Photographer Makes History With “Under the Arctic Sky”

Iceland seems like an unlikely place to go for a surf trip. But that’s exactly what six surfers set out to change in a recent documentary, “Under the Arctic Sky.” Photographer Chris Burkard, who directed the film, and his surfing crew went to the cold coast of north Iceland before the worst storm that the country had seen in a quarter of a century hit. These surfers made history by riding waves that had never been ridden before, and by being the first to surf a wave under the Northern Lights.

The trailer boasts beautiful sweeping shots of white barren landscapes, and packs a lot of adventure. Burkard’s film recently became available to watch on Netflix, and it can also be purchased on iTunes. Check out this wondrous trailer below:


5 Inspirational VanLife Instagram Accounts That Will Make You Want to Hit the Road

You’ve seen the photos that give you so much wanderlust: a VW Westfalia parked in front of a beautiful mountain range while its driver soaks up the wilderness in lieu of sitting behind a desk. In the last year or so, vanlife went from a minimalistic pursuit to a full-blown lifestyle brand. The #vanlife movement has exploded on social media, where people document their journeys and tell stories highlighting a simpler life on the road.

Though it can cause some serious travel envy, here are five vanlife Instagram accounts to follow that might inspire your next big trip.

1. @idletheorybus

For over four years, Rachel and James have been living on the road and out of their beloved van, Sunshine. They’ve worked from the road as farm hands—from milking goats to picking fruit. Often, Rachel and James’s photos are accompanied with heartfelt long-form captions. Now they have a book featuring artful photos of their adventures, Orange is Optimism.

2. @alisontravels

Meet Max, the scruffy rescue dog and Campy the van—oh, and their owner, Alison. Alison has been on the road since 2008, taking photographs and documenting her outdoor excursions. Her pictures have been published in National Geographic and the Travel Channel. She’s also had her pieces featured in galleries and museums.

3. @carabinercoffee

This coffee shop is operated out of a 1971 VW van and served up to determined climbers right at the crag. Erik Gordon sustains his business on the road; selling cups of coffee most mornings, and then enjoying the outdoors himself. On his Instagram, you can find pictures of all the places he drives his van, Ol’ Blue.

4. @theuniblog

There’s #vanlife, and then there’s #unimog life. David Roth doesn’t travel around in a nostalgic VW van, but in a 1964 Mercedes-Benz Unimog—originally designed to be an ambulance. Roth is a film director who takes his Unimog on tons of adventures, given that it’s great for off road journeys. Roth’s Unimog is probably one of the better Craigslist finds, as that’s where he discovered it.

5. @briannamadia

Desert, dogs, and a great big orange van—that’s what Keith and Brianna Madia call home. They explore Utah’s landscapes with their two dogs in tow and live on the road. On Instagram, Brianna often gives the skinny on perfectly crafted photos, and the effect social media has on many wild places.

Become a Renogy Influencer

At Renogy, we believe in living your values everyday. That’s why we build highly efficient and quality rich solar products for a number of needs, so you can live your life knowing that you’re recharging responsibly. As we continue to innovate, we want you to help us make a difference.

As a Renogy Influencer, you are proof that a fun lifestyle does not have to be sacrificed when living sustainably. Whether you’re making your business or home more eco-friendly, or trying to create your own energy on the road, our customers are always out getting after it.

Renogy Influencers receive special pricing on Renogy products. What we ask in return is for you to keep recharging your values with us.

Apply to be a Renogy Influencer

What Do You Do to Get Your Shot?

Many photographers will do almost anything to get the perfect shot. They will weather the elements, contour their bodies into uncomfortable positions, and stay somewhere for hours just to capture a visceral moment.

Photographer Clark Little is no different, in fact, he takes it to the extreme. Little is a wave photographer, he captures the moment right before a wave reaches shorebreak by letting the wave crash over him, and he’s conquered waves as large as 15 feet.

This awesome video from The Inertia highlights how Little braves the surf his shoots so beautifully:

Say Goodbye to Junk Food on the Road With These 6 Healthy Alternatives

We’ve all been there. You’re on an exciting adventure with friends, blasting some tunes with nothing but the open road ahead of you, when all of a sudden, you need some grub. Having snacks on hand during a road trip is crucial for maintaining energy. Unfortunately, a lot of snacks sacrifice health for convenience. Why should we have to choose?

Here are some healthy alternatives when you need to satiate your appetite to continue the journey.

1. Swap your protein bar for a jerky bar

A lot of protein bars are filled with chemicals, and some natural based bars are high in sugar. Jerky bars, like EPIC, are made with an animal based protein. These bars are paleo and gluten-free friendly. If you’re focused on a vegetarian or vegan diet, GoMacro is a good option that keeps sugars relatively low and uses clean ingredients.

2. Replace your potato chips with homemade popcorn

Popcorn, depending on how you prepare it, is a healthy, whole-grain, antioxidant rich snack. To keep it healthy, skip the butter. You can simply pop it at home and bag it for your road trip. If you don’t have time to pop it before you pack up the car, check out SkinnyPop Popcorn’s original flavor as a crunchy alternative.

