Portland Biking Safety for Fall/Winter

December 5th, 2013

LED headlamp
Portland biking ebbs and flows. In the summer, the bike paths are packed. But once the rains set in each fall, the numbers of cyclists drops dramatically. It’s unfortunate that so many bikers let Portland’s rainy season dictate their riding patterns. Really, the Rose City is a great town for biking, even in the dead of winter. We don’t see the frozen roads and snow piles that Minneapolis bikers face in the winter, for instance. (There, avid bike commuters are known to put studded snow tires on their rides to maintain a proper grip on slippery winter roads.) Portland’s weather rarely dips below freezing. As long as you have the right gear, you can enjoy cycling in Portland all year round, even during the rainy season from October through April.

Wind, rain, and darkness are your main concerns. To combat biting winds and incessant rains, wear multiple layers. Start off with a wicking bottom layer to draw sweat away from your skin while you ride. Second, add an insulating middle layer to keep you warm on your commute. And to top it all off, wear a waterproof windbreaker that will keep you dry. Also: make sure your bike is equipped to tackle stormy weather, with fenders and good tires. Don’t forget to get a tune-up this fall, to ensure no unexpected breakdowns on the road. Finally, wader boots are a great way for newbie winter commuters to keep their feet dry. As you’re ready to invest in better rain gear, look for shoe covers to fit over your biking shoes. Finally, you’ll need a good pair of gloves, a hat that fits under your helmet, and warm socks to stay comfortable on your ride.

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Top 5 Most Important Things to Include in Your BOB (Bug Out Bag)

December 2nd, 2013
LED Lantern

LED Lantern

Winter is around the corner and it is a good time to remind ourselves to make sure we are prepared for emergencies. Let’s take a look at five of the most important things to include in your Bug Out Bag (BOB), the grab-and-go bag you’ll grab if a disaster hits.

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Top 3 Things to Look for in an EDC (Everyday Carry) Knife

November 26th, 2013
DX 355

DX 355

In our grandparents’ days, a knife was considered a critical tool that should be carried on a regular basis. To this day, a knife comes in handy for a variety of daily tasks that require cutting. Today, it’s less likely you’ll need your knife to skin a carcass or clean a fish, as our past generations did. Still, the everyday carry (EDC) knife does seem to be making a resurgence of sorts.

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Social Media and Disasters: Just as Important for Survival as Food/Shelter

November 19th, 2013
Facebook takes over the world.

Facebook takes over the world.

Social media continues to change our lives in myriad unexpected ways. Survival may not be the first application that comes to mind when you think of Twitter or Facebook, but the truth is that these and other social media outlets can make a big difference in disasters. For instance, during Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster, 20,000 tweets were sent per second. Likewise, in its 2013 National Preparedness Report, FEMA reported that “users sent more than 20 million Sandy-related Twitter posts, or “tweets,” despite the loss of cell phone service during the peak of the storm.“ Social media sites help bridge communication gaps when cell phone service isn’t available. And these services are shifting disaster management from a one-way affair, with officials broadcasting announcements, to a conversation between disaster survivors, emergency agencies, and people all over the country.

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Winter Camping: Don’t Forget Your Coast Products

November 14th, 2013
HP17TAC LED Flashlight

HP17TAC LED Flashlight

The silence of a winter evening spent in nature; the absence of camping crowds and flying insects; the chance to play in the snow. These are just a few of the many delights awaiting you in winter camping. Now we’re not here to make winter camping seem like a piece of cake—it does take quite a bit more planning than summer camping, simply because you have to take freezing cold weather into account.

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The Original Light Painters: Man Ray & Gjon Mili

November 12th, 2013

At COAST Products, we are proud of our light painters—those contemporary artists who use COAST LED flashlights to make innovative art. Rather than using paint, these artists pair time-lapse photography and flashlights to create incredible images. As our blog loyal readers know, we sponsor one light painter, Jason D. Page, by equipping him with the powerful LED lights he needs to create his stunning nighttime landscapes and portraits. This post takes a look at a couple of light painting pioneers, Man Ray and Gjon Mili. Not everyone knows about these artists, so a little background information might be handy.

Man Ray, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, was born Emmanuel Radnitzky in 1890. He was an enigmatic Modernist from New York who later moved to Paris, where he spent most of his career. There, he made contributions to the Dada and Surrealist movements, both part of the Avant-garde art scene of the late teens and early 1920s.

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Product Review on the PX50 Flashlight

November 5th, 2013

COAST's PX50 LED Flashlight Quick, what’s bright yellow and waterproof to 196 feet? No, it’s not a deep-diving duck, but rather our PX50 LED flashlight. Among diving enthusiasts, the PX50 is the king of underwater flashlights. Just ask Jerry Hall, world record holder for longest freshwater dive. This last August, Jerry spent over 145 hours submerged in a freshwater dive. While below the surface, he relied on HBO’s Band of Brothers to keep him entertained via an underwater TV. And for light, Jerry depended upon the PX50, our incredible waterproof flashlight designed especially for diving.

We designed the PX50 to thrive in nearly any environment. Even 196 feet underwater—that’s about the length of a nineteen-story building—the PX50 LED flashlight will work. Its bright yellow casing makes it easy to see in dim submerged conditions. And the included nylon lanyard will keep the PX50 close at hand.

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LED Flashlights for Automotive Technicians

October 29th, 2013

Andrew replacing starter

For automotive mechanics, an LED light is a must-have tool. LED flashlights and headlamps allow car experts to peer deep into engine blocks. Sometimes, a strong, far-reaching beam is needed to diagnose a problem inside the engine. At other times, more scattered LED light is required, for seeing the bigger mechanical picture. Beyond these needs, mechanics’ flashlights should be tough (look for a strong warranty, such as our lifetime guarantee), waterproof (engine liquids are not kind to cheapo torches) and ergonomic.

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