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Best and worst cities for the outdoorsy type

Spring is in full swing and campers, hikers, hunters, mountain bikers and fishermen are taking to the woods. As this time is perfect for outdoorsy types, it’s helpful to know where to go for these types of activities.

A recent article from Outside Magazine helped answer that exact question, investigating 50 of the most populous cities across the country and looking for six that are all wrong for the woodsman. So what did the magazine consider when looking into outdoor-friendly cities?

“First, a few tangible factors have to be taken into account, such as a lack of green space, poor access to parks and little to no municipal investment in recreation,” the article stated. “Then there are the intangibles to consider. Is the vibe hostile, or at least ambivalent, enough to the environment? Is there a sufficient enough absence of gear shops and outfitters?”

The magazine took into data from the Trust for Public Land Park Score Index as well as Siemens Green City Index. It also investigated what it calls “our own revealing, statistic: the number bike shops per person within the city limits.”

Portland, Ore. – one of America’s most outdoor- and bike-friendly cities – has one bike shop for every 6,500 people, while the six least outdoorsy cities in America ranged from one bike shop for every 21,000 to 87,000 residents, the measure becomes revealing as a trend of places cyclists might want to avoid.

Here’s the list of the six worst cities for the outdoorsy type:

  1. Dallas
  2. Detroit
  3. Memphis, Tenn.
  4. Charlotte, N.C.
  5. Fresno, Calif.
  6. Cleveland

So what makes Dallas such an atrocious place to live for someone who loves the outdoors? According to the magazine, only half of residents are within walking distance of the city’s parks. Not to mention, the city’s lacking public transit system and few bike lanes cause residents to drive almost everywhere. It is also noted that the one large park that does exist, the Mountain Creek Lake reservoir, prohibits people from eating the bass or catfish caught there because of fears of PCB contamination.

Dallas also has one bike shop for every 59,000 people, according to the data. Those in Fresno likely have the least luck when it comes to getting their bike tuned up, as there is only one bike shop for every 87,000 residents.

Best cities for the outdoorsy type
Enough with the places to avoid. Mother Nature Network has highlighted 15 cities where the outdoorsy type will flourish. Whether it’s because of a short distance to a snow cap mountain or an abundance of hiking trails, these cities stand above the rest when it comes to activities to take advantage of outside.

Here’s the list, in no specific order:

  • Portland, Ore.
  • Jackson Hole, Wyo.
  • Burlington, Vt.
  • Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Asheville, N.C.
  • Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Seattle
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Juneau, Alaska
  • Boulder, Colo.
  • Bend, Ore.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Portland, Maine
  • Bozeman, Mont.

These cities all have their own benefits when it comes to outdoor activities. Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. Jackson Hole is right next the Grand Teton National Park and is just a short distance to Yellowstone National Park.

Ideal gear for the outdoors
Because it is a popular time to purchase outdoor gear, those heading up a mountain or planning a fishing trip are encouraged to secure their items with car roof racks or aluminum truck boxes.

When it comes to keep anything safe out in the wilderness, durable products are the ideal solution. And as the same suggests, Tuffy Security will get the job done.

Criminal fails at bank robbery.

Failed bank robber left behind note containing his name

Bank robbers usually don’t give out their personal information. Well, at least good ones don’t.

In that case, Felipe Cruz is an amateur. The southern Florida man walked into a bank dressed in a baseball hat and long sleeves and handed a teller a note.

“Give me the 100s, 50s, 20s now,” the note stated. “Do not set the alarm. Hurry!”

Doesn’t sound to dumb so far? Well here’s where things get interesting. Cruz hand the note to the teller, who was behind bulletproof glass. All the teller did was back away from the window, knowing she was protected from any harm Mr. Cruz thought he could inflict. With no options to go on, Cruz walked out of the bank empty handed.

Easily identified
It’s usually tough for investigators to track down a bank robber. Even if they have them caught on camera, it’s still tough to attach a name to a face. Luckily, Cruz did all the work for them. The stick-up note he handed to the teller was actually the back of a job application form, and sure enough, it contained his name as well as the online username CRUZFELIPE36, along with his password. Sure enough, police fingerprinted the note, entered the information in a database only to find none other than 39-year-old Felipe Cruz, who lives just four miles from the bank he tried to rob.

