Tube in a Box

Tube in a Box

So, what is Tube in a Box?

The name says it all – an inner tube that you can order from Amazon that, you guessed it – arrives in a box. Tube in a Box is sold for summer & winter – we tried it out for snow tubing.

The tube is very heavy-duty and comes in two sizes – small for children & small adults, large for most adults. An optional accessory is a Snow Tube Jacket that covers the tube, has handles and adds a bottom enclosure to make gliding easier over the surfaces it comes in contact with & keeps your bum dry.

Tube in a Box
Tube in a Box
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Tube in a Box: Ski bum style

On the way to the hill, we stopped by a gas station and filled the tube with air. It filled in less than a minute and then we were on our way to snow tubing.

After a climb up the hill, well, the video says it all…

I had to do it numerous times – you know, just to make sure the videos came out well.

It was great fun!  Snow tubing reportedly dates back to the early 1800’s yet, from researching available snow inner tubes, it appears to be somewhat difficult to find an option that will hold up to the snow, grass and rocks.

Tube in a Box
Tube in a Box
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Tube in a Box’s heavy-duty construction seems to have conquered that and delivers a quality ride down the hill. Afterward, we let the air out of the tube (it does take some time to remove the air) & stowed it in its bag.

Tube in a Box: Safety

Tube in a Box
Tube in a Box
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Snow tubing has become quite popular at many ski resorts, where many resorts have created snow tubing parks.

Typically, the snow tubing parks have banks of snow to keep riders on the trail that gradually level out the hill to enable stopping at the bottom. Since you are on your own with Tube in a Box, safety becomes your own responsibility. We went to a small hill, clear of trees and with plenty of clearance for stopping at the bottom. There is little ability to control the direction of an inner tube on snow, as opposed to some capability with sledding.

Tube in a Box has a safety section on their website – but fundamentally, if you decide to go tubing, you assume all the associated risks of doing so.

Tube in a Box: The facts straight from Tube in Box

  • 100% Commercial Grade Rubber
  • UV Protected
  • Safety Rubber Coated Schrader Valve
  • Tear Resistant
  • Multi-Season use for Summer and Winter

Disclosure & disclaimer: We received a product sample for evaluation for this review and were not otherwise financially compensated by the sponsor. Some samples are donated following the review. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Chasing Light Media makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its information or use.

 

Hamilton Sports, Aspen

Choosing the best men’s ski wear

Do men choose ski wear differently than women? It’s an interesting question.I would think men and women focus on many of the same characteristics, such as comfort, quality and waterproofing. Those three factors can make or break your day on the slopes.

Whether you are sailing down corduroy or shredding the steeps, you want to be able to move your arms, don’t want zippers breaking, and don’t want to be soaked should you take a spill.

How about breathability and warmth?

Both are pretty important – nobody wants to be cold and I’m pretty sure everyone is happier if you can take your jacket off without being drenched in sweat.

And, design?

Form and function

Hamilton Sports, Aspen
Hamilton Sports, Aspen
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

While men may lean slightly more toward function over form, let’s face it, men want to look good too.

So, where do all the factors that make great men’s ski wear meet in the real world?

We think KJUS ski wear.

Created by Norwegian ski racer and Olympic champion, Lasse Kjus, KJUS ski wear for men protects against the elements, is super comfortable and it looks great too.

Take a look at the new
KJUS men’s warp speed ski jacket

We were recently talking with Bill Miller at Hamilton Sports in Aspen when a specific men’s jacket across the way caught my eye.

Hamilton Sports

Learn more about Hamilton Sports  & KJUS ski wear »

Disclaimer: The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. We received no compensation for this article. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.


 

Hamilton Sports, Aspen

Choosing the best ladies ski wear

Name a brand of ski wear – we’ve probably worn it.

