Veital Designs, Veital, Hiking, Travel, Adventure, Argentina

Ready for the Roaring 20's?

Are you ready for the roaring 20's? As 2019 ends we start putting the years in perspective and realize… Holy crap it’s not the 10’s anymore! Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad and we got cold wet with the ALS ice bucket challenge. As the decade comes to an end we fast forward a couple of years and you’ve gotten yourself a shiny Veital Designs replacement lid in your Nalgene! Haven't you yet?

The old roar

In the old 20's Coca Cola was still being made with real coca leafs and Walgreens was selling booze on the low while opening more stores than a young W. Buffet shopping around Omaha. Undoubtedly times have changed. Our new 20's bring an unprecedented rate of change in innovation and technology. Our computers are slimmer and our phones too. Cars are electric and the use of geotags on social media have re-popularized America's best national parks. Keep them clean folks!

Veital Designs, Veital, Hiking, Travel, Adventure, Argentina
The Nighthawk Lid posing pretty (partially thanks to geotags) shhhh.

Jokes aside, it’s times like these when the Veital way recommends a good look in the accountability mirror. The start of a new decade gives us a chance to evaluate the last one in preparation for the next. Matt and Eli have been keeping it OG writing their goals for the coming year here at Veital Designs. Nevertheless, what a great time it is to remind you to #embracethebalance. Take the time to write SMART goals that are both personal, and professional. Find your balance.

The sound of the decade

Fortunately for the candid follower of Veital Designs the new 20's are just another opportunity to roar. We raise to the occasion and -hold steady- embrace the nuances of life and feel the balance, embrace it. Veital Designs is a replacement water bottle lid, and so much more. Follow us in this journey starting fresh in the roaring 20's and let's go after more outdoor adventure. Let's play the game with grace and kill the work week while shredding the weekend like it's supposed to. Let's #embracethebalance. Are you ready for the roaring 20's?

We've heard that writing your goals down makes you more inclined to fulfill your goals so we'd love to see some of your goals in the comments. Maybe we have some in common and get to share an outdoor experience!

Have you lost your way? Here's the trail book!


water bottle replacement lid

Christmas is back, Santa Brought Veital!

Where is Veital?

2019 is coming to an end so we put our sights on the prize, water bottle replacement caps! Oh and 2020 of course. If you wondered why you haven’t heard from us in a while we want to say we’re back, like Mike Tyson after biting an ear off, back for more! The last few months have been full of activity at Veital so we wanted to give you the inside scoop from the team. Life is a beautiful rollercoaster of challenges waiting to be unlocked and experienced and at Veital we have a tendency to embrace them, embrace the balance, as we like to say. In recent months, Matt has been challenged to find his balance between work and life. Left Hand Engineering, Matt’s consultancy and daytime job, has experienced lots of changes and Matt has found himself taking on more responsibilities.

Embracing the Balance

In the process of finding that balance Matt’s passion project, the aluminum pupil, the protector of fluids, Veital Designs took a seat on the bench while higher priority items were checked off the list. This shift however brought an opportunity to channel the energy, embrace the balance, find a way to continue pushing the passion project while still performing with Left Hand Engineering, and of course continue shredding gnarl on the weekends. Matt is a one man team on many playing fields but a crucial part of finding the balance is to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. That’s why, recognizing his lack of marketing savvy, early this year Matt brought in the help of Jason.

Seizing the Opportunity

One of the things we wanted to improve at the beginning of this year was packaging. We want to create an experience that carries the elements of precision and quality materials along with the feel of the replacement water bottle cap. Jason is the man behind the new packaging. Jason took the time to design a sustainable package that fitted well with the shape and feel of the lids, and created graphics to go along and educate you on how to use our replacement water bottle caps for the Nalgene water bottle and other wide mouth water bottles.

Let's see some before and after pics of our packaging:

water bottle replacement cap
Old Packaging
water bottle replacement lid
New Packaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside from packaging Jason helped create the Veital Designs point of purchase displays for when we’re on the road, and made this super cool stickers as well! Since then, getting to market became the new focus! Enter Eli, the latest addition to the team. Eli's been taking strides in defining our image and presence in the market. He's getting a grasp of the outdoor pursuits market to do a better job at getting Veital to you, to give you a little footing in finding the balance, help you embrace it.