“By trying to rob a bank with a demand note written on the back of his employment search form, the robber has given us a clue,” FBI agent Michael Leverock said. “He probably should have continued looking for honest work.”

While the criminal above might not scare home and auto owners into protecting their belongings, extra precautions are still necessary. Not every robber is this dimwitted. For those looking to improve security, lockboxes in a house or vehicle are the ideal solution.

Keep police gear safe with a lock box.

Extra security gives cops peace of mind

Police officers put their lives on the line to keep citizens safe. However, when it comes to keeping their gear out of the wrong hands, many cops might not know where to turn.

The equipment police officers use is supposed to be for the good of the people, but too often criminals target law enforcement officials because they know where to find weapons. While the promise of a harsh sentence should be enough to keep a criminal out of a police cruiser, some people just don’t get the message.

There are a variety of products specially made for police officers looking to keep their gear and weapons safe. If anything, having a secure place to put a gun gives an officer peace of mind while on and off the job. A lock box will keep a gun out of the wrong hands – it’s products like these every officer should have.

Security boxes provide ample storage space
Another ideal solution for cops looking for more secure storage is a security box. For police officers in need of a lot of storage space, the security box is essential for keeping gear safe, while still ensuring it is accessible for an officer. And when it comes to which brands to choose, there are no products like those made by Tuffy Security.

“Each drawer features Tuffy’s patented Pry-Guard II locking system which incorporates a 1/4″ thick steel security latch,” reads the company’s website. “Unlike other cabinet type drawers on the market that use retrofitted cabinet or house locks, the Tuffy drawer incorporates a patented pushbutton latching mechanism similar to typical OEM automotive door latches for security and to prevent rattles and squeaking. This type of latching system secures the drawer shut while operating the vehicle without the need to lock and unlock the drawer every time access is needed.”

Police tactical gear has never been easier to store than with a security drawer. The options Tuffy provides are nearly endless, as police officers can customize drawers to fit the specifications of their vehicle. Whether they want single, side-by-side or stacked drawers, Tuffy can accommodate their needs.

When it comes to keeping gear and guns out of the wrong hands, not to mention giving a cop peace of mind while in the line of duty, Tuffy has the solution.

Be sure everything is ready for the big camping trip.

Get ready for camping

The weather is improving and more Americans are likely planning their spring and summer camping trips. As this time of year is perfect to get away from it all and head out into the wild, it’s important to plan ahead.

There are a variety of things someone will want to do before heading out on a camping trip. From packing some extra supplies to making sure a vehicle is ready for a trip, it’s important to adequately prepare for a camping trip. Here are some lists of things any camper should consider bringing:

General camping supplies

  • Flashlights
  • Bug spray
  • Sewing kit
  • First-aid kit
  • Rope
  • Saw
  • Soap
  • Towels
  • Toiletries
  • Plastic bags
  • Tent
  • Firewood
  • Lighter

Cooking supplies

  • Portable grill
  • Skillet
  • Extra fuel
  • Eating and cooking utensils
  • Silverware, plates cups and bowls
  • Trash bags
  • Tin foil

Sleeping gear

  • Extra clothes
  • Sleeping bags
  • Air mattress or mat
  • Tent light

While the above lists include some necessities to bring on a camping trip, it’s always important to remember entertainment, as well. Whether it’s for the trip into the woods or once you get there, bring reading materials, board games and electronic devices to pass the time.

Get a vehicle ready
There are a wide array of supplies and gear anyone will need to camp comfortably. However, it’s just as important to make sure a vehicle is ready for the road trip into the woods.

Owners should first inspect the vehicle themselves. Many issues with a car can be taken care of by an owner, saving money on having a service shop look at it. They will want to check the battery, brakes, engine, tire tread, fluids and lighting systems. If an owner then notices an issue with any of these vehicle parts, it might be time to have it inspected.