3. Get your salty fix from seaweed

Seaweed snacks are a good alternative to get your salt and crunch fix. They are packed with loads of nutrients and are vegan friendly. Just be sure to stick with the simpler flavor options like salt and olive oil; that way you’ll avoid any artificial ingredients.

4. Keep it fresh and classic with some fruits and veggies 

Apples, grapes, bananas, carrots, sliced peppers, and the list goes on. All of these are snacking classics and a healthy option for the road. To spice some of these up, you can grab Justin’s Classic Almond Butter Squeeze Pack, which is low in sugar and high in protein.

5. Trade in soda for flavored sparkling water

You’ve seen it around, flavored sparkling water is all the rage with brands like LaCroix and Polar. These are good alternatives to soda since they are calorie free, sugar free, and hydrating. However, just be careful not to drink too much of it, as fizzy drinks can ruin the enamel on your teeth.

6. Ditch the candy and go for “snacking chocolate”

That sweet tooth always comes out wanting a little bit of the snack action while you’re driving, and where’s the fun in depriving it? Instead of reaching for a candy bar, find your sweet fix in barkTHINS, specifically the almond & sea salt option that has 11 grams of sugar, which for some chocolatey goodness, isn’t half bad.

5 Must-Watch Outdoor Documentaries on Netflix

You love to spend time outdoors, but you can still enjoy a movie on the couch — especially if that chill time involves an inspiring outdoor documentary.

These 5 flicks are guaranteed to captivate your imagination, then inspire you to get back outside.

1. 180 Degrees South

This film chronicles the slow but inspiring journey of Jeff Johnson as he recreates Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s 1968 trip to Patagonia. The visuals are breathtaking, the soundtrack is soothing, and it’s a fascinating look at the man behind one of the biggest outdoor brands of all time.

2. Beyond The Edge

With a hard-to-pull-off blend of archival footage and skilled reenactments, this film retells the first ascent of Mt. Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Watch it if you want to know what really happened during the “last great adventure” on the planet.

3. Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau

This documentary offers thrills alongside sobering truths. Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau is a fascinating look at the life of one of Hawaii’s most iconic big wave surfers. It’s also a sobering exploration of the rampant racism that Native Hawaiians faced as the tourism industry grew on the island. With its rich combination of archival imagery, dramatic reenactments, contemporary interviews and meticulously researched historical source material, it’s a heartbreaking story every surfer should know.

4. McConkey

This heartfelt documentary is a personal look at the adrenaline-fueled life of Shane McConkey, a pioneer of freeskiing and ski base jumping. Compiled from more than 1000 hours of footage shot over McConkey’s lifetime, it’s an inspiring look at the legacy one athlete left to the progression of his sports, and the path he paved to conquer his dreams.

5. Desert Runners

‘Desert Runners’ showcases the mental, emotional and physical challenges of one of the most grueling feats on earth: four 250K runs in a single year through some of the hottest, driest, most barren places on the planet.

Power for Puerto Rico and the Carribeans: Helping Rebuild After Hurricane Irma and Maria

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, our hearts go out to those affected by the devastation. Disasters like these can happen to anyone, and we realize how lucky we are that it didn’t happen to us. We’re also asking, what can we do to help?

We knew that by sending solar generators, we could help hurricane victims by providing reliable power until the necessary repairs have been made.

Providing A Reliable Power Source

 Image via Flickr CC BY 2.0 – DFID[/caption]

Through our relationship with the Clinton Foundation, Renogy is committed to sending relief to the victims in the decimated Island of Barbuda and the Virgin Islands with four Lycan Powerboxes, twenty-six Phoenix Generators, and thirty 100W Solar Suitcases. We’ve also shipped two hundred E.LUMENs and two hundred E.FLEX10s to a Tampa Bay high school sophomore who was determined to help with the relief efforts for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. This young man took the initiative to create a GoFundMe Campaign and a Facebook page to help those in need.


It’s been a week since Hurricane Maria smashed Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm, and the situation is still dire. There is still no power and lifesaving machines such as ventilators are having to rely on emergency backup power. In many ways, it’s getting worse, but the rebuilding process continues and the people of Puerto Rico are resilient.

How You Can Prepare


Natural disasters can strike when you least expect it, and it’s important for all of us to be prepared. Which is why Renogy will be participating in the first Game Plan Expo in Kansas City on October 7th and 8th.

Game Plan Expo is a community-focused event featuring demonstrations and workshops to help us prepare for all types of emergencies and disasters. Renogy is there not only to present our solar generators and other solar accessories as part of an emergency plan, but also to gather valuable information and resources to educate our Renogy family.

If anyone is interested in attending the expo, Game Plan has offered our family members 50% off admission. So if you are in the area or have plans near Kansas City, please feel free to use the promo code [RENOGY50] at checkout.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it. In the coming months, Renogy will expand our knowledge and cooperation with the Red Cross and FIMA to bring you all the newest and most valuable information regarding Emergency Preparedness.