How To Master Your Next Float Trip

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jul 13, 2021 2:09:35 PM

Master Your Next Float Trip

If you’ve been suffering through a summer heatwave where you live, you’re not alone. There’s no denying that we’re in the midst of the hot summer months, and you're probably in search of activities to beat the heat. A float trip might be just the ticket – or getting on the water however you can, for that matter. Whether you’re planning to go tubing on a creek, paddle boarding at your local reservoir, white water rafting down a river, or kayaking around a lake, we have some tips and gear to make your trip easier, safer, and more fun.

 

Pack The Essentials

Float Trip Packing List

Although your packing list will vary depending on what kind of trip you’re taking (such as half-day tubing vs multi-day rafting and camping), here are some things you’ll absolutely need:

    • Sunscreen
    • Water
    • Snacks
    • Phone (with waterproof case/pouch)
    • ID
    • Swimsuit
    • Towel
    • Change of dry clothes
    • Cheap sunglasses (in case they get lost or fall off)
    • Waterproof shoes
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Paper map and compass (if you won’t have cell service)

 

Keep It Secure

Tying Down Kayak

After you’re all packed up, you’re going to need to transport your floatation device to your aquatic destination. You can secure your tubes (or kayak, canoe, raft, or paddle board for that matter) to your car’s roof rack or truck bed with a Dual CamJam Tie Down to ensure everything stays in place all the way to the waterfront.

If you’re tubing with a partner, you might want to keep them from drifting too far by tethering your tubes together. The KnotBone Adjustable Bungee is a great way to connect multiple inner tubes. Pro Tip: we recommend tethering your own tube to the one carrying the cooler!

S-Biner Marine SlideLock

For securing belongings and gear to your tube, kayak, or board, always have some Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties and S-Biners on hand. Gear Ties come in a variety of sizes, and are a unique and versatile way to hold assorted belongings in place. S-Biners (also available in various sizes) can be used to hook a water bottle, pack, or soft cooler to an anchor point on your float apparatus of choice, or small items to your PFD for example. Be sure to check out the S-Biner Marine SlideLock – it is highly corrosion resistant, and built specifically for aquatic environments.

 

Keep It Dry

RunOff Waterproof Bags Float Trip

No matter how you’re getting out on the water, you’ll need to protect your belongings from getting splashed (or drenched). RunOff Waterproof Bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you are sure to find one (or several) to fit your needs. For tubing, you might just want something to hold your phone, ID, cards and/or cash. The RunOff Waterproof Phone Case offers just that, plus, the touchscreen-friendly windows allow you to use your phone’s front and back cameras while still in the case! The removable lanyard is perfect to keep your device tethered around your neck so your phone doesn’t end up getting swept down a creek.


If you’re planning for a longer journey that requires more gear, clothing, and food, RunOff Waterproof Packing Cubes are ideal. They come in small, medium, and large sizes, and are compressible, allowing you to stuff more clothing into them. Attach them to your rig with some large Gear Ties and you’re ready to go!

 

Keep It Organized

Float Trip Organization GearLine

Staying organized while on and off the water will make your float trip run smoother so you can have more fun.

At the end of your float day, you might be looking for a place to dry out wet towels and swimsuits. The GearLine Organization System is perfect to pack with you on your trip since it takes up very little space in your bag. Just hang it up with its attached Gear Ties, and fasten your wet clothing and other gear onto the S-Biners.

Keeping your essentials grouped into multiple packs and RunOff bags will also be helpful in keeping things organized, so you’re not rooting around in one large bag for that specific item you’re looking for. This is especially helpful if you’re going on a multi-day trip where you might be camping along the river bank. RunOff Medium Travel Pouches are great for storing and protecting snacks, small electronics, maps, or lighting. You can also use a RunOff Toiletry Bag to organize your personal care items.

Float Trip Tips

However you’re planning to get in and around water this summer, we hope these tips will come in handy in keeping everything secure, organized, and protected. Whether you’re just going for a couple of tubing runs on a creek, or a multi-day kayaking trip, these three principles will help make your adventure more of a success. A final important reminder: don’t forget to wear your waterproof sunscreen and re-apply every couple hours!