Storage space is another important aspect of camping to consider. There are a variety of products available that will streamline a camping trip, freeing up space in the car and keeping items safe. Here are some helpful camping and security products:

  • Lockbox: The ideal way to keep personal belongings safe and secure during a camping trip is by using a lockbox.
  • Car roof rack: Where vehicle owners are likely need more storage room, a car roof rack provides ample space.
  • Lockable storage box: For those in need of even more secure space to store their belongings, a lockable storage box is the solution.
Make sure to have the right supplies before heading on a long trip.

What’s in a vehicle emergency kit?

Every driver should have a roadside emergency kit in their car, especially those who are going on long camping or road trips. An emergency kit can be the difference between life and death in certain situations, and therefore, it is critical to make sure it is always stocked.

However, many motorists might be wondering what their vehicle emergency kit should include. Here’s a list of various items to consider:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Small camping shovel
  • Chains for tires
  • Tools: A wrench, pliers and Philips- and flat-head screwdrivers
  • Knife
  • WD-40
  • Extra clothes
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Two quarts of oil
  • Gallon of water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Extra food
  • Toilet paper
  • Road flares

While motorists don’t necessarily have to have all the items on this list, as they might not have room for each piece of equipment, taking extra precautions can make all the difference when are stranded far away from home. And while emergency kits can be purchased in stores, the list of items included might not be as comprehensive as the one above.

Other accessories for long trips
In addition to ensuring roadside emergency kit is well-stocked, motorists taking long trips should also put a lockbox in their vehicle. This keep items safe inside a car. Even if a criminal were to break into a vehicle, they would have trouble getting into a locked security box mounted into a vehicle.

Justice is swift for the man who drives a stolen car to court.

Man arrested after driving to courthouse in stolen car

Another week, another unfortunate and misguided attempt at crime. This week, the top prize has to go to James Manning, 49. After being due in court in Tuolumne County, Calif. for drug charges, Manning drove to the court house in a car he had purchased for $200 earlier that day.

Turns out the vehicle was stolen. Who’d have thought?

Police received a phone call from an auto dealership in a city 300 miles away from the courthouse, indicating that a 2001 Mitsubishi had been stolen. Officers were able to track down the vehicle through its GPS system, and where did they find it? In the courthouse parking lot.

Both Manning and his wife Teresa Castillo, who had driven to court with him, were arrested for being in possession of the stolen vehicle, along with a controlled substance. Castillo told authorities that Manning purchased the car earlier that day just so he could make it to his court date.

Police officers were swift in the handling and re-arresting of Mr. Manning. And while good police work led to the recovery of stolen property, the incident reminds both citizens and officers of the importance of keeping vehicles and the items inside them safe. Lock boxes are a great solution for both cops and car owners looking to keep anything out of the wrong hands.

Jeep unveils new model.

Jeep reveals 2015 Renegade

Jeep recently showed off the 2015 Renegade at the New York International Auto Show. Donning the nickname “baby Jeep,” the Renegade boasts itself as a subcompact sport utility vehicle.

So why did Jeep go baby-sized with its latest vehicle release? Compact crossovers and subcompact SUVs are highly popular among vehicle buyers these days. Where many don’t want to take on the high cost of gas and size of a normal SUV, automakers are finding success selling smaller rides, and Jeep is no different. In fact, Jeep expects that the subcompact SUV segment will hit 2 million annual sales in 2015.

“The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade symbolizes the brand’s renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment,” said Mike Manley, president and chief executive of Jeep Brand. “Renegade expands the brand’s product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment with a best-in-class combination of fuel efficiency and off-road capability while at the same time delivering outstanding driving dynamics and the open-air freedom customers expect from Jeep.”

But Jeep lovers shouldn’t be worried about the Renegade’s ability to perform just because it has “baby” in its nickname. The vehicle is also being offered as off-road capable with Jeep’s Trailhawk equipment. The Trailhawk model will feature 8.7 inches of ground clearance and 19 inters of water-fording ability.

Manley added that the Reneged combines flexibility, power and performance, something the next generation of buyers is looking for.

