnystroeer.com, and of course also check out Aurora Women’s Expeditions at @awexpeditions and www.awexpeditions.org! AWE is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AWEClimbing

Topics: Field Team

Nite Ize 2018 Field Team Gift Guide

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Dec 7, 2018 2:16:58 PM

For this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, we asked our Field Team to send us their top two to four Nite Ize products they are giving this season. As expected, Gear Ties came in as a very popular stocking stuffer. Check out the full list from our team and get into the spirit!

 

Anthony Johnson: Action Adventurer & Outdoor Photographer

“The Steelie car mount is our go-to for gifting. It is something that everyone can use, and a great stocking stuffer.”

“We also tend to gift the Nite Ize Radiant 300 Rechargeable Lantern. We've given these to our family and friends who enjoy the outdoors, whether through backpacking or camping or just enjoying grilling on their back porch. It is also fantastic that you can charge other USB devices off the lantern, making this particularly valuable gift for friends and family who spend time in the backwoods.”

“ Finally, for our cycling friends, we have given the Nite Ize Rechargeable Bike Light. You can never have too many bike lights, and these are so bright and rechargeable. The beam is great and makes it easy to see for early morning and evening rides. The multiple settings also allow you to use the lights to alert cars you're on the road. It's a ready safety feature.”

Radiant Rechargeable Bike Light 

Joe Allen: Outdoor Sportsman, HuntCo on The Pursuit Channel

“I always have 3 or 4 attached to my pack in the field. The uses are infinite. On a particular occasion I used one Gear Tie to secure all four legs before loaded this deer into the bed of a truck.”

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

“This is another staple of my field pack to have handy in a pinch. I pulled out my lantern during this alligator hunt for extra light while securing the jaws and tagging the gator.”

“Our lamps are with us on every hunt to get us in and out in the dark. The red light option provides great light that isn’t as offensive to wild animals.”

INOVA STS Headlamp

“The S-Biner stays on every pack to help attach the extras.”

 

Jason Epperson: Family Travel & Adventure Blogger

“We love the SlapLit LED Bracelets for the kids. They're a great way to keep track of the kids when they’re running around outside at night, at home or in a campground.”

SlapLit LED Slap Wraps

“Gear Ties are great for any handyperson to wrap up extension cords and hoses, but they're also great for kids to play with to make 3D shapes.”


Willi Schmidt: Outdoor Sportsman

“S-Biners are a must for me in the field. I keep a couple attached to my backpack at all times, making it very convenient to attach items to the outside of my pack, quickly and easily. Whether they are plastic or metal, they don't add any meaningful weight and they get a lot of use.”

S-Biner Dual Carabiner

“I keep Gear Ties in my pack and in my truck. Many times they have come in handy, most notably when my truck's wheel lining was coming loose. They were the only thing that would work and they kept the truck together for the remainder of the hunt and the return drive home.”

Gear Tie Reusable Twist Tie

“This is a go-to lantern on my hunting adventures. With 300 lumens, it gives off plenty of light in a cabin, tent or even in the back of a truck. The ability to re-charge the battery and charge other electronic devices from the lantern make it very practical.”

“The Inova STS headlamp by Nite Ize is an absolute must for me when hunting.  It gives me hands free light for going into my hunting area. The Swipe-To-Shine, 265 lumens is easy to use and plenty bright. The ability use the red light and not spook game as an added bonus.”

 

Heidi Kumm: Fitness Buff & Dog Lover

“We love the dog stuff, especially the light up toys now that it's dark out before we get home from work! The GlowStreak ball + Flashflight Dog Discuit are a daily go-to!”

Flashflight Dog Discuit LED Flying Disc

 

Jose Flores: Outdoor Sportsman

“I love the Steelies. Whether I’m in my boat, truck, UTV, or wherever, I find something I can stick it to!”

Steelie Vent Mount Kit

“We love the dog stuff also! The light-up ball and flying disc are easy favorites for our dogs, as it’s all they can play with outside after 4 PM here in Alaska!”

“This season I started to use the lanterns and headlamps much more. I really like the new design on the headlamps. The rechargeable option for the lanterns was a hit this fall.”

Radiant 300 Rechargeable Lantern

 

Tara Schatz: Action Adventurer & Dog Trainer

"In the winter, we have no choice but to walk our pups in the dark. We use the Spotlit clip-on LED lights to keep our dark dogs visible to others, whether we're on the trail or walking through town."

SpotLit LED Carabiner Light

"Gear ties are indispensable for hikers, campers, and outdoor adventurers. We use them to pack our backpacks, keep our gear inside of our canoe, and organizing for road trips."

"I take a lot of solo road trips, and the Steelie Dash Mount is the best smartphone mount I've ever used. It provides easy access to my maps and my music."

 

Rob “Reker” Kretsch: Outdoor Sportsman

“As stocking stuffers, I’m giving out the See’em Spoke Lights for the little one’s new bike and Gear Ties and CamJam Tie Down straps for all the adults. The Gear Ties are by far the most used piece of gear I own.”

CamJam Tie Down Straps

 

Whether you’re shopping for outdoor enthusiasts, tech and gadget gurus, DIY masters, kids or dogs, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list!

Topics: Visibility and Safety, hunting, outdoors, LED Dog Products, Adventure, Field Team

Nite Ize. Life's Adventure Kit.

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

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts