Hood to Coast with StowAway Carrier

October 9th, 2015 | Posted by Pacrec in StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier Features & Options | Teams and Events - (Comments Off on Hood to Coast with StowAway Carrier)

Hood to Coast with StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

Hood To Coast - StowAway Cargo Carrier - Hitch Cargo Carrier

This Hood to Coast Relay Team really loves their StowAway2 Hitch Cargo Carrier!

After a summer of record-setting high temperatures in Oregon, a powerful storm blew into the area just in time for the “Mother of All Relays” during the last weekend of August.

During the 34th annual Hood to Coast Relay, which takes participants nearly 200 miles from the base of Mt. Hood to the beaches of Seaside, wind gusts up to 60 mph and heavy rains tested the endurance and fortitude of each runner. Wet, tired, and windblown, participants running the last leg of the race were surprised to find that the finish line had been moved from the sandy coastal beach to the promenade in downtown Seaside as a safety precaution.

Hood to Coast - KOIN 6

This runner doesn’t appear to be bothered by the inclement weather. Photo courtesy of KOIN 6.

Event coordinators were forced to modify the finish party after event canopies, sanicans and chairs set up on the beach were found blown over Saturday morning. Participants were urged to dress warm, wear raingear, and stay alert for downed trees and debris as they made their way from mountain to coast. While some runners seemed to enjoy racing in the wet and stormy weather, others were less enthused. But I think everyone can agree that this was definitely an event they won’t soon forget!

Team members check out the grub in their StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

Team members check out the grub in their StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

Despite heavy winds, rain, and even some hail, the 13,000 participants in this year’s Hood to Coast Race didn’t let the weather dampen their spirits. With over one thousand teams participating this year, runners in the world’s oldest and most popular running relay race surpassed the fundraising goal of $550K, bringing in nearly $562K for cancer research, treatment, and services at Providence Cancer Center to help #finishcancer. Congratulations to all of the 2015 !

StowAway2 had the privilege of sponsoring another team for this year’s race. As you can see, their Hitch Cargo Carrier kept them fed, hydrated, and happy throughout the grueling event.

For more information about this event or to find out how you can participate or volunteer next year, please visit the Hood to Coast website.

 

5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating

October 7th, 2015 | Posted by Pacrec in StowAway in Action | Tailgating | Teams and Events - (Comments Off on 5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating)

5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating

Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Grill - StowAway Cargo Carrier -5

Tailgating is fun – In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees. After all, 80 percent of the U.S. population tailgates at least once a year, with many across the country participating nearly every weekend. John Sherry, a University of Notre Dame marketing professor and cultural anthropologist who conducted a two-year study of college tailgating, says, “The idea of getting out of your house and feasting and drinking somewhere else is a pretty old tradition. People eat and drink and build up community in the process. It’s one last blowout before we hunker down for winter.”

And a blowout it is! But despite the friendly faces, great food, and enthusiasm of game day, that “blowout” is also really hard work – after all it is a party, and parties don’t throw themselves. It can be stressful, draining, and a bit overwhelming if you’re not prepared.

Avid tailgaters will tell you that the keys to stress-free tailgating are advanced planning, organization, and coordination. To help you make the most of game day and ensure you’re not worn out before the game even starts, we’ve pulled together five great tailgating life hacks to ensure a smooth and enjoyable tailgating experience.

  1. Even the most devoted tailgaters will forget something on occasion. If you don’t already have one, I suggest creating a checklist to be sure nothing is left behind. You can find hundreds of templates online with a simple Google search for “tailgating check list” (here’s a sample from simpletailgating.com). Once you find a list, customize it to meet your specific needs. Not only will it help you pack your rig before heading to the stadium, but you can use it to be sure everything makes it home safely at the end of the day. *Bonus life hack: Laminate your list to protect it from BBQ sauce, beer, rain, or tears (if your team is on a losing streak).
  2. If you’re in charge of the party, take time the week before to plan your menu, shopping list, and job assignments. That’s right – job assignments! While this is a party and should be loads of fun, there’s nothing wrong with recruiting your friends to help out. After all, if they want to eat your food, drink your beer and hang out at your tailgate, they can pitch in too. Assigning friends to help cook, clean, set up, tear down, and monitor beverage, ice and/or condiment levels will help alleviate stress and allow you to enjoy the tailgate experience along with everyone else.

    Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Grill - StowAway Cargo Carrier3

    Keep tailgating essentials organized in a toolbox so you can grab-and-go on game day.