The Renegade will be built in Italy, sharing a platform with the Fiat 500L and soon-to-be-built Fait 500X. Jeep said the Renegade is “designed in America and crafted in Italy.” The automaker noted that the vehicle will likely be priced under $20,000 when it hits the market at the end of 2014.

Improving storage in Jeep models
Any Jeep vehicle is highly customizable as owners put their own individual touch on their vehicles. Those looking to improve Jeep storage are encouraged to look into the wide variety of parts and accessories available to help. From simply adding a little extra security to keeping gear safe to make a jeep more functional for an off-road trip, products are available to help.

Get that vehicle ready for a road trip.

2014 road trip checklist

Spring has arrived and the driving season has begun. As a result, many Americans are likely planning upcoming road trips.

Instead of paying for the high price of a plane ticket, waiting in security lines and sitting next to a crying baby on a flight, many people will choose to take a road trip in 2014. Life on the road gives drivers and passengers alike  the freedom to enjoy the highway at their own leisure, which is enough to convince anyone to skip flying in a plane.

However, before hitting the road, it’s always important to make sure a vehicle is ready for a long trip.

Practice preventative maintenance
While it’s always a good idea to read a vehicle owner’s manual and follow the suggested maintenance schedule, this goes double in the weeks leading up to a big road trip. Taking a little extra time to ensure a vehicle is up to par and road-ready is far better than having to deal with a breakdown miles away from home.

And as spring is known as the start of the driving season, making sure a vehicle is up to snuff this time of year is always a good idea.

“Your car has gotten you through one of the worst winters in recent memory, working overtime in harsh conditions, but the extreme cold, potholes and road salt have taken a toll,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Since most Americans rely on their vehicles nearly every day to get to work, school and everywhere in between, taking a little time for car care now can save headaches and money in the long run.”

Have a car looked at before leaving
Preventative maintenance will ensure a car is well-maintained. But even still, issues can arise. For peace of mind on the road during a long trip, it’s best to have a car looked at before heading out. Making sure fluids are topped off, an engine is running properly and brake pads are not worn down is worth the trip to the auto body shop.

“It’s never good to gamble with safety when it comes to your vehicle, so if you haven’t had your vehicle checked recently, now is the time to ‘be car care aware’ and get a thorough vehicle inspection including a brake inspection, battery check and tune up,” said White.

Restock emergency kit
When heading out on a road trip, it’s important to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That means making sure an emergency kit is well-stocked.

Here are some things to include:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight
  • First aid supplies
  • Jumper cables

Accessories help with security and storage
Those heading out on a road trip will also want to get some accessories. Things like roof cargo are ideal for opening up more space in a vehicle, while a lockbox is essential in protecting valuable items when far away from home.

Accessories will ensure storage and security needs are met, allowing a driver to sit back and enjoy the ride.

New systems helps officers communicate more efficiently.

Law enforcement officers find help with intelligence-led policing

Cities are constantly looking for ways to reduce crime rates, and lately that means turning to big data to help pinpoint problem areas.

The Columbus Police Department in South Carolina is using a wide array of data – police reports, street information, observation by officers and witness statements – to determine where crime  is most likely to occur, helping them allocate funds and distribute their police force resources, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

“If you know that a particular area is experiencing a certain type of criminal activity during a certain time of the day, then you can start narrowing down that crime type,” Columbus Police Sgt. Roderick Graham told the news source. “You’re filtering down, pinpointing.”

The new strategy is known as “intelligence-led policing,” and it has already begun helping reduce the crime rate in the area.

“Research shows that if you can respond to an area, to a call, within three minutes, the possibility of apprehension is greatly increased,” he said. “Individuals that were involved in crime in that community, they know that we have a set of officers that are not constantly tied up in calls and are free to respond to those areas.”

Essentially, the new methodology streamlines communication between officers. Where old methods would use things like paper documents to update officers, a new record management system digitizes that information, updating it immediately for officers.

Chief Ricky Boren told the news source that if a car is stolen on the north side of the city, dispatch will be able to send pictures and more exact information to help officers on the south side be more aware of the situation.

Other helpful tools for officers
Aside from the improved methods that come along with intelligence-led policing, officers find help both inside and outside the field with secure storage solutions.

