13 May 2015

Pocket-sized water bottle could make plastic water bottles a thing of the past; perfect for backpacking

Every minute, U.S. consumers use and throw away 90,000 disposable water bottles. That’s 50 billion water bottles per year – or – 30 million TONS of plastic waste each year in the U.S. alone.

The Hydaway collapsible water bottle being developed by Niki Singlaub (and 4,602 backers) could make a big dent in those numbers ... it collapses to take up minimal space in your backpack, and is a handy alternative to disposable plastic water bottles - it folds down easily and can be carried in your pocket, hung from a carabiner or neatly tucked away in your gear pack.

Singlaub's Kickstarter fundraising efforts end Friday, May 15, and he has already well exceeded his $20,000 fundraising goal, currently at $207,572. If you want to get in on the ground level by pledging money, you'll get a piece of the action ... anything from one of the first Hydaway bottles produced to multiple bottles and travel cases depending on your pledge level. You can get on board by clicking his campaign link here.  The Hydaway is made from food-grade silicone and BPA-free caps.

Speaking of BPA, when I was reading about his handy invention, I was reminded of camping trips with my parents in the '60s and '70s and drinking out of those little collapsible camping cups made of metal. Remember those? They had neat camping scenes etched on the lids and made the water taste so cold. However, I believe it's been found that drinking from a metal cup isn't healthy and perhaps leaches toxic BPAs.

I've read that exposure to arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and tin has been shown to affect the blood system and that tin and certain other metals are toxic and cause infertility in males. Oh well, those little folding cups sure were fun when I was a kid. That was back in the day when you had no qualms about filling up in the fresh, clear mountain streams ... another practice some people frown on nowadays.

Prefer a hot, steaming cup of java to water? Another entrepreneurial venture ready to hit the market is the Smash Cup (soon to be renamed), a new collapsible coffee cup that gives coffee drinkers a way to grab their caffeine fix on the go and then store the empty mug in their pocket.

It's portable, reusable and eco-friendly and collapses when empty to fit in handbags, backpacks and even your pocket. Something to point out is the fact that the company has encountered a legal battle over their name because of alleged infringement, so they're seeking suggestions for a new name for the cup. You can read all about it on their Kickstarter page and offer your suggestion for a fitting name.

Very handy for taking up less space when packing the camper or on-the-run.

12 May 2015

This is what that extra shoelace hole is used for. I wish I knew this earlier!

Have you ever wondered why there is an extra shoelace hole at the top of your shoe?  Many running and hiking shoes have the extra hole and most people don’t ever use it.  Instead, they skip threading the lace through the last top hole and tie them as usual.  After watching THIS VIDEO you will now know why they are there and how to use them to your advantage.

The extra holes can be used to prevent blisters on your heels and stop your feet from cramming forward into the front of the shoe.  When you tie laces using the “heel lock” or “lace lock” technique it creates more friction between the laces at the top of the shoe which are closest to your ankle.  This serves to make and keep the heel/ankle area tight and snug in place without having to re-tighten your whole shoe.  Even if you do not have the extra shoelace hole you can still use the method on the top hole instead.

Here is how to tie the “lace lock.”  Begin by inserting the lace in backwards through the top hole so that you create a small loop on each side of the shoe.  Cross your laces and insert them each into the loop on the opposite side then cinch them down.  Be sure to go down and not up because cinching upwards will leave the loop hanging out and that is not good.  By pulling down towards the shoe you end up creating a nice tight lock that will keep your shoe in place and snug.  Finish by tying your shoe as you normally would and you’re good to go!

It's hard to visualize without watching the video, so be sure to click the link in the first paragraph to see how it's done.