  3. Keep the essentials packed and ready to go. For instance, a toolbox is a convenient way to organize and store smaller items that you know you’ll need at every single tailgate party. Keep utensils (bottle openers, tongs, cutlery, can opener, etc.) in one drawer, while storing first aid supplies (Band-Aids, pain reliever, sunscreen, etc.) or favorite spices and seasonings in another. For larger items, you can use bins (I recommend clear ones so you can see inside easily without having to take the lid off) to store kitchen items such as dishes, aluminum foil, soap, and paper towels, as well as games, blankets, seat cushions, and more. Having the necessities packed and ready to go each weekend will save so much time, you just may have a shot at landing the best parking spot at the stadium!
  4. Bring extra! No matter what it is, bring more than you think you’ll need: ice, beverages, food, chairs, blankets, etc. This will help avoid a flurry of phone calls when you realize you’re almost out of hamburger buns or (gasp!) beer. And since half the fun of tailgating is making new friends, having extra to share with your tailgating neighbors and fellow fans is a bonus!
  1. So how do you get all of this stuff to the stadium?
    Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Cargo Carrier - Oregon Ducks

    Fans of the University of Oregon football team use their StowAway Cargo Carrier for all of their tailgating needs on game day.

    Invest in a StowAway Cargo Carrier, of course! Mounted directly into your vehicle’s trailer hitch, StowAway carriers provide easy, ground-level access to your gear. Quickly and easily organize and transport all of your tailgating essentials, especially those bulky items like canopies, chairs, and even your cornhole boards or ladder golf. With either 12.5 or 16 cubic feet of storage space, a StowAway Cargo Carrier nearly doubles the average SUV’s functional carrying capacity – you’ll wonder how you ever tailgated without it!

Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Grill - Notre Dame

Fans tailgate with the StowAway Hitch Grill Station at a Notre Dame game.

And for those who really want to take their tailgating to the next level, check out the StowAway Hitch Grill Station that features a Cuisinart gas grill. The SwingAway frame pivots and locks at 90° to create a safe, convenient, and easily organized kitchen/grilling space, complete with a jumbo-sized (25.5” x 18.5”) commercial-grade cutting board. And the rack provides ample room for hauling coolers and other gear too.

Yes, tailgating is hard work… But with a little advanced planning and these life hacks, it can also be one of the most enjoyable, stress-free ways to spend a weekend this fall. You’re welcome! 🙂

Road Trips with Dogs

January 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Dogs & Pets | Road Trips - (Comments Off on Road Trips with Dogs)

Don’t Leave Home Without the Dog – or a Hitch Cargo Carrier

The StowAway Cargo Carrier swivels 180 degrees for easy in-and-outs when taking road trips with dogs.

Dogs travel in comfort & convenience with the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

I take road trips with my dog, Pippin, the Golden-On-the-Go, all the time. I don’t leave home without him. It seems as though more and more people are foregoing the kennel and taking their waggly best friends with them on road trips. Even some hotels are now specifically accommodating dogs, with pet-friendly rooms, treats upon arrival, and fenced play areas.

So, unless you want your dog to sit on your lap the whole time, which might be fun but isn’t necessarily safe, you’re going to need to do some rearranging for your road trips with dogs. To stow all your luggage, gear, food, and dog/s comfortably and safely, I heartily recommend the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

My Top 5 Favorite Things About the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier:

Having covered thousands of miles on road trips with my dog, I’ve become an expert packer. Here’s what I can fit in the StowAway Standard Hitch Cargo Carrier :

  1. Food: Pip’s food supply includes dry food, treats, bowls for food and water, and a cooler that houses his favorite “gooey” food.
  2. Towels: Pip is a water dog – just try to keep him out of it – so I always pack plenty of towels to keep him dry and happy after his romps in the water.
  3. Pip’s Bed: He goes; it goes. Which is to say, he doesn’t leave home without it.
  4. Room to Move: To make plenty of room for Pip, I can also stow two carry-on bags and two camp chairs, in addition to Pip’s gear – up to 200 pounds of stuff.
  5. Access: I don’t have to climb on the bumper to access this gear, because it’s located on the trailer hitch, behind the car, rather than on top of the car. Wshew!  And the box swings open 180 degrees, so Pip gets in and out of the car sweet and easy, the way he likes.