Topics: Gear Ties, outdoors, "travel", runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, gearline, Tie Downs, float trip

Maximizing Adventure Travel In The Utah Desert

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jun 17, 2021 2:24:12 PM
Maximizing Adventure Travel in the Utah Desert
Written and photographed by Sunny Stroeer
 
Imagine a quaint, red rock western town that used to be one of the most isolated spots in the lower 48.  What comes to mind?  You may be thinking Moab or Sedona, but the town I am talking about is further off the beaten path than either of those: it is a small pioneer town in Southern Utah by the name of Kanab.
 
Kanab is located smack between Zion, Bryce, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is a fantastic jumping off point for many of the Colorado Plateau’s incredible national parks; it is also home to me personally, and to the guides of Dreamland Safari Tours - a hardy bunch of most excellent backcountry desert guides with decades of experience in delighting guests by creating access to hard-to-reach locations like the Wave, White Pocket, and more. 

 

Camping at White Pocket in Arizona
 
If you love hiking adventures and the varied geology of Utah, you have most likely heard about the Wave — it is both an iconic destination and incredibly tightly permitted: in any given year, upwards of a quarter million people apply in the hopes of obtaining one of the ~64 available daily permits. White Pocket is the Wave’s lesser known brother formation: it is a geologic and photographic wonderland, just about to burst onto the adventure aficionado scene, and not yet subject to permit regulations.  
 The Wave in Arizona at night
 
At Dreamland Safari Tours, we guide guests to both the Wave and White Pocket, as well as many other incredible locations – and we venture into the backcountry every day of the year. We need our gear to live up to the demands of an extreme environment where temperatures can easily vary by forty or fifty degrees over the course of a 24-hour cycle, and early-evening katabatic winds cascading off the Colorado Plateau create daily opportunities for sandblasted exfoliation. Needless to say: given the challenging conditions of our "office", we expect nothing but maximum performance and durability from our gear.  That’s why we rely on Nite Ize both to light our way during the many remote overnight trips that we host, and to help secure our gear and loads not just en route to a destination but also once at camp. 
 
Radiant Rechargeable Glow Sticks light the path
 
Among our lighting favorites are not just Nite Ize Radiant Headlamps and Lanterns, but particularly also the rechargeable glow sticks that we regularly use as an environmentally friendly way to light the path for our astro photographer guests to find their way back to camp after a night-time shoot. Prior to using Radiant Rechargeable Glow Sticks, we brought single use glow sticks that would make their way to the landfill once used; now, we simply collect our Radiant Glow Sticks at the end of the night, plug them into a USB charger, and they’re ready to go again for the next trip. As an outdoor company and proud member of 1% For The Planet, being environmentally conscious is important to us, and Nite Ize helps us reduce our impact.
 
Gear Ties have thousands of uses
 
In addition to an assortment of rechargeable lighting solutions, we of course also use tried-and-true S-Biners, GearTies and tie downs for every use in the book - from securing loads on the back of our pickup trucks, to hanging water dispensers to mounting easy-access paper towel holders: Nite Ize gear is infinitely versatile and has an almost unlimited number of uses, which is exactly the reason that we at Dreamland Safari Tours love it. By having Nite Ize as integral part of our guides’ gear setup, we get to maximize the time we spend on being fully focused on our guests - thanks to the peace of mind that comes with using awesome gear. 
 
Dreamland Camp at Night

 

Topics: Gear Ties, outdoors, Adventure, Field Team, "travel", camping, headlamp

How I Optimized My Gear (And My Mind) For the Iditarod Trail

Posted by Cassie Ryan on May 25, 2021 11:44:49 AM
Sunny Stroeer Iditerod Trail
By guest blogger (& record-setting endurance athlete) Sunny Stroeer

 

Imagine wanting to ski 350 miles through Alaska - next week, without much training or real experience on cross-country skis.  That’s the situation I found myself in a few months ago:  I was signed up to ski the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a 350-mile race through the interior of Alaska.  The only challenge was that I am neither a skier, nor had I ever completed a 350 mile non-stop race — and in true “me” fashion I didn’t have the time to properly train for this behemoth of an adventure, either.  

