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

10 Ways to MaximIZE Your Summer

Posted by Cassie Ryan on May 31, 2021 1:00:00 PM

10 Ways to Maximize Your Summer

Summer is here and we’re more excited about it than ever. Considering how limiting our summer activities were last year, we're looking to make up for lost time and make the most out of each and every long day this season. Here are 10 ways you can celebrate summer to the max, plus a piece of gear for each activity that will make the experience easier and/or more fun.

 

1. Take a Trip

Summer Travel Tips

If you’re like many Americans, it may have been a while since your last official vacation. This summer might be a great time to plan one, whether you’re going somewhere familiar to visit family or friends you haven’t seen in a while, or exploring somewhere new. Wherever you’re going, you’re going to need to pack smart. Packing cubes can be a game-changer in the organization department – the RunOff Waterproof Large Packing Cube can fit a weekend’s worth of clothes, and be compressed down so you can zip it up and throw it in your carry-on.

If you’ll be flying to your destination, make sure you follow the TSA liquids rules. The RunOff Waterproof 3-1-1 Pouch is sized to adhere to the rules, is perfect for organizing your toiletries, and is water tight to contain any leaks that might occur at high altitudes.

 

2. Gather ‘Round the Fire Pit

Summer Fire Pit

Whether you’re camping in the woods, heading to a beach bonfire, or simply relaxing in your own backyard, there’s nothing that says (and smells like) summer more than an outdoor fire. For some throwback charm (that just so happens to be delicious too), head to the store before you light the fire pit for some s’more fixings. While you’re there, pick up some of your favorite beverages to enjoy out there as well. Our SlapLit LED Drink Wraps are made for this setting – they keep your drink cold, and light up so you'll be able to find it in the dark. (Plus, they just look cool.)

 

3. Find a Swimming Spot

RunOff Waterproof Phone Case

When the dog days of summer get too hot to handle, you might start googling the nearest body of water you can jump into to cool off. Depending on where you live, you might be headed to the beach, the lake, a swimming hole, a creek, or a local pool (each of which sound fantastic when the weather is warm). Be sure to snap some pics of the fun, and keep your phone dry and protected in a RunOff Waterproof Phone Case. Bonus: it also has a pocket inside for cards and cash, so those won’t get wet either.

 

4. Take an Extra-Long Hike

Summer Hiking Tips

More hours of daylight mean more time available for outdoor adventuring. Take advantage of it by either hitting the trails extra early, or you can finish up your hike later before the sun sets. This is the perfect time of year to tackle that summit you’ve been eyeing. One thing you’ll definitely need to bring with you on your hike is sunglasses. Make carrying them easier with the Rugged Optics Case, which clips right onto your pack strap or belt, protects your eyewear from scratches and the elements when not in use, and even has a built-in microfiber cloth for when they need a quick cleaning.

 

5. Go For a Night Ride

Night Biking Tips

Warmer nights call for being outside as much as possible. Why not go for an after-dark joy ride, or bike to your favorite local hangout? Just be sure you stay safe while you’re out there with front, rear, and side bike lights. If you’re riding with friends, impress them by wrapping your bike frame with a Radiant Rechargeable ShineLine.

 

6. Plant a Garden

Start a Vegetable Garden

Planting flowers, herbs, or even your own vegetable garden can be a rewarding spring and summer activity. With all the time you’re spending on your front porch or back patio these days, having a thriving garden can make a big difference in the atmosphere. New to vegetable gardening? Check out our tips for beginners here, and don’t forget to pick up a roll of Gear Tie Foam, which is a cut-to-size, soft, and plant-friendly version of our popular Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie.

