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Category Archives: Summer

How To Store Winter Bedding

woolApril is usually the month where overnight temperatures are mild enough that you can begin to put away your heavy-duty winter bedding. But if you want your electric blankets, thick wool blankets, and down comforters to stay fresh and clean for the next six months, you shouldn’t just stuff them in a closet and forget about them. Here’s how to store winter bedding the right way.


Before storing your winter bedding prepare each piece by reading the care label or instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some general tips include:

  • Remove all cords and controllers from electric blankets and heated mattress pads and store them separately.
  • Hang down comforters on a clothesline in sunlight for several hours to thoroughly air and dry.
  • Launder any washable items, including electric blankets, duvet covers, and woolen blankets, prior to storage in order to remove odors, sweat, and body oils and inhibit mildew growth or permanent staining.

Assessment of available storage space

Once your winter bedding has been laundered or aired and is ready to be put away, take some time to assess the amount and kind of storage space available. Be sure the storage area is:

  • Cool, dry, and impervious to mold
  • Large enough to accommodate the kind of containers you wish to use
  • Relatively easy to access

Packing and storing

Now that you’ve washed your winter bedding and readied your storage space, you can finally pack away your blankets and comforters. We recommend:

  • Using vacuum storage bags to reduce the overall size and bulk of down comforters and keep out dust, allergens, and pests
  • Placing smaller items in plastic storage bins that fit neatly under the bed or on a closet shelf
  • Storing delicate or handmade items in a cedar chest or decorative trunk at the foot of the bed so you can easily air them out once every four to six weeks during the offseason

Taking the extra time required to store winter bedding properly will help ensure that each piece is in great condition when you need it next as well as extend the lifespan of every item in your collection. So follow these guidelines as you change over to your spring linen in the coming days or weeks.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (Even in Summer)

Outlast Temperature Regulating Sheet SetNumerous studies show that individuals have an ideal sleep temperature that allows them to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. For a majority of folks, the magic number is somewhere between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, but varies according to personal preferences and the seasons.

So wouldn’t it be great if your body temperature simply held steady all night long? That way, you could just choose a cooling gel pad or electric blanket and be assured of a comfortable sleep.

But that’s not the way temperature works in the real world. In many places, especially the southern states in late summer, outdoor temperatures fluctuate at night and impact your body temperature to the point where you might be sweating when you first hit the sheets, but shivering just a few hours later. Even attempts to control ambient temperature with the use of an air conditioner or heater may not be enough to ensure comfort. That’s where temperature regulating bedding can help.

Made of high-tech fabrics and utilizing phase change materials, temperature regulating bedding:

  • Proactively manages temperature
  • Helps prevent moisture (sweat) production before it begins
  • Cools you down by absorbing and storing body heat when you begin to get too hot
  • Warms you up by redistributing the stored heat when you begin to get too cold
  • Performs this function continuously throughout the night
  • Operates without batteries or electrical cords
  • Is perfect for year-round use

If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s sleep because you’re either too hot, too cold, or constantly shifting between the two extremes, it’s time to try temperature regulating bedding. Check out the wide selection of Outlast mattress pads, blankets, comforters, and pillows at CozyWinters today and enjoy the deep, restful sleep that the right temperature provides.



7 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer

Summertime provides dog owners with ample opportunities to romp with pets in a variety of fun settings. From barbecues on the beach and boating on the lake to hiking in the woods, fishing in the river, or simply playing fetch at the local dog park, there are always plenty of great destinations and activities to choose from.

But summer also provides ample opportunities for dogs to get sick or injured, which is why extra vigilance and preventive measures are so important for maintaining good health. Here are 7 ways to keep your dog safe from summer hazards:

  1. Beware of walking your dog on hot surfaces such as asphalt, cement, and even beach sand. The pads on dogs’ paws are sensitive to heat, and can burn or blister after prolonged contact with these surfaces, so save your walks for the early morning or late evening hours.
  2. Immediately clean up any antifreeze/coolant spills in your garage or driveway. This substance is appealing to dogs because of its sweet taste, but is incredibly toxic and can cause serious illness or death.
  3. Do not leave your dog in an unattended vehicle while you pop into the store for “a few minutes.” Even with the windows cracked, the interior temperature of a vehicle can reach triple digits very quickly in the summer and might result in heat stroke for any pet trapped inside.
  4. Understand that dogs cool from the bottom up (that is, from their belly to the top of their back and head), so a product like the portable Hound Cooler cooling bed is much more effective at regulating your pet’s body temperature than an ordinary fan or the shade of a tree.
  5. Keep your dog away from lawns or gardens that have been treated with pesticides. Though many commercial products are labeled “pet safe,” quite a few industrial strength varieties are toxic to dogs and could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other forms of gastrointestinal distress.
  6. Use a doggy life jacket, such as the Fido Float vest available at CozyWinters, to keep your dog safe while boating, fishing, and frolicking on the beach. Even if your dog enjoys swimming, you never know when exhaustion might kick in, so it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
  7. Take appropriate measures, including using special collars, shampoos, dips, and prescription medications, to protect your dog from fleas, worms, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites.