Iditerod Trail Invitational
 
You may ask “Why would anyone WANT to do something like that?” That’s a great question, but it’s not what I want to talk about today. Instead, I want to talk about the how: HOW does one go about pulling off 350 miles on minimal training and in a new discipline in extreme cold? The answer is this: strategy.  Race strategy, gear strategy, and mental strategy.  When you find yourself in a situation where you are swimming upstream, be it as a rookie on the Iditarod Trail or while preparing for a stressful and difficult deadline at work, optimizing your strategy is critical.  
 
I knew that I had little margin for error in Alaska.  Failing to finish the race was the smallest risk that I faced - there were more severe consequences such as hypothermia, frostbite, and the possibility of real harm to limb if not life. As such, I put a lot of forethought into deciding both my strategy for the race itself, as well as into my strategy for the gear that would keep me alive.
 
Radiant 170 Task Light
 
Here’s what optimizing my setup looked like on the gear side: rather than pulling a sled, and having to work through both a new-to-me mode of travel (skiing) and the mechanics of dragging a sled over at times steep terrain, I opted to carry all my gear in a backpack.  I also knew that the biggest and potentially fatal danger out there was the possibility of breaking through the ice and getting wet - which, in subzero temperatures, can be a death sentence if you don’t have dry clothes to change into and ways to make a fire.  That’s why I kept a fire starter kit on my body, and carried a designated survival set of dry clothing in a Nite Ize RunOff Pouch: I needed to know that these clothes would stay dry even if I, and my backpack, were to be submerged in water. 
 
Another important gear consideration was lighting: I knew that I would have to travel through many a night during this ten-day race, and with 12 hours of darkness and the extreme cold of the Alaskan night I needed not just a reliable and rechargeable headlamp — I needed a multi-level, lightweight and adaptable lighting system to help me see through whiteouts and create depth perception in flat white light.  I choose a combination of my trusty INOVA STS PowerSwitch headlamp, and the new Radiant 170 Rechargeable Task Light which I attached to the chest strap of my pack.  I also used GearTies to secure extra gear to my pack, which came in beyond handy when one of my bindings broke at mile 250 and I was faced with the task of rigging a ski carrying system so I could complete the remaining 100 miles on foot. 
 
Gear Ties for Skis
 
But I didn’t just focus on optimizing my gear for the Iditarod; I also went into the race with a clear overarching strategy for how to get through those 350 miles, and a mental strategy for how to overcome the emotional low points and moments of wanting to give up that I knew I would inevitably encounter.  My overall strategy was simple: since I wasn’t properly trained going into this adventure, I needed to use the early days on the trail to get stronger rather than weaker. That’s why I did not push mileage in the first few days of the race: twenty to thirty miles a day was all I needed, and rather than trying to go hard and push through the nights I stopped every evening and got as much rest as possible - sometimes as much as eight hours of sleep.
 
In addition, I had made a simple rule for myself to optimize my mental game: I wouldn’t ever consider quitting, or dropping out of the race, before having slept.  The thing in ultra races is this: no matter how well prepared you are (or aren’t), there’ll be parts of the adventure that feel amazing and parts of it that feel terrible.  The secret is figuring out how to get through the terribly challenging sections without giving in to the temptation to quit. Often times that’s as easy as having quiet confidence in the knowledge that how you feel will change: no matter how difficult a section may be, or how exhausted you may feel - a good night’s rest will make all the difference.
 
Alaska Iditerod Trail
 
For what it’s worth, that’s precisely what I love about ultra-endurance challenges and the very reason that I WANT to take on crazy adventures like the Iditarod Trail Invitational: the lessons that the trail teaches me are 100% transferable to day-to-day events, and help me dial in my mental game across all areas of life. 
 
Iditerod Trail Invitational Finish Line
 

 
Want to read more about the Iditarod and other epic adventures?  Follow Sunny on Instagram or check out a long-form essay about her time on the Iditarod Trail on her blog over at www.sunnystroeer.com

Topics: Gear Ties, Adventure, Field Team, headlamp

MobilIZE: 6 Simple Ways You Can Help Protect Our Planet This Earth Day

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on Apr 19, 2021 4:04:19 PM

6 Simple Ways To Help Protect The Planet This Earth Day

With the impacts of climate change becoming ever-present, protecting our planet is more important than ever. But for many of us, that goal seems out of reach, leaving us asking: How can I help? Well, there's no day like Earth Day to get started! Keep reading for 6 easy ways to start thinking more sustainably, locally, and globally this Earth Day.

