Tagged: vapur

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


Q&A with Talia Leman about the Power of ANYone

Vapur’s flexible one-liter Element bottle ($12; vapur.us) is perfect for adventure travel – when empty, it rolls up to the size of a banana.

Outside Magazine

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.

WATERWORLD – Water bottles, though essential, take up a lot of space. That’s why Vapur’s Anti-Bottle folding water bottle is such a hit. When it’s empty, this BPA-free container literally folds down flat so it can be slipped into the side pocket of a cabin bag. But fill it up and it will stand like any regular bottle. Vapur.us

Silverkris

Canyoneering: An Element for the Elements ~ October 6-7, 2012

Written by Vapur Pro Team member, Laura Bylund

On October 6 and 7, with a little help from the Vapur Element Anti-Bottle, a team of adventurers from the University of California, Santa Barbara braved a few good canyons in the San Gabriel Mountains of the Angeles National Forest.

Canyoneering is a sport particularly sensitive to hydration and energy management. Dehydration is cause for many ailments in the human body and we are especially at risk when in the harsh elements of the great outdoors.  A typical canyon route imposes a series of slippery down climbs and steep rappels off waterfalls in a cold, wet environment.  The coordination, physical fitness and knowledge required of executing such tasks assumes that even a completely healthy canyoneer could have trouble getting out safely.

“Hydration is incredibly crucial to physical performance,” says Rod Tucknott, Director of UCSB Adventure Programs and a Wilderness Medical Associates instructor.  “In fact many medical problems that aren’t so obvious, such as hyperthermia and hypothermia, are often exacerbated if not caused by dehydration.”

Prevention of accidents and injuries is key because if anyone on a canyon team goes down, there is usually only one way out.  With steep cliffs on either side making simple egress virtually impossible, the originally intended route must be carried out in sickness or in health.  Neglecting sufficient fluid intake can lead to light-headedness, fatigue and mental impairment, which are exceptionally dangerous conditions to be in.  If left untreated, dehydration can also lead to heat exhaustion and even volume shock.

“The Vapur Anti-Bottles are awesome because they’re translucent,” said trip leader Ben Greiner, “so you can see exactly how much the participants have been drinking throughout the day.  It’s easier to monitor their water intake and prevent any illnesses in the canyon.”

Taking full advantage of the low-profile and light weight nature of the Anti-Bottle, the canyoneers hung them from their harnesses and backpacks, making them incredibly accessible.  With no excuses to not hydrate, this was a successful, healthy and amazingly FUN trip!

 

 

Design is Elemental
By Jason Carignan, Chief Design Officer

Each year, more than 38 billion single-use water bottles end up in U.S. landfills. That equals 1.5 million tons of waste! Appalled at the statistics and the existence of environmental tragedies, like The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, my partners and I, Dave Czerwinski and Brent Reinke, set out to design a product that would help put an end to this senseless waste.

We initially stumbled across the idea of a flexible water bottle by accident. While exploring a solution for another product, Dave discovered the Doypack (TM) (the official name for the stand-up flexible pouch), which was invented by Louis Doyen in 1962 as a packaging solution for fruit juice and olives.

Today, Doyen’s pouch design is spawning something of a sustainable packaging revolution, from baby food to refillable soap dispensers and more. But, at the time, almost no one had thought about using this technology for reusable containers.

The sustainability advantages of a flexible, reusable water bottle were immediately apparent to us. First and foremost, we could make the bottles right here in the USA. We also learned that flexible bottles require much less energy to manufacture than rigid bottles. They are also much lighter than rigid bottles and ship flat which greatly reduces fuel consumption. Best of all, they fold-up, making them extremely convenient for people to take everywhere, reducing the temptation to drink disposable bottled water on-the-go.

The Anti-Bottle Movement is Born
On September 14, 2009, after hundreds of prototypes and thousands of Post-it Notes (TM), we launched our flagship product: the Vapur Anti-Bottle – the foldable, reusable water bottle designed for active, environmentally conscious consumers. In addition to its category-defining foldability, Vapur is also freezable, dishwasher-safe, BPA-free and highly-durable.

We knew that the form factor of a flexible bottle would be new and unfamiliar to most. Because of this, we spent hundreds of hours designing every product detail and crafting the messaging for this radical new product, including our Anti-Bottle Manifesto. Little did we know, we would be sparking an international product trend. Within nine months of launching, we began hearing reports of counterfeit and knock-off “Vapur” products being imported from China. We have been vigorously protecting our trademarks and patents ever since.

Despite the imitators, we continued to believe that a great brand, coupled with an unwavering focus on design leadership, is the best way to build long-term success for our company. Shortly after launching the first Anti-Bottle, we began exploring ways to radically improve its design to meet the needs of athletes and more demanding users (skiers, runners, backpackers, climbers, etc.) who had come to appreciate the foldability and lightweight nature of Vapur products. Specifically, we wanted to develop a larger size, a better spout and a more durable clip. We were also committed more than ever to designing and manufacturing the entire product in the United States, which we knew would pose considerable sourcing and cost challenges.

