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Celebrating National #GetOutsideDay

Nikwax user Carys Rees, aka @this.girlwalks, loves maps and has been a fan of Ordnance Survey (OS) for as long as she can remember, so you can imagine how thrilled she was to be brought on board by them as an OS Champion! This year, Ordnance Survey and Mountain Rescue England & Wales announced a new partnership to emphasise the importance of navigation skills and having the right equipment when enjoying days out in the hills, mountains, and countryside. As a member of the
Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, this partnership is a particularly exciting one for Carys. Below, she tells us a little about herself, and shares her recent #GetOutsideDay interview with OS…

I have been lucky enough to have spent a lifetime hiking through the rolling hills of Wales and while there are more epic peaks to conquer, I feel most at home in the Bannau Brycheiniog. My parents always encouraged me to spend time outdoors. Growing up, my sister and I would often be found sitting up in some tree or riding our bikes. I did my Duke of Edinburgh in secondary school and still to this day, my
76-year-old father comes out with me on our favourite hike around Llyn y Fan – he’s actually quicker than me on those inclines!

Wales is a place of myth and legends, with dragons living in our hills and ladies in our lakes. I absolutely adore that there is a magical story for almost every area of the national park. Sometimes I feel more at home outdoors than I do under my own roof, and I feel a real longing for it when I’ve been away for too long. However, lets be honest, the weather isn’t always the best and so I have been using Nikwax all of my adult life to take care of my kit – one of my coats is over 20 years old and is still waterproof thanks to Nikwax! Take care of your kit and it will take care of you.

Spending time outdoors has always been incredibly important to me and I’m a huge advocate of getting out in the fresh air. I hike, wild swim, camp and paddleboard, but sometimes just going for a walk in nature has massive benefits. There have been studies which demonstrate that spending time outdoors can not only help with depression and anxiety, but also lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and asthma. 

This year’s National #GetOutsideDay lands on Sunday 24th September so I thought I would speak to Helen from OS to find out what it’s all about!

What is Get Outside Day and why did OS set it up?
National #GetOutside Day is a celebration of the great outdoors: a day to come together and showcase that people of all ages, background and abilities can get outside. ​

It’s a day for the industry to join forces; providing inspiration for getting outside and showcasing that everyone can enjoy outdoor activities, especially those that struggle through lack of connection, access or skills. We believe the outdoors should be accessible to all.

We (Ordnance Survey) set it up to help get the nation outside and enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits the outdoors has to offer. It’s tied to our mission “to encourage more people to get outside more often”, which continues to sit at the heart of what we do today.

When did it launch and how has it grown over the years?
​National #GetOutside Day was launched in 2017 and has grown to become a well-known autumn campaign that sees the outdoor industry come together with one clear goal. Over the years, more organisations have got involved to support the campaign – and not just those in the outdoor industry! National #GetOutside day has become an unmissable event in many people’s calendars and a chance to rally up their nearest and dearest for a great day out.

Why is it important to spend time outdoors? 
Getting a regular dose of fresh air does wonders for our physical, social and mental wellbeing. Being outdoors lowers stress levels, improves mental health, and increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. A recent report* found that walking just 5,000 steps a day can bring noticeable changes to our physical health and improve life expectancy. Outdoor activities also connect people socially and help form lasting memories and friendships.

Where can people can find inspiration of things to do on Get Outside Day?
Our #GetOutside website has a huge bank of outdoor articles to help people plan their next adventure. Our activity guides provide ideas and inspiration on what to do and where to go as well as information to help people brush up on their outdoor skills, safety and navigation.

Do you have any ambassadors / celebrities taking part?
Our OS Champions continue to be our biggest advocates of the great outdoors. They come from all walks of life and have an unrivalled passion for the outdoors. We have paddleboarders, horse riders, wild campers, dog walkers, family adventurers and more! They’ll be sharing their precious places and outdoor activities for others to enjoy too.  

