Camping For Newbies: The Beginner’s Guide

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on May 27, 2020 9:58:51 AM

Camping Tips for Beginners

After a few months stuck inside, the great outdoors has never looked more inviting. And with summer appearing before our very eyes, taking a good ole’ fashioned camping trip sounds like just the ticket. But if you’re a camping newbie like I once was, there are a few things you could learn (and use) to make sure you’re not lost in the dark. Keep reading to learn from my camping blunders and make the most of your night under the stars.

 

Step 1: Select your site wisely

Plan you camping trip

Setting off on a spontaneous camping trip is virtually impossible in 2020 – especially if you’re planning to set up camp in a particularly stunning area (ahem, all of Colorado). Basically, if you think you’ve found the perfect camping spot, chances are, other people are thinking the same thing. Save yourself the disappointment of a day-long campground tour around the state scouring for an open spot and plan ahead. After learning this lesson the hard way and wasting a few gallons of gas in the process, I won’t hit the road until we either (1) Have a spot reserved in advance, or (2) Have read enough reviews/forums to know that our first-come, first-serve spot in question isn’t too popular. If you opt for route 2, keep in mind that you’re always taking a gamble and prepare a backup plan. And don’t forget to check weather forecasts and know the route to the closest hospital before you hit the road!

Semi-pro tip: If you’re looking for a true camping experience, don’t bother with a “family” campground chock-full of pools, small sites, and Wi-Fi. Check out some dispersed camping sites for unbelievable views that are easier to come by, but be prepared for zero access to plumbing and a rough ride to get there. But first, check your local and state regulations for dispersed camping policies, and if/where it is allowed.

 

Step 2: Pack accordingly (and then some)

How to pack for camping trip

Once you put that first stake in the ground, there’s no turning back, so make sure you’ve got all your essentials packed tight. If your site is near water or sand, be prepared for everything (and I mean everything) to end up muddy and sandy. Sidestep some of the mess with a few RunOff® Waterproof Bags in tow. I personally love the RunOff® Waterproof Phone Pouch, as well as the Large Packing Cube, to keep my clothes, gear, and phone dry. And if you’re planning to have a wilderness shower (or showers are available on the grounds), the RunOff® Waterproof Toiletry Bag is a must.

On top of staying dry, keeping your things organized is crucial. Bundle up your camping cutlery, tent poles, lighters, bottle openers, and other must-haves with a few Gear Ties. And don’t forget toilet paper, bug spray, firewood, adequate lighting, warm socks, a first-aid kit, and a deck of cards. You’ll thank me later.

Semi-pro tip: Running out of room in your car? Take your larger duffels and gear to the roof, securing with the Dual CamJam® Tie Down System.

 

Step 3: Make the most of your daylight

Camping tips for newbies

If your spot is near water and the sun is out, aim to set up camp earlier in the day to enjoy a dip or two. You can set up a GearLine Organization System to hang your wet clothes, swimsuits or towels out to dry (as well as clip and hang your water bottles and other essentials).

Once you’ve arrived at your dream spot, pitching a tent is usually the biggest struggle. There’s no shame in bringing along a tent manual and brushing up on a tutorial or two before setting off on your trip—but remember, once you’re there, data service is bound to be limited, so don’t expect the internet to help you. Once the sun sets, you’ll surely have some difficulty navigating around your tent. Avoid tripping over your virtually invisible tent line (like I have in the past) with the high-tension, knot-free, and light-reflective Figure 9 Tent Line Kit.

Semi-pro tip: If you’re not up for sleeping on hard ground, buying an air mattress is worth its value and then some. And it may sound obvious, but if you bring an air mattress, don’t forget the air pump and extra batteries too. Again, learn from my mistakes.

 

Step 4: Get your lights ready to shine

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

On your first night out in the backcountry, you’ll be shocked by how truly pitch-black it gets in the later hours. Protect yourself from a night of frustration and mishaps with plenty of portable illumination. I love the lightweight, hat-friendly Radiant® 170 Rechargeable Clip Light for prepping and cooking our dinner by the fire and when walking around the site. And the SlapLit™ LED Drink Wrap will solve all of your drink mix-ups and spills, while some NiteGems will allow you to easily dig through your cooler and spot your favorite snacks and drinks.

While the pure peace of sitting around a campfire can’t be overstated, that doesn’t you mean you can’t enjoy the rest of your site, too. When you get an itch for entertainment, gather 'round for a game of cards – a BugLit® Rechargeable Micro Lantern is a camp table lighting solution the kids will love. Bring along a Flashflight®  to toss around under the stars for some nighttime fun (bonus points if you snap some color-changing long-exposure shots).

