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

Gear Up for Winter Fun

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Dec 16, 2020 10:47:52 AM

Gear Up For Winter Fun

Winter is officially coming, and many of us might be dreading this one more than usual. If you live in a part of the country that doesn’t exactly get a lot of patio-weather days during this time of year, you might be desperately seeking safe ways to get out of the house. The great outdoors has been an absolute gift throughout 2020 to help us stay sane while saying safe. So, let’s think about winter recreation to help fill your free time – maybe you can even try something new!

Of course, you’ll have different options depending on where you live. Here in Colorado, ski and snowboard season is ramping up. In the upper midwest, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and snowshoeing are popular pastimes. Whatever activity might be up your alley, we’d like to share some of our favorite products that help us enjoy our sport of choice better.

 

Hit the Slopes

Skiing Hacks

My winter sport of choice is skiing, and it’s the one I have the most personal experience with. I ski with a small hydropack backpack, which does not give me a lot of storage space. For this reason, I always use the RunOff Waterproof Wallet because of its slim design, and because it keeps my cards and cash nice and dry in case of the occasional “yard sale.” (Hey, I never said I was a good skier!)

Hitch Phone Anchor + LanyardI also like to keep my phone handy to snap photos, but fumbling with it while on the lift always makes me nervous (Jerry alert). I started using the Hitch Phone Anchor + Lanyard for days on the mountain because I know I won’t lose it through my butterfingers, and it also makes it easy to pull out of my jacket whenever I want to check my season pass app or take photos. The Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether is also a popular choice for this use, and you can attach the S-Biner MicroLock to an anchor point on your jacket, or the belt loop on your pants.

My third essential for skiing is S-Biners. Did I mention my pack doesn’t have much storage? I keep a couple S-Biners clipped to it to hold things like my gloves or helmet when I head into the lodge for a toddy. You can also use one to attach to your lift tickets or season pass to your clothing or bag.

 

Gear Tie LoopableFinally, I always keep my skis and poles bundled with Gear Tie Loopables at each end for transporting and storing.

Because we’re lucky enough here in Boulder to live driving distance to the ski slopes, many of our team members are avid skiers and snowboarders. I asked a few of them what products come in handy for days on the mountain, and here’s what they had to say:

Cinch-A-Lot Stretch Strap: Great for attaching gloves that don’t happen to have loops, bundling poles, or holding small items like lip balm or hand sanitizer.

GearLine Organization System: If you’re staying in a hotel or rental unit, this is indispensable for organizing gear and drying out wet clothing.

RunOff Medium Travel Pouch: The perfect size RunOff bag for your paper trails map, so it doesn’t wind up soggy after you end up in the deep stuff. (I always carry a paper map as a backup just in case my phone runs out of battery or I lose signal.)

DoohicKey+ Key Tool: Good to have around for emergency repairs (or… emergency bottle-opening).

INKA Key Chain Pen: Keep this handy as a quick-use pen for signing bar receipts or making notes on your trail map. But the real bonus here is the pressurized cartridge with waterproof ink, allowing you to use it at any altitude, any angle, and in wet conditions.

 

Snowshoe the Trails

Snowshoeing

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

If you live somewhere that has great hiking trails that are now covered in a blanket of snow and ice, you might give snowshoeing a try! You can rent a pair at many equipment shops, but you can also buy yourself a pair at reasonable prices.

Snowshoeing is a great way to get out, connect with nature, and enjoy the winter wonderland. For this activity, you’ll definitely need a backpack full of safety and survival essentials – always be prepared for the worst! Here’s a helpful guide of gear you’ll need to bring along, which includes a first aid kit, headlamp, and knife. Better hook an S-Biner on your pack too, because you never know when that will come in handy. For storing and transporting your snowshoes, wrangle and hang them with a Gear Tie.

No snow in sight? Go on a chilly hike! Bring those essentials, layer up, and hit the trails.

