Nite Ize Gear ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (July 30th, 2014)

You’ve probably seen many of these items from Nite Ize at the checkout line at your local outdoor gear store. You might have even grabbed one or two as an impulse buy or bought them for stocking stuffers.

They’re actually quite fun. I picked up a few items myself when I was at the Outdoor Retailer show earlier this year and have found them to come in handy as packing accessories that I didn’t know I needed but now love.

These folks actually have a ton of products to choose from, but here are some of my favorite Nite Ize gear items:

Nite Ize ClipLit

Cliplit – these little LED lights have a caribiner attached so you can hook the light on to pretty much anything such as your keys, backpack, belt loop, etc. These are great for trying to find something in the bottom of your dark bag or in your tent late at night.

Best part is that they come in these awesomely fun colors and designs. Really, what traveler wouldn’t want a peace sign or globe as their night light? Available on Amazon in lots of options.

Nite Ize Gear Ties

Gear Ties 3″ – I actually use these little guys a lot to keep my electrical cords nice and tidy. They’re great for packing but also perfect around the house. I have several pairs of earbuds that I use depending upon what I’m doing (wireless for gardening, more traditional ones for the plane) and I like to keep the cords in some sort of order so I’m not having to untangle them.

Nite Ize Gear Ties

The gear ties actually come in multiple lengths so if you need cords or other items wrapped up that are larger than your headphone cords, there’s likely a length that’ll work for you.

Gear ties are available on Amazon in lots of options.

Nite Ize S-Biner

S-Biner – This little S-Biner has turned out to be a great item for me to have. I often carry a water bottle around with me and I’ve found that I can easily clip the S-Biner on to the water bottle and then clip it to my belt loop or backpack. Available on Amazon in a variety of styles and sizes.


Nite Ize CurvyMan

Curvyman – I remember seeing someone in a coffee shop using one of these once and thinking it was just the most clever thing ever. And it is! It has the same function as the little Gear Ties in that it’ll keep your earbuds from getting tangled, but it includes a little caribiner so you can clip it to your backpack. You’ll never have to dig around for your earbuds again since you’ll know exactly where they are. Available on Amazon for about $5.

Travel Well,


Disclosure: Nite Ize sent provided these items to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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Survival International Denounces Jimmy Nelson’s Before They Pass Away

by Beth Whitman (July 29th, 2014)

Before They Pass AwayWhen I first saw the book, Before They Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson, I was so taken with all the images that I immediately wanted one. Luckily, it’s a very pricey book so I never took the plunge and purchased one.

And that might be a good thing.

I recently saw a post on Survival International denouncing the authenticity of the photos. The book is supposed to be representative of how ancient civilizations have lived for thousands of years but, as Survival International points out, the book is more a fantastical look through a photographer’s lens.

They challenge the idea that the images accurately represent the tribes in the photographs and uses the example of the Waorani tribe wearing fig leaves to cover their private parts (something they have never done).

I think it’s an interesting debate.

On the one hand, I’d like to think the photographer was sincere in his desire to photograph these tribes in order to raise awareness of their existence and perhaps have some hand in saving them.

On the other hand, for an organization like Survival International, whose goal is to support tribal peoples’ rights, to denounce the book, carries a lot of weight. Before They Pass Away, they say, ignores the real atrocities that are occurring against the tribes and romanticizing them in photographs that are not true to life, does them a disservice.

As someone with a strong interest in tribal rights, I have to say I’m leaning toward Survival International’s point of view. But I also recognize that there’s a fine line between what Jimmy Nelson has created and me traveling to Papua New Guinea to visit tribes who are performing in singsings with hundreds of tourists in attendance.

Where do you draw the line between real and fantasy?

I’m not sure.

Travel Well,


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Prepping for the Snowman Trek

by Beth Whitman (July 28th, 2014)

Beth Whitman Google TrekkerHopefully by now you know I’m leaving for Bhutan in September to do the Snowman Trek.

In brief, the Snowman Trek is a 220 mile, 25-day hike in the Himalayas. At times we’ll be at over 18,000 feet and, during the trek, we’ll be going over numerous passes above 16,000 feet.

It’s said that more people make it to the top of Everest every year than make it through the Snowman Trek. We’re confident we’ll be on the list of people who’ve completed it. :-)

A couple of weeks ago, Jon and I went down to Mountainview, California, to get trained on the Google Trekker. This is their 360 degree camera, similar to their streetview camera, but this one is in a backpack.

It’s meant for use in areas that the streetview camera and car can’t get to.

As long as permission comes through from the Bhutan government, we’ll be carrying this little (and by little, I mean 45 pounds) camera with us.

No, I will not be the one carrying it. We’ll be hiring a guide specifically for this purpose.

As for the trek itself, I’ve been training for it for more than a year by working out at least six days a week with P90X. On top of that, Jon and I have been doing some high altitude treks on Hawaii Island (Mauna Kea), Bali (Mt. Batur, which I wrote about on the Expedia Viewfinder blog), Santa Fe (Santa Fe Baldy) and at nearby Mt. Rainier.

I’m pretty certain I’m physically prepared for the trip so at this point we’re working on getting our gear together.

We’re still testing boots, clothes and accessories and are trying to determine what sort and how much supplemental food we’ll take with us (protein bars, protein powder, gel shots for a carb infusion, etc.).

If I had to, I could probably leave next week but I’m glad we do have another six before we depart!

It’s unlikely we will have any sort of cell or WiFi connection during the 25-day trek so I’ll be offline for quite awhile. But, for sure, I’ll be keeping you posted with updates before and after the trek.

Travel Well,


Related links:
P90X for the Traveler
Snowman Trek in Bhutan

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