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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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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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My Coastal Life – Nikwax’s Rose Cawte

There is always salt in the air, it’s that distinct smell you notice when you arrive at the coast. I love the pureness of it. My favourite feeling is stepping off the train from London and taking a deep breath of the freshest, cleanest air. Those big, bright, clear skies that you only find by the sea. The kind of wind that feels like it clears your entire body out. 7 miles of sandy beach and, on a normal day, only a handful of people to share it with. These are my favourite parts of living in Camber.

But this is an English coastal village and owning a dog – especially a dog like mine – means, regardless of the weather, you always have to go out. Coastal weather can be unpredictable, and it is important to make sure that I am always prepared for 4 seasons in one dog walk. Combining that with a windy day – we get plenty of those – and going up and down the sand dunes, everything comes back with a layer of salt and sand.

This certainly has an impact on the clothing and footwear I use on the beach as it always requires more cleaning. Because I rely on my gear so much, I make sure I use a technical cleaner like Nikwax Tech Wash® and Footwear Cleaning Gel, so I’m not replacing jackets and shoes every year. The years BN, or ‘before Nikwax’, I used to notice my footwear falling apart: leaking, jackets letting water through, and zips stiffening after just one winter. Both the combination of salt and using regular detergents would speed up the degrading of the fabrics and components. The added bonus of using Nikwax cleaners is that you rarely get caught in the rain with leaking jackets. Often a wash revamps the waterproofing of my coat and if it does ever start to ‘wet out’, a quick wash and re-proof with TX.Direct® does the trick.

The same goes for my running trainers. I am lucky to have some beautiful run routes on my doorstep; from the promenade along the sea defence, the beach itself, and a huge golf course on the western side of the village. This means lots of different terrain to manage, so I have both road and trail shoes and both get equally as dirty! Dusty in the summer and muddy in the winter, alongside the running shoe stink from sweat! I use Footwear Cleaning Gel and Fabric & Leather Proof on my waterproof trail shoes and Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash on the road (non-waterproof) trainers. This keeps them in top condition, breathable, and comfortable as I get the miles in.

We’re an active family. Alongside the dog walking and running, we regularly jump in the sea for a swim. In all honesty, we are quite fair-weather swimmers, but we do take an annual Christmas Day swim – or surf if we are lucky with the waves – and there’s nothing quite like celebrating the start of a new year with a New Year’s Day dip! Autumn and winter swims are so invigorating, building up the courage to get in is the hard part, but it is always so worth it. We found the dry bag from the Nikwax Outdoor Complete Protection Kit is great for stashing valuables whilst you’re in the water and then, in turn, to hold your wet swimwear afterwards.

Living in this little coastal village can sometimes feel very isolated and certainly has its downsides. You get used to washing your windows and cars more often to keep the salt off, the constant battle against sand in your house, especially after a windy day (and having a dog that loves to run in the shallows on the beach), or the difficulty keeping a garden thriving with the salty air, harsh elements and lack of rain in the warmer months. But, as long as I can wrap up warm and stay dry, you will always find me on the beach – even on the wildest days in the middle of winter. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

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Look after your gear and it will look after you

Whether you’re gearing up for the three-peaks challenge, striding out along a coastal path or enjoying a local ramble, the blue skies, patchy sunshine and gentle breezes of late spring make for perfect hiking and walking conditions. However, making sure your gear works hard for you is key to a successful excursion.
Below, we’ve singled out footwear and backpacks for special attention – arguably your most essential pieces of kit for staying comfortable outdoors…

Your footwear
Firstly, make sure you are wearing the right socks for the activity. Is it a long hike? Then look for a pair of close fitting, padded socks. Are you planning an energetic walk in warm weather? Breathable, wicking socks will do the trick. Will the conditions be cold and snowy? Look for insulated socks made of materials such as wool.

Choosing the right footwear is also essential for your comfort and enjoyment on the hills and mountains. Different materials offer different benefits, and a well-fitted boot or shoe will ensure your feet are supported, comfortable and safe. However, even the best brands can agitate your toes and heels, rubbing them and causing blisters – particularly if your feet overheat and get damp.

You can reduce the chances of discomfort by ensuring your footwear will perform at its very best. If it is dirty there is a risk of reduced breathability, which can cause your feet to feel damp and increase the risk of rubbing. Cleaning your footwear regularly with a specialist cleaner, such as Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel, which is designed to revitalise the water repellency and breathability of all waterproof footwear, will help to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Specialist cleaners also care for the integral components of your shoes, such as glues and seams, without risk of damage.