But, in the last few years, we’ve begun to narrow our choices down based on:

  • Quality: Ski wear that is going to last and is well-designed.
  • Warmth: If you get cold, you want to quit. Not an option.
  • Comfort: Lots of flex & stretch for ease of movement.
  • Breathability: Whether spring skiing, hiking the bowl or running to catch the bus, venting is a requirement.
  • Design: It has to look good.
Hamilton Sports, Aspen
Hamilton Sports, Aspen
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

As a result, more and more KJUS® has appeared in our closet.

We wear ski wear nearly every winter day and have found KJUS to answer all of the above requirements. The designs are clean & attractive and the performance is, well in the words of KJUS, uncompromising.

We recently stopped by our favorite ski shop, Hamilton Sports, and had Bill Miller walk us through why KJUS performs so well.

To start: KJUS Ladies ski jackets

And the KJUS Ladies ski pants…

Bill explains the differences in the two styles of ladies KJUS pants available:
Revolution & Formula

KJUS Ladies ski wear: Summing it up

KJUS Ladies ski jackets

  • Multiple styles of KJUS ladies jackets available in a wide selection of colors
  • 4-way stretch
  • Fully waterproof & seam-sealed
  • Powder skirt
  • Light, moves with you

KJUS Ladies ski pants

  • Two styles of KJUS ladies pants: Revolution & Formula
  • KJUS ladies Revolution ski pants: Relaxed fit,  low-rise, 70 grams Thinsulate® insulation, waterproof, 4-way stretch
  • KJUS ladies Formula ski pants: Slimmer cut, 70 grams Thinsulate insulation, waterproof, 4-way stretch

Learn more about Hamilton Sports » 

Disclaimer: The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. We received no compensation for this article. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.


 

CamelBak® Podium® Arc Run Collection

CamelBak® Podium® Arc Run Collection

CamelBak® Podium® Arc Run CollectionCamelBak recently introduced the newest in running hydration, the Podium Arc Run Collection – six products specifically designed for all types of running and training.

The Arc collection includes the hand-held Arc Quick Grip™ and variable quantity belt systems, all built around the new run-specific Podium Arc bottle.

We got an early preview of the Arc collection at Outdoor Retailer in August – and it’s something runners will definitely look forward to when available in 2013.

CamelBak Podium Arc Run Collection

Here’s a quick run you through of CamelBak’s newest products…

Disclosure & disclaimer: We received a product sample for evaluation for this review and were not otherwise financially compensated by the sponsor. Samples were donated to charity following the review. The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. We received no compensation for this article. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.


 

 

D-fa Dogs Float Doggy™ Dog Flotation Vests

Kibo’s Gone Puff Doggy, D-fa Dogs® Puff-Doggy™ that is

As most of you know, we hike a lot – and nearly always with Kibo – so we are always in search of the best in gear for dogs.We recently came across D-fa Dogs- makers of “gear that makes it feel good to be a dog. To run, play, work and be by your side wherever your adventures may take you.”D-fa Dogs Float Doggy™ Dog Flotation Vests

D-fa Dogs Float Doggy™ Dog Flotation Vests
D-fa Dogs Float Doggy™ Dog Flotation Vests
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

D-fa Dogs has taken the best ideas & materials from the outdoor industry and used them to create spectacular items for our four-legged friends. Angela from D-fa Dogs recently walked us through their unique line of dog jackets & dog flotation vests.

D-fa Dogs Jackets

D-fa Dogs jackets come in multiple styles providing a variety of warmth & protection including:

  • Puff-Doggy™ – a super insulating  jacket
  • Ice-Barker®, – a 100% Merino wool jacket
  • Sub-Woofer® – a soft-shell activity jacket
  • Armo-Doggo™ – the super-tough activity jacket

A girl’s gotta look good

Fall is the season for fashion and Kibo has found the ultimate in cozy and fashionable doggie outerwear: the D-fa Dogs Puff-Doggy jacket. Kibo especially likes the Puff-Doggy’s great color and perfect fit, which will keep her warm and stylish from a morning hike to an afternoon stroll in downtown Aspen.