For more information on National #GetOutside Day, visit os.uk/getoutsideday

For more information on Nikwax aftercare products, visit nikwax.com

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-66440424

 

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How to extend the life of your waxed cotton jacket

Waxed Cotton jackets are known for being incredibly durable and having that ‘timeless’ style. Although they are primarily synonymous with country pursuits, the waxed cotton jacket is also now in use across town and country lifestyles because of its versatility.

Whether you already own one or are looking to purchase your first to add to your outdoor kit, it is essential that you know how to maintain it. After all, nothing lasts forever without love and attention!

Firstly, never wash your waxed cotton jacket in the washing machine or dry it in a tumble dryer – both methods can cause irreversible damage to the waxed coating that gives you the protection you need.

Clean and Proof with Nikwax

Our easy-to-use aftercare is the effective way to  keep your waxed cotton jacket waterproof and in great condition, so you stay dry and comfortable time and again. A clean with Tech Wash®, followed by a proof with Wax Cotton Proof will ensure your jacket stays as good as new.

Just see how simple it is….

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How to keep sports kit as good as new!

You’ve invested in new base layers and sports shoes to help you reach peak performance whether running or cycling, or spending time at the gym. Why is it then after just a few activity sessions your gear is smelling bad, even though you only recently washed it?

The answer is simple – you have not been using appropriate aftercare!

Standard detergent and fabric conditioner will not care for your gear effectively. If you wash your technical clothing and base layers ‘normally’ then the products you use will impair their wicking capabilities. Why? Because they will prevent your sweat spreading across the fabric and drying quickly, whilst also causing body oils to build-up and encourage bacterial growth, which is what causes the smell.

The same applies to footwear – tempted as you may be to put sports shoes in the washing machine, please don’t! Their breathability will be reduced and your standard detergents will prevent moisture from being directed out, resulting in damp and stinky footwear which, over time, might even start to fall apart due to degradation.

Nikwax is the reliable, and cost-effective, means to keep your gear in prime condition – sports kit will last longer and save you money…

How do you use it? Very easily is the answer!

Watch our quick videos to see how our market-leading products will enhance the performance of your kit – without breaking the bank – ensuring you stay fresher and drier for longer.

BaseWash® – the high performance cleaner for all synthetic base layers

Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash – the ultimate deodorising cleaner for all non-waterproof footwear

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How Nikwax keeps your feet feeling fresh in walking boots, sports shoes and sandals

July is officially sticky season, with time spent outdoors in the sunshine resulting in sweaty, smelly feet. Throw some walking boots into the mix and keeping your feet feeling fresh and comfortable on the tracks and trails presents even more of a challenge. Our water-based, PFC-free cleaning and waterproofing products have been developed to help maintain the breathability and longevity of your footwear, whether you walk in boots, trainers or sandals.

 STEP 1 – CLEANING
Whatever footwear you choose for your outdoor adventures this summer, by keeping them clean, you’ll be one step closer to having fresh, comfortable feet…

Footwear Cleaning Gel
Walking boots and shoes naturally gather dirt and contaminants through use, which, unfortunately, impair their ability to repel water and breathe. Keeping your waterproof footwear clean, therefore, is paramount to stopping your feet feeling clammy and uncomfortable.  Footwear Cleaning Gel not only cleans very effectively, but it also revitalises the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) – causing water to bead up and roll off your footwear – and maintains breathability.  Read more here.

Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash
Trainers and sandals are particularly unforgiving when the weather is hot and sunny. Over time, their contact with your bare feet or sweaty socks leads to a build-up of dirt, sweat and body oils, which in turn leads to bacterial growth and bad odours! Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash is a highly effective cleaner and deodoriser for non-waterproof footwear, including insoles and footbeds. Repeat-use will keep your feet feeling fresh and comfortable in the height of summer. Read more here.

STEP 2 – PROOFING

When cleaning alone no longer does the job, it’s time to re-proof your footwear. Whatever your boot or shoe type, we have the product for the job…

Leather walking boots/shoes
Whilst leather footwear is hardwearing, breathable and provides a high level of support, without regular maintenance its breathability is reduced – particularly if your boots become wet. As summer downpours can often catch us by surprise, it is vital to be ready for all weather eventualities! Waterproofing Wax for Leather not only revitalises the breathability of leather footwear and maintains its suppleness, but it also provides instant waterproofing. Read more here.