Short of staying indoors all summer long, there’s no surefire way to avoid the many pet related dangers out there. But following the above tips will do much to keep your dog safe while participating in all the fun activities the season has to offer.

Cooling Bedding and Apparel 101: Phase Changing, Evaporative, and Temperature Regulating

Outlast Temperature Regulating Sheet SetWhen you browse for bedding and cooling apparel at the CozyWinters website, you’ll notice that we carry three types of products: phase changing, evaporative, and temperature regulating. While all three perform the same cooling function, the process by which they do this is different. Let’s take a look at how each type works.

Evaporative cooling

Evaporative cooling products are made of highly absorbent, multilayered fabric composed of special cooling crystals or polymers. When soaked in water for a few minutes and then gently wrung out, the cooling crystals are activated. This begins a natural process whereby the liquid water evaporates and produces a cooling effect. Some examples of evaporative cooling apparel include bandanas, vests, and caps.

Temperature regulating bedding

Temperature regulating bedding, such as the Outlast line of mattress pads, blankets and comforters we carry at CozyWinters, uses phase change materials to absorb and redistribute body heat while you sleep. As your body warms, the PCMs soak up and store the heat. When your body begins to cool again, the PCMs release some of the stored heat to return your body temperature to equilibrium. Originally developed for NASA, this technology allows for year round comfort tailored to your individual heating or cooling requirements.

Phase changing

Phase changing garments derive their cooling power from vacuum-sealed inserts containing nontoxic oils and fats. When cooled or frozen for an hour prior to use, these phase change materials (PCMs) help absorb and dissipate body heat, which allows the wearer to keep a more constant temperature and thus feel cooler in summer. Many forms of cooling apparel, including sports vests and neck bands, utilize this phase change function.

Whether you prefer evaporative, temperature regulating or phase changing bedding and apparel for your cooling needs, you can find it at CozyWinters. Visit our site today to check out all of the hats, jackets, vests, neck bands, mattress pads, blankets, comforters, and pillows you can use to stay cool all summer long.

End of Ice Cleat Season

flowers in snowIt took a while, but all traces of snow and ice are gone from the parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and loading docks of the lower 48. That means it’s finally time to put away ice cleats, grips, and other personal traction devices until winter returns and your employees need them again. But instead of simply collecting ice cleats in a box or stuffing them in a supply closet for months on end, take a few minutes to do the following:

  • Inspect each traction device for unusual wear or damage. Be on the lookout for cracked, worn, or rusted studs, over-stretched elastic, broken links, and similar problems.
  • Immediately repair or replace damaged ice cleats with equivalent products from CozyWinters. Attending to known issues now instead of waiting until next winter will ensure your employee safety gear is ready for immediate use in the event of an early or unexpected storm.
  • Consider stocking up on individual replacement spikes and studs so substitutions can be made onsite without any downtime or lost productivity.
  • Store ice cleats and traction devices on a flat, even surface to help them keep their shape. Avoid rolling, bunching, or folding these products for long-term storage.

Ice cleats, stabilizers, and grips are essential to outdoor employee safety in the winter and other times of inclement weather. So extend the useful life of each pair of YakTrax, WinterGrips, Get-a-Grip, or MonsterGrip cleats you own by addressing potential problems early and following the end-of-season storage tips listed above.

7 Tips to Beat the Heat

Hiking in summer May blog 4As the seasons change from winter and spring into summer, the focus of outdoor safety shifts from staying warm to staying cool.

High temperatures and intense sunshine combine to make heat exhaustion and heat stroke serious risks for those engaging in moderate to vigorous outdoor activities for sustained periods of time. So if you’re planning a running, hiking, biking, climbing, or similar outdoor adventure for the near future, be sure to follow these 7 tips to beat the heat:

