Camping For Newbies: The Beginner’s Guide

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

Camping Tips for Beginners

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

 

Step 1: Select your site wisely

Plan you camping trip

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

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

 

Step 2: Pack accordingly (and then some)

How to pack for camping trip

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

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

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

 

Step 3: Make the most of your daylight

Camping tips for newbies

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

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

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

 

Step 4: Get your lights ready to shine

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

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

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

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

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

 

Step 5: Rest easy (and critter-free)

Camping tips for beginners

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

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

 

Stay safe, happy campers!

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

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

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

Water Resistant vs. Waterproof – What’s the Difference?

Posted by Cassie Ryan on May 21, 2020 4:21:14 PM

Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

When it comes to packaging and marketing jargon, the terms “water resistant” and “waterproof” may seem like they mean the same thing at first glance. However, dig just a little deeper and you’ll quickly learn that the distinction in these terms can mean a difference in your gear becoming waterlogged and useless, or staying safe and dry. Many products – particularly when it comes to outdoor gear – are eager to tout themselves as “water-resistant” or “waterproof.” But when making a decision on what to buy, it’s important to know that you’re getting the right product for what you need.

The term “water resistant” means that the material or object in question is able to withstand a certain amount of moisture and wetness for a certain amount of time, before being completely soaked through. In a similar vein, “water repellent” usually means that the item is not easily penetrated by water and has been treated with some sort of hydrophobic coating to fend off liquids.

To put these terms into a very basic perspective, you can figure that “water resistant,” “weather resistant” or “water repellent” products can withstand a bit of light rain, snow or splashes without taking on damage.

2019LAK_RUNOFF_FB_IMAGE_1200x600_11

Now, products designed to protect electronics and other gear (as well as electronics themselves) that are officially labeled as “waterproof” have a much more concrete interpretation, and even have a rating to make things clearer. “Waterproof” technically means that it’s impermeable to water or can be submerged completely for a period of time and certain depth indicated by its IP rating. Note that fabrics such as rain coats or camping tents have a different waterproof rating system of their own, but for the sake of this article, we're just going to focus on IP ratings.

 

So, what’s an IP rating?

IP stands for Ingress Protection, and is followed by a number that indicates how deep the item can be submerged, and for how long.  IP ratings can also indicate how impenetrable the item is to solids, like dust or sand. IP ratings with an X followed by a number signify that it was not tested for protection against solids. This rating system was originally designed for electronic and mechanical devices to specifically indicate what degree of liquids and solids it can withstand and still function properly. The rating also applies to products that protect gear against these conditions. Here’s what the different IP rating numbers mean:

IP Ratings Guide

 

For example, Nite Ize RunOff Waterproof Bags are tested to IP67 (6 Solid Rating + 7 Liquid Rating = IP67). The “6” indicates it is impervious to dust, and “7” indicates that it can be immersed in water 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes without risking any damage from water penetration.

RunOff Waterproof 3-1-1 Bag

Another example, the INOVA T11R Tactical Flashlight, is rated to IPX7, meaning it is not tested for dust or solids protection, but can be submersed in water 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes. Other waterproof Nite Ize products include several other flashlights and headlamps in the INOVA line, the Radiant Rechargeable LED Glow Stick, GlowStreak LED Ball, and NiteGem LED Luminary.

Other products labeled as “water resistant” or “weather resistant” cannot be submerged without damage, but can withstand small amounts of water drops or splashes. 

 

Trust The IP

For waterproof protection you can trust, you must not only know your product’s IP rating, but abide by its rules. Don’t expect that a product marked as “waterproof” with a rating of only IPX4 to be able to be submerged without incurring damage. Also note that a product with a rating of IPX7 shouldn’t be left underwater for more than 30 minutes or you risk liquid seeping in and damaging what’s inside.

Waterproof Bags by Nite Ize

When considering products that protect against water, keep in mind that “waterproof” isn’t necessarily an all-or-nothing term, but rather encompasses varying levels of protection. It’s important to know how you’re planning to use the product and shop accordingly. If there is no indication on the product’s packaging, instructions, or manufacturer’s website regarding the level of protection against water, it’s safe to assume that the item won’t be able to hold up in any sort of wet condition.

Although many products claim to be waterproof (or water resistant), the truth always lies in the IP rating. Now that you know the value of those ratings, you can be prepared to shop for the gear that's best suited to wherever your next adventure will take you.