 

Try Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

If you’ve never had the opportunity to try cross country skis, it can be a fantastic way to spend a bluebird day. Dip your toe in with some rental gear and head to a nordic center, or research some Cross Country spots in your area. Much the same as snowshoeing, you’ll need a pack filled with your essentials so you’re well prepared for any unexpected scenario.

 

Chill Out in an Ice Fishing Shanty

Ice Fishing

If you live in the upper midwest, you may already be familiar with the winter pastime that is ice fishing. Whether you catch a big one, or just spend the day hanging out in the shelter with family, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience. While you’re waiting on the fish to bite, you’ll need a beverage. Use a SlapLit LED Drink Wrap to keep your cold drinks cold, your hot drinks hot, and click on the light for some colorful flair. A GearLine will come in handy inside the shelter to hang and organize your equipment and damp clothing. You’ll need some light inside your shanty, so bring along a lantern or two. A DoohicKey FishKey is a perfect multitool for any angler, and can help with tasks from fixing rods to opening bottles. For hauling your shanty to and from your lake of choice, our Dual CamJam Tie Down Systems will be perfect for the job.

 

Get Your Thrills on a Snowmobile

Snowmobiling

Adrenaline junkies will love the thrill of snowmobiling, whether you’re in the mountains or the great plains. Rent a vehicle for a day to give it a try, and if you love it, you can always think about buying one of your own someday. Remember that everything your bring along may get wet! Protect your things in the safety of a RunOff bag or packing cube, and secure it to your ride with a Gear Tie.

 

Give Fat Tire Biking a Go

Fat Tire Snow Biking

If you’re an avid cyclist, you might be getting that sad feeling when the weather turns snowy. With the new fat tire bikes built for snowy conditions, you can turn that frown upside down. Fat tire biking is a fun way to explore off-the-beaten-path trails, and you get a great workout to boot. You can rig a RunOff Bag with a couple of Gear Ties to create a waterproof handlebar bag full of your snacks and essentials. Because daylight is fleeting these days, be sure your fattie bike is equipped with front and rear lights, just in case you get caught out at dusk (or if you’re on dawn patrol).

 

Find Your Perfect Sledding Hill

Snow Tubing

On those magical mornings when you wake up to a blanket of fresh snow, grab a sled or tube and head for the hills! I would advise you to know your sledding location of choice at the very beginning of the season, so you know exactly where to go and won’t waste precious downhill time driving around for a hill. Because we know you’ll want to capture the fun on video, bring a RunOff Waterproof Phone Case. It will keep your device dry, and you can wear the included lanyard around your neck so you don’t lose it in the snow on your way down.

 

What winter activity are you most looking forward to? Report back, and give us a shout if you discover a new Nite Ize hack that helps you along the way.

Topics: Gear Ties, outdoors, Adventure, Bike, Fitness, fishing, runoff, gearline

5 Ways To Enjoy The Holidays at Home

Posted by Katie S on Dec 8, 2020 10:47:29 AM

5 Ways To Enjoy The Holidays at Home

For most of us, the holidays are looking a little different this year, but that doesn’t have to mean worse. Living out of state from both sides of our extended family, this will be the first year that my immediate family will actually spend Christmas in our own home. While we’ll be sorry to miss out on bigger family time, I am looking at this as an opportunity for a really relaxing holiday. It’s also a chance to get a little creative with the ways we are celebrating the season.

Here are a few ideas I have planned, and some trends I’ve noticed around our neighborhood and elsewhere:

 

1. Decorate Early + Often

Decorate for the Holidays Early

We’re all spending more time at home, so why not dress your house to the nines for all the holidays? We hung our lights before Thanksgiving and have been enjoying them immensely. Not only do you get to enjoy them for longer, hanging them earlier meant we were able to choose a nice mild weekend to do it – no frozen fingers while trying to wrap and hang lights. I’ve noticed a lot of our neighbors have jumped on this as well, and it’s not just nice for you – the neighborhood kids love it too. As a mom of small children, I’ve found myself extending evening car rides on a regular basis to loop through neighborhoods that have already put together strong light-displays. 