Fabric & leather walking boots/shoes
As with leather-only footwear, boots and shoes made from more than one material require specialist treatment to keep them performing at their best. Clammy, uncomfortable feet can be easily avoided if you regularly treat your combination footwear with Fabric & Leather Proof. It leaves a flexible, water repellent treatment on the individual fibres of the fabric and leather whilst allowing moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability. Read more here.

Nubuck & suede walking boots/shoes
Nubuck and suede leathers are softer and fuzzier than traditional smooth leathers and should be protected with a product that is gentle as well as robust. Nubuck & Suede Proof has been specifically designed and optimised for these more delicate materials, providing reliable DWR and improving breathability without compromising their special textures. Read more here.

Don’t just take it from us that our products are the best in the business, read what footwear giants Merrell®, Anatom® and KEEN® have to say about Nikwax…

Merrell works with Nikwax because the global #1 outdoor footwear brand wants to work with the global #1 footwear aftercare brand! Caring for your shoes ensures they will continue to perform as well as they did fresh out of the box. Plus, Nikwax’s environmental approach, carbon offset and fully recyclable packaging is something the whole industry can aspire to.”

“At Anatom, we see waterproofness, breathability, and aftercare as a concentric circle. Without aftercare, the waterproofness and breathability of footwear suffers greatly. We have worked with Nikwax from day one because they are a company who share the same values as we do in terms of the environment, and our impact on it. We also appreciate the fact Nikwax is water-based, which makes it very easy to use! Their footwear cleaning, conditioning and proofing products are the best in the world and that is why we promote Nikwax to all our new customers and established users.”

KEEN is a leader in the footwear industry and we recommend treating your shoes with an environmentally safe waterproofing product like Nikwax to keep them protected and stain-free.”

 

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Camp happy under canvas this summer with Nikwax Cotton Proof

Now the camping season is underway, with (finally) longer, warmer and drier days, if you haven’t already, it’s time to dust off your tent and prepare it for a summer of cool boxes and campfires…

Nikwax are masters in the art of caring for camping kit and our Tent & Gear waterproofing products clean and protect synthetic tents the world over. 

However, did you know we also cater for cotton canvas tents? Whilst they come with a higher price tag (and weight) than traditional synthetic tents, the benefits of canvas tents are vast, with people choosing them for their sustainability, weather reliance, spaciousness, strength, and breathability.  In fact, circular canvas shelters have existed in various forms for hundreds of years!

Despite their inherent durability, like all wet weather fabrics, cotton canvas tents still need to be cared for if they are to keep performing at their best and keeping you warm, dry, and comfortable. Nikwax Cotton Proof is the ultimate waterproofing product for tents, gazebos, awnings and hammocks, and is extremely easy to use by hand. The result? Fabric durability, breathability and waterproofness are all enhanced, improving the quality of your camping trip.

To clean your tent and protect it from the degrading effects of UV exposure, follow these three very easy steps:

PITCH

Trust us when we say that cleaning and proofing a cotton canvas tent that is flat on the ground is a palaver! To do the job quickly and properly, we highly recommend you pitch your tent first. This will also help you identify any areas for repair.

CLEAN

Spray Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash® evenly over the outside of the cotton canvas fabric and rub it in well (a cloth or sponge will do the trick) before rinsing it with clean water. This will not only clean, but also add UV protection to your tent, preventing UV deagradation and extending the life of the fabric.

PROOF

Whilst the fabric is still wet, mix Nikwax Cotton Proof with water (1 part product to 9 parts water) and apply the liquid evenly to the outside of your tent with a sponge or brush. After a couple of minutes remove any surplus product and allow your tent to dry completely before packing it away. Job done! 