 

7. Spend Some Quality Time With Your Dog

Nighttime Dog Toys

Don’t forget – dogs love summer too! It’s always fun to include them in your activities – whether you’re camping out, hitting the lake, visiting your favorite brewery, or embarking on that long hike. Just be sure to keep them cool and shaded, (or if it’s just too hot, they might be happier at home in the A/C). If it’s too warm of a day to be outside with your pup, wait until after dark in the cooler hours of the day, and play some night fetch. They’ll love the Huck ‘N Tuck with GlowStreak Ball at night, and you’ll love that your arm doesn’t get as tired after throwing the ball over and over. 

 

8. Master The Grill

Summer Grilling Tips

Summer is practically synonymous with grilling, and there's nothing like the smell of barbecue in the warm air. This season is the perfect opportunity to perfect your grilling or smoking game and impress your friends and family at your next backyard cookout. When you need a little extra light on those patties, the Radiant 170 Rechargeable Task Light is a handy accessory. You can use the built-in Gear Tie to wrap it around the grill handle, or the magnet on the back to attach it to any metal surface, then aim the beam where needed.

 

9. Take a Road Trip

Road Trip Hacks

Ah, the all-American road trip. With so much to explore around the country, why would you want to fly to just one destination when you can hit several in one trip? Plan a multi-day road trip somewhere and fine-tune your route so you can stop at some fun landmarks. Check out the website roadtrippers.com (they also have an app) where you can plan your journey and discover cool places to visit along the way. Make sure you're not having to fumble with your phone while you follow directions by picking up a car phone mount before you leave. The Steelie Squeeze Windshield Kit is perfect for keeping those maps in view with a strong hold on your device and 360˚ rotation. Additionally, if you happen to be renting your road trip vehicle, the windshield mount can be easily transferred between cars.

 

10. Go Stargazing

Stargazing Tips

Another way to enjoy a balmy evening is finding a great stargazing spot and posting up with a blanket, a beverage, and some snacks. If you live in the city, make a plan for an overnight camping trip where the skies will be much clearer and free from heavy light pollution. Bonus points if you can plan it for when there will be a meteor shower. Although it might seem counterproductive when you’re out there trying to unplug from technology, you might have fun with one of the many stargazing apps that help you pick out constellations, such as Star Walk 2, or Star Chart. If you're walking to your stargazing spot, be sure to bring a headlamp so you can see where you’re going. The Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp is bright and sturdy, and also has red mode so your eyes will stay adjusted to the night sky.

 

We hope these 10 ideas will help get you inspired for all the summer fun that lies ahead. What plans are you most excited for this year? Leave us a comment below, or tag us in your summer photos featuring a Nite Ize product for a chance to win a SurprIZE prize!

Topics: Adventure, Bike, "travel", gardening, runoff, dogs, Surprize

MobilIZE For Spring Adventures: Favorite Accessories For Life On-The-Go

Posted by Katie S on Mar 31, 2021 4:49:22 PM

Mobilize For Spring Adventures

Spring has sprung and the smell of summer barbeques is so close we can almost taste them. Meanwhile, thoughts of springtime adventures stir in our minds. Whether your spirit of adventure leads you to explore new local parks or faraway destinations, we have a few tips and tricks for adventuring safer and smarter with your smartphone. For better or worse, smartphones and technology have generally changed the way we explore and experience the world around us. Rather than packing up maps, a camera, a video camera, a GPS, and relying on the kindness of strangers to lend directions, we bring along one trusty, compact smartphone.  So, here are a few ways we recommend keeping your device protected and accessible on your next adventure, as well as a few ways your phone can keep you safe and enhance the experience.

 

Make It Snug with a Little Steelie Hug

Steelie Squeeze Windshield Kit

If your next adventure starts with hitting the road, make sure you’ve got Steelie as your co-pilot. Steelie is a strong magnetic device holder that secures your phone at easy viewing angles in the car so you can view what’s really important: the road. I personally like the Steelie Squeeze Windshield Kit because it seriously suctions to your windshield, and the Squeeze bracket can hold your phone or anyone else’s who may be riding shotgun on your adventure. (And, it kind of looks like it’s giving your phone a snug little hug, and that makes me smile!)