Decorate for the Holidays with Gear Ties

Nite Ize Pro Tip: Use Gear Ties to secure your Christmas lights in awkward places or spots that you wouldn’t want damaged by nails or staples.

 

2. Throw A Holiday Party For Two (or Four + Some Stuffed Animals In Our Case)

SlapLit Drink Wrap

I have always loved throwing a Holiday or New Year’s Party. So, despite not inviting “traditional” guests, I’ve decided I’m not giving this one up – at least not entirely. I am throwing a holiday party for our immediate family. And we are dressing up. And there will be eggnog. And we will have fun! …And we may zoom the rest of our family to join in after a few drinks.

So, the following is my advice for throwing your own household party. Pick a weekend night in the middle of December when there’s not a lot going on and when in a normal year, you probably would have had a work party or something fun and festive to attend. Tell your household ahead of time. If you have kids, let them make some invitations and pick out holiday clothes to dust off. If you don’t have kids, tell your roommate, partner, or best zoom-friend what time to be dressed and ready. If you like to cook – great! If you don’t, pick a special restaurant to order take-out and make some festive beverages. And lastly, plan an activity. Make it feel like more than a nice meal by adding a special activity. Buy a gingerbread house kit or have a cookie decorating contest with a prize for the winner.

Nite Ize Pro Tip: Grab your favorite holiday beverage and wrap it in a red, green, or blue SlapLit LED Drink Wrap for instant-festiv-ication!

 

3. Create A New Tradition

Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

There are a million fun ways to celebrate the season. Add a few new traditions to your family’s repertoire to make the season extra special at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started…

  • Build a gingerbread house, or a gingerbread palace. If you’ve got some time to kill at home, make a legitimate one from scratch. Make it a contest within your house or via Zoom if you desire. It can be a project that spans multiple days – just keep adding to it (or eating from it), then you can enjoy looking at it for the rest of the month. I am certainly no Martha Stewart, so for tips on this one, I’ll direct you to this two-minute video of the real Martha Stewart’s “Steps For Making the Perfect Gingerbread House”.
  • Start a candy-making night – have fun making and eating it, and you’ll have some delicious treats to give as gifts.
BugLit Micro Flashlights

 

4. Take Your Celebration to The Streets

Holiday Bike Parade

Let’s adapt caroling to be even brighter and more fun. Spread cheer in your neighborhood by doing your own colorful holiday bike parade around dusk. You can coordinate with neighbors for a socially distanced parade, or just head out with your family, a speaker, and some Christmas tunes on full blast to bring smiles throughout the neighborhood. Light up your bikes with SpokeLit Wheel Lights and See ’Em Mini Spoke Lights, and wrap them with a battery-powered strand of holiday lights if you want to get really crazy.

Nite Ize Pro Tip: Gear Ties will definitely come in handy for wrapping holiday lights on things like bikes, strollers, and cars to hold strands securely in place.

Decorate Your Bike

 

5. Gift Big & Give Big

It’s been a year. If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, help pick someone else up. Helping others has been scientifically proven to make people happier. So, if you can, donate your time to a local organization. And if your finances haven’t gotten too dinged up, then take the money that you would have used traveling or partying for the holidays and put it towards brightening someone else’s season. There are many fantastic organizations out there that can help. Participate in a local food drive or “adopt” a family to help provide presents and meals for their Christmas. Check in with your local Toys For Tots or Salvation Army to find a program in your area.

 

The holidays are a special time of year, and we want to say thank you for being a part of our community and making it brighter. If you have more creative ideas to light up the season, please share them in the comments section below. Happy Holidays from all of us at Nite Ize!

Topics: Gear Ties, Bike, DIY, Holidays, decorating

Prepare Your Home For Winter With These Hacks

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

Prepare your home for winter with these hacks

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

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

Keep your patio furniture safe from wind storms with Gear Ties

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

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties

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

Insulating your sprinkler pipes

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

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie

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

KnotBone Adjustable Bungee and Dual CamJam Tie Down System

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

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

Winter chain-up kit

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

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

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