  • The Puff Doggy’s fashionable silhouette is achieved by a thermal ‘bone zone’ to warm the shoulders, hips and spine where it’s needed most, without adding all-over bulk or weight
  • The secure side-release cam buckles and lightweight design make it the perfect coat for the-on-the-go-doggie  – light & compact to carry; quick and simple to wear
  • The bright green color will inject some brightness into those cold winter days ahead (also available in red)

Battle the winter chill…

Speaking of winter, the Puff-Doggy is made of the same stuff your puffy jacket is probably made of: Thinsulate® 200gms bone zone and Thinsulate 100gms peripheral zone.

It also has a water resistant outer layer and elbow caps to protect and warm elbow joints.

Mmmm….four cozy paws up.

Bring on the snow!

D-fa Dogs Float Doggy™ Dog Flotation Vests
D-fa Dogs Float Doggy™ Dog Flotation Vests
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Functional fashion

All girls know the definition of fashion nirvana – pretty and wearable!

Kibo put her new Puff-Doggy jacket to the test with a walk in the park and a run in the grass and it performed exceptionally. With good coverage for the spine, thighs, chest and tummy, the Puff Doggy is easy to move in & puts the functional in doggie fashion. D-fa Dogs truly delivers on their promise of “gear that makes it feel good to be a dog” – for boys and girls – shhhh, don’t tell Kibo boy dogs can wear them too.

Learn more about D-fa Dogs

For more information visit the D-fa Dogs website to purchase or to find a retailer near you.

Disclosure & disclaimer: We received a product sample for evaluation for this review and were not otherwise financially compensated by the sponsor and the sample was donated to charity following the review. The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.


 

Gibbon® Slacklines

Gibbon® Slacklines

Slacklining has exploded in popularity in recent years, and consequently, Gibbon Slacklines were front and center at Outdoor Retailer.

Slacklining is basically anchoring a piece of webbing between two points, usually trees, and then walking across the line – or in the case of the pros, tricklining – jumping, spinning & flipping across the line.

We stopped and talked with Jaime at Gibbon to learn more about getting into slacklining…

I want one!

And now, for some tricklining by the pros with Mike Payton, Micky Wilson, Felix Hachfeld, Maurice Wiese, and Melissa Bowie…

 


Disclaimer: The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. We received no compensation for this article. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

 

Swany SX-43 Cell II Gloves

SWANY® Women’s SX-43 X-Cell II Gloves

SWANY® Women’s SX-43 X-Cell II GlovesBrand: Swany
Item: Women’s SX-43 X-Cell II Gloves
Activity: Skiing or snowboarding
Year purchased: 2012
Price: About $130

When I wanted a new pair of ski gloves, I sent Swany a tweet and asked what was their warmest pair of gloves.

They recommended either the Bad Boy or the X-Cell, so later that day we stopped in a ski store and picked up a pair of X-Cell.

SWANY Women’s SX-43 X-Cell II Gloves

The gloves are comfortable and fit my hands well.

They are made from good leather that is flexible and, so far, durable.

As far as warmth, they are the warmest pair of gloves I’ve had. On very cold days, I still prefer down mittens, but they are great gloves for an average cold day.

SWANY Women’s SX-43 X-Cell II Gloves: The facts straight from Swany

  • Shell: Smooth Grain LeatherShield with reinforced digitized palm
  • Insulation: Tri-plex insulation system, Dryfinger II insert, Dyna-Therm lining
  • Features: Uni-pull cuff, quick release strap, precurved construction, utility heat pocket, AquaGuard lock-down zipper, Swany leash

SWANY Cell II Gloves on Amazon

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Disclosure & disclaimer: Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used. Some reviews link to products sold through Chasing Light Media’s Amazon.com affiliate account.

 

Oakley Airbrakes goggles

Oakley Airbrake™ Snow Goggles

Oakley Airbrakes gogglesBrand: Oakley
Item: Airbrake Snow Goggles
Activity: Skiing and snowboarding

I used to hate goggles for all the common reasons – limited visibility, uncomfortable fit, inability to change lens easily, fogging up, and the list goes on.