Check out our ‘how to’ video for a visual guide…

To celebrate National Camping Month, we’ve teamed up with tree tent brand Tentsile® to offer Nikwax subscribers 10% off all orders over £200 at www.tentsile.com. With a huge range of tree tents, hammocks, and accessories to choose from, your camping holiday could be about to get a lot more fun!  Use code Nikwax10 when placing your order online.

 

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Top Camping Tips for your Summer Staycation

Sometimes you just need to be outside – enjoying nature, the peace and quiet, and time away from your everyday routine. If you are planning an affordable, summer camping staycation this year, read up on our top tips to ensure it is everything you need it to be…

PLAN AHEAD
Finding the location that is right for you is crucial; whether you yearn for peace and quiet, family fun, the wild outdoors, or campsites with firepits and frills, then researching in advance will ensure you can find the best spot to pitch up.

Note down your top 5 essentials and after some research online you will be well on your way to locating the best spot to sleep under the stars.

WILD CAMPING
Recently, wild camping has been in the headlines with the ongoing discussion over Dartmoor National Park. Recently, the High Court declared that it is illegal to wild camp on Dartmoor Commons, mirroring other national parks in England and Wales.  Currently, Dartmoor National Park are looking to appeal this decision, but they have secured a permissive camping system – learn more here

Don’t think that you can pitch up your tent anywhere you please – if you have found a good location then either check in with the landowner or look online to see whether camping is allowed.

Be sure to respect your surroundings and Leave No Trace – the outdoors should be left as pristine as you found it (for both wildlife and other outdoor enthusiasts).

CHECK YOUR GEAR
How long has it been since you last used your tent? Don’t just pack it in the car and hope for the best upon arrival! Check before you go that you have all the tent pegs and poles and check your equipment to ensure it isn’t still dirty from its last use – this could hamper protection from the rain for one thing! If it needs a clean, use Tent & Gear SolarWash® and Tent & Gear SolarProof® to keep it in prime condition. You can buy our Camping Care Kit here and save 15% this month!

KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEATHER
We all know that weather in the UK is changeable. Even on the most glorious of days, we can be hit unexpectedly with a thunderstorm or downpour out of nowhere. You should be prepared for anything when living life outdoors, so be sure to have your waterproofs to hand, plus some entertainment to keep yourself (and the children) amused should it rain and you are confined to your tent… If your waterproofs have not been cleaned in a while, then ensure they are ready for your trip by cleaning with Tech Wash® and re-proofing with TX.Direct® – you don’t want to end up cold and wet if you get caught in the rain.

PACK THE ESSENTIALS
Remember key items of kit! A torch for when you need to navigate to the toilets in the dark of night; bin bags to ensure you take all your rubbish away when you pack up; a first aid kit in case of any scrapes or bumps; camping chairs to relax comfortably outside of your tent; cutlery and cooking utensils when cooking over your campfire; wet wipes for easy cleaning; sunscreen and insect repellent; and, a mallet to help get tent pegs into hard ground, are some of the key pieces we recommend.

 SWITCH OFF
We all spend a lot of time on our phones and laptops, connected to a digital world where hours can just fly by…. Take the time to put your devices down and just enjoy the simple power of nature. Stop and listen to the birds singing, get up early to watch the sunrise whilst other campers sleep, take long walks to explore your surroundings… Quite simply, take time to yourself – being outside is so beneficial for our physical and mental wellbeing!

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How to protect and revitalise your wet weather gear with Nikwax

There is nothing better than escaping into nature for fitness, relaxation, and general wellbeing. However, wet weather gear that is not properly cared for can impede your enjoyment of it. Regularly cleaning and proofing your clothing and footwear with Nikwax will not only keep it performing better, for longer, it will also save you money and help keep textile waste out of landfill.

So, to beat the April showers and get the very best out of your waterproof kit this spring, read up on our aftercare guidance below…

Why do I need to clean technical waterproof clothing and footwear regularly?
Because general wear, weather conditions, terrain, dirt, and contaminants will all take their toll. No matter the cost or technicality of your wet weather gear, the durable water repellent (DWR) coating (that prevents water absorption) will wear away and items will start to absorb water over time.