Semi-pro tip: Camping is better with dogs, plain and simple. Keep your furry best friends protected and visible with a NiteDog™ Rechargeable LED Collar or Rechargeable NiteHowl®.

Semi-pro tip 2: While the whole point of camping is to unplug, keeping your phone charged is always advantageous for photos, music, or safety reasons. Pick up the Radiant® 314 Rechargeable Lantern for campsite or in-tent illumination with built-in USB charging.

 

Step 5: Rest easy (and critter-free)

Camping tips for beginners

After a night of making memories (and s’mores), all that’s left to do is hit the hay. Bear in mind, you’re not the only creatures out there. Avoid any encounters with bears, raccoons, and other scavengers by cleaning up your site and stowing away any trash in sealable bear-proof containers. We like to put our trash, cooler, and extra food in the car to be safe, but some opt to hang theirs up in a tree — just make sure to never leave it with you in the tent. Once your site is cleaned up, make sure to put out your fire completely by dousing it with water and spreading out the embers to prevent any reigniting.

Semi-pro tip: You’ll likely wake up colder than you expected, so make sure to wear extra layers and thick socks. My secret weapon to a warm night in the tent is cuddling up to my dog.

 

Stay safe, happy campers!

At this point, congrats! You’ve weathered through your first camping night. You might wake up early with a few backaches, but as they say, "No pain, no gain." Bask in the beauty of pure, natural views with the smell of sweet campfire as you enjoy a fresh breakfast and coffee à la French Press. Enjoy your trip, happy campers!

Note: As the world continues to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, many campgrounds and National Parks may be closed or operating with strict guidelines. Refer to your local resources for the latest updates and camping practices, and stay safe out there!

Topics: outdoors, LED Pet Products, LED Dog Products, Flying Disc, Flashflight, Adventure, "travel", LED Products, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, camping, headlamp, slaplit

Build Your Own Backyard Camping Adventure

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

Backyard Camping

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

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

 

1. Set up the tent in the morning.

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

 

 

2. There are no limits on comfort.

Have a family backyard campout

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

 

3. Take this opportunity to show them the ropes.

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

 

 

4. Light up the night for added fun.

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

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

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

Flashflight LED Flying Disc

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

Backyard Camping with Kids

 

5. Don’t set your expectations too high.

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

Camping With Kids

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

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

How To Buy The Best Flashlight

Posted by MJ Smoot on Apr 24, 2020 10:12:26 AM

How to buy the best flashlight

Buying a flashlight can be tricky, and often people tend to settle for the least expensive light with the biggest numbers on the packaging only to be disappointed later when the light stops working after a small drop onto the floor. Fear not! I am here to help you sort through all the marketing jargon like “Turbo Mode” and to better understand what really matters; like, what’s a lumen? And, what type of flashlight should I buy for…(insert activity here)?

The first thing to know when shopping for a high-quality flashlight is that all reputable flashlight manufacturers test their flashlights according to the FL1 Standard, and clearly include these specifications on the product packaging. The FL1 Standard, sometimes called ANSI/NEMA FL1 or ANSI/PLATO FL1, specifies the testing criteria that manufacturers must follow when calculating light output (Lumens), beam distance, impact resistance, runtime, and water resistance.

How to buy the best flashlight

How to buy the best flashlightUltimately, the FL1 Standard allows consumers to directly compare flashlights. I won’t go into the details of each specification as there are plenty of good resources online that define each specification (like this one from LED-Resource.com), however, I do want to talk about lumens, as I haven’t found a resource that clearly breaks down what a lumen is in a way that's easy to digest.

 

So, What's a Lumen?

If you look up "lumen," you’ll quickly learn that a lumen is defined as a unit of luminous flux that equates to the perceived power of light. In basic terms, lumens equal brightness. The larger the number of lumens, the brighter the light. It seems simple, but how bright is 300 lumens? Or, how bright is the flashlight on my phone?

To help deconstruct lumens, we have created this handy-dandy chart with things that most people are familiar with and some of our best-selling flashlights and headlamps to help make buying your next flashlight a little easier. Knowing that the full moon on a clear night is 1 lumen, your phone’s flashlight is 50 lumens, or that a low beam car headlight is around 800 lumens makes it much easier to understand how bright a flashlight is.

Other than lumens, there are some other factors that should be considered when finding the high-performance flashlight that is right for you. Here you will find some decision-making criteria to consider along with my personal suggestions for flashlights that fit a variety of uses.