Committing to Great

Veital Designs is all about embracing the balance. The  balance of a working professional and a passionate outdoorsman. The equilibrium of working hard and being financially stable, with having fun and experiencing life to the fullest. The balance between durability and ruggedness, with precision and finesse. We created this water bottle replacement cap to help you come into balance. Furthermore, we created this product because we are passionate outdoors people ourselves. We value high quality materials, made in the US products, designed with functionality in mind, durable till the very end.

Christmas is back and Santa brought Veital with. We’re here to stay! Veital water bottle replacement caps are made to last. We’re building a brand that resembles that principle all around. Stay connected and follow us on the path of most resistance. Let’s collectively build the strength to find the balance and maintain it. Let’s #embracethebalance.

For extra goodies check out our friends at Yellow Wood Gear in Milwaukee. Or the guys at Becker Supply Co. in Indianapolis. We'd only trust our gear to those guys!


3X3 Hike on Seoraksan

 

3x3 14 hours on seoraksan

Onset of an adventure

We were living abroad in Seoul, South Korea when we went on this adventure in middle October to hike Seoraksan. Our trip began just before midnight in Seoul where we boarded a bus with dozens of other excited hikers. Our trip consisted mostly of foreign teachers living and working in the city and was arranged for non-native folks. 4 hours later, we arrived at our destination, Seoraksan The third tallest mountain located north-east of Seoul and just west of Sokcho and the East Sea.

We started our hike just after 2 am and unsurprisingly there were already dozens of other buses dropping off hundreds of other Korean hikers, well prepared with the latest hiking boots, poles, packs, and lights. Rolling up in shorts, hoodies, and a bunch of granola bars stuffed in our bags, we felt a little ill-equipped but we pushed on. What followed was a steady climb to the peak and a descent of about 12 hours through a twisting canyon filled with beautiful fall colors. There was a hostile too and another whole story there but the part that remains with me was how kind and generous the Korean people were along this hike. Numerous times we were offered freshly cut fruits and veggies, Makgeolli and soju and Jeju chocolates.

Sharing the bounty

While trying to find some provisions near a mountaintop shop, I was invited to join a group of Korean hikers at their table to enjoy some homemade kimbap. My Korean is very poor but one of the hikers did speak some English and asked about our hike. After a while of struggling through conversation about how beautiful this all was, we all got back on the trail.

3x3 14 hours on seoraksan

Moments like these, and these are not the only moments of incredible kindness we experienced while living abroad that we come back to in my everyday. Trips and places will always be memorable but the people and those interactions are what made the trip.

3x3 14 hours on seoraksan

Caught Off Guard

We knew it would be a long hike but none of our crew realized it would be 14 hours. Still worth it! Still recommend!

 

Calories:

Dr. You granola bars, Kimbap, Makgeolli, Soju, kimbap triangles, Some real tasty bbq at the hostile!

 

20:20 Hindsight:

We really lucked out with very good weather. Another teacher had completed the hike the week before and reached the top in a snow storm so def check the weather prior and  B E   P R E P A R E D.

For more 3x3 stories and related content visit the trail book.


Veital Designs, Veital, Hiking, Travel, Adventure, Argentina

Entrepreneurs in Argentina

The best part of traveling is being thrown into a totally new environment and feeling so uncomfortable those first couple hours you almost feel sick. Now that I think about it, that sickness feeling could have been from the 14 hours of traveling,;three flights and less than stellar airplane food. Argentina was my destination for the next two weeks as I studied international entrepreneurship. More specifically, I was headed to the city of Mendoza which is on the eastern half of the country (very close to Santiago, Chile). Right away I had to get used to being stared at at almost every place I went. I can’t say I expected this, but being a 6’1 white ginger doesn’t exactly help you “fit in”.

 

Meeting local entrepreneurship in Argentina

As part of the class I was taking we had the opportunity to meet local business owners in the city. Out of the six companies we met with, one called “Energe” really stood out to me. Energe is a solar energy provider that started in 2007 by three locals. One of the owners spoke to us about the challenges of starting a company saying, “When I was at my job in the oil industry, mentally I was constantly thinking about my startup”. Here at Veital, each of us understands that we might not be doing what we love at every second of everyday, but building this company little by little helps Adam, Matt and myself with the balance of work and play.