Note on storage: The Standard Cargo Carrier Box has a capacity of 12.5 cubic feet – which would hold 4 carry on suitcases and two camp chairs. The Max Cargo Carrier Box has 16 cubic feet of capacity and holds 4 carry on suitcases, two camp chairs and two duffel bags. More information from StowAway2.

Pippin, Kyla's Golden-On-The-Go

Pippin, Kyla’s Golden-On-The-Go

Some Other Tips for Road Trips with Dogs

  1.  Stop. Your dog will want to stretch its legs and take a little sniff-n-pee break every few hours. This is a great chance for you to do the same, getting some fresh air and working out the kinks of the road.
  2. Water. Your dog runs hotter than you do, most likely. Make sure you’ve got a water bowl in the car and a good supply of fresh clean water.
  3. Carrier. Some people advise putting your dog in a carrier for the trip, especially if you have a little dog who is likely to get bounced around, run from side to side of the vehicle, and/or get underfoot. If you have a yapper, sometimes a carrier will calm them down … if you’re lucky.
  4. Ventilate. If you’re stopping for breakfast, lunch or dinner along the way, please promise me you will leave at least two windows partially open for fresh airflow. Even in the snow and rain. It’s so important.
  5. Identification. Pippin is chipped. Which means he’s got a little tracker under his skin, installed by his veterinarian. That means if – God forbid – he gets lost, wanders off, or is otherwise misplaced, any good person who finds him can reach me by having his chip scanned. Also, when we’re traveling, I never, ever, ever take off his collar, which has his name, address and my cell phone number on it.

“Safe and Happy” is our motto. A road trip is a road trip, but a road trip with dogs – is a great, tail wagging adventure.

Ski Trip: The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

January 16th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Hitch Carriers | Skiing - (Comments Off on Ski Trip: The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier)

Hit the Slopes with More Stuff in More Comfort and Safety

Skiing 18w x 14h revised

Ski trip to Mt Hood with the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier

“Skis, boots, poles?” This is what we always ask ourselves when we’re pulling out of the driveway on a ski trip. Because if we leave anything behind, we absolutely, positively must have our skis, boots, and poles.

But what about the other gear – the jackets, pants, hats, gloves, and helmets? What about the extra clothing, bedding, food, games, toys-for-all-ages, and – dare I say it – hair care products?

And that doesn’t count the kids – with all their extra stuff. Where will you put everyone and everything in a safe and comfortable manner? Unless you want to be packed in like little sardines for the whole trip, the other “must-have” is a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier.

Here’s the beauty of the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier: It attaches to the back of your vehicle instead of the top, giving you easy access to your things. And the SwingAway frame pivots up to 180 degrees from the rear of your vehicle, so you can open your liftgate, door, hatch or tailgate, allowing full access to all your other needful things.

Here are my Top 5 Other Favorite Things about the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier:

  1. Easy Installation: I can install a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier in a matter of seconds. I simply insert the carrier into my trailer hitch and lock it into place. Voila! Work done.
  2. Carrying Capacity: With two sizes (either 12.5 or 16 cubic feet of functional storage space) a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier nearly doubles the average SUV’s functional carrying capacity. And that means I have the capacity to add another 200 pounds of gear to my adventure.
  3. Security: The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier locks to keep my valuables secure when I’ve made a pit stop on the road, or I want to keep my things in storage overnight.
  4. Durability:  I know my StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier is going to last because StowAway boxes are molded with a super durable polymer, the same material used to mold high-performance whitewater kayaks. They have twice the wall thickness of some competitive boxes and are designed to take a beating without cracking. To test this theory, StowAway backed a delivery van over the lid of a box. The results: not a single crack.
  5. Versatility: All of the StowAway rack systems—bike racks, rod racks and cargo racks—are fully interchangeable with the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. That means we can easily take our bikes up to the trailhead on one day, load up the carrier with soccer balls the next day, head to the lake with our fishing rods on the weekend, and host a tailgate party on game day. No sweat.

For more details, including information about rear taillights, side reflectors, and the 10-year warranty, as well as photos and product specifications, visit StowAway2 Cargo Carriers, the Rooftop Alternative.

The Muck Stops Here

March 27th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Bicycling | Camping | Fishing & Hunting - (Comments Off on The Muck Stops Here)
Photo of muddy trail

You better slop around!

Spring is sprung,

the grass is riz

I wonder where the birdies is!

Anonymous

 

It’s been a long time coming. It always seems like an eternity. But Old Man Winter is slowly starting to take a hike. Which means you’re ready to start taking yours.