Topics: runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags

Here's How You Can Clean Your Phone After Essential Jobs and Errands

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on Apr 9, 2020 1:49:10 PM

Here's How You Can Clean Your Phone After Essential Jobs and Errands

From washing our hands to disinfecting our surfaces and even wearing fabric masks, we’re doing all we can to stay clean and prevent the spread of Covid-19. But what about our phones?

As our most used and valued daily tool, our phones get put through the ringer when it comes to germs. Not to mention, anytime we touch the screen or take a call, those germs have the potential to end up on us. So how do we keep them clean after performing an essential job or making a trip to the store?

Obviously, we can’t just douse them in soap and water and hope for the best. However, we can douse our RunOff Waterproof Cases in soap and water and know that our devices are safe and dry inside.

 

The silent power of TRU® Zip technology

TRU Zip Zipper Technology

We know what you’re thinking: How do you know that my phone won’t end up soapy and soaked just like the case it’s in? Well, the secret lies in the zipper.

Our patented TRU Zip technology creates the first sliding, silent, toothless, waterproof, and dustproof zipper of its kind. Submersible in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes, all RunOff Waterproof Bags are equipped with this TRU Zip technology (which is what makes them waterproof).

 

How to wash your RunOff Waterproof Case (with your phone or tablet inside)

How to wash phone or tablet with RunOff cases

The answer is simple: wash it like you’d wash your hands or home surfaces.

  1. Make sure your case is fully zipped and sealed, protecting your device and any inner contents.
  2. Wash it thoroughly under soapy water, wipe it down with sanitizing wipes, or spray it with a gentle cleaner. Just be sure to rinse well and dry fully for optimal touchscreen use.
  3. Continue using your phone in the case while out in public, on the job, or on-the-go. You can even keep it in there round-the-clock—with access to the touchscreen and front/back cameras, RunOff cases work as a temporary or permanent protective solution.

 

Explore RunOff® Waterproof Cases

RunOff® Waterproof Phone PouchRunOff® Waterproof Phone Pouch

With an included lanyard and touchscreen-friendly window for easy texting and snapping photos, this waterproof design keeps your hands free while keeping your phone protected from water, dirt, soap, and beyond. Fits phones up to 3.38" wide and 6.53" tall.

Show RunOff Waterproof Phone Pouch

 

 

 

RunOff® Waterproof Phone Case

RunOff® Waterproof Phone Case

This soft-shell case integrates a card holder, lanyard, and touchscreen-friendly material into its design for a compact pocket-sized solution, keeping your phone protected and accessible. Fits phones up to 3.85" wide and 6.65" tall.

Shop RunOff Waterproof Phone Case

 

 

 

RunOff® Waterproof Tablet CaseRunOff® Waterproof Tablet Case

With included attachment points to be carried in horizontal or vertical orientation as well as a lanyard and touchscreen-friendly exterior, this watertight tablet case is perfectly suited for medical use, schooling, and relaxing alike. Fits tablets up to 7.63" wide and 10.23" tall.

Shop RunOff Waterproof Tablet Case

 

 

Topics: runoff, waterproof bags

5 Ways to Make The Most Out of Your Leap Day

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on Feb 20, 2020 3:13:22 PM

4 Ways to Make The Most Out of Your Leap Day

Once every four years, we get an extra day in February as part of our Leap Year, called Leap Day. As a result, we have a 366-day calendar year in 2020. What will you do with your extra 24 hours?

 

1. Hit the road with an adventure in mind.

Steelie Windshield Mount

An extra day means an extra chance to check something off the bucket list, whether it’s an adventure to a small nearby town, a hike to a hidden lake, or a sledding trip with the kids. If you’re planning to be around water or snow, bring a RunOff Waterproof Pocket to keep your phone, ID, and cards dry and accessible. Don't forget your Steelie to help navigate your way to adventure!

 

2. Clear out that cluttered basement or garage.

How to Organize Your Garage

Leap Day is your opportunity to take on that cluttered part of your home without losing time. Grab 3 boxes and label them “keep”, “donate”, and “trash”, placing items into their respective boxes as you make your way through the space. Once you’ve cleared out the mess, use Gear Ties to organize tangled cords and bundles, and large S-Biners to hang up old backpacks, tools, and supplies. 

Tip: If you struggle letting go of things, use Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method. Hold each item in your hand and see if it “sparks joy” or makes you feel happy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, donate or toss it.

