7th Annual Reel Rock Film Tour

7th Annual Reel Rock Film Tour – 11/14/12

Written by Vapur Pro Team member, Laura Bylund

Vapur was the exclusive water bottle of the Reel Rock Film Tour screening in Santa Barbara on Wednesday, November 14th.  Organized by award-winning, even Emmy-nominated filmmakers, this climbing film tour has joined the ranks of the best adventure film tours in the world, now even outperforming most of them in its 7th year.

This leg of the tour is hosted by the official outdoor program at the University of California Santa Barbara and has been held in Isla Vista Theater, one of the largest venues of its hundreds of stops worldwide, since the tour’s inception.

“We had a record-breaking year for pre sale tickets,” said UCSB Adventure Programs Marketing Coordinator, Rachel Glago, “and would like to think it had something to do with the promise of free Vapur Anti-Bottles to the first 45 people through the door.”

“Everyone was really excited when they got the water bottles at the beginning of Reel Rock,” said Spencer Owen, who showed up early with his roommates. “We were excited about the portability and possibilities, how they are going to be much better than carrying around heavy, solid bottles.”

Twenty more outdoor Element Vapur Anti-Bottles were given away to a very enthusiastic crowd over the course of the night with one lucky winner received the Vapur “trifecta,” a half liter Reflex, a coveted one liter-sized Element Anti-Bottle and made complete with a “Designed to Perform” Vapur T-shirt.  Needless to say, that guy was STOKED.

Event coordinator, Meagan Gibson commented on how amazingly smooth and well the night went. “It was so great to have Vapur as a sponsor because so many people walked away with a prize!”

“I saw a lot of people hooking the carabiner to their jeans and commenting on how cool and innovative they were,” said UCSB student and Climbing Center employee, Kelsey Hargrove. “I’ll definitely be using it to carry around to classes and work.”

Q&A with Talia Leman about the Power of ANYone

Over the years, Vapur has been a proud partner of RandomKid and now, this incredible organization has just released a book! Written by RandomKid’s CEO, 17-year-old Talia Leman, “A Random Book About the Power of Anyone” shares the insightful wisdom of a young, active “Random Kid” on a mission to prove that anyone can make a difference. Vapur is now selling a Book and Anti-Bottle Bundle exclusively online at Vapur.us!

See the Q&A Vapur had with Talia to learn about RandomKid and the Power of AnyONE.

How did RandomKid start?

I never meant to start an organization, least of all at the age of ten. But I did, and it’s formation seemed to somehow relate to Newton’s Law of Motion, which basically says that a body in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external force. Youth energy, synergy and enthusiasm have their own form of inertia– not so unlike what Newton described– and we have clearly not met a force equal in opposition.

It all began in 2005 when I wanted to raise money for hurricane Katrina/Rita relief. It began innocently enough—I just wanted to trick-or-treat for coins in lieu of candy, and get a few friends to join me. Hearing this, my 6 year-old brother ran into his playroom, and returned donning a cape—he would oppose me; candy was his pastime. So there we were, a 10 year-old CEO (Chief Executive Optimist) and a 6 year-old C.O.N (Chief Operating Nemesis)—at odds.  We posted our photos on a makeshift website with the help of a neighbor who later became a co-founder of the organization.  The Today Show happened by our page, saw our photos, and the rest is history. They brought us on the show, C.E.O vs. C.O.N., and we ended up reporting 10.4 million dollars as youth across the U.S.A. began unifying their fundraising efforts with ours. My brother didn’t do too half bad either—weak with pity for him, our neighbors loaded him up with candy equal to 10.4 Halloweens.

Here’s the stunner: American school children—just a bunch of kids– ended up ranking in our giving power with the top 5 U.S. corporate donors to Katrina—up there with Wal-Mart, Exxon and Amoco.

That’s the force of our power.

It would have been more than enough had that been the end of it. But having the inertia that we do, it didn’t end. They kept at it—writing, emailing, calling—wanting to unify our efforts for other causes. If we can be as powerful a giving force as GE, AT&T and Coca-Cola, then why stop?

What did this success mean for you, RandomKid, the world?

What became clear is that the more of us who believe in our power, the greater the power we have.  What also became clear is that we are powerful enough to change world policy by where we choose to focus our collective attention.

That is also when I realized that I needed to deconstruct my accidental success, and offer every resource I had to as many youth as I could to forward intended success toward meaningful change in the world.

Seven years later, what are you doing now?

Now, I can introduce you to my book, A Random Book about the Power of ANYone (published by Simon & Schuster), where you can find every strategy and how-to you need to change the world for the things you care about, and also welcome you to my website—it has every resource you need for any service project you can conjure up, all under one roof. What’s more, I call it “RandomKid”— because it’s about the power of ANYone.

How does RandomKid help those that want to get involved?

We provide youth with all the tools and resources needed to power up their ideas for a better world. These include:

Project Ideas. On our site, we list tried-and-true turnkey projects that yield impressive results. We call them our “wildly popular projects.” You can replicate them or modify them. They are yours.

Consultations. This is one of the best things we do. We can advise you using everything we know to power up your ideas.

501(c)3 non-profit umbrella.  To offer tax write-offs for donations to your project or apply for non-profit grants, you need to be registered as a nonprofit. When you run a project through RandomKid, you come under our non-profit umbrella.

Moolah.  Because of our pay-it-forward seed fund pool, we offer micro-investments to launch your ideas, and we can also direct you to youth grants and awards.

Products. Proceeds from the sale of products can fund your initiatives. You can do this in one of three ways. First, brand your own promotional products. There are literally hundreds of thousands of products from which to choose; we can help you access them and select earth friendly ones. You can also create or design your own products, including original music CDs and other works of art. Finally, you can find a super fantastically fabulous product already in the marketplace and tell us about it. We’ll ask the manufacturer to sell it to us wholesale so you can resell it to benefit your efforts, which is EXACTLY what happened with Vapur, our proudest partner ever.