That changed with Oakley Airbrakes – and, even though they are a bit pricey, they are worth every penny.

Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles: Our choices

Greg got his Airbrakes at Christmas 2011. He chose the Viper Red, which come with a Fire Iridium lens and a VR28 Black Iridium replacement lens that is a medium visibility dark grey.

A week later, I bought the Shaun White’s, which come with a Fire Iridium lens and a Dark Grey replacement lens.

We then both purchased a HI Yellow lens for low light conditions.

Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles: Super comfortable

We spend quite a bit of time on the hill, so comfort is important.

The Airbrakes fit really well, are comfortable and have a large field of vision, which cuts down on that claustrophobic feeling found with many goggles.

Aspen Highlands, Aspen, Colorado
Aspen Highlands, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles: Switching lens

Oakley Switchlock™ Technology makes lens changing easy and fast.

Simply flip the switch, the lens swivels out, pop a new one in, and you’re ready to go.

Oakley Airbrakes goggles
Oakley Airbrakes goggles
Photo: © Chasing Light Media

Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles: The facts straight from Oakley

Frame

  • SwitchLock Technology for the quickest and easiest lens change for any light condition
  • Rigid Front Frame with Flexible O-Matter® Rear chassis
  • Rigid Frame support to minimize optical distortion, eliminate nasal pressure and maximize airflow
  • All day comfort of moisture wicking triple-layer polar fleece foam
  • Balanced fit (with or without helmet) via Fixed O-Matter® Interchangeable Strap Outriggers
  • Optimized to fit medium to large faces

Lens

  • Comes standard with two lens tints and case
  • Fog elimination of dual vented lenses with F3 Anti-fog technology
  • Tuned light transmission of Iridium lens coating (optional)
  • UV protection of Plutonite® lens that filters out 100% of UVA/ UVB/ UVC & harmful blue light up to 400nm

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Disclosure & disclaimer: Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used. Some reviews link to products sold through Chasing Light Media’s Amazon.com affiliate account.

 

 

DeLorme InReach

DeLorme inReach™

DeLorme InReach
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


The DeLorme inReach keeps you connected anywhere you are. The first device using two-way satellite messaging, the inReach allows users to send & receive text messages beyond cell phone range, including interactive SOS messages, should the need arise.

We sat down at Outdoor Retailer with Chip Noble, Product & Design Manager at DeLorme, and he walked us through the key features of inReach. We then got our own inReach and tried it out ourselves. We’ve segmented the features of the inReach (listed below). For each segment, Chip tells us about the features, and then we walk through our experience with setting up and using them.

Delorme inReach: Using the inReach as a standalone device

The DeLorme inReach: Out of the box

DeLorme InReach
DeLorme InReach
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The Delorme inReach comes with the inReach unit, a Quick Start Guide, batteries, a lanyard and micro USB cable. The first step is to decide which service plan you want – Safety, Recreation or Expedition. A good comparison chart for the service plan levels is located under Subscriptions on the Delorme website FAQs page. Once you decide, setting up an inReach account at http://explore.delorme.com is easy.  Simply choose a plan, enter your credit card  & add emergency contact information.

After setting up an account, you can add personal contacts & customize predefined messages. If you plan to pair it with a smartphone or tablet, you can also link it to Twitter & Facebook (described in next segments).

The Delorme inReach unit

The DeLorme inReach is very simple to use in standalone mode.

Delorme InReach power buttonPower.  Press & hold the Power button for 3 seconds to turn the inReach on or off.

Delorme InReach Tracking buttonTracking. Press and hold the Tracking button for 3 seconds to start or stop tracking.  Tracking sends your location to explore.delorme.com

Delorme InReach message buttonMessage.  Used to send 1 of 3 predefined messages.
For message 1, press & hold until the LED flashes once, then release.
For message 2, press & hold until the LED flashes twice, then release.
For message 3, wait for three LED flashes, then release. We set up our predefined messages as:

Delorme InReach SOS buttonSOS.  The SOS button sends an emergency message to Search & Rescue. The slide button next to SOS button is a lock so the SOS button doesn’t accidentally get activated.

