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Protect Your Gear In These 3 Extreme Environments

Don’t let fear of ruining your belongings keep you from getting out.

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The rain came at me sideways, in sheets of moisture so thick that I could barely discern where one gusty blow began and another ended. I put my head down and continued paddling my packraft into the storm that consumed Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park. It was miserable weather for an outdoor adventure, but our group had a bush plane to catch and we could not miss our deadline by holing up in our tents. So, I kept moving forward, hoping that my gear was protected enough to stay dry. Climbing into wet camp clothes after a day of super saturation sounded more dismal than our current situation.

Type-II fun is frequently part of the deal for those who love being outside. But, losing or damaging gear to inclement weather is less than thrilling. That is why waterproof zippers like the first-of-its-kind Nite Ize TRU Zip are so important for outdoor enthusiasts. Used throughout the RunOff product line, this toothless zipper keeps moisture out, even when gear is fully submerged. It also sheds mud and dust equally well which allows outdoorists to head deeper into the backcountry without fear of trashing their favorite gear. I would have felt better in Gates of the Arctic had this technology been around then. Here are three other environments where having a TRU Zip product will give you peace of mind. 

Great Sand Dunes National Park – Colorado

This is somewhat of a national secret since no one expects to find a horizon full of sand in a state like Colorado. The park only allows 20 backcountry permits per day and hikers have to trudge well into the dunes before pitching their tents. The benefit: utter solitude and ethereal beauty. The tradeoff: nasty storms that wallop the dunes faster than you can say lightning. When these afternoon squalls roll through the park, sand and dust whip through the air before settling down in a fine coat of granules that permeates everything. The sand creeps through the mesh walls of tents; it finds its way into the cracks between hikers’ teeth; and it certainly penetrates standard gear zippers. In this environment, the only way to ensure your gear isn’t covered with a layer of dust is to use a weatherproof zipper like TRU Zip.

Na Pali Coast – Hawaii’s Kauai Island

Hiking this trail is a life-list item for many backpackers, and for good reason. The steep, lush cliffs and thundering waterfalls conjure images of dinosaurs, but the verdant environment comes with a tradeoff: lots of rain. With all the moisture comes slick, muddy trails. As mud is wont to do, it gradually covers everything beginning with your shoes and working its way up toward your hands and face and gear. All it takes is one fall while hiking up the slippery terrain and everything you are wearing—and carrying inside your backpack—is coated in mud. Unless you have a waterproof zipper, of course.

Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge – Florida

This refuge is a paddler’s dream with pristine beach camping, dense mangrove mazes, and exotic wildlife. Kayakers and canoers can explore until their hearts are content while enjoying the warm sunshine. But beach camping comes with its own challenges, one of which is combatting the sand that finds its way into every nook and cranny of camp life. Using gear with a waterproof zipper protects items that accidentally dump off the boat, but also helps keep the dust at bay so campers can focus on the insane nighttime star gazing rather than the grit covering their clothing.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re climbing Antarctica’s Vinson Massif or Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro; adventure is out there and it is waiting for you. Pack your favorite items using RunOff Waterproof Bags and sleep well knowing that you can voyage wherever you want and your gear will still be protected and ready to go whenever you are.

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