After cleaning your footwear, you should concentrate on proofing it, as boots and shoes that let water seep in will contribute to an uncomfortable hike. For leather footwear we recommend our Waterproofing Wax for Leather, which adds instant waterproofing to all smooth leather footwear. For combination (fabric and leather) footwear, Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof is the go-to product. Don’t underestimate the importance of aftercare to protect your shoes – and your feet! Plus, the added bonus of Nikwax footwear aftercare is that it will increase the useable lifetime of your boots and shoes, so you can enjoy them for longer.

Your backpack
A decent backpack enables you to carry your hiking belongings safely, but how do you choose the right one for you? Whilst size and features are key, fit is the most critical factor. Go Outdoors recommends you load, adjust and wear your pack around the house before leaving for a trip – a correctly fitted backpack should carry 70-80% of the weight on your hips with the rest on the shoulders. The weight should be held close to your back and remain there without excessive movement when you move up and down, or side to side.

As for size, although much of this depends on the terrain of your route, and the weather, a pack sized between 10L and 25L will hold your water bottle, picnic, jacket and sunscreen, which are usually sufficient provisions for a daytrip. For all the campers out there, a 20L – 30L pack is generally suitable for a multiday hike that entails camping and cooking for yourself, whilst serious adventurers should consider a 35L pack. The longer the hike the higher the chance of extra gear, as well as unpredictable weather, tiredness, and clothing changes.

Most backpacks are waterproof, lightweight and flexible, providing maximum protection for the products inside them whilst keeping you comfortable. However, did you know that a dirty backpack can affect its performance, as well as that of your jacket, fleece or base layer? Keeping your pack clean and renewing its durable water repellency periodically will stop it, and your clothing, from wetting out in rainy weather.

Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash® is the only cleaner designed to revitalise the water repellency of weatherproof textiles. Recommended for all synthetic and canvas tents and gear, it will clean your backpack effectively, increase its tear strength and protect against UV deterioration. Follow with Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof® for added water repellency and extra UV protection. Using the right aftercare for your backpack will keep it working hard for you, whatever the weather, and extend its useable life.

Look after your gear and it will look after you! Happy hiking and remember to stick to the Countryside Code.

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New Product Bundles!

The downtime that many people are experiencing right now offers the perfect opportunity to clean and re-proof your outdoor gear. We have three new kits now available on Amazon that will ensure you are also highly protected from the weather. These kits will ensure you will stay dry and feel comfortable, whether for use in your outdoor space now, or in readiness for future adventures later this year.

First up we have the Nikwax Basics Kit – view HERE  

Wet weather gear is still very important at this time of year and it is the perfect time to spring clean your wet weather clothing and reproof it ready for the next downpour!

Our basics kit contains your key garment aftercare items!

  • Tech Wash® – to fully clean your wet weather gear and keep it breathable, whilst reviving water repellency.
  • TX.Direct® – to reproof your clothing when cleaning no longer prevents water absorption.
  • Wash Ball – making it super easy to clean and proof your garments in your washing machine.
  • 10L Dry Bag, worth £9.99 – your valuables are kept super safe and dry, or you can pop dirty gear into it.

 

Next up is the Nikwax Footwear Care Kit – view HERE 

Your feet are just as important as the rest of you and the last thing you want is to feel dry and snug in your wet weather clothing, but suddenly find your feet are cold and damp! This kit will ensure your breathable outdoor footwear is fully protected, ready for those future activities you can be planning. Plus, it is great for sports shoes and trainers too!

  • Footwear Cleaning Gel – to remove all dirt and contaminants that mask the water repellency.
  • Fabric & Leather Proof – the high performance spray-on waterproofer for combination footwear.
  • Waterproofing Wax for Leather – cream for smooth leather footwear, providing instant durable water repellency.
  • 10L Dry Bag.

 

Lastly, we have the Nikwax Essentials Kit – view HERE 

The ultimate kit to care for and protect both your clothing and footwear!
This kit contains:

  • Tech Wash – technical cleaner.
  • TX.Direct – wash-in waterproofer.
  • Footwear Cleaning Gel – sponge-on cleaner.
  • Fabric & Leather Proof – spray-on waterproofer.
  • Footwear Brush.
  • 10L Dry Bag. 

 

 There will be additional kits added to Amazon in due course, so keep your eyes peeled for more…

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Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel is the high performance cleaner your outdoor footwear needs!

During winter, outdoor footwear is susceptible to the elements, with wetter weather causing walking routes to become muddy and waterlogged. You still want to enjoy the outdoors, especially on those crisp and sunny winter days, but the terrain can be a potential hazard for your waterproof footwear.

Mud and dirt that collects on footwear will cause problems for the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