 
Best Flashlight for DIY + Mechanics
INOVA T4R Rechargeable Flashlight

Mechanics can be hard on their tools and a flashlight is no exception. Look for flashlights with impact resistance of at least 1 meter and solid aluminum construction to ensure that the light holds up to rigorous daily use (Pro Tip: make sure the manufacturer has a good warranty policy). Rechargeability is also a preference for many mechanics along with higher lumen outputs, as they are often using a flashlight during the daytime when there is more ambient light to compete with. Flashlights above the 700 lumen mark are great for this type of daily use, and my pick for best DIY + Mechanic flashlight is the INOVA T4R Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight.

 

 

Best Flashlight for Camping or Hunting

INOVA T7R Rechargeable Tactical FlashlightBrighter is not necessarily better when it comes to playing in the outdoors at night when your eyes have adjusted to the darker surroundings. Being able to cast soft lighting around your campsite or to illuminate that noise in the bushes with a spotlight are equally important at times. As is having a light that is more compact and that will not weigh you down if you are backpacking or hunting (Pro Tip: look for weather/water resistance in case you’re caught in a downpour). For campers and hunters, flashlights in the 250-700 lumen range are a great option and I like the INOVA T7R PowerSwitch Focusing Flashlight as my top pick. This compact flashlight offers a focusing beam that allows you to transition between a bright spotlight or broad flood beam. It’s like having two lights in one.

 

Best Flashlight for Emergencies

INOVA T8R Rechargeable Tactical FlashlightWhen it comes to emergencies, any light is better than no light. So rather than thinking about the lumens, I like to consider the power source of the flashlight. Rechargeable lights can be a great option during an emergency, especially when your power is out for an extended period. Then again, if you do not have a way to recharge the flashlight once it has drained the battery then you’ll be back in the dark in no time. My suggestion: seek out a dual power source light that can operate off of a rechargeable battery or disposable battery like the INOVA T8R PowerSwitch Flashlight, which uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery or two CR123 lithium batteries, allowing you to keep extra batteries at the ready in the event that you cannot recharge the flashlight. This brings me to my last point: Lithium batteries are superior to alkaline batteries when it comes to emergency situations. Lithium batteries have a longer shelf life, can stand up to more extreme temperatures, and are lighter than alkaline batteries. Oh, I forgot one important detail. The INOVA T8R also has an SOS mode!

 

Best Flashlight for Everyday Carry (EDC)

Radiant 100 Keychain FlashlightCompact, bright, and durable are the name of the game here. Whether you have a flashlight clipped to your key chain or in your pocket next to your pocket knife, you'll want a flashlight that is conveniently accessible at a moment’s notice that also packs a nice punch. For this, I like flashlights up to 200 lumens and my current favorite is the Radiant 100 Keychain Flashlight. Not much larger than a house key, the Radiant 100 packs 100 lumens – that's twice as bright as your phone's  flashlight, and unlike your phone, can easily be held with your mouth for those times you need hands-free lighting.

 

 

 

 

Best Tactical Flashlight for Search and Rescue

INOVA T11R Rechargeable Tactical FlashlightUnbeatable performance, high impact resistance, far reaching beam distance, a long runtime and water resistance are the hallmarks of the best tactical flashlights for search and rescue teams around the world. To that extent, they come with a higher price tag and in this case, you get what you pay for. At minimum, search and rescue teams require a light that’s brighter than your standard car’s high beams at about 1200 lumens each (2400 lumens for both headlights). At 5800 lumens, with a runtime up to 110 hours and the ability to cast a spotlight over a quarter mile (400m), the INOVA T11R Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight + Power Bank is our top of the line flashlight. To put it lightly, the T11R is a beast! Trusted and tested by some of the hardest working frontline workers around the world.

When it comes to flashlights, there is no “one size fits all” solution and the suggestions above are recommendations based on my personal experiences. As you prepare to purchase your next hand torch, I encourage you to take a few minutes to think about the primary use for your new flashlight and the features that are the most important to you. By doing so, you’ll make a much more informed decision and not be blinded by big numbers or sneaky marketing.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and please let me know what is most important to you when buying a light or why you agree/disagree with any of my points above in the comments below.

Topics: LED Flashlights, Flashflight

7 Ways to Take Your Backyard Barbecue To The Next Level

Posted by Katie S on Jun 6, 2019 1:57:04 PM

The days are getting warmer and that evening light is starting to linger. You can feel the approach of summer in all those subtle ways around you. And that means it’s time for everyone’s favorite BBQ season.  Let Nite Ize light up your celebration with these memorable products and tips.