  1. Wear lightweight clothing made of breathable fabrics or moisture-wicking material to absorb sweat and keep your skin dry. Avoid cotton and dark colored clothing, which tend to retain more heat than high-tech synthetics.
  2. Soak small face cloths or hand towels in water, and then roll them up and place them in the freezer the night before your outing. You can carry the frozen towels in a plastic bag and pull one out to dab your face and neck whenever you need a quick cool-down.
  3. Begin hydrating approximately one hour prior to the start of your activity by sipping 8 to 12 ounces of water, juice, or other nonalcoholic, decaffeinated beverages.
  4. When possible and if safe to do so, try to schedule vigorous exercise for the coolest times of the day. In most places, this generally means before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m. during the summer months.
  5. For longer outings, be sure to pace yourself or your group to help prevent overexertion. Allow adequate time to acclimatize to the weather and temperature conditions, and increase speed or intensity very gradually.
  6. Take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded area away from direct sunlight. Use these opportunities to rehydrate, refuel with nutritious food choices such as cold fruit or yogurt, and assess all group members’ physical condition.
  7. Consider wearing an evaporative or hybrid cooling vest from CozyWinters. Available in many styles, these vests provide up to 10 hours of cooling action even in very hot conditions, making them perfect for sports and other strenuous activities.

Summer is coming, which means triple digit temperatures, high humidity, and the very real dangers of extreme heat are not far behind. But don’t let the elements keep you cooped up at home for the entire season. Instead, use these tips to help beat the heat so you can enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer.

Pet Friendly Outdoor Adventures

Spending quality time with pets is one of the most important responsibilities of any owner. This not only provides pets with the exercise they need to stay healthy and nimble, but also deepens the bonds of loyalty, love, and companionship between human and animal. Here are some ideas for pet friendly outdoor adventures that will bring you and your four-legged bestie closer together this summer:

  • cooling-dog-vest_HGive your dog a fun workout by taking him to an agility park in your city. Unlike a standard dog park that is little more than an open field, an agility park features a variety of obstacles such as ramps, beams, and tunnels designed to improve your dog’s speed, balance, and agility.
  • Take your pet to the woods or mountains for a long hike on marked trails. Many state parks (and some national ones) are dog friendly as long as you follow the rules. Remember to bring extra water for your dog, and perhaps even an ice-filled Kool Collar from CozyWinters to help prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. For smaller pooches, consider bringing a backpack pet carrier to use when tiny paws get too tired to continue.
  • Spend an afternoon out on a boat or go swimming in a lake or river. Many dogs love to swim, so this would be an ideal activity for a hot summer day. Just make sure to take plenty of breaks and use the Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket as an added safety measure.
  • Grab some grub at an outdoor cafe. The summer is all about dining al fresco, and a lot of eateries now allow pets to hang out at the outdoor tables with patrons. If your dog is friendly to other people and well-behaved around food and general bustle, you’ll both be able to enjoy a great meal or snack in the open air.
  • Pack up the tent and some sleeping bags and go camping. Exploring the great outdoors is always better with your best friend at your side. No matter where you live, you’ll be able to find pet friendly campsites within a reasonable driving distance, so load up the car, throw a protective dog seat cover over the back seat, and get ready to commune with nature for the weekend.

Spending quality time with your pet doesn’t have to be limited to daily walks around the neighborhood or the occasional game of fetch in the backyard. For a more exciting option, try one of these pet friendly outdoor adventures with your cuddly companion this summer.

Spring Camping Tips & Gear Checklist

spring camping tipsSpring is a fantastic time to go camping. Nature is waking up and transforming the bleak winter scenery into a lush and colorful landscape filled with gorgeous flowers, leafy trees, and active wildlife. In addition, daytime temperatures are typically mild and comfortable at this time of year, and the insect population is nowhere near summertime levels yet. Plus, this is still considered the off-season at most campgrounds, which means lower fees and fewer people to contend with.

As great as spring camping can be, you shouldn’t just load up the car, pile in the family members, and head out to your favorite spot without taking some preliminary steps first. So review some of these basic camping tips along with our partial gear checklist before you leave:

Basic tips

  • Inspect all tents and sleeping bags for rips, tears, and holes. Make sure all zippers and closures work as intended. Repair, patch, or add a touch of WD-40 where necessary.
  • Check that lanterns and flashlights are in working order. Replace batteries as needed.
  • Test your stove and other cooking equipment to confirm that fuel sources and igniters are fully operational.
  • Spray jackets, boots, and tents with a waterproofing product to help protect against unexpected rain and inclement weather.

Partial gear checklist

  • Sleeping bags rated for temperatures as low as 40ºF to keep you warm during the cool/cold spring nights.
  • Foam pads to place under sleeping bags and provide an extra barrier between your body and the cold ground.
  • Waterproof tents and tarps or pop-up shelters to cover them in case of rain.
  • Base, middle, and outer layers of clothing that can easily be added to or removed in response to sudden changes in temperature and weather. You might also consider bringing some battery-heated apparel for spring hiking excursions to guarantee warmth even at higher elevations.
  • Flashlights, lanterns, and other forms of lighting.
  • Cooking equipment, including adequate fuel and enough utensils for the entire family.
  • A fully stocked first-aid kit, along with an emergency radio and a paper map of the area.