It is this reduction in DWR that causes you to feel clammy when active as moisture is unable to escape (breathe) through the material, causing it to build up inside your clothing or footwear instead. Plus, without due care and attention, your gear may start to degrade as bacteria can cause its material(s) to rot.

Is it difficult or expensive to clean and re-proof my gear?
Not with Nikwax! Our reliable and easy-to-use aftercare is also affordable, rejuvenating your gear and allowing you to get back outside in no time.

The Nikwax Outdoor Complete Protection Kit has everything you need to ensure you are fully protected when heading out on an adventure.

Caring for waterproof clothing
Firstly, avoid normal detergents! They are simply not suitable for technical clothing with DWR as they will leave water-attracting residues on the fabric, going against what the garments are there to do in the first place – repel water…

Tech Wash® and TX.Direct® are market-leading aftercare solutions that will enhance the performance of your waterproof gear, ensuring you stay drier for longer and your clothing remains as good as new.

To see just how quick and easy it is to clean and re-proof your wet weather gear, watch this video now.  

Caring for waterproof footwear
The same principle applies to footwear – avoid detergents that are not specifically designed for technical boots and shoes, in order to prevent water absorption and degradation of the materials.

Following a tiny bit of prep – removing excess mud – our aftercare duo will completely revive combination (fabric & leather) footwear. Clean it first with our Footwear Cleaning Gel, then follow up by proofing it with our Fabric & Leather Proof. It really is that simple.

Watch this video for the best tips on cleaning and proofing your combination footwear.

What are the benefits of using Nikwax products?
First and foremost, they are environmentally friendly aftercare solutions. They contain no PFCs or hazardous chemicals and are water-based. A key factor for us considering our love for the outdoors and our desire to protect it.

Simply cleaning with Nikwax can revive DWR, so you don’t have to re-proof every time you clean. It is only when cleaning alone no longer prevents water beading up on clothing or footwear that you should re-proof with the appropriate waterproofer.

You can save on energy. Heat is not required to develop the DWR – items can be left to air-dry.

Your clothing and footwear will last longer, which is a win-win! You don’t need to replace your favourite gear as often because our aftercare will maintain its performance, breathability, and water repellency. The result? You can enjoy the outdoors staying dry and comfortable (without over-heating, feeling clammy or feeling too cold).

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Step Up Your Game: A Guide to the Different Types of Shoes and Their Uses for Every Activity

Established in 1938 in Scotland, Trespass is a leading outdoor retailer in the UK, providing clothing, footwear, and equipment for all your outdoor needs. Nikwax took a moment to tap into their expertise about all things footwear! Sit back, read on, and discover the perfect shoe for every activity with their comprehensive guide to the different types of shoes and their uses.

Did you know that wearing the right footwear can make or break your performance? Unfortunately, wearing the wrong kind of shoes can be detrimental to your health, as well as your performance and comfort. You can improve your performance in any activity by always having the right shoes for the job and familiarising yourself with the types of footwear suitable for your chosen activities. With our advice, you will be able to find the ideal pair of shoes for any event and ensure that your feet are never subjected to discomfort.

But it’s not just about choosing the right shoes; it’s also about keeping them in good condition. That’s where Nikwax comes in – their products are designed to protect the materials and keep them looking their best. Nikwax aftercare is ideal for all types of footwear, from running shoes to work boots, hiking sandals and even casual shoes. Their products offer waterproofing, UV protection, and dirt and stain repellency, to keep your shoes looking and performing their best. Nikwax will keep your footwear clean and in good condition for longer, no matter the activity.

Different types of shoes and their uses

Walking Shoes:
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires walking regularly and suitable shoes will make all the difference. Cushioning to lessen the stress on your feet and joints, as well as arch support for added comfort, are two features that should be included in high-quality walking shoes. In addition, you should search for shoes with sturdy outsoles that provide a decent grip, allowing you to walk securely on wet or slippery terrain.