 

3. Get Moving.

SpokeLit LED Wheel Light

While it may already be the last day of February, there’s no time like the present to start working towards your health goals. Pull the bike out of the garage or take off on an evening run to get some fresh air and be active at the same time. You can even bring the whole family along to spend quality time together while working up a sweat. Clip a TagLit Rechargeable Magnetic LED Marker to your clothing or a SpokeLit Rechargeable Wheel Light to your bike so you remain visible to drivers when you're out after sundown.

 

4. Give Back.

LeapDay-GiveBack

One surefire way to make yourself feel proud is to volunteer for a cause you're passionate about. Volunteering opportunities are endless, but some ideas to get you started are helping out at a local food bank, animal shelter, or senior center, participating in a public spaces cleanup, or you can even opt to donate blood. Websites like VolunteerMatch and JustServe are helpful resources for finding projects and organizations in your area. You'll be amazed at how good you'll feel after giving back to your community.

 

5. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your extra day off.  

S-Biner Ahhh... Aluminum Bottle Opener

In the same way that Leap Day adds balance to our calendar year, this extra day can add balance to your life, too. If you’re always sticking to a schedule and on-the-go, this is your chance to recharge, guilt-free. Crack open a cold one (with an Ahhh... Aluminum Bottle Opener of course), recline that chair, and enjoy a free day of relaxation, binge watching, and maybe even a nap. And if you took our advice on #4, you definitely deserve it!

 

What are you planning to do with your Leap Day? Let us know in the comments and we wish you an adventurous, productive, or relaxing free day!

Topics: leap year, Garage Organization, Gear Ties, Leap Day, Adventure, Bike, DIY, Home, Organization, Fitness, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, Steelie

Plan Your Valentine’s Day Getaway

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Feb 3, 2020 9:28:17 AM

Plan Your Valentine's Day Getaway

The shelves are lined with pink cards, chocolate boxes, and teddy bears holding red hearts when you walk into any drugstore, which can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Fortunately, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, and on a three-day holiday weekend for some. The stars might be aligning for a quick weekend getaway with your Valentine’s date – whether they be a significant other, friend, family member, pet, or yourself (flying solo is fun too)! Here are some ideas to kickstart your inspiration, and some tips that might be a help along the way.

 

Where are you headed?

Valentine's Day Getaway

You might be already a step ahead of us and have already booked something. But if you’re more of a spontaneous person, you might consider somewhere driving distance if flights are already too pricey and hard to find. Look for cool places to visit within a few-hour radius around you ­– maybe there’s somewhere you’ve been thinking of visiting but haven’t had a chance yet. This might be the perfect time to book it! Browse some hotel or vacation booking sites and see what you find. If you live in a warmer climate, you could even consider camping or renting a camper van.

 

How are you getting there?

Already have plane tickets? Brilliant! Hitting the road? Fantastic. We have tips for both.

To help make packing easier, our RunOff Waterproof Bags are a great solution. For flying, the 3-1-1 Bag is a big help for consolidating your liquids for TSA. Plus, because the bag is waterproof, you can rest assured your shampoo won’t leak all over your date night attire if it bursts open. Because this is likely a short trip, you’ll probably want to opt for carry-on luggage only. The Medium and Large packing cubes are compressible, so you can fit more clothes into smaller spaces.

RunOff Waterproof Bags

 

For the road trip set, you’ll want a solution to keep your phone handy for GPS and music without having to mess with it in your hands while driving. Check out our Steelie mobile phone mounts to help you out. Don’t forget to make a playlist!

Steelie Orbiter Dash Kit

 

Pics or it didn’t happen

Valentines-FlipOut

Don’t fall victim to the feeling of coming home from an amazing vacation that you forgot to document with plenty of photos. Thankfully, we all carry cameras in our pockets these days, so be sure to use them. Snap some cute selfies with the help of a trusty FlipOut Handle for your phone, or keep it securely on your person with the Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether.

 

Light up your “nite”

If you’re headed somewhere with a jacuzzi or soaking tub, pack some Disc-O Select NiteGems for some flashy fun. They’re waterproof AND they float!

NiteGems

Bringing along your favorite beverage? Keep it cool and colorful with a SlapLit Drink Wrap. You wouldn’t want to lose sight of your drink in the dark, would you?

SlapLit-HotTub

Cross your fingers for a clear night – stargazing is a thoroughly under-appreciated activity. Better pack your headlamps so you can find a good spot to take in the show.