The other comment he made during his presentation was about money. “You get so many unbelievable experiences and opportunities when it comes to starting a business. It’s not all about making money. Money is secondary”. Through the process of starting Veital Designs, the three of us learn more and more each day that your mindset can’t just be about trying to make a profit. It has to also be about building relationships and providing a product that will actually help people.

Seeing through the potential

Veital has been around for a little over a year now and in that short amount of time we have been able to build incredible relationships with many different companies and people. Like Matty-K has mentioned in previous blog posts, Veital is all about developing a community of rad people who love to be outside, but understand that to get outside you have to work your butt off during the week. Entrepreneurship in Argentina is alive and well!

During the two weeks that I was in Argentina I had opportunities to see incredible views that come with being surrounded by the Andes mountains. One of those experiences came in the form of hot springs in the foothills. We drove from the city of Mendoza to a spa called “Termas Cacheuta”. Along with the springs sitting in the hills of the Andes, the Mendoza river ran right by the spa, which made for incredible views. The first thing the manager told us when we arrived at the spa was “Please do not go in the river”. But like the little rebel I am, I had to jump down and capture some shots.

 

Seeing the Andes in Argentina

On one of our last days in Mendoza we drove into the Andes to a lake called Potrerillos, which sits at around 1300 meters (4,265 feet) above sea level. Along with the crystal-clear water, the lake was surrounded by gorgeous views of the snowy mountains. While we were taking in the gorgeous views of our surroundings, some kite surfers showed up to shred this incredible lake.  This obviously wasn’t their first rodeo with some of the tricks they were doing. It was unreal to watch these guys surf with such an amazing backdrop. We sat around this lake the entire day, grilling burgers, drinking adult beverages and just enjoying each other's company. It was one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been to in my life. At the end of the day, I was extremely grateful to be able to witness a view as spectacular as that one.

 

 

Out of every experience I had during the trip, nothing compared to the lifelong friends I made. I can honestly say that I met some of the most genuine people while in Mendoza. This is why Matthew, Adam and myself enjoy traveling so much. We love to get out of our comfort zone, meet new people and explore the surroundings. The three of us at Veital Designs are  pumped for the future of the company.

Get Involved!

If you’re like us and love to travel consider signing up to be a Veital ambassador. We’re calling it Viva Veital. It’s simple: sign up, go through our grueling interview process (just kidding), and we will hook you up with some Veital Designs gear. From there, all we ask you to do is product test, and grab some still frames of rad trips across the world.  Who knows, maybe we’ll give you the reins on our Instagram stories from the official Veital Designs account! To sign up, go to our website under the “Team Viva” tab.

#embracethebalance #vivaveital

-Thomas “Tommy-T” Schreiber

Marketing Associate, Veital Designs, LLC.

For more 3×3 stories and related content visit the trail book.


Veital Designs, Veital, Hiking, Travel, Adventure, Embrace the Balance, Camp multitool, adventure gear, Indiana, Brown County State Park, Cycling, Bikes, Biking, Road Bikes

Inside Veital Designs

 

4/21/2017 - 4/23/2017

There was a time and a place when I used to blog, circa spring 2013 was my last composer to the world wide web. With the founding of Veital Designs,  Adam and I are looking to get in touch with our English side. This may be tough for two engineers. If anything, it will help us with future writings. We can only hope that in the current state, some type of entertainment comes from this post.

Sidebar:

There are many different avenues in which we can steer this blog.  With so much going on it’s not fair to focus on one topic. So, as we get better at this, be on the lookout for different underlying topics. What’s new at Veital?, Where have we been lately? Are there any insights to rad places we’ve been, that you may want to check out? And finally, a look inside Veital.

Adam and I decided that we need to have another workshop weekend. I have been looking to get into road biking. Lo and behold, Adam had a second rockship that fits me. It was an opportunity to add some more gear to my arsenal and work on the vision we want for Veital.

 

Saturday morning, after nursing the after effects of adult sodas, we were in route to Brown County State Park, an absolutely beautiful park smack dab in the middle of the ever-flat Indiana. On today’s docket: ride to Bloomington to watch a few laps of the Little 500. While setting up camp, we both commented on the cool April spring weather, grateful that the rain had held off. Getting in the saddle for 4+ hours was not going to be fun whilst soaking wet-and cold.