Delorme InReach predefined messagesNOTE: The SOS button will dispatch emergency personnel to your location & notify your emergency contacts. Don’t “test” the SOS button, but do become familiar with how to use this feature.

Delorme inReach: Pairing with another device & two-way communication

The Delorme inReach works with smartphones and tablets, including iPhone®s, iPad®s, iPod Touch® & Androids®. By pairing the inReach with your smartphone or tablet (we use iPhones), you can then send messages from your phone, in addition to using the predefined messages associated with the inReach in standalone mode.

The process of setting up the two devices to work together is called pairing. Chip Noble, Product & Design Manager at DeLorme, tells us more…

Delorme inReach: Setting up & using an iPhone with the inReach

Step 1: Download and install the Earthmate app on your iPhone

Step 2: Go to settings on the iPhone & make sure Bluetooth is turned on

Step 3: Open the Earthmate app on your phone, go outside (you need a satellite signal) with the inReach and the iPhone, and simply follow the directions for pairing the devices within the Earthmate app.  Pairing is easy and the directions are pretty straightforward.

Once paired, messages can be sent from the Earthmate app on your iPhone instead of using the predefined messages in the inReach’s standalone mode.

Delorme InReach earthmate appDelorme InReach test messageSend a test message to DeLorme -they’ll send you one back (you can do this 5 times per month for free).

Next, test messaging with your contacts and tell your emergency contacts that you set them up as emergency contacts

Then, go for a hike and try it out.

Delorme in Reach: Twitter, Facebook & Mapshare

The number one benefit of the DeLorme inReach is safety – the security of knowing that when you are in the middle of nowhere if something happens, you can contact someone and know they are on their way with help.

But, the inReach can also keep you connected and add a bit of fun to your treks too.

Delorme inReach: Socialize from the summit

Delorme inReach has remote tracking so others can follow your progress online.
Chip Noble, Product & Design Manager at DeLorme, talks us through messaging, Twitter & Facebook…

DeLorme inReach: Twitter & Facebook

Delorme InReach authorize twitter and facebookI’m pretty active on Twitter @KimberliHull  so tweeting from our hikes should be a pretty natural thing…
that never occurs since “No Service” usually appears before the trailhead sign.

Setting up Twitter and Facebook is done at explore.delorme.com.  Like most other applications, it is the simple process of authorizing access to write to your account.  Once completed, the authorizations appear in your Delorme account.

So, we were looking forward to our first tweet.

On our inaugural inReach hike, we chose the Maroon Bells near Aspen.

We turned on tracking on our inReach at the trailhead parking lot (described below), and after capturing a few early morning pictures of Maroon Lake, headed up to Crater Lake & the West Maroon trail.

Maroon Bells, Aspen
Maroon Bells, Aspen
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Delorme InReach first twitter messageUpon arriving at Crater Lake, I sent a tweet.

When I got back, I checked and no tweet. #fail What the heck?

I had forgotten to sync my iPhone with my Delorme account after I had set up Twitter & Facebook.

After syncing within the Earthmate app on my phone (Options > Account & Sync > Sync>, duh the Twitter, Facebook & Mapshare options appeared in Messages within Earthmate on my phone.

The next tweet went out promptly…

Delorme InReach Kim Hull tweetDeLorme in Reach: Find me, follow me

Delorme InReach mapshareAnd, speaking of Mapshare.

Mapshare is Delorme inReach’s Find Me, Follow Me functionality allowing your friends to follow your progress on a map with updates at specified intervals (we set 10 minutes, the default). Simply provide the URL to the map and everyone can follow along.

You can also post updates from your phone to Mapshare, just like on Twitter & Facebook.

