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January 27, 2015

Outdoor Retailer 2015 Winter Recap

Outdoor Retailer Winter Show is a wrap, and we have a few important notes from Salt Lake City to share. To give an idea of the scale of this show, the tally was 22,000 attendees and more than 1,036 exhibiting brands.

This is a very important year for Princeton Tec, marking our 40th anniversary. As a family-owned company. As an American Manufacturer. As a business with skilled tradespeople and manufacturing jobs the likes of which had supposedly all gone overseas.

Something very special went down regarding the Sync headlamp, but we promised to keep our lips sealed for the next couple months. You really should check out this headlamp, that’s all that can be said for now. Yes, we’ve sworn our secrecy.

PTEC was among the finalists for the 2015 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards! Finalists were:

Under 10 Employees:
The American Mountain Company, Clarkston, MI
Topo Designs, Denver, CO
Vedavoo, Lancaster, MA
Voormi, Pagosa Springs, CO
Zootility, Sommerville, MA

10 to 50 Employees:
Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Biddeford, ME
Misty Mountain, Banner Elk, NC
United by Blue, Philadelphia, PA
Sylvan Sport, Brevard, NC
Dahlgren Footwear, West Linn, WA

50-100 Employees:
Duluth Pack, Duluth, MN
Polar Bottle, Boulder, CO
Sterling Rope, Biddeford, ME
Stormy Kromer, Ironwood, MI
Timbuk2, San Francisco, CA

100+ Employees:
Cascade Designs, Seattle, WA
Jackson Kayak, Sparta, TN
L.L. Bean, Freeport, ME
Lifetime Products, Clearfield, UT
Princeton Tec, Trenton, NJ

PTEC was honred to be among the finalists! Whether a company has been manufacturing domesitcally all along, or they are seeing value in shifting some of their manufacturing to the US, it is great to see more companies making their products here in the US. Congrats to Sterling Rope, winner of 2015 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards!

From the behind the scenes file: all of the mannequins assembled in one place, likely awaiting their ride back home. They all must live in the same Salt Lake City neighborhood.

That’s all for now. More soon!

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December 20, 2014

Pocket Dumps

About a week ago, I came into the office and emptied my pockets onto my desk. I’m not sure why, but this time the contents seemed slightly more interesting to me than normal, so I rearranged it (always be knolling) and took a picture. Phone, Garmin, Pulsar, Wallet and USB key.

It was the start of other people sending in their pics. And us sending them some lights just because we’re cool like that.

Here are a few that stood out for one reason or another. Send us yours if you feel like snapping a pic of what’s on you. And please make sure they are organized neatly. Examples, both good and bad, follow below.

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December 18, 2014

Kenji’s Workbench

I was checking out The Magic Starts Here: Kenji’s Workshop of Camera Wizardry, and I saw Mark Thiessen in the video.

I have to admit that I didn’t know Thiessen by name, but what stood out was 1. the imagery from his personal project on wildland firefighters, and 2. the Princeton Tec headlamp he was wearing.

According to his bio here, “To better understand the world of this little known subculture, he became a certified wildland firefighter. An award-winning online piece, FireCall, features Thiessen’s photographs and interviews with a veteran wildland firefighter. Thiessen was also profiled for an episode of the National Geographic Channel’s Out There series.”

How’s that for dedication to a personal project?

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December 12, 2014

Dancing With The Stone

We sessioned with Pat Krieger, and had some deep conversation along the way.
The area is called Stone Fort, located in Chattanooga, TN.

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November 13, 2014

There are Times When Light Means Life

Today, we are fortunate to have a guest post from Laura E. Stachel, M.D., M.P.H. the co-founder and executive director of WE CARE Solar.

In the most remote health centers in Nepal, Princeton Tec EOS headlamps are part of a special mission – saving lives in childbirth.

Princeton Tec works with We Care Solar, a non-profit based in California, to improve the safety of childbirth in developing countries. More than 280,000 mothers and millions of newborns die every year from complications of childbirth, mostly in Africa and Asia, in regions without reliable electricity. Many health workers struggle in near-darkness to perform life-saving care, using the dim glow of candles and kerosene lanterns. The results can be tragic.

We Care Solar delivers compact solar electric kits called “Solar Suitcases” to maternal health clinics. In addition to LED overhead lights, a fetal monitor, and mobile phone chargers, each Solar Suitcase comes with two Princeton Tec EOS headlamps. These are used by midwives and doctors for a range of medical procedures, such as placing intravenous lines, conducting c/sections, suturing lacerations, and resuscitating newborns unable to breathe well at birth.

In partnership with We Care Solar, Princeton Tec headlamps have now been used in hundreds of health facilities in countries such as Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and now, Nepal.