Internet Presence. On our site, you can create your own webpage with a donation portal and fundraising thermometer, but we offer more value than that. You can also join a project and be a part of another team; unify your project with others to leverage and increase your impact; create a video library where you teach something to the world; organize and count collections; and/or use our online storefront to sell your branded or homemade products globally.

Web conferencing.  The University of Iowa gives us free access to a phenomenal online meeting site where you can share videos, desktops, PowerPoints, whiteboards and more. And it even works in low bandwidth areas.

Apps. There is no end to what apps can do these days. We have forged relationships to bring you apps that will help you better the world, including apps that count and accredit service hours, supply you with discount coupons from local businesses that you can gift to your volunteers, and allow you to create mobile content you can share.

What can people do with all of these resources?

Ahhhh, so many things! You can develop a plan for a business and fund it, plan an event and spread the idea, brand a product and sell it (we can fund you), educate the world about something that matters, or rally collections.  You can do just about anything!

What projects are happening with RandomKid now?

One of most popular projects is the Vapur Anti-Bottle Project!

Youth cross the nation youth are working to replace disposable, single-use bottles with a safe reusable one that can be rolled up and put in your pocket: Vapur! Through this one act youth are reducing oil dependency, eliminating waste from our landfills, and using the proceeds to fund projects that better the world. RandomKid is covering the upfront costs, and will work with youth to design their own tags for the bottles that tell your story of hope for the world. Learn more here.

For more project ideas, visit RandomKid.org.

Remember— the power is yours,

Talia Leman

Equipped for the Cold

Equipped for the Cold

Written by Vapur Pro Team member, Eric Larsen.

At 40 or 50 degrees below zero, there are few, if any, expedition tasks that are enjoyable. Waking up and crawling out of a (hopefully) warm sleeping bag has got to be one of the worst experiences in the entire world. Trail repairs are no cake walk either. Equipment fixes during the day usually require some semblance of manual dexterity, which is only achieved by removing big warm gloves or mittens. The cold feels like thousands of needles in your fingertips. I hate navigating in whiteouts, too. The snow surface blends with the sky to such a degree that you can’t even see your ski tracks in the snow. And throw out any idea you might have of skiing in a straight line. With no frame of reference, your best option is a serpentine course in some ‘general’ direction. As difficult as all these things are, there is one facet of polar travel that is hands down the worst: staying hydrated.

For starters, your body is dead set against retaining water. Exposure to cold causes a reduction in blood flow to the surface of the skin as blood vessels become constricted. This reduces the overall volume of the circulatory system and increases blood pressure. Your automatic physiological response is to reduce the fluid volume by getting rid of excess water in the urine. Your body also doesn’t want to waste energy heating all that urine in your bladder, either. So, put simply, when you get cold, you need to pee more often. Cold air is often much drier than warm air as well and you loose substantial amounts of moisture through basic respiration. Breathe harder, like when you’re pulling a sled across the frozen tundra, and you’ll loose even greater amounts of water. Of course, paramount is the fact that simply getting a drink of water involves a major effort – taking off gloves or mittens (again), digging around in the sled, trying to gulp down a few swallows without spilling (it’s not easy).

I liken polar travel to death by 1,000 cuts. It’s a battle of attrition because each day you loose a little bit of energy that you can never replenish. While any daily effort may not equal that of a marathon, its substantial enough and these expeditions span more than a couple of days or even weeks. My last North Pole expedition stretched 51 long days and the accumulative effect of such an intense, sustained effort was debilitating.  By the end of the journey, I was exhausted and depleted.

Needless to say, I am very focused on energy conservation throughout the day. I employ a wide variety of systems to be efficient and safe. From a regimented travel schedule to comprehensive menu planning to an almost fanatical packing regiment, anything I can do to conserve energy is critical. Weight is an equally important factor as anything I use I have to physically carry. The heavier the item, the more calories I burn moving it from one camp to the next. Therefore, I spend an inordinate amount of time researching gear to make sure that I have the lightest possible equipment. But I don’t always choose ‘light’. If being lighter also means that it is fragile or more complicated to use, I will choose a heavier item. It’s a convoluted decision tree that’s for sure; but there is definitely a method to my madness.

In a month and a half, I’ll be traveling to Antarctica again for another expedition. Deep into the planning and training process, I’ve been slowly accumulating my expedition kit over the past few months. I’ll be using a new tent and outerwear this year. I’ve also helped design a new pair of gloves that I’m really excited about and a Iridium network-based satellite tracking and messaging beacon. However, one of the gear items that I’m most excited about is my Vapur Anti-Bottle. Sure, it may not seem like a big deal on the surface – to choose one bottle over the next, but my ability to be successful, and ultimately, my safety and survival, is directly connected to the gear I use and the systems I employ.

Vapur’s Anti-Bottle has my dream trifecta of gear qualities: incredibly light, easy to use and durable. Compared to a rigid bottle, the Anti-Bottle weighs almost nothing (and I really like carrying things that weigh almost nothing). Functionally, drinking from a Vapur is incredible. Sipping from a rigid bottle can be awkward and I often either spill or choke on water. Vapur’s spout and locking lid mean I can quickly gulp down a few swallows easily without having to remove my gloves or mittens. However, I think the thing I was most surprised by was the durability of the Vapur’s Anti-Bottle. I mean really surprised! Climbing in the Cascades this summer, our Vapur’s were in constant use – in and out of packs, thrown on the ground, filled with hot water and more. During the entire climbing trip, we never had a failure. Amazing.