Key features:

  1. Cushioning for comfort and support
  2. Arch support
  3. Sturdy outsoles
  4. Grippy surfaces for good traction.

Trespass offers a wide selection of comfy, cushioned walking shoes with arch support and grippy outsoles that keep your feet feeling wonderful on your walks.

Hiking Boots:
You should, of course, invest in a good pair of hiking boots if you enjoy hiking! Try to find boots that offer excellent cushioning, protection against water, and that have a strong grip. Additionally, you should seek boots with adjustable lacing systems to suit the size and form of your foot.

Key features:

  1. Cushioning for comfort and support
  2. Waterproof membrane to protect your feet from moisture
  3. Sturdy outsoles with a strong grip
  4. Adjustable lacing system for a precise fit
  5. Supportive midsole construction

Trespass is proud to provide a wide range of high-quality hiking boots, striking the ideal balance between convenience and safety for use in the great outdoors. Our collection offers excellent cushioning, waterproof membranes and sturdy outsoles for your protection.

Trainers: 
When exercising, a good pair of running shoes or trainers is essential. Look for shoes that offer plenty of ventilation, cushioning and support, since this will help keep your feet from overheating. Running shoes should also have plenty of grip on their soles, which will help prevent slipping on difficult terrain. Need a new pair of trainers to boost your performance? Check out the Trespass range of running shoes, perfect for fitness enthusiasts.

Key features:

  1. Flexible and responsive sole for natural foot movement
  2. Stability and support for your foot’s arch
  3. Shock-absorbing midsole for reducing impact
  4. Breathable upper materials to keep your feet cool and dry
  5. Removable insoles for custom fit and support

Trespass offers a wide variety of trainers for men and women with all of these features.

Casual:
Casual shoes should be as comfortable as they are practical. Look for lightweight shoes with ample cushioning and arch support, enabling you to walk comfortably. We recommend choosing shoes with rubber soles since they offer superior traction and are more durable.

Key features:

  1. Lightweight construction
  2. Ample cushioning and arch support for comfort
  3. Breathable materials to keep your feet cool and dry
  4. Rubber soles for superior traction and durability

You’ll find casual shoes for men and women at Trespass, perfect for everyday wear.

The benefits of using Nikwax on footwear

Nikwax products help protect your footwear from the elements, prolong its life, and keep shoes looking great. Nikwax’s unique waterproofing properties allow water to bead up and run off the fabric instead of absorbing into it, increasing breathability and preventing water absorption.

Key features:

  1. Waterproofing – Nikwax helps keep water out of your shoes, so your feet stay drier and more comfortable in wet weather.
  2. Breathability – Nikwax also allows sweat to escape and evaporate away from the foot.
  3. Protection – Nikwax forms an additional layer against dirt, grime, and other environmental factors that can damage and age your shoes prematurely.
  4. Durability – Nikwax helps to extend the life of your footwear, keeping it looking better for longer.

Ultimately, Nikwax is ideal for anyone looking to keep their footwear in top condition. If you want your shoes to stay waterproof, breathable and protected against the elements, Nikwax is the perfect solution. You can find the full range of Nikwax products at Trespass:

If you take time to research the many different kinds of footwear on the market, you will have a better idea of the most suitable type for your chosen activity, ensuring your feet are always relaxed and comfortable outdoors. Happy exploring!

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Prepare your kit for the upcoming snow season

Are you super-prepared and ready to hit the slopes this ski season, or, like most of us, struggling to find the time in busy lives to get snow-organised? Don’t stress, use Nikwax! The easy and cost-effective way to clean, freshen and waterproof your gear for maximum enjoyment in the mountains, Nikwax is guaranteed keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. Just follow our simple preparation steps and you’ll be ready to go…

Step 1: Clean your outerwear
Jackets and salopettes pick up more dirt than you think and if you didn’t clean them after your previous ski trip, it is most definitely time for a freshen up – hard-earned sweat and those après-ski spillages can quickly degrade waterproofing properties. First, clean the garments in your washing machine with Tech Wash® (check the garment care labels first!).