Vapur 2.0 – Mapping the Customer Experience
We began our quest to design our new bottle by mapping the end-to-end customer experience in order to identify all of the ways people interact with our products (example: Buying, Filling, Drinking, Carrying, Packing, Cleaning, Storing). Then, we interviewed current customers, observed usage habits, reviewed competitive sets and brainstormed ideas. We literally dissected our original Anti-Bottle and counted each of individual components (10 in total, by the way) to identify ways to improve the product from the top-down.

We then invited our key supply-chain partners to join us for an “open innovation” session where we explored new materials, new technologies and new methods for producing our product.  The team ultimately  developed about 10 ideas for further exploration and then began the process of rapid prototyping and user testing to refine the final design.

The result of this 12-month process was the new Vapur Element, the most versatile water bottle on the planet. The Element features the new flip-top SuperCap with integrated carabiner clip, a larger mouth for easier filling and cleaning and holds 30% more water. About 87% lighter than typical rigid water bottles, the foldable Element is easy to stash and go, making it a great hydration solution for any active lifestyle. We were also able to reduce our total part count by 30%. And, true to all Vapur Anti-Bottles, the Element is 100% BPA free and 100% made in the United States.

The new Vapur Element launched in early 2012 and has been garnering rave reviews ever since.

Vapur Element from Vapur, Inc.

By Olivia Wong

Arupokhari-1 is a sleepy village in the Gorkha District of eastern Nepal. It is home to roughly 600 sustenance farmers, school-aged children, buffalo, goats and exotic plant species. Although it is currently a peaceful community of smiling families living with tin roofs, straw huts and chickens, it has been scarred by a bloody civil strife that took the lives of over 15,000 Nepalese people between 1996-2006.

Inspire a Child, a global initiative to improve the lives of those in post-conflict and developing regions, came to Arupokhari-1 to create a soccer field and conjoining classrooms for the 230+ war-affected children at the Sarswati Peace School.

Supporting these efforts in Nepal, Vapur generously donated Anti-Bottles to the Inspire a Child group and local staff. In remote areas, such as Arupokhari-1 where it’s a 16 hour walk to the closest paved road, water is a symbol of life. There is no electricity and all of the village’s water sources come from one outdoor tap in a centralized location. Everyday you can see villagers, mainly young women and girls (as young as the age of four), carrying tin canisters to and from the tap to wash clothes, bathe themselves and for everyday nourishment.

Having the Vapur Anti-Bottles allowed us to carry water with us where ever we went, whether it was from our mud huts to school (an hour’s walk) or to the neighboring village, a severe climb four hours north. The Vapur Anti-Bottle became one of the most powerful tools we owned. It could transport enough water to last each person long stretches through Nepal’s scorching summer, yet light enough that it did not compromise the load we carried on our backs. Also, the Vapur Anti-Bottles left behind a lasting statement. It was a reusable, environmentally protective bottle that would not end up in a trash pile in front of a villager’s hut.

The effort by Inspire a Child to construct the field and two classrooms at the Sarswati Peace School resulted in an increase in primary education in the village and successfully empowered children through sports. Vapur helped to keep the Inspire a Child group hydrated throughout this journey.


Professionals Eric Larsen, Anna Levesque and Laura Bylund Represent Vapur

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (September 10, 2012) – Vapur, designer and manufacturer of the innovative Anti-Bottle, is pleased to expand its relationships with three North American outdoor athletes and explorers; Eric Larsen, Anna Levesque and Laura Bylund. Their adventures will take Vapur Anti-Bottles to the ends of the earth (quite literally!) and their experience in the field will offer insight into what extreme outdoor athletes and adventurers demand.

“Since the launch of our flagship outdoor product, the Element, Vapur has been developing relationships with professionals and enthusiasts in the outdoor industry in order to gain insight, further develop technical lines and to have key players represent the Vapur brand,” said Vapur Marketing Manager, Jenny Guy. “Vapur is very proud to be aligned with these great athletes.”

With a lightweight, portable, functional and easily packable design, these respected individuals of the outdoor realm have chosen to represent Vapur and the Anti-Bottle as members of the official Vapur Pro Team. Vapur Anti-Bottles have proven to withstand extreme temperatures, brave the rapids, and hang on at great heights, offering the ultimate hydration solution for outdoor athletes. As Vapur Anti-Bottles are put to the test, Eric, Anna and Laura will offer invaluable feedback that will help Vapur products evolve throughout the R&D process.

Eric Larsen, a modern day explorer and expedition guide, has spent the last 15 years traveling the most remote and wild places on earth. Eric was the first person to ever paddle through the North Pole in the summer and then to the South Pole. He is also one of a few Americans to have skied to both poles. The seasoned backcountry ranger has dog-sledded in the Canadian arctic and summated Mt McKinley, among many other expeditions. He has been named an Outside Magazine Eco All Star.