In this photo, two Nepalese midwives are overjoyed to receive their Princeton Tec headlamps, immediately realizing how much easier it will be to provide nighttime care. We Care Solar includes rechargeable AAA batteries for the headlamps and a small battery charger in every Solar Suitcase, so that midwives have a mobile source of light for years to come. With the headlamps and the Solar Suitcase, these midwives will never again have to worry about providing care when the sun goes down. And that means there will be a lot of very happy and healthy new mothers and babies.

-Laura E. Stachel

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October 30, 2014

Costa Rica Trip to the Pacific Ocean: I Like Turtles

We have some friends down in Costa Rica with a pretty sweet gig: Turtle Trax runs four sea turtle conservation beach projects located on the Pacific side of Costa Rica’s southern Nicoyan Peninsula. Volunteers accompany a member of the Turtle Trax team on nightly 3-hour beach patrols. Yup, that means headlamps.

The tool of choice? Quad Tactical!

That white light is a little too bright, you’ll scare the turtles away!

Red mode – that’s better!


And record. And measure another one. What a beautiful night to be out on the beach.

Thanks, PTEC!

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October 21, 2014

Bouldering in the Lights at the 25 Hours of Horseshoe Hell

Bouldering in the Lights was an event within an event. Perhaps you’ve heard of the 24 Hour of Horseshoe Hell? Long and short of it is that if you like to climb, boulder, camp, and chill, this is the spot. The Horseshoe Canyon Ranch has welcomed the event for the past seven years, and 24HHH as it is known, has gained quite the following. This year, the valley was full of tents, and the canyon walls were lit up with headlamps during the 24 hour climbing competition.

That’s right: 24 hour climbing comp. There’s a 12 hour option if that’s more your speed. And PTEC put on Bouldering in the Lights at the Idaho Boulders with Action in Solitude. We used the Sector 5 to spotlight an assortment of boulders, and there were giveaways, raffles, beverages, and music. Oh, and a couch. And refreshments. This was a leave no trace event, however – don’t worry.

Some folks just came out to camp and hang out for four days. But the majority of two-person teams come out to test themselves and find out how many routes they can climb during a 24 hour period. How do you do that? 24HHH provides some pointers here:

Princeton Tec rolled up with a three man team, prepared to grill up burgers and dogs, veggie and not, for hungry swarms of climbers; we also came prepared to shoot some photos and video.

While we may have donated product in the past, the event really was something to behold. Inspired by the welcoming community that has formed around the event, we all came home knowing that the trip to northern-Arkansas was well worth it. Thank you to Andy Chasteen for inviting Princeton Tec, for Kevin Riley for working with us to put on the bouldering event, and to all of the wonderful volunteers for committing their time and energy to putting on such a great event!

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October 20, 2014

Neighborhood Bike Works Fundraiser in Philly

Neighborhood Bike Works recently invited PTEC and other supporters to an advisor’s home, where we got a warm welcome from a few of the NBW Kids and Volunteers. They even had a nice bike valet setup!

Finding our host was easy: Dominick was holding raffle tickets and camera, really working the crowd and entertaining everybody. (not going to lie, name tags help too.) Dominick is a super welcoming, great guy. He said ‘HI! Thank you so much coming and we got the lights! Thanks for sending them they will get put to good use.’ To which he added, please stay eat, drink, eat some more. OK! Sure! :-)

Attendees browsed a great selection of raffle prizes. Once the crowed learned that the money from the raffle would be matched people really starting digging into their wallets. It was great! You could definitely feel the love!

There was a big group photo that he took from above of everyone outside on the back patio. Im sure that and other photos will be posted on their page. Overall it was a really warm caring group of people! Thanks again for the invite!



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September 23, 2014

The Heist Womens’ Climbing Competition – 2014

The Heist is the Nation’s first climbing competition for women, by women. The spirit and purpose of this event is to encourage and inspire women of all ages to push themselves within the climbing community. Check out www.TheHeistClimbing.com for more details. Attendees could win PTEC Sync headlamps and other great prizes from a variety of other sponsors.


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September 22, 2014

Homebrew, Slacklines and Paddling Down by the Mighty Ocoee River

Ocoee Fest went off like a bomb with a weekend full of boats, bands, and beer.  35 Homebrewers competed to win the Sweetwater Brewing Company HomeBrew Contest, and the event hosted 7 Bands Headlined by Seven Handle Circus and Parsonsfiled.  The Adventures Unlimited Campground was packed with campfires, slacklines, banjos and good times.  The mornings were filled with kayak and raft trips down the mighty Ocoee River and everyone had a great time thanks to all the support from Princeton Tec!

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Hitting the road. That’s what this is all about.


Life at PT sure is interesting, but it’s what happens when we saddle up and head out of Bordentown that fuels our passion and provides inspiration. Our travels present the opportunity to explore new places, see old friends, meet strangers that grow into old friends, and share our enthusiasm for the outdoors. www.livingonthedash.com is our outlet to share these experiences.


Sit back, enjoy and spread the love.