7 ways to take your backyard barbecue to the next level

 

1. Illuminate Your Beverage Selection

Throw the bright LED NiteGems into your cooler for colorful effect and to make it easy for guests to find their beverages, because yes, these are the drinks you’re looking for.


NiteGem LED Luminary

2. Keep Bottle-poppin’ Fun at Your Fingertips

A missing bottle opener can make for figuring out some creative alternatives at a party, but no one wants to deal with that! Fortunately, with an Ahhh Dual-Action Bottle Opener tethered to your cooler or drink station with your favorite Gear Tie, a bottle-poppin’ solution is never far away.


S-Biner Ahhh

 

3. Identify and Track Your Drink

We sure like our drinking products, huh? Once you’ve picked your drink by the light of the NiteGems and opened it with your Ahhh, then you can wrap it up nice and cozy in our insulated SlapLit LED Drink Wrap which, of course, lights up! Everyone can choose their own color and easily keep track of their drinks with the bright LED band.

SlapLit Drink Wrap

 

4. Hands-Free Beverage Time 

Will there be lawn games at your BBQ? Will there be millennials? (Millennials love lawn games.) Then you need hands-free beverage solutions for drinking activities. Enter, the Traveler Drink Holster – the perfect place to keep your favorite drink safe and accessible right on your hip. No need for risky setting-your-drink-in-the-grass behavior.

Traveler Drink Holster

 

5. Perfect Patties Every Time

Grilling at night can be tough, but with the our Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp, you can light up your food while leaving your hands free to do the flipping. As far as cooking tips, we leave that up to the experts check out this article by Taste of Home on burger cooking tips.


6. Keep Track of Those Kiddos and Pets

With the commotion of a BBQ after dark, make it easy to spot kids and pets underfoot with the NiteHowl LED Necklaces. Plus, they are just plain fun for the kids.

NiteHowl

7. After-Dark Games

Once it’s too dark for corn hole and bocce games, then it’s time to break out the Flashflight. This color-changing LED flying disc is both mesmerizing and fun for your BBQ guests of all ages.


Flashflight LED Flying Disc
There you have it – a few easy ways to make your next BBQ more memorable and fun with some of our favorite products. Leave us a note below to share the creative ways you use your favorite Nite Ize products. Tag #LifesAdventureKit on Instagram or Twitter and show off your Nite Ize party hacks to be entered for a chance to win your own Adventure Kit!

Topics: LED Dog Products, Fun & Games, Flashflight, Party, LED Products

Nite Ize Moms Tell Us Their Nite Ize Parenting Hacks

Posted by Cassie Ryan on May 9, 2019 12:00:09 PM

Part of our mission here at Nite Ize is to make your life a little bit easier, one product at a time. This Mothers Day, we’re celebrating the superhero moms of our Nite Ize family by sharing some of their go-to products for raising and having fun with their kiddos. Every mom deserves something that makes their life just a little bit easier, and that’s where we shine.

Kelly Von Letkemann, Legal Operations Manager:

  • LED Mini Glowstick: My kids LOVE it when I turn off the lights and throw a few of these in the bathtub. They are obviously great for trick or treating or just generally clipping on kids when you are out at night (and can color code by kid).
Mini-Glowsticks
  • S-Biners: We carry water bottles around with us everywhere we go. S-Biners are the obvious choice for making sure water bottles stay attached to backpacks, and I always have one or two on hand so I can attach water bottles to my purse so I can be hands free (because we all know who gets stuck carrying all their stuff. . .)
  • FlipOut Handle + Stand: The FlipOut is great for Face Timing with family, or simply bribing your kids to eat their breakfast by offering to show them a PBS Kids show. Not that it ever happens. . .  

 

Michael Westfield, Creative Director:

  • BugLit: I wrapped one on my kid’s bed as a little light.
  • Gear Ties: These are great for closing snack bags in the pantry and large veggie bags in the fridge. Or for when I lose the bread tie or the bread tie plastic breaks.
GearTie-Food

 

Kristen Green, Customer Service Representative:

  • Flashflight LED Flying Disc: For hours of endless entertainment outside on a beautiful Colorado evening. Can’t wait to see these flying around our campsite in Moab in a few weeks!
Flashflight-Kid
  • TwistLit LED Bike Lights: My kids are the talk of the neighborhood with these.
  • BugLit: These are great for when I actually need them to do some reading! Perfect for long car rides too!