Remember, these lists aren’t meant to be all-inclusive; your needs will vary depending on factors such as family size, camping style (e.g. minimalist or “glamping”), and the kind of equipment you own. But you can still use our tips as a starting point to help ensure your spring camping trip is safe and fun for all involved.

How to Keep Family and Pets Hydrated

Proper hydration is the foundation for a number of essential physiological processes such as temperature and heart rate regulation, joint lubrication, nutrition absorption, and more. This is true for both humans and animals, and is a constant requirement all year round.

That said, staying hydrated is particularly important in summer when sizzling temperatures and the scorching sun combine to quickly deplete the body of water and electrolytes. Add in some moderate to strenuous outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or playing sports, and it’s not long before dehydration (along with its accompanying symptoms of dizziness, headache, confusion, and excessive thirst) can set in.

Fortunately, keeping your family and pets hydrated is easy—especially when you follow these tips.

For people:

  • family pets hydratedBring plenty of bottled water for outdoor activities and sip liberally for the duration of the session. A general guideline to follow for adults is to drink approximately seven to 10 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exertion. Children may have lower requirements depending on relative size.
  • Even when staying at home or in the office, strive to consume at least 64 ounces of water daily.
  • Although water is the best for replenishing lost fluids and maintaining hydration, juice, coffee, tea, milk, and even soft drinks can also be helpful in this regard.
  • Don’t forget that certain foods, including broth, citrus fruits, yogurt, and many vegetables are high in water content and thus contribute to overall hydration.
  • Monitor hydration level by keeping an eye on your urine. A pale yellow color is most desirable, while dark yellow urine or significantly lower output could indicate dehydration.

For pets:

  • Cats subsisting on a diet of canned food should drink an additional two to four ounces of water per day. Cats on a diet of dry food need approximately two to three times the amount they eat (e.g. five ounces of dry food would translate to about 10 to 15 ounces of water).
  • The widely accepted rule of thumb for dogs is 8.5 to 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds of bodyweight, meaning a 25-pound dog needs anywhere from 21 to 42 ounces per day.
  • Provide pets with constant access to clean water. A product such as the CleanFlow Filtered Water Bowl at CozyWinters helps remove impurities and promote consumption.
  • When taking pets on extended car trips and outings, be sure to bring a portable water bowl and provide frequent opportunities for drinking.

Now that we’re edging into summer, the dangers of family members and pets becoming dehydrated are ever increasing. But you can keep your outings safe and fun for all involved by using our ideas to stay cool and hydrated.

Top Hiking Destinations in the U.S.

summer hikingHiking perennially ranks as one of America’s most popular summer pastimes—and for good reason. It is an activity that just about everyone can participate in, regardless of age or experience, and doesn’t require a whole lot of expensive gear to get started. In fact, if you are relatively fit and can walk while carrying a moderate amount of supplies (chiefly water and first-aid basics), then you can enjoy the scenic natural beauty found in abundance at these top U.S. hiking destinations.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon boasts 15 official trails leading from either the North or South rim into the park’s depths. But if you want to attempt a descent, you’ll need a permit (and a bit of luck) to do so. That’s because the Park Service issues only 13,000 hiking permits per year, fulfilling less than 50% of the more than 30,000 requests received.

Yosemite National Park

With more than 800 miles of hiking trails, Yosemite can serve as your favorite vacation destination for many years to come. First-timers are recommended to remain in the Yosemite Valley portion of the park, which features Half Dome, El Capitan, waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife.

The Appalachian Trail

Spanning 14 states, six national parks, and eight national forests, the Appalachian Trail is one of the most flexible hiking options listed here. You can choose to tackle as long or as short a portion of the 2,178-mile trail as you like, or even take several weeks to traverse the entire distance—which many people have likened to a spiritual journey.

Glacier National Park

This oft-overlooked treasure is situated in northern Montana near the Canadian border and offers visitors a wide variety of prime hiking terrain ranging from verdant meadows to crystal-clear lakes, towering mountain peaks, and, of course, expansive glaciers. But be forewarned: many of the popular areas of Glacier National Park are covered in snow until late July or early August, so it might be necessary to pack some Yaktrax spikeless ice cleats even for summer outings.

Denali National Park

Experienced hikers that want a truly unique adventure should make it a point to visit Denali National Park in Alaska. Trails are concentrated near the park entrance only, so anything beyond that will basically yield a wilderness experience. Mount McKinley, glaciers, miles of unobstructed views, and peaceful solitude are just a few of the reasons to go.