If your gear was wetting out before its clean, Tech Wash will help revitalise its Durable Water Repellency (DWR). However, if wetting out continues to occur after the cleaning cycle, it is time for a proper re-proof with TX.Direct® Wash-In. This can also be used in your washing machine, on a separate cycle. Note that for wicking linings we recommend TX.Direct Spray-On.

 

Paul Telling, Programme Director at Team Evolution, an Austrian-based British Ski Academy says:
“We tend to wear our team kit for 200-250 days a season, so we really need it to last and protect us from the wind, rain and snow. Our gear is made from high quality materials; however, it takes such a battering from the weather it is important we keep its waterproofing topped up. Whenever we clean our jackets we use Tech Wash & TX.Direct. Not only does Nikwax re-waterproof the kit and keep it breathable, it’s also simple to use. It doesn’t matter if we’re in France or South America, in a hotel or hand-washing our kit in a basin, we’re able to ensure our kit stays protected, and can therefore do its job protecting us.”

Nikwax is not heat-activated, so you can simply air-dry your gear after the cleaning and proofing process, or tumble dry it if the care label allows. It is essential to ensure your gear is completely dry before putting it away or packing it in your suitcase.

Step 2: Clean your synthetic base layers
Dirt, sweat, make up and oils from your skin all build up on base layers, which can impair their technical wicking capabilities, making temperature regulation more difficult. Regular detergents can have the same impairing effect, so it is vital you use the best cleaner for the job if you want to optimise your gear.

As Tech Wash does for outer garments, BaseWash® gently cleans synthetic base layers. Not only that, it conditions the garments too. Perfect if you have many base layers that need washing.

If you only have a couple of synthetic base layers, then pop them in a normal laundry wash and replace your regular conditioner with BaseFresh®. This high-performance conditioner allows your regular detergent to clean your items without compromising their functionality. Both BaseWash and BaseFresh will deodorise your base layers – removing built-in odour and sweat – whilst also enhancing the wicking and drying properties. Garments stay fresher for longer.

Step 3: Clean your gloves and socks
Ski gloves also pick up a lot of dirt on the slopes, which can affect their DWR resulting in damp, cold hands. Clean gloves will stay waterproof and breathable, which keeps you far more comfortable zig zagging down the mountains. After cleaning with Tech Wash, proof with Glove Proof, which is suitable for synthetic, full-grain leather, fabric & leather, and membrane fabric gloves.

In the same way hands suffer if they get damp, so do feet! Many snow sports enthusiasts choose Merino wool socks thanks to their temperature regulating and wicking properties, which need specialist care. Wool Wash – cleaner and conditioner in one – deodorises and enhances the wicking and drying performance of woollen gear, piste after piste.

“Keep your gloves and socks away from radiators! Put them next to a warm heat source instead, with enough space for the heat to circulate. If you must put your kit on a radiator, always lay a dry towel down first so you don’t have melted gloves in the morning.” Paul Telling

Step 4: look after your boots and equipment
If you are lucky enough to own a pair of boots, skis, or a snowboard, it is a good idea to service them before each trip to ensure your feet stay fully protected in all conditions. Clean the inners of your ski or snowboard boots with Sandal & Sport Shoe Wash to remove any unwanted odours and improve their wicking quality (as with socks, wet feet quickly become cold feet!).

If ski touring is your thing, you should waterproof your ski skins with Ski Skin Proof, a treatment that prevents ice building up on ski skin fibres, reducing saturation to improve glide and reduce kick.

Servicing your skis and board should, of course, include a re-wax and edge sharpen.

These recommended steps will safeguard the technical qualities of your snow sports gear, enhancing their properties and extending the life of the garments/equipment. Ensuring the longevity of your gear will not only save you money but it will boost your sustainability credentials too as you’ll be helping to keep garments out of landfill.