DeLorme inReach: Durability & battery life

The Delorme inReach has been tested to last 120 hours on two lithium AA batteries, based on transmitting one tracking point every 10 minutes.As far as durability – that’s pretty important for me.

I can attest that an iPhone dropped on a rock while hiking in Moab will result in shattering of both sides (took it to the Apple store in a baggy). I dropped the inReach a couple of times (once in the parking lot before we even got started). Not even a scuff.

DeLorme also states that the inReach is waterproof and floatable. Greg, of course, wanted to immediately pitch it in Maroon Creek to test it. I persuaded him not to do so on our first trip out. That said, I’m sure it will end up submerged soon – we’ll let you know how it goes.

Delorme inReach: Skip talks durability & battery life

DeLorme inReach: Earthmate

Delorme inReach: There’s an app with a map for that

The free DeLorme Earthmate app transforms your smartphone or tablet into a two-way text-messaging global communications device and a GPS viewer.

Delorme inReach: Downloading Delorme Maps on Earthmate

Delorme maps for the Earthmate app are available for locations worldwide.

Once downloaded, the maps are viewable within the app even when there is no cell phone service. Navigation doesn’t rely on the iPhone’s GPS, so there is less demand on its battery.

To download Delorme maps to the Earthmate app, simply open Earthmate and go to maps.  Select the region you want to download and the start the download.

DeLorme inReach: The Bums’ summary

Delorme InReach earthmate appDelorme InReach earthmate mapWithin a half mile of our home, we lose cell phone service. It’s common in the mountains but leaves you on your own when biking, hiking and sometimes skiing.

We researched options and initially selected DeLorme because:

  • DeLorme has a reputation as a high-quality service provider
  • The inReach has received rave reviews & awards for its performance & durability
  • Professional adventure athletes, like Eric Larsen, use the DeLorme inReach, so it’s been tested in the most extreme conditions

Here’s what we love about the DeLorme inReach:

  • Security.  We prefer hiking in areas without a lot of people around – but solitude also involves more risk.  If something happens, you could be there awhile before someone comes along.  With the inReach, if we ever need it, we know we can push the SOS button & we’ll soon be notified that help is on the way.  Hopefully, we never need it – but if we do, we have it.
  • Communication.  We can message friends & family with status updates, and they can message back, so we are never disconnected.
  • Affordability. The Safety service plan is only $10 per month.  That’s only a couple of beers.
  • Durability.  I drop everything, so this is a big one.  The inReach is tough.

DeLorme inReach Product Specs from DeLorme

Wireless Pairing

  • Available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad & Android
  • Connect wirelessly via Bluetooth

Messaging

  • Compose email or SMS address on the fly, or select from your phone contacts
  • Compose and send messages up to 150 characters
  • View incoming messages
  • Post to Facebook, Twitter, or your own shared map

Interactive SOS

  • Describe your situation in detail to improve emergency response
  • Stay in touch for mutual status updates on your situation
  • Automatic location tracking

Follow Me/Find Me Tracking and Location

  • User-selected tracking interval (10 minutes to 4 hours)
  • GPS position accuracy to within 5 meters
  • View tracking breadcrumbs online

Navigate

  • Navigate with confidence using DeLorme Topo North America maps, DeLorme Digital Atlas of the Earth maps or NOAA Charts
  • Unlike streaming maps, your downloaded maps remain available even when outside of cellular coverage
  • Free app for smartphone users at iTunes.com or Googleplay.com enables free map downloads

Physical Specifications

  • Case: IP67, dustproof, waterproof, impact resistant and rugged
  • Height: 4.77″ (including antenna), #3.40″ (not including antenna)
  • Width: 2.85″
  • Depth: 1.73″
  • Weight: 7 oz (without batteries), 8 oz (with batteries)
  • Operating temperature range: -20° C to +70° C / -4° F to +158° F
  • Storage temperature range: -45° C to +75° C / -49° F to +167° F

Disclosure & disclaimer: We received a product sample for evaluation for this review and were not otherwise financially compensated by the sponsor. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.