Squeeze Smartphone Bar Mount

If your road trip happens to end at an amazing biking destination, you can move your phone from the Steelie Squeeze Mount in your car, to the Squeeze Smartphone Bar Mount on your bike and hit the trail without missing a beat (or dropping a phone).

 

Protect from the Big Three: Water, Sand, and Drops

RunOff Waterproof Medium Travel Pouch

Every generation of smartphone seems to get a little more durable and water-resistant, but they haven’t reached perfection yet. There is very little that drops your stomach as quickly as watching your favorite device dropping to the bottom of a river, and nothing more frustrating than trying to pick granules of sand out of the charging port. Pack your phone and other small essentials in a RunOff Waterproof Travel Pouch, and clip on an S-Biner to instantly make it waterproof, dirt-proof, and drop-proof.

 

Apps To Help You Adventure Smarter

Apps To Help Adventure Smarter

You know that tagline, “there’s an app for that”? Well, it really does apply to just about everything these days. Research what will be most helpful to your specific activities before you leave, since you may not have service for downloads where you’re headed. Here are a few of my favorites for outdoor exploration and travel:

FEMA – In general, I recommend that everyone have the FEMA app downloaded and set to send notifications for your area. If you plan to travel outside your hometown, update your notifications so you will be pinged if any major storms or other emergencies occur in the area so you can prepare/react appropriately.

Red Cross First Aid App – If your adventures take you more than an hour away from medical facilities, it’s a good idea to have some medical knowhow yourself. This app provides step by step instructions on how to identify and treat many common injuries and ailments. And always be sure to bring along a first aid kit too.

The Dyrt – This site is amazing for finding and getting in depth info on camp sites all over the U.S.

SEEK iNaturalist – Identify and keep track of plants, animals, and insects as you go. It’s fun to learn more about the world around you, and it could be useful if you find yourself in a survival situation (but hopefully just for fun!).

 

Where will your next adventure take you? We’d love to hear about your explorations with any Nite Ize products you bring along. Drop us a line in the comments section below, or share your photos on social media with the tag #NiteIze – you just might win a SurprIZE gift! For more products that keep you mobile, check out our April MobilIZE collection, full of top-rated gear for your phone and beyond.

Happy Adventuring!

Topics: Mobile Device Accessories, Bike, "travel", runoff, waterproof bags, Steelie, Surprize

VisualIZE: the first women’s run of the Grand Canyon R3.alt

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jan 22, 2021 1:18:07 PM

The first women’s run of the Grand Canyon R3.alt

By Nite Ize Field Team Member Sunny Stroeer

What’s the hardest part of any adventure? To me, the answer is clear: it’s that moment where you turn a wish into a goal and start to plan.   Many adventures, big and small, never get off the ground… and often for a reason that we don’t like to talk about: for a lack of trying. I should know - big adventures are my jam, like the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim ALT (or, for short, “R3.alt”) route that I completed with two girlfriends of mine this past October.  

RunOff Waterproof Large Packing CubeThe R3.alt is adventure running at its finest. It entails a double crossing of the Grand Canyon, which means 42 miles and over 10,000ft of vertical gain on rugged trails far, far off the pavement.  If that wasn’t enough, here’s an added challenge: there is no bridge across the Colorado River connecting the trails of this particular route at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, so you have to swim across the mighty Colorado in order to complete the adventure; you can imagine how thankful I was for Nite Ize’s awesome RunOff Waterproof Bags which helped bombproof my essential non-waterproof gear to ensure it would stay dry while we swam across the river. Through the hours of darkness, I was grateful for my Nite Ize Headlamp.  After a botched first attempt, and despite a few minor epics on the second attempt, my friends and I managed to pull off the R3.alt in 22 hours and 27 minutes and established the first women’s speed record on this backcountry route. 