 

1. Introduce a recycling bin at your home + office

How To Introduce A Recycling Program

The benefits of recycling can’t be overstated. Obviously, recycling means less trash is dumped in landfills every year, but even larger than that, recycling allows our industry to repurpose non-renewable resources, using significantly less energy and raw materials to create our goods.

If your neighborhood or workplace doesn’t already have a recycling program, some ways you can break into it are:

  • Find a local recycling center in your area you can personally return to
  • Talk to your boss about setting up a recycling program at work
  • Read up on which materials are accepted at your local facility to prevent recycling contamination that can do more damage

2. Volunteer for local cleanups in your community

Earth Day Cleanup

If you’re more of the hands-on type, a community cleanup might be just the ticket. Check out what Earth Day cleanups are happening in your local community, and if your area is running low this year, have no fear. One of our Brite Side philanthropic partners, American Rivers, is hosting a year-long Virtual River Cleanup Challenge through the Litterati app. Through the app, you can take pictures of the litter you collect and track it, allowing Litterati to map national litter totals and cleanup efforts.

 

3. Find reusable alternatives for single-waste products

Gear Ties vs. Zip Ties

A simple way to help protect the planet is to reevaluate your shopping choices. Instead of choosing a single-waste product like water bottles, switch to an insulated thermos to reduce your annual waste and ultimately, the emissions created when producing so many products at mass rates.

Taking it a step further, look around your home and see where a single-waste option could be replaced with a reusable one. Gear Ties are a perfect alternative to zip ties or cable ties, providing the reusability, adjustability, and strength you need. Another reusable option to consider is swapping out your battery-powered products for rechargeable ones. Nite Ize proudly produces 25 different rechargeable products and counting, including LED Dog Collars, flashlights, and more.

 

4. Shop local produce or plant a garden

Start Your Own Vegetable Garden

Commercial agriculture takes a toll on our environment with harmful pesticides and fertilizers, excessive waste, and heavy carbon emissions from transit by truck to grocery stores everywhere. To help minimize this impact, seek out a local farm or market in your area for your produce. And for those up to the challenge, planting a garden is a great way to learn more about agriculture, develop self-sufficiency, and control the pesticides and fertilizers used, keeping your community’s soil and waterways clean. Check out our tips on starting your own vegetable garden this spring here!

 

5. Drive less—bike + walk more

Reduce Carbon Emissions by Biking

Transportation alone makes up 14% of our yearly greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce the number of cars on the road by carpooling to work and social events when you can. Around your town, consider investing in a bike for local errands and work commutes—you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll love it! And instead of taking a long drive around the neighborhood after a hard day, take a walk outside instead to enjoy the fresh air and get your body moving.

 

6. Get out there and appreciate it!

Enjoy The Outdoors This Earth Day

Now that you’ve done the work, it’s time to reap all the benefits. Get out there and soak in all the beauty that mother nature has to offer. Take a hike, set up camp, plan a picnic, or hit the beach—wherever you feel most connected to our beautiful planet. Remember to Leave No Trace when enjoying our great outdoors to prevent trail damage, wildlife risk, water pollution, and forest fires.

How are you planning to mobilize for Earth Day? Share your favorite ways to give back to the environment in the comments or on social media. Now what are you waiting for? Go get out there!

Topics: Gear Ties, take action, outdoors, Bike, gardening, Surprize

Organizing Your Garage In 4 Easy Steps

Posted by Brian Lambert on Mar 11, 2021 12:05:15 PM

Organizing Your Garage in 4 Steps

My garage is my sanctuary.  It is the protector of my vehicle, a room for DIY projects and it’s the only place where I’m allowed to display all the beer mugs and neon signs I collected in my 20’s.  The more projects I have, the more the garage gets disorganized, because the remnants of projects past add clutter, and the tools do not always make it back to the original location. 

Each spring, the garage needs a refresh.  I plan a full day to give it some feng shui and eliminate the negativity associated with walking into a mess every day. There are four steps I take to make it all happen...

 

1. Clean and Clear the Floor

Radiant 170 Clip Light

Take the car out and clean the floor.  I recommend a deck broom to scrub the caked mud, etc., but a shopvac produces much less dust.  My garage is well lit, but I still like to use my Radiant 170 Clip Light to see into dark corners, under shelves, and between crevices to remove cobwebs and look for remnants of critters I may need to remove. 