 

Remember, your dog is always your #1 valentine

Valentines Day gifts for dogs

Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other or not, your pet should be a part of the fun too. Check out some gift ideas for your dog here! If your furry friend is joining you on your vacation, a NiteHowl or SpotLit Collar Light is a great way to keep track of them during evening activities or potty breaks.

Are you planning a getaway of your own? Comment with your own tips or suggestions!

Topics: "travel", Pets, LED Products, runoff, waterproof bags, Steelie, Holidays, headlamp

What to do when you drop your phone in water (and how to prevent it in the first place)

Posted by Katie S on Aug 14, 2019 11:51:10 AM

What to do if you drop your phone in water

I have an uncanny ability to kill phones. Ashamedly, over the past two decades I have killed more phones than can be counted on one hand, and every massacre involved water (or beer). My high school days tended to involve being pushed into a pool or lake with a phone in my pocket, college it was bar toilets and once an unfortunately aimed drop into a pint of beer. But those days it was a butterfly-cased Nokia or Motorola Razr that bit the dust, something that came free with my phone plan and the frustration came only in having to track down all of my friends’ phone numbers again. It wasn’t until my 20s when I dropped my first iPhone in water and the meager paycheck from my first job wasn’t going to cover the replacement that the consequences really hit me.

Dropped iPhone in water

So, after nearly 20 years of assassinating phones, here are the best practices I’ve learned for saving them (and for destroying them).

 

Myths – What NOT to do With a Dropped iPhone In water:

• Rice will make things worse. 

Rice dust is your phone’s worst nemesis, even worse than water. Phones are sleek and tightly made, but rice dust is sneaky and it will get into the cracks and ports and jam your buttons and if the water didn’t kill your phone, the rice dust definitely will.

• Do not heat it in any way.

No blow dryers, no oven, no microwave, heating your device isn’t going to dry it, it’s just going to fry it.

• Don’t turn it on!

This is the hardest one, you want to check if it’s ok. Don’t do it, you’re much more likely to short circuit everything. Leave it off.

 

Miracles – Here’s what you should do to fix a water damaged phone:

Phones these days are resilient. I once dropped a smartphone off the dock into Lake Winnipesaukee. I had to walk to the marina, borrow a mask, dive down into the murky depths of who-knows-what to find it, pulled it out after about 20 minutes submerged at about 15 feet, and turned it on in working condition two days later. So, if you’re reading this in a panic, hold on to hope, there’s a chance your phone is going to be just fine. Here’s what to do:

1. Retrieve it Quickly

Many phones are getting closer to waterproofness, and can be submerged for a couple minutes at shallow depths. If this is your phone, just grab it, wipe it off, and go! Regardless, if your phone isn’t water resistant, the less time it spends in the water, the less damage is likely to be done.


2. Remove Your Case and SIM Card

Take off anything that could trap water around it. (For an iPhone, insert a paperclip into the tiny hole halfway down the phone below the power button to pop out the SIM card).

How to remove SIM card from iPhone
What to do if you drop your phone in water

3. Make Sure It’s Off and DON’T Turn it on!

Let it sit for 48 hours before charging it and turning it back on.

Drying Option 1:

Place it upright on a paper towel in a dry sunny place for 48 hours.

Drying Option 2:

Keep a bag full of silica gel packets (my husband saves these for me, knowing my past luck with phones…) place your phone in the bag, prop it up in a window, and wait 48 hours to charge it up and turn it on. Fingers crossed you and your phone will come through the process unscathed and happy from a little time being “unplugged”.

How to prevent the plop:

Even better than saving your phone, is to never dunk it in the first place. I am proud to say that since learning about and using Nite Ize products over the past four years, I have not lost a single phone to water. I use the Hitch with Tether on a daily basis to keep a better hold of my phone. Steelie is my go-to for hands-free driving, but the magnet on my phone also makes it stick to things like the toilet paper dispensers in bathrooms so no more potty-swimming for my phone. And, when I get out on the water to go fishing or am hanging out at the pool, I have learned to always put my phone in a RunOff Waterproof Pocket – what a novel concept!


RunOff Waterproof Pocket

Topics: Mobile Device Accessories, Tech and Gadget, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, Steelie

Life’s Adventure Kit: Vanlife Edition

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

By Nite Ize Field Team Member Sunny Stroeer

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

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

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

Sunny and Eddie

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

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

 

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

Vanlife Gear Ties

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

Vanlife GearLine

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

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

05_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife

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

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

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

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

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

07_SunnyStroeer_NI_VanLife

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

08_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife

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

10_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife-1

 

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

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

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