As you consider what the R3.alt requires, you might argue that the hardest part of this adventure should be running 42 miles, or swimming across the Colorado River.  But here’s the kicker: running long distances is what I do, and the swim across the Colorado turned out to be less difficult than we had imagined (in large part thanks to a dry season which meant warm and slow-flowing water). 

Christin Healy Grand Canyon R3 Alt

So for this adventure, as for so many others, the true crux of the R3.alt was formulating the concrete goal of making it happen: the moment where I moved my internal dialogue from a hypothetical "wow what a cool route - I wish I could try that someday!" to the concrete "I am going to attempt the R3.alt." That simple change in words is often all it takes to turn a wish into a goal, and to start making a plan for how to accomplish said goal.

If it’s that simple, what keeps us from bridging the gap between ‘wishing’ and ‘planning’? Let me go back to my Grand Canyon R3.alt adventure for a moment.  When I first heard about the R3.alt route in 2018, it immediately captured my attention - as a wild “someday” idea, not as a goal. I didn’t know if I’d be able to get to the trailhead, or if I’d have the chops to jump into the mighty Colorado and swim across it; my internal dialogue was all about reasons why I wouldn’t ever be able to do the R3.alt, rather than about ways I could attempt the route. 

First women's run of Grand Canyon R3.alt

The reason for that is part an old habit of negative self-talk, and part mental laziness. I firmly believe that most of us, myself included, use the phrase "I wish" far more frequently than we should.  That’s why I differentiate between three different categories of "I wish" statements; hear me out. 

  1. Figure of speech without true intent: “I wish I could stay to chat but I gotta go.”  
  2. An honest wish related to something that we cannot influence: “I wish I was taller” or “I wish you felt better.” 
  3. Deliberate distancing from a desirable outcome: “I wish I could quit my job” or “I wish I was a better writer” or “I wish I could go travel.” 

I personally spend most of my time in categories one and three, but I constantly try to remind myself that the first category serves no purpose outside of social interactions.  The third category, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like: it is a way for us to deliberately distance ourselves from a challenging goal that we think we want but that is scary, difficult and/or time-intensive to pursue.  That third category is the category that I like to invest in, and  where I put work into converting my ‘I-wish-I-could’ wild dreams into ‘I-want-to-and-I-am-going-to-figure-out-how’ game plans.

First women's run of Grand Canyon R3.alt

That’s the reason that my friends Lexi, Christin and I were able to pull off the R3.alt in the Grand Canyon this past October: not because we are the strongest athletes, but because we turned a wish into a goal and made a plan for how to get there. My wish for you in 2021 is that you may do the same in the areas of your life that matter to you.

Topics: outdoors, Adventure, Field Team, "travel", runoff

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

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

Last Call For Fall Fun: 10 Autumn Activities

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on Oct 21, 2020 10:10:49 AM

Last Call For Fall: 10 Autumn Activities

The leaves are changing, the days are shortening, and there’s a chill in the air. It’s fall time, and before you know it, winter will make its icy appearance. But before we head into months of snow, slush, and shivers, let’s get out there and soak in the fall fun.

Keep reading for 10 fresh ways to make the most of our Autumn days and "nites."

 

1. Leaf through town

Leaf Peeping Drive

What’s fall without a leaf-peeping drive? If you live in a state with changing seasons, you might be able catch the vibrant Autumn colors come to life in person. Research the best leaf-peeping spots in your state (and make sure to check you haven’t missed the color change) and set off on your journey with your Steelie® Phone Mount to give directions along the route.

If you prefer to get out of the car and see the changing colors up close, nothing beats an Autumn hike or bike ride. Just make sure to bundle up and gear up your bike with one of our tool-free bike lights! Especially adventurous folks can take their leaf-peeping trip to the next level on a four wheel or ATV too — check out local rentals if you’re craving a little adrenaline rush.