Looking Ahead

With camp set up, we embarked on our journey East for my first time visit of Indiana University.  I was excited, and a little nervous for my first road ride. A road bike's frame has a different center of gravity when compared to my mountain bike. This led to a sink or swim attitude. Either get used to it, or get blown off the front by Adam, the seasoned cyclist. With the wind at our backs, we cruised into town. During our consistent cadence up and down the rolling hills we discussed what Veital means to us.

A Ted talk recently resurfaced and resonated with me by Simon Sinek called: “Why great leaders inspire action.”  Upon first listening to it back in the days of coolege, I couldn’t gain an appreciation. Having listened to it a few weeks ago, that lack of appreciation about-faced. People buy because of why companies do what they do. This is exactly what we’re trying to do; be a company that’s on a mission and just so happens to sell some stuff. It’s this mindset that I believe will take us to great heights.

Based on this Ted talk, and communicating several iterations both on and off the bikes, we were able to come up with the following:

Veital Designs proposition

“Veital is creating a united community of rad people passionate about the outdoors. Midwest-founded, mountain-minded, we are making the most of our time outside work. To be Veital is to embrace the work-life balance: we’ve sore legs, dirty hands and sweat in our eyes. We invite you to join is.”

Simple enough? We sure hope so.

Veital Moves Forward

Bloomington was hopping. The rain in the forecast was false and sun peaked out as we pulled up to the race. Interestingly, IU doesn’t like you watching the race unless you pay to get in. We watched a few laps from afar and decided it was best to head out. But before we did, we wanted to stop by a local outdoor shop called JL Waters (http://www.jlwaters.com/). They have been in business since the 70s and are the epitome of an outdoor shop. We love going into stores like this because you know you’ll be getting direct knowledge from the guys and gals who have tested the products themselves. It’s an awesome opportunity for us to ask for feedback. With some good direction documented we got back in the saddle and departed for our campsite.

Ever eat a stromboli from Nick’s English Pub (https://www.nicksenglishhut.com/), sit around for a few hours, then try to bike 25 miles home? Yeah, that was me on the way back. The ride was gorgeous, only caveat was my body’s unwillingness to ride fast. Adam was a real trooper. 50+ miles for the first time on the road bike was tough for me. I did stick with it and never had to put a foot down, even as we climbed the final hills in Brown County State Park. Talk about a mental workout. Man, those hills were crushing.

With legs fried, we made dinner and discussed the agenda for tomorrow. Next on the docket: marketing material and mountain bikes. We put our best ‘Blue Steel’ faces on and took a series of awesome shots. All critical to our brand consistency. Marketing is such an interesting world. A world I never appreciated until we started Vietal Designs.

For the record

The trails at Brown County (http://www.browncountymountainbiking.com/index.html) are best in the state. It was fun and challenging ripping through the blues and blacks. Some stretches, however, proved to be right at our limits. Most of the trail called Bobcat was crazy technical switchbacks. We certainly learned by doing.

All in all it was a productive, healthy, weekend. What more could a guy like me ask for. We’re stoked for what’s next. Good things take time. Until then, we’ll keep chipping away.

We’d also like to shout out BGI (Bicycle Garage, Inc.) of Bloomington (http://bikegarage.com/) with hooking Adam up in a time of need. Right as we rolled into Bloomington, the spokes of his rear up pulled through. (not a good thing). Thankfully, the guys at BGI had a spare wheel that got us home, or we may have been stuck in a sticky situation.

PS if you’re ever in the town of Nashville, Indiana, and are looking for a cold drink and good food, check out Quaff ON Brewery (http://quaffon.com/).

PPS if you like to drink beer and consider yourself an athlete, you should check out Gelande Quaffing. No relation to the Quaff On Brewery, but man, would it be cool if they were.

https://gearjunkie.com/gelande-quaffing-championships-jackson

 

#embracethebalance | #vivaveital

-Matt 'Matty K' Kownick

Co-Founder, Veital Designs, LLC.

For more 3×3 stories and related content visit the trail book.