With the weather slowly improving and the days getting longer, hikers, bikers and golfers who have put their favorite activities on hold are now chomping at the bit to get back to the Great Outdoors and do their thing. But just because climatic conditions are a little gentler, doesn’t mean the landscape is.

Anyone who has done any early Spring hiking knows that, depending on the location, hiking trails can take quite a while to dry out, making some areas more suited to mud wrestling than to trekking. If you’re a golfer, you know that there are water hazards on the course in April that won’t be around in August. And what mountain biker hasn’t finished an early season ride without a new racing stripe down his or her back. But is that going to stop you? No way! Whose afraid of a little mud? Not us!

Not until it’s time for the ride home that is. Who wants all those wet and muddy hiking boots, gaiters, socks, jackets, backpacks, trekking poles, golf bags, pull carts and doggie wipe-off towels inside their clean, dry vehicle? No one, that’s who! You could bag everything up in plastic garbage bags, but what a hassle. And, you still have to snuggle up to them on the ride back home.

Golf ball in the mud

Play ‘er where she lies!

That’s where a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier comes to the rescue. Not only is a StowAway, with its 16 cubic feet of storage space and 200 pound carrying capacity a great way to haul your gear, it’s the perfect option for transporting that wet, filthy apparel and equipment home. Everything remains outside the ride. With it’s easy ground level access, you don’t have to lift all that drippy stuff above your head as you would with an inconvenient  rooftop box. Plus, there’s a built in drain plug to make the post-adventure cleanup easy as (mud)pie! (Have fun hosing out a rooftop carrier!) And if bikes are involved, the StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier has been designed to be used simultaneously with the StowAway Hitch Bike Rack, a 4-bike and bike gear rack that can also be used separately.

So what are you waiting for? The weather’s warmer. The days are longer. Get on out to that trailhead, singletrack, or golf course and get messy. With a StowAway Cargo Carrier you can leave the outdoors outside where it belongs.

 

 

Skiing… Snowboarding… Snowshoeing… Oh My!

February 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Skiing - (Comments Off on Skiing… Snowboarding… Snowshoeing… Oh My!)
StowaWay with winter sports gear photo

Transport that winter sports gear in a StowAway!

Well that big dumping of winter snow you’ve been chomping at the bit for has finally arrived. About time!

So what have you got planned? A trip up the mountain for some skiing or snowboarding? Maybe some back country cross country skiing or snowshoeing? Tubing or sledding on the bunny slope is a blast. Well whatever your winter sport is, it probably requires a lot of specialized gear and clothing – boots, parkas, snowshoes, poles, coolers, food, car chains, blankets, emergency safety gear… wow, that’s a lot of stuff! Depending how many folks are making the trip, things can get pretty snug inside your vehicle. Yeah, it’s cold out, but not a-couple-of-hours-crammed-together-in-a-packed-SUV cold!

A great alternative to vehicle stuffing is a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. Sliding quickly and securely into your vehicle’s receiver hitch, the Stowaway has up to 16 cubic feet of storage space and can haul loads of up to 200 lbs. of winter sports gear. That’s a lot of goggles and gloves! With its convenient ground-level access, you can easily get to your food and gear, or those chains should you suddenly need to strap ’em on. Plus, it makes a great companion to your roof-top ski or snowboard carrier, if that’s your bag. With its unique latching and locking mechanism you can pop into the lodge for an après-ski hot chocolate without worrying about the security of your gear.

But don’t forget about the ride home. After a day of playing in the white stuff, things can get pretty wet. And the last place you want all that wet gear and clothing is inside your vehicle. The StowAway is a great place to carry your wet boots, jackets, bibs, hats and other damp gear. Not only will the ride home be warm and toasty, but you won’t have to endure that eau de wet dog that can accompany a moist day on the mountain. And, a well placed drain plug makes your after-adventure cleanup the easiest run of the day.

So whether you’re a skiier or snowboarder, a snowshoer or sledder, or just out for a family snowball fight, have fun and enjoy those winter sports while you can. The snow won’t last forever, dang it.

 

Revvin’ it up at the Auto Show

January 27th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in More! - (Comments Off on Revvin’ it up at the Auto Show)
StowAway Cargo Carrier on a Toyota Camry photo

Class up that Camry with a StowAway!

The Auto Show’s here! The Auto show’s here!