 

Calle Gainok, Digital Content Manager:

  • Steelie Pedestal Kit: I’m all about the Steelie. I use a Pedestal Kit for our video baby monitor so we can view it at just the right angle.

Baby-Monitor

 

Kristin Butcher, Marketing Communications Specialist

  • The Hitch: For when I give my butterfingered progeny my phone to take pictures (that will invariably result in 100 blurry pictures of the cat’s butt).
  • NiteHowls: Keeping an eye on your children at a campout has never been easier!
  • SpokeLit Wheel Lights: Awesomeness and safety all in one rechargeable color-changing package.

SpokeLit-Kid 

We hope this wisdom imparted by our resident moms inspires you to find new ways to make your life easier. Or steal some of their ideas, that’s what we’re here for! Tag #LifesAdventureKit on Instagram or Twitter and show off your Nite Ize parenting hacks and be entered for a chance to win your own Adventure Kit!

Topics: Visibility and Safety, Games & Toys, Gear Ties, Fun & Games, Flashflight, Bike, Home, Organization

Nighttime Flying Disc Adventures with Flashflight

Posted by Dave Taylor on Jul 31, 2018 2:32:12 PM

Growing up in Southern California, many of my best childhood memories are tied to being at the beach. Whether it was Santa Monica beach, if we wanted to be down by the pier, or Zuma and Malibu beaches, which were the two just down the canyon from our neighborhood.

FFD_Feature_01_lIf you’ve never grown up near a beach community, you don’t know that high schools have designated lifeguard stations, too. On Zuma beach, my local high school had our station and it was a fun way both to find friends and avoid the kids from the rival cross-town school. 

While we occasionally just lay on our towels and listened to music on our boom boxes, mostly everyone was up and about, walking around, playing football, body surfing, splashing in the water, or swimming. Hands down one of the most popular activities, though, was throwing a flying disc back and forth. For hours and hours.

Back then, flying discs were just lumps of plastic without much going for them. So we all had a stack in our cars, so that the loss of a disc in the surf wasn’t going to stop the show. Still, once the sun started to set, that game was over because you can’t play when you can’t see the disc zipping towards you!

That’s why the Flashflight from Nite Ize is so incredibly fun: It’s a well balanced and easy to throw flying disc that lights up, making it perfect for nighttime play! For those of you that measure discs by weight, it’s a 185g disc, so it’s got some heft to it. This means you can throw it further and catch it easily as it has a nice, deep lip.

FFD_Feature_02_l

But it’s the colors that make the Flashflight so darn fun. When I headed out to the street one evening with my kids to try out the color-changing Disc-O Flashflight, we all instantly became fans of this great flying disc. You can watch it transition from one color of the rainbow to another, even as it’s zipping from person to person. 

The tech is also a lot more sophisticated than it appears at first glance: the Flashflight is built around a patented LED and fiber optic system that makes the light-up disc look somewhat like a psychedelic jellyfish. It’s also quite durable - skittering along the road didn’t ding or scratch up the disc - and it’s also water resistant and floats!

Where was this when I was on the beach every day? My kids have been playing with the Flashflight quite a bit and now are insistent that it travel with them to Hawaii for their summer vacation. There’s no doubt about it, the Flashflight will be absolutely perfect for play on the beach once one of those glorious Hawaiian sunsets wrap up.

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Nite Ize Flashflight

Extremely durable 185g plastic flying disc
LED + Fiber Optic illumination system, with user-replaceable batteries
Available in a rainbow of fun colors

Learn-More

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Topics: outdoors, Fun & Games, Flying Disc, Flashflight, Adventure

Six Tips for First Time Disc Golf Players

Posted by MJ Smoot on Mar 8, 2017 10:00:17 AM

As with any new sport, playing disc golf for the first time can be a little intimidating, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be fun. Whether your friends invited you out for a round, or you decided to try it yourself, I’d like to say, “Congratulations, and welcome to the most laid back intense sport you'll ever play!"

DG-Blog-5.jpg“What is disc golf?” you ask. Disc golf is very similar to traditional golf. However, the game is played with a flying disc rather than a ball and clubs. The object of the game is to complete each hole in as few strokes (throws) as possible. Play begins when a player throws a disc from a tee area towards a hole (disc golf basket). The player then makes each consecutive throw from the spot where their throw landed until they have successfully thrown the disc into the hole. A round of disc golf is typically 9 or 18 holes.