Veital Designs, Veital, Adventure, Winter Park Colorado, Colorado, Skiiing, Mountains, My Tiny Atlas, Travel Young

Anvil Takes Colorado

3/16/2017 - 3/21/2017

Although we are only a few months in I have filled, for what in years past would be, an entire year's quota for travel. I wrapped up 2016, and subsequently brought in 2017, with a trip to Tazania to visit my sister, Madi (IG: @coolbeanmadi), who has been studying and working in East Africa for just under a year. A few weeks after getting home from that trip, I hopped on a plane for a quick three day trip to Naples, FL for some late Winter sunshine therapy. While there, we stayed with a friends grandma, and although we may have brought the average age down significantly - the old folks brought the party.

That leads me to the next trip which, was very shortly thereafter the trip to Florida. The plan was to regroup with seven of my college amigos for another long weekend of skiing, snowboarding and general mountain Tom-Foolery. Unfortunately, we were not able to reunite the entire band, but we were able to find a group of four to tackle the Rockies.

Anvil's team

The crew was rendezvousing from all over the country. We had John (IG: @theronjoberts) coming from Houston, Andrew (IG: @aschuch6) lugging camera gear all the way from Pheonix, Nathan (IG: @n8_schwenk) flying in from Knoxville, and myself from Indianapolis. The four of us had met at Purdue, all graduating between 2014-2015, and were trying our best to make a habit of this yearly trip. We had a group of eight last year in Park City, and if this participation trend continues, losing half the team each year, this is going to be a short lived tradition. Despite the decline in numbers, there was absolutely no decline in stoke for the getaway.

After having grown my hair out quite nicely over the six to eight months prior to the trip, I wanted to make a little noise upon my arrival in CO. The plan: a mullet. Flying out on a Thursday around lunch, I worked the first part of the day from home. This led perfectly into me getting the cut just before heading out to the airport, which is exactly what I did. Desean, at my local Great Clips, cut the quaff to perfection (after I pulled up several pictures to illustrate what a mullet actually was), and I left the joint feeling unstoppable. I immediately maxed the speakers in the car playing the Top Gun soundtrack and jet off to the airport. Then I caught my Southwest flight (because who else lets you fly a snowboard bag for free), and was on my way to Denver.

An unexpected surprise

I was set to arrive a few hours before the other guys, and had scheduled a van into the mountains. The host of the Airbnb, suggested Home James (www.homejamestransportation.com) for our transportation needs, which certainly did not let us down. I sat outside the terminal on the sidewalk waiting for my ride in 75 degree weather... This was certainly not what I expected for a ski trip.

I get to the Airbnb, which I did not realize until I arrived, was in the Founder's Pointe Resort. The accommodations were very nice, we had a hot tub (which is absolutely essential) and were a short walk to the lifts. After settling dropping my gear off in the room, a bit famished, I set off into town to find food and a cold one. I hopped on the resort shuttle that met just outside of the Mountain Lodge at Fraser's Point, aka right across the road.

The shuttle driver recommended The Peak, and really did not give me much choice as he dropped me off at the front door. Feeling a bit defiant, and adventurous, I did not head his recommendation and walked to the next closest place - Randi's Irish Pub (https://randiswinterpark.com/). I was greeted by a friendly bar tender as I bellied up to the bar solo, still waiting on the amigos to arrive. I got myself a green brew, this was the day before St. Patty's, and a stew. The beer, stew and company that I was in, were superb.

Catching up

As I was eating I started chatting with the absolutely RAD, Maria (IG:_mfgv). Home girl had just gotten off the Appalachian Trail and was gearing up for the PCT in a month. Keep up with her and her travels via Instagram. When the dudes finally arrived, an hour or so later, we greeted each other with the typical bro hugs and catch-up pleasantries. We caught a couple more brews and ventured back to the condo... we had a couple big days ahead of us.

As I mentioned before, the weather in Winter Park was especially warm. We were seeing 50+ on the mountain, which made for very comfortable temperatures, but relatively sticky snow. That being said, the first day on the mountain was the coldest and had the best snow. They had opened the bowl at the top of the Panoramic Express lift up for the first time in over a week so, per the advice of a local, that is where we headed.

We were all knocking off the rust of not having ridden in a bit and took our time hitting things too hard, at least the other guys were. I on the other hand bombed a couple runs, sent it down Forget-Me-Not into the trees, overcooked a corner, and went down hard on my left wrist. Mind you, this was before lunch, on DAY 1, I am such an idiot. The rest of the day went on as planned, sort of. I spent lunch with ski patrol, who told me definitely don’t continue to snowboard, got a wire mesh brace from them, and immediately returned to do what they said not to.