Yep, it’s that time of year again when the auto makers roll out their latest models in an attempt to seduce you to purchase a new ride. It’s their big chance to get potential buyers to check out the selection, compare prices and  maybe do a little test-driving. And with Americans holding on to their cars longer due to economic issues, dealers see this as a great opportunity to get you to part with that junker and slip behind the wheel of… a… BRAND… NEW… CAR!

While a lot of folks head to the auto show to just look at or sit in a car they would never buy because of practicality issues (Camaros… Challengers… Corvettes…Oh my!), or could never afford (sorry, the Ferraris and Lamborghinis are roped off, so no test sittings for the great unwashed), many attendees are serious buyers. In fact, most dealers experience an upswing in sales during the event.

So, if you’re someone who’s actually considering buying a new vehicle, what have you got in mind? The focus in recent years has been on smaller, fuel-efficient, earth-friendly vehicles. But people also love their outdoor adventure wheels, like SUVs and Jeeps. Many people are stalled out between downsizing to a smaller SUV for budget-tightening reasons, or space issues (small garage, sketchy street parking) and still wanting the room and storage space of a larger SUV or truck for their camping, biking, travel, snow sports, hunting, fishing and other gear. What’s an eco-conscious sportsman to do?

Easy! Shift your storage solution into high gear with a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. With 16 cubic feet of storage space and a 200 lb. capacity, the StowAway slides easily and securely into your receiver hitch, providing convenient ground level access to all your gear, putting the brakes on the inconvenience (and fuel-inefficiency!) of a rooftop carrier. A secure locking mechanism keeps your gear safe while you’re stretching your legs at rest-stops or chowing down at roadside diners, and a weather tight seal keeps everything nice and dry. Plus, a well-placed drain plug makes your post-adventure clean-up as easy as a Sunday drive.

Tesla Roadster at Portland Auto Show

You can look, but you better not touch!

So go enjoy the auto show. It’s a cool event whether you’re “just-looking” or ready to buy. And with a StowAway Cargo Carrier, the decision of choosing economy or size will be in the rear-view mirror.

 

Back on the Chain Gang: Be Prepared for Winter Driving

January 12th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in More! - (Comments Off on Back on the Chain Gang: Be Prepared for Winter Driving)
installing tire chains

Back on the chain gang!

So the family all got new snowshoes for Christmas and you can’t wait to get up to the mountain and try them out, right? Or maybe you’re just going for a day of tubing on the bunny slope. Or you could be saying to heck with winter altogether and are heading out of the frigid north to the sunny south until things thaw out.

Well whatever winter adventure or expedition you have planned, if it involves winter driving you need to be prepared for the worst. Winter driving can be treacherous, hazardous, and heck, downright scary (The leading cause of death during winter storms is transportation accidents. Yikes!). Weather conditions can change very quickly. But with proper preparation (the old ounce of prevention) you can greatly reduce the risks of a winter driving mishap.

First of all, if you can avoid driving in bad weather, well then… avoid driving in it! Check local, regional and even national weather reports beforehand to check for possible winter storms on the agenda. But if you still insist on traveling under sketchy conditions, make sure your vehicle is ready for the worst that Ma Nature can hurl at it. Your vehicle’s ignition, battery, headlights and taillights, brakes, wiper blades, fuel and exhaust systems, heater/defroster and your anti-freeze level (whew!) need to be at the top of their game. And your tires. Especially your tires. Many states require traction tires, or that chains be carried in the vehicle when traveling through mountain passes and at higher snow-zone elevations.

And don’t forget an emergency safety kit in case you’re stalled or stranded in inclement conditions. In addition to the aforementioned tire chains, your grocery list should include blankets and warm clothes, flares, shovel and scraper, flashlight and batteries, candles, lighter or matches, first aid kit, booster cables, non-perishable food and plenty of water.

old man winter photo

Old Man Winter

Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff. Along with all your luggage and/or winter sports gear things can get pretty tight in your vehicle. That’s where the extra cargo space of a  StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier can come to the rescue. With up to 16 cubic feet of storage space and a 200 lb. capacity, it has plenty of room for your chains, blankets, food and other safety equipment, as well as all your winter sports gear. Sliding quickly and securely into your vehicle’s receiver hitch, it provides easy ground level access to all your gear. (Do you really want to be climbing up to a roof-top carrier in a blizzard?)

So have fun and enjoy the snow, whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledding, or just traveling to a warmer climate. Just make sure you’ve got your winter driving gloves on in case you have to duke it out with Old Man Winter.