Whether it’s a security box for tactical gear or a small lockbox for a gun, products are available to ensure equipment is safe and sound, and stays out of the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, police gear getting stolen is an all-to-common occurrence. In February, two men, Jesse Crawford and Craig Butcher, purchased a storage unit at Marina U-Store in California, only to discover that they had just bought thousands of dollars in stolen police equipment, according to the Monterey Herald. Upon finding out the nature of the contents in the storage locker, Crawford and Butcher called the police. Marina police officers arrived on scene to take back the gear, which included:

  • Sirens
  • Police reports and photographs
  • Radio equipment
  • Mace
  • Expandable batons
  • Handcuffs
  • Urine-test kits
  • A Code-3 police light
  • Retro detective lights

“Chalk it up as a loss, I guess,” Crawford told the news source. “But it’s better to get the stuff back where it belongs than to have something we’re not supposed to have. We might still have enough left (from the locker) to break even, or even make a little bit, which, for us, is the name of the game.”

Whether it’s on or off the job, police officers looking to better secure their gear are encouraged to purchase high-quality products that will keep their items safe and sound, like lockboxes and storage safes. These products keep gear secure but accessible.

New Jeep concepts great for off-roading.

Jeep to reveal six off-road concepts in Moab

This upcoming weekend marks the 48th Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, an event where Jeep lovers get together for an off-road gathering. Like years past, Jeep will be bringing along a few concept vehicles.

“We head to Moab and the Easter Jeep Safari with six new vehicles we know Jeep enthusiasts will truly appreciate – including our first two new Jeep Cherokee models built specifically for this important event,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “We look forward to putting these new Jeep vehicles in their proper environment and receiving important feedback from our most loyal customers at their favorite annual off-road gathering.”

This year’s concept vehicles will feature a number of Jeep Performance Parts – specifically designed for off-roading – to help transform current Jeep models into the ultimate trail performers.

“This year, we’re showcasing a combination of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts on our vehicles for off-road enthusiasts to see a variety of customization and personalization options,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO – Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Since 2002, Jeep and Mopar have teamed to create more than 40 unique concept vehicles for enthusiasts who attend the popular Easter Jeep Safari.”

Here’s a list of some of the concept cars:

  • The Wrangler Level Red: One of the concepts Jeep will be showing off this year is the Wrangler Level Red. The phrase “level red” is derived from the terminology for the toughest off-road trail. The Jeep has a wide array of features that make it great in the dirt, including Jeep Performance Parts Dana 44 crate axles in the front and rear and Rock-Trac transfer case, which helps owners better navigate obstacles.
  • Wrangler MOJO: This vehicle is similar to the Level Red, but is designed to take on the most extreme trails.  The”OJ” in its name stands for “orange Jeep” and includes a number of Jeep Performance Parts including “shorty” bumpers and prototype flat-top fenders.
  • Wrangle Maximum Performance: This Jeep features the word “maximum” for the power it offers. The vehicle is raised up four inches and features a 70:1 crawl ratio.
  • Cherokee Adventurer: The fourth and final concept car being shown off at this event is perfect for those looking for an off-road capable vehicle with more storage. Whether it’s the bungee net available to hold cargo down or the added utility and cargo, this is perfect for adventurers.

Jeep hosting New York Auto Show preview
In addition to the Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep will be hosting a private preview of the vehicles it will be showing off at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. According to the release, the event will benefit East Side House Settlement, a social social services agency that serves children and families in the South Bronx and surrounding communities.

“This milestone year commemorates our 15-year partnership with East Side House,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association. “On behalf of the automobile retailers of greater New York, we wholeheartedly support the staff at East Side House and the important help they give to young people to attain their goals. We also salute the past and present sponsors whose support over the past 15 years has helped raise over $4.5 million for East Side House.”

Get a current Jeep model off-road ready
While the two upcoming Jeep events will show off concepts and future models, owners are likely wondering how they can get their current Jeep off-road ready.

Jeep parts and accessories can be found online that help owners with storage, especially when it comes to taking a trips outdoors. Securing belongings on an off-road adventure has never been easier with current products on the market.