Disc golf is a fun, low cost sport that just about anyone can play. All you need are a few discs and a basket, and you’re in business. With new courses popping across the country, there’s likely to be one near you, and it may even be free to play as many city parks are have courses open to the public. If you’re looking for a place to play, then check out the course directory map on the Professional Disc Golf Association's website by clicking here.

Disclaimer--I’m no pro. I’d hardly even consider myself a “good” amateur player. But I have learned a few things playing disc golf over the past few years that I wish I had known when I got started. If you’re new to the game, or thinking about playing for the first time, then here are six tips to help get you started from an average Joe. For those seasoned players, let this blog post be a reminder of what your first days on the course were like and please share any additional tips you have in the comments below.

  1. Be Patient—Embrace your status as the “new guy/gal”. You’re not going to be the best player on the course, and that’s okay. Relax, and laugh at yourself when the disc goes nowhere near where you intended to throw it. Just have fun and do your best. The best players in the world were beginners once and even they still throw their discs into trees, lakes and other obstructions now and again.

  2. Keep It Simple—One of the first things you’ll notice is other players carrying golf bags with 20+ discs in them. You don’t need all that. If you can’t throw one disc well, then what good is a whole bag of discs going to do? My recommendation is to purchase a driver, a mid-range and a putter when you get started. Then, go to a field and practice throwing them. Yes, practice. It’s important to get a basic feel for how to throw the discs and the different flight characteristics of each. Chances are pretty good that one of those discs will feel, and fly, a lot better for you than the others. That’s the one you should play with the most when you get started. There’s nothing wrong with throwing only one disc during a round. As you develop your skills then consider adding more discs to your game.

    Nite Ize's David Waisblum practices his backhand throw at the GoPro Mountain Games

  3. Learn to Throw Forehand and Backhand—Now that you’ve decided to practice throwing, there are two types of throws you should learn first. The forehand and backhand. Why these? Because their flightpaths are entirely different and you may be better at throwing one way versus the other. By better, I mean more accurate and able to throw a further distance. For the right-handed player, a backhand throw will fade to the left at the end of its flight path where a forehanded throw will fade to the right (this is opposite for lefties). By learning how to throw each of these, you’ll be able to navigate around trees and other obstacles to get your disc closer to the basket.

  4. Hole 4 at the Blue Ribbon Pines Disc Golf CoursePlay the Course—Intuitively we all start out playing by thinking that we should throw directly at the basket, but what if there is a tree in the way? Instead of thinking about getting closer to the basket, try thinking about how you can set yourself up for having a clear shot at the basket on your next throw. Throwing a shorter shot to a clearing that gives you a clear second shot at the basket will be better than a longer throw that’s behind a bush. Seems simple, but it’s one of the easiest things to overlook when you’re playing.

  5. Go with Experienced Players—The disc golf course is a judgement free zone, especially for the “noob”. We were all noobs once too, and we want you to love the game like we do. Playing with people that are better than you will help you to develop your own strategy, skills, and may also give you some inspiration to practice and get better. And, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I will caution you, however. Disc golfers love to give advice coaching to noobs. Be receptive and open to what they want to teach you, but decide for yourself which techniques work best for you. If you really want to hone in on certain techniques, then do a quick search on YouTube as there are a lot of technique videos online that you can learn from. Or, tune in to the live broadcasts of the Disc Golf Pro Tour and learn from the pros.

    The crew gears up for a night round with the Flashflight LED Disc Golf discs
  6. Have Fun—I can’t emphasize this enough. Have fun! Once you develop your basic skills, then you can think about shooting a low score. Until then, celebrate your good shots, laugh and learn from your bad shots, and play in a variety of places with a variety of people. One of my most memorable rounds of disc golf when I first got started was playing at night with a group of friends. Playing at night helps you to relax and focus on the fundamentals as you’re not able to see the obstacles that may be in your way and you can concentrate solely on throwing the disc. Some of my most memorable shots have come at night when I had no idea what I was throwing at, and instead let the disc fly with purpose towards the glowing basket.

I hope that you’ve learned something from my tips, and that you’ve realized that disc golf is about having a good time. At least, that’s what the game means to me. It’s a low cost sport that just about anyone can play, and that doesn’t take a lot of time to learn. If you’re a disc golfer and think there’s something else beginners should know, then please add your own tip to the comments below.

Now, get out there and play some disc!


If you’re ready to start playing disc golf, or are looking for some new discs to add to your bag, then check out the Flashflight LED Disc Golf discs. Check out the discs here.

Topics: Fun & Games, Disc Golf, Flying Disc, Flashflight

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