Winding down in Colorado

That afternoon we took the same shuttle back into Fraser to the Safeway to get groceries for dinner. We whipped up an unbelievable amount of spaghetti, wolfed it down, and then, since it was St. Patty’s, returned to our local watering hole, Randi’s. We soaked in some live music, green beer and a bit of Jameson and ventured home exhausted from the day.

Day 2 was pretty well a repeat of day 1, minus anyone getting injured. Since we had groceries we were able to pack our lunch, and with the weather being as nice as it was - caught some sun as we ate outside at Lunch Rock, mid way up the mountain.

Day 3 was more of the same, with the introduction of a lot more drone flying from Schuch. The last few years the dude has slapped together awesome recap videos for us. I typically find myself binge watching the 3:30 minute video for a decent time after each trip. Link for this year’s video is below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ztLlzfe2Ec

Day 4 meant traveling back to real life. I caught lunch and a few beers at the airport before my flight left, direct to Indy (bless up). I strategically sat myself next to the cutest girl I saw with an open seat next to her, thanks Southwest, for the flight. Maddie, from IU, was heading home from Salt Lake after some absolutely bad assery of mountain biking and skiing. Biggest mistake of the trip - not getting her number. So if there is any chance she is reading this, or anyone knows who she is GIVE HER MY NUMBER (317) 997-5157.

Overall the trip was, of course, awesome. Stoked for next year!

#embracethebalance | #vivaveital

Adam "Anvil" Taylor

Co-Founder, Veital Designs, LLC.

For more 3×3 stories and related content visit the trail book.


yellowwood, Veital Designs, Veital, Adventure, hiking, travel, everyday carry, Step Outside, Wander, minimalist gear,

The Veital Balance

3/27/2017

Both fresh out of school, Matt and I were adjusting to the real world and the unfamiliarity that came with living in a new city. We hadn't know each other before moving to Milwaukee, where we hired onto the same development program. The whole process of how we came to live together felt very 'college.' HR sent a generic email introducing us and I immediately took to social media to find out about this guy.

Digging up dirt

First impressions were good. He seemed active and appeared to be a good water skier. I dug deeper and found the proof that we'd work living together. There the dude was, probably shirtless, holding his jumpers in one hand and a can of Busch Light, 'Blue Smoothies' as I later learned them to be named, in the other. It takes a special individual to imbibe in such a beer, and I can get onboard with a dude like that.

After getting into the swing of things at our first ‘real-life’ jobs, we found that it was easy to let work begin to takeover our lives. Both Matt and I stressed very heavily the work-life balance, ensuring we kept time for ourselves and our countless hobbies. Whether Matt was fitting in a morning ski set before work, or I was fitting in a sunset-lit long ride after leaving, we did not restrict our hobbies to the weekend.

To be clear, we worked very hard, and continue to, but we never let the work all-consume us. Not only did we milk our evenings during the week, we got the absolute most out of our weekends. By Monday at lunch, you could bet, we're already scheming about what lied ahead come Friday. As this trend continued, riding the weekend high as long as we could then to re-up on the good stuff come Friday, it began to wear on us. There had to be another way to for this real life stuff to work.

Addressing the Veital balance

Taking matters into our own hands, Matt and I started Veital Designs late in 2016. Our goal: to facilitate the balance between work and play through our multi-functional products. We believe that gear should be just as at home in the office as in the forest. We understand that without the outdoors to escape to, we have no reason for business. Because of this, we are committed to ensuring our products are manufactured using sustainable practices. We source all our raw materials from the Midwest. This not only cuts down on the environmental impact of long transit, but it also helps to enrich our local communities.

The company name Veital Designs, comes from the lifestyle that Matt and I live. To be Veital is to be “full of life and vigor.” and to embrace the veital balance. We bring this vitality to everything we do, work, sport, our families. We are stoked at your interest in our mission, and invite you to join us. Viva Veital!

#embracethebalance | #vivaveital

Adam "Anvil" Taylor

Co-Founder, Veital Designs, LLC.

For more 3×3 stories and related content visit the trail book.