Thursday, December 25, 2014


All too often,  it's easy to get caught up in our constant moving, fast-paced, tech-laden world.  Take time today to reflect, the actual reason we celebrate.  T.R.E.A.D. Outdoors wants to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. 

Luke 2:15-16 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


If you have ever tried to find an affordable, durable, portable, and lightweight solar charger, then you are aware of the many varieties available on the market.  Even with all of the different choices, it is a little bit difficult to find one with all of these qualities in the same unit.  A few months ago, as a favor for a friend of a friend, and a distributor for the portable solar chargers, I was sent a unit to try out and provide some feedback. 

I must admit, when I first received the charger I was somewhat skeptical just holding it.  It felt a little on the light duty side and I was somewhat dubious if the overall performance of the battery life and charging level were going to be adequate.  After trying it out only a short while, my skepticism was no longer.  

The Solario solar charger is made of rugged, rubberized, weather resistant-type materials and is a great little unit that is very comparable to one of my well-known brand name portable solar charger, but is smaller and costs less.

When charging the unit with nearly clear or clear skies, it did take quite a while; around the 5-7 hour mark when the power level was 25%.  Charging it on a computer or using an outlet was definitely the most efficient way to go.  When fully charged, I was very impressed with its ability to hold a charge.  In my experience, it sat well over a week and still held the same power level.  It would have sat longer, but I needed to use it.  I believe it would have gone days more holding an adequate charge.

I used it to charge both my iPhone (4S) and my iPad 3. The lowest I had my iPhone battery was at 20%. I used the Solario and fully charged it in just over 3 hours and the unit still had 25% power remaining. The iPad, I only used this one time to bring the battery up a little. I did not try to fully charge the iPad since they require quite a bit more charging power than the phone.  The LED flashlight gives off a nice light and is an added bonus to the unit. I love the slim, lightweight design. Very easy to carry just about anywhere as a reliable charging unit for your mobile device.  Perfect for your purse, backpack, ATV, snowmobile, boat, motorcycle, or any other outdoor or day to day need.  I would definitely recommend it.

So if you are in the market for a very portable, rugged solar phone charger,  T.R.E.A.D. Outdoors has teamed up with SJS Direct and are offering a discount when you purchase a Solario solar charger through T.R.E.A.D. Outdoors' website.  Click on the link below and you will be directed to their product page on  When making your purchase, be sure to use the promo code "TREADFAN" and you will receive 10% off of your purchase!  
Perfect for the outdoor tech user or prepper!

The Solario solar charger.  It comes with a mini carabiner, a USB cable, and an Apple adapter.  Because the charging cord was not connected, I found it handy just to loop it in the opening of the device without hindering use.

The upper left side of the unit has a rubberized door that helps keep the weather or invasive type environments out.

Under the hinged rubber door, there is a USB and a micro USB port.

Built with rugged, rubberized type materials to endure the outdoor users lifestyle.  At 4.6 ounces and slightly larger than an iPhone (4S), it is an easy carry for great backup.

The four LED lights represent the remaining battery power.  Each light represents 25% power.  One light is 25% battery remaining.  Two lights is 50%, three lights is 75%, and all four is 100%.

The round rubberized button on the front is the power button.  Push once to indicate the amount of remaining battery power.

Double click the power button and activate the built-in LED flashlight.
The back of the case sports a rubberized honeycomb shape for extra grip.

The upper right side of the unit has a second USB port.

Because of its rugged exterior, I had no apprehensions attaching the charger to the front of my four wheeler.

The mini carabiner makes it super easy to attach to equipment or gear.

"Solar power is not about fashion, it's about survival."  --Sir Norman Foster

#solarcharger #prepper

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Recently I have been really fortunate to have had the opportunity to review some really great gear.  One of the latest items is a reflective safety dog vest from SafetyPUP XD.

My husband and I are pretty particular about our gear and the gear we put on our dogs.  We often put our gear to the test, especially our young, very active bird dogs.  Kate, is our two year old black lab and Elsie, is our year and a half field-bred English Cocker Spaniel.

They both often object to wearing anything but their collars, but after wearing these vests for only a few minutes, they were back into their regular brush busting routine. Because both of the dogs are dark in color, with these vests on, it made really easy to find them at a glance, even in thick underbrush and low light conditions. The reflective effects are great and easily picked up with a light source. The material of the vest is lightweight but very hardy and so far very weather proof (with the moderately heavy rain fall that we experienced). They also provided a degree of warmth. The spaniel was appreciative of this after getting wet and cold during a day hike. As the weather gets colder and because of the high water resistance qualities, using a fleece undercoat with this vest on top for added warmth and protection will definitely be an alternate option.   

This vest is very easy to put on and the adjustable Velcro straps around the neck and chest make it versatile for many breed types.  These come in three sizes:  small, medium, and large.  Over all I was really impressed with both the quality and fantastic visibility that these vests offer.  I highly recommend them in a variety of environments and situations.

With that, I am proud to announce that SafetyPUP XD and T.R.E.A.D. Outdoors have teamed up and are offering a discount when you purchase a SafetyPUP XD vest through T.R.E.A.D. Outdoors' website.  Click on the link below and you will be directed to their product page.  When making your purchase, be sure to use the promo code "TREADFAN" and you will receive 10% off of your purchase!  This would be a great addition to Fido's Christmas stocking this year!

The SafetyPUP XD reflective dog vest.  
(Picture courtesy of Amazon)

All of the graphics are highly reflective.

Very nicely put together with quality stitching.

Adjustable Velcro strap.

Very cute graphic paw prints are on both sides on the hind end.

Very water and tear resilient 300D oxford weave fabric.

Kate in her element.

Elsie sporting her vest on the trail.

Elsie appreciated the longer length vest 
to cover her "badonkadonk".

This was taken at dusk under a thick forest canopy.

Kate on the trail at about 50 yards.

Kate on the trail at over 100 yards (small but still very visible).
(Click on picture for larger view)

This is what it feels like when I take Kate out...
in three places at once!  
(This picture was a bonus shot from Google+.  It is three pictures in one.)

My only minor concern with the vest was that the Velcro seemed somewhat lightweight and was a bit narrow to stay on more active and working type dogs.  The newest version however, has since fixed this potential issue.  The vest is now made with a wider, industrial Velcro to ensure security.  This will be especially important with active or working breeds.  As the owner of two very active bird dogs, I would highly recommend this product.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.  To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.”   --Milan Kundera

#safetypupxd #birddogvest