Anna Levesque is a world-class whitewater kayaker and instructor dedicated to enhancing the lives of women through kayaking, yoga and travel through her company, Girls at Play. Anna has over 15 years of experience as an accomplished international kayaking competitor, instructor and guide, making her a leading expert in her field. She was a member of the Canadian Freestyle Kayak Team from 1999 to 2003 and earned a bronze medal at the Freestyle World Championships in 2001. She placed in the top 3 in several freestyle competitions and extreme races during that time and has paddled in over 10 countries around the world.

Laura Bylund is a dedicated Outdoor Rope Rigging Professional Specializing in rock climbing, canyoneering and rope rescue systems. Laura shares her enthusiasm for climbing by educating students as Climbing Program Manager at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Adventure Programs. As a freelance guide, certified instructor and stunt rigor, Laura lives her passions daily.

For more information, visit http://vapur.us/proteam.

 

About Vapur, Inc.

Founded in 2009, California-based Vapur, Inc. is on a mission to make hydration incomparably portable and convenient. As the leading designer, marketer and distributor of reusable, handheld, collapsible hydration products. Vapur’s complete line of Anti-Bottles® have been adopted by athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, celebrities, green activists, government agencies, fashion gurus, and families alike. Vapur’s ultra-durable Anti-Bottles® are proudly made in the USA, BPA-free, freezable and dishwasher-safe. Vapur is privately held, with products available in 13 countries worldwide and contributes a portion of all sales to water-related and environmental causes. For more information, visit www.vapur.us and as always, “Live Flexible.” Follow Vapur on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

###

Vapur® Establishes Pro Team

Something most don’t know, Vapur Team members are avid music lovers and tunes are constantly streaming throughout the day at Vapur HQ. Music has always been a source of inspiration and expression, defining those that choose to listen by genres, trends and tastes. As a thread that binds people together, it’s no wonder that music festivals have become such a large part of the ultimate listener’s music experience.

But for those making their way to a music festival, it’s important to be equipped with the right tools and, as a foldable, reusable, easily stashable hydration solution, the Anti-Bottle has quickly become a festival “must have.” With the music-enthused Vapur Team on board and the Anti-Bottle already inducted, getting more involved in the festival scene was a natural step forward for Vapur.

This year, Vapur is the proud Hydration Sponsor of the second annual DeLuna Fest, hydrating over 40k festival goers and greatly reducing the waste caused by disposable bottles. The DeLuna Music Festival is held Sept 21-23, gathering music enthusiasts together on the beach of Pensacola, Florida.

» Continue Reading…

With many of the same characteristics as the Vapur Anti-Bottle (adventurous, portable, durable, fun!), we’re proud to introduce the Vapur Pro Team; Eric Larsen, Anna Levesque and Laura Bylund. We just wish we could roll them up and put them in our pocket to pull out whenever we need advice on how to do something epic.

This inaugural Vapur Pro Team will now be sharing their tales on the VapurTrail Blog, inspiring all of us to roll up our own Anti-Bottles and set out on an adventure.

These three well-known voices in the outdoor sports world strike the perfect chord between adventure, environmental stewardship, and mentorship of Quencher-aged kiddos. We can (and will!) learn a lot from these three, whether it’s how to set a new route you’ve eyed but haven’t attempted or if it’s taking a paddling trip to one of America’s best river towns; each Vapur Pro is an inspiring example for how to live a life dedicated to your passion.

As Vapur Anti-Bottles are put to the test, Eric, Anna and Laura will offer invaluable feedback that will help Vapur products evolve throughout the R&D process.

Vapur Pro Team profiles:
Eric Larsen, a modern day explorer and expedition guide, has spent the last 15 years traveling the most remote and wild places on earth. Eric was the first person to ever paddle through the North Pole in the summer and then to the South Pole. He is also one of a few Americans to have skied to both poles. The seasoned backcountry ranger has dog-sledded in the Canadian arctic and summited Mt McKinley, among many other expeditions. He has been named an Outside Magazine Eco All Star.

Anna Levesque is a world-class whitewater kayaker and instructor dedicated to enhancing the lives of women through kayaking, yoga and travel through her company, Girls at Play. Anna has over 15 years of experience as an accomplished international kayaking competitor, instructor and guide, making her a leading expert in her field. She was a member of the Canadian Freestyle Kayak Team from 1999 to 2003 and earned a bronze medal at the Freestyle World Championships in 2001. She placed in the top 3 in several freestyle competitions and extreme races during that time and has paddled in over 10 countries around the world.

Laura Bylund is a dedicated Outdoor Rope Rigging Professional Specializing in rock climbing, canyoneering and rope rescue systems. Laura shares her enthusiasm for climbing by educating students as Climbing Program Manager at University of California, Santa Barbara  (UCSB) Adventure Programs. As a freelance guide, certified instructor and stunt rigor, Laura lives her passions daily.

For more information, visit http://vapur.us/proteam.