Gear Tie Bendable S-Hook

The Gear Tie Bendable S-Hook is great for hanging hand tools with handles on wire shelves and getting shovels off the floor. I try to make sure that the only items on the floor have wheels (snowblower, mower, etc.) so they won’t get wet or run over. 

 

2. Create Regions

S-Biner Dual Carabiner #10

Create regions around the garage where like items are stored so that you can easily find them or explain to someone where they can be located. One tip here is to put the most frequently used items up front or more readily accessible.  If you have to go through a maze to put something back, you might want to reconsider your regions. Mine are:

    1. Car Accessories / Car Supplies
    2. Pegboard / Hand Tools / Work Area
    3. Power Tools (Drill, Jigsaw, Pneumatic Equipment, etc.)
    4. Activity Areas (Camping, Biking, Skiing/Snowboard)
    5. Power Equipment (Snowblower, Chainsaw, Lawn Trimmer, etc.)
    6. Needs Repair

Please note that if you are going to store fuel in your garage, use an appropriate storage container and make sure it is at least 50 feet away from flame sources. 

 

3. Make sure it works

Wrangle Cords With Gear Ties

Go through each region and look for misplaced items, things you want to keep, and stuff to throw away or donate. Clean and test some of the tools/equipment to make sure it is still operational, or if you need to move it to the repair pile or dispose of it. Make sure you recycle or donate whenever possible.

 

4. Make it Pretty

S-Biner #10 Dual Carabiner

Organizing is one thing, but making it pretty brings in the pride factor.  Do not just throw things on shelves – face them so you know what they are at a glance and keep it that way.  Use different colored Gear Ties to wrap hoses, power tool cords, and extension cords.  The S-Biner Plastic Dual Carabiner #10 or #8 are also great for hanging cords, cables, hoses, or packs. 

 

The bottom line is your garage is a part of your home and should give you the same feeling of comfort and joy that any other room in the house offers. Check out the OrganIZE collection to discover other products that help you wrangle and tidy anything from your keychain to your basement.

Topics: Garage Organization, Gear Ties, DIY, Organization

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

"Skoolie Living" Travel Days Made Easier With Nite Ize

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jan 8, 2021 11:14:34 AM

Skoolie Living Travel Days Made Easier With Nite Ize

Written and Photographed by Guest Bloggers Chris & Tina Wann of @weliveonabus

When you first move into a tiny home on wheels, there is so much to learn. Figuring out how to secure everything while your home is going down the road is an artform and takes time to perfect. When we first moved into the school bus, it wasn’t uncommon for items to fly across the bus once we took off toward our next destination, but we had a head start on finding great solutions thanks to Nite Ize. We have used Nite Ize products for years and during the downsizing process, we kept every single item that had their logo on it. We didn’t know how we would use all of it, but we knew we would need it. 

When looking for methods of organizing and securing belongings in our skoolie, Nite Ize has so much to offer, both in our home and in the great outdoors. When we recently reached out and shared our love of their brand and amazing products, they sent us a box of gear to replace some of the older products we are using. We’re happy to share all of the ways you can use Nite Ize to make travel day as easy as possible!

We Tie Down Everything with Nite Ize Gear Ties

We use Nite Ize Gear Ties for many different things around the skoolie. Gear Ties are a reusable twist tie found in many colors and sizes. Gear Ties are made from strong metal that is wrapped in a soft rubber shell that is durable and helps to prevent scratching. The rubber shell also provides grip to keep it from sliding. Even though they are made from heavy-duty metal, Gear Ties are easy to use with minimal effort.

The Plant Cart

Gear Tie Uses

It is no secret that plants can be found in abundance inside our skoolie. If we are being honest, they are also one of the most time consuming items to pack up on travel day. They have to be placed in their travel locations with care so the leaves don’t get damaged and one of those travel homes just happens to be on wheels. One of the best uses for Gear Ties is securing our plant cart to the wall in our bedroom. Before we started using Gear Ties, I am almost ashamed to tell you how many times it came loose while driving, bumping the door open and rolling down the hallway. It was such a simple fix, too! Nite Ize Gear Ties to the rescue, and now we no longer have to worry about the plant cart surprising us as it rolls down the hallway.