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5 key pieces of advice on how to choose and care for a down jacket…

It’s been a warm start to winter but now the weather is getting colder you can officially start the search for a new, cosy jacket if your current one has reached the end of its useable life with you. There is nothing worse than feeling the chill in plummeting temperatures and down reigns supreme for its ability to keep you insulated. There are several key things to consider when purchasing a down jacket – far more than just style, colour and fit! Check out our tips on how to make the best choice for your needs…

 1. Think carefully about the activities you will use your down jacket for…
Consider the environment you will be wearing your down jacket in and the level of activity you undergo. Will it be for daily use, such as dog walking, the school run, or travelling to work? Or will it be for occasional use whilst walking or hiking? Perhaps you have a climbing or skiing trip to look forward to, or even a winter camping expedition…

High energy activities warrant a down jacket that is lightweight, won’t restrict your movement, and won’t cause you to overheat when working hard. Less strenuous activities suit a thicker down jacket.

2. Pay attention to fill power & weight…
This is the terminology used to describe the volume of down when it is fully lofted (at its fluffiest!). A jacket with a higher fill power means the down clusters take up more space and therefore trap more air, which equates to a higher warmth-to-weight ratio (900-fill power is a better insulator than 550-fill power).

However, be aware that a high fill power doesn’t always result in a super warm down jacket. It also depends on the amount of down used. For example, an item that has 150g of 700 fill power will be less warm than an item with 300g of 550 fill power.

The benefit of lighter items is that they can be compressed down and stored away, which is useful for mountain activities where space-saving is key.

Down filled gear should always display a fill power rating so be sure to check before you buy:

Medium

400 – 500

Good

500 – 550

Very Good

550 – 750

Excellent

750 – 900

 

3. Understand the difference between natural down and synthetic fibres…
Down is an excellent insulator because it traps air between its fibres, which is what makes you feel warm and cosy, whilst being easy to compress and pack down small. However, it is susceptible to rain and snow, and down jackets that are not treated will absorb water, resulting in the down clumping, becoming heavy, and making you cold from loss of loft and insulation. It can also take a long time to dry out a down garment and restore its loft. Hydrophobic down is regular down that has been treated with a water repellent coating, meaning it has an improved ability to deal with moisture.

Synthetic fill is cheaper than down and easier to clean. However, it tends to make a jacket heavier and (sometimes) bulkier than one containing down fill. Synthetic fill is less susceptible to moisture so could be considered better for use in wet conditions. However, the jacket will not be as warm as down and may be harder to pack away if needed. It is a good solution if you suffer from allergies.

4. Buy your down jacket responsibly…
The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) aims to protect ducks and geese used for down, by incentivizing the down and feather industry to treat these animals humanely; allowing companies to know what’s in their products so they can report truthfully to consumers, and rewarding those organizations leading the way.

The key factors:

  • Live plucking is prohibited
  • Force-feeding is prohibited
  • Respect for the animals’ welfare, from hatching to slaughter is in place
  • RDS down and feathers are identified (ensuring non-RDS down is not mistaken for RDS-certified)
  • Each stage of the supply chain is audited by third party certification
  • Only products containing 100% certified down can carry the RDS logo.

5. Care for your down jacket with specialist products…
Down items require expert care to keep them performing at their best time and again; definitely do not put them in the wash with normal detergents, as these can damage the down by leaving hydrophilic (water-attracting) residues on the fabric and fill.

Nikwax Down Wash. Direct® has been created specifically for hydrophobic and regular down filled gear. It thoroughly cleans and removes all dirt and contaminants that have built up on both the outer fabric and down fill of your jacket, whilst reviving its breathability and insulation. In the case of hydrophobic down, it also revitalises the durable water repellency (DWR).

When it is time to re-proof your down jacket (when water no longer beads up and runs off it) we recommend you use Nikwax Down Proof, our high performance wash-in waterproofer. It adds DWR to the fabric and down fill, and improves the natural, insulating properties of down.

All Nikwax products have been formulated for use in a washing machine, making your life easier! After washing your down jacket on a gentle cycle and spin drying it, we recommend a tumble dry. Down jackets should never be left wet, which risks permanent damage to the delicate down fill.