 

2. Carve Out Some Fun

SpotLit XL Pumpkin

Carving pumpkins is a universal way to embrace the spooky season, unleash some creativity, and step up your decorating game while you’re at it. Grab a gourd of your choosing from your local pumpkin patch or grocery store and make sure to get durable carving tools that can get the job done (or kid-safe tools for little ones). Once your masterpiece is complete, throw in a SpotLit® XL or NiteGem for color-changing, fire-free illumination that will shine for nights to come.

Not up for a pulpy mess? Painting pumpkins might be a safer bet.

 

3. Drink It All In

Pumpking Beer

Get in the Autumn spirit with some spirits. Check out local cideries to sample sweet and spicy hard cider varieties, or pick up your favorite 6 pack of pumpkin ale for an at-home happy hour, complete with an Ahhh… Bottle Opener. If you prefer the winer things in life, visit your local vineyard or winery to sip on some fall blends.

 

4. Plan A Picnic

Fall Picnic

If you live in a state with harsh winters, you know you’re in for months of being buried under a heavy winter coat, scarf, boots, and gloves get-up. Soak in the sun while you can on a peaceful picnic at the park or even in your backyard.

 

5. Train for The Long Run

SlapLit Rechargeable LED Slap Wrap

Local Fall 5ks and Fun Runs are a popular way to get your blood pumping and raise money for a great cause. Sign up and start training — you can even get the whole family involved to get some fresh air away from screens.  If you're training in the morning or after work hours, be sure you’re staying safe and visible. The Rechargeable SlapLit LED Slap Wrap and TagLit Magnetic Marker are great ways to stay visible in the dark mornings and evenings, and a headlamp will help light your path.

 

6. Bake Up a Storm

Apple Pie

After watching a few seasons of the Great British Baking Show, you’ve probably learned a thing or two. Put your skills to the test and try out a homemade pie, pumpkin bread, candy apple, or other Autumn recipe everyone in the house can enjoy. Free fall aromas included!

Keep the recipe on your phone visible and flour-free with a Steelie Bendable Arm + Ratcheting Clamp or Steelie Pedestal Mount to make your baking adventure a breeze.

 

7. Game On

Flashflight Light Up Flying Disc

Make the most of the warm days we have left with an outdoor family game everyone can play. Pick up a Flashflight Light Up Flying Disc to keep the games going after-dark, or even a GlowStreak LED Ball so your pup doesn’t miss out on the nighttime fun.

 

8. Paddle Your Own Canoe (Or Kayak)

RunOff Waterproof Phone Case

While the chilly temperatures might make swimming out of the question, an Autumn kayak or canoe trip might be just the thing to appease water lovers already missing summer days at the lake. Research around for leaf-peeping spots and their nearby streams to find an especially gorgeous Autumn route.

You can rest assured that your phone, gear and snacks will stay safe and dry in one of our RunOff Waterproof Bags while you paddle the waters.

 

9. Gather 'Round The Fire Pit

Campfire SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

Nothing screams fall like scary ghost stories told around the fire. Crack open an Autumn ale (wrapped in a SlapLit to keep it lit and chilly), and come prepared with your favorite spooky stories to set the mood. After everyone is scared silly, lift their spirits with a toasty S’more cooked over the fire.

 

10. See Stars

FallFun-Stargazing

Grab a blanket, snacks, and a Radiant® 300 Headlamp set to red mode for a cozy night under the stars. Whether in your backyard or off the grid, you’ll be in for a night of out-of-this-world views, nonetheless. Three meteor showers are due when the moon is in crescent this Autumn, giving you the best view possible. Look out the Orionids shower on the night of October 20th through the 21st, the Northern Taurids on the night of November 11-12, and the Leonids on November 16-17.

And don’t miss the especially rare (and especially spooky) full moon on Halloween night!

Topics: Visibility and Safety, Games & Toys, outdoors, Fun & Games, Flying Disc, Bike, Fitness, LED Products, runoff, waterproof bags, Holidays, headlamp, kids, daylight savings

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