Cable Management

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties

One of the best uses for Gear Ties is cord organization. We have lots of cords in a small tote and using Gear Ties helps us get the one we need and not all of them at the same time in a giant knot. We have cords for chargers, phones, hot spots, the printer, cameras, and laptops. When it’s time to pack up and travel, we love using these to store the cords. They are available from three inches all the way to up to 64 inches and in multiple colors.

Hoses and Power Cords

Gear Tie Loopable

One new style of Gear Tie we started using is the Gear Tie Loopable. These are a fantastic addition to Gear Tie line up. I love using these for organizing hoses and power cords. One cool feature of using a longer Gear Tie Loopable is that you can make a handle to hold bulky items like 50 feet of water hose. Anyone who has tried to coil up 50 feet of water hose knows that it can be hard to manage, especially in cooler weather. We also love Nite Ize Gear Ties for our extension cords. I love how they help prevent the cords from getting tangled up while we’re on the move.

 

Transporting Our Kayaks

CamJam Tie Down Strap

Our family loves being around the water and we travel with two kayaks on the roof of our Jeep. On travel days, a part of my routine is making sure the kayaks are secured. Thanks to the Nite Ize CamJam Tie Down Straps, I can drive down the road knowing they are secure. Like everything else, these straps are very well made and have the end user in mind. A key feature that I love is the no slip buckle which helps to prevent the buckle from scratching the kayaks when tightened. It helps to protect the vehicle when throwing the strap over the kayak, too. I have had many different brands of straps and this is the first one with this feature.

 

Securing the Basket Shelf

One of the newest additions to the bus is the basket shelf above the driver’s seat. Many people have seen photos of this and ask “how do they not fall while driving?” More people have questioned our decision to place baskets above the driver than anything else we have done. I get it. When you see the photos, it looks like an accident waiting to happen, but we haven’t had to worry about it thanks to Nite Ize.

We tie the baskets in using the Nite Ize CamJam Cord Tightener. Prior to using this, I was using paracord, which works okay, but you have to tie decent knots while cinching the cord down to hold the baskets. The CamJam Cord Tightener eliminates the need for all of the knots because it clips to the hook in the wall. This speeds up the process of securing and unsecuring the baskets. This chore was one of my least favorite because it took extra time and had to be done just right to work. Now, I can secure them super fast and move on to the next task. To help ensure the baskets don’t move, we use Gear Ties on the handles to secure them together.

 

Keeping Doors Closed

S-Biner Dual Carabiner

One of the key features in our bus build is the lockers that hold our toiletries and towels next to the bathroom sink. On our first drive down the road, we heard the banging noise of all six locker doors opening and slamming shut. We stopped at a local hardware store and found the perfect solution – the Nite Ize S-Biner Stainless Steel Dual Carabiner. They are small, light-weight, and the stainless finish looks great on the lockers. A triple win! A lot of times, my solutions to fix problems are more functional than pleasing to the eye. Like many of the Nite Ize products, these carabiners are functional and look great.

 

Organizing Keys and Small Tools with Nite Ize

Nite Ize Key Accessories

As we mentioned in our ebook, Making the Most of 234 Square Feet, we are a huge fan of installing hooks throughout the bus to hold small items, towels, and plants. What we didn’t mention is that every set of keys has a Nite Ize Slidelock S-Biner attached as a key chain. With all the keys for the bus and the Jeep, the locking S-Biner helps me to keep them organized and close at hand. We got into the habit of clipping the keys to a belt loop so we wouldn’t put them down and then forget where we put them. Super handy and a great way to keep your pockets free, too.

 

More Ways We Use Nite Ize

Favorite Nite Ize Products

The Nite Ize logo can be found scattered throughout our bus. Here is a quick look at all of the different products we use:

Travel days can be hectic. When you travel full time and are constantly packing and unpacking, solutions from Nite Ize can make your life easier. Let us know if you find a solution from Nite Ize that we didn’t think of! We would love to hear your ideas!

To learn more about what travel day looks like for our family, check out our Skoolie Travel Day Routines post. To find out where we are today and get the most current updates, follow us on Instagram.

Topics: Gear Ties, "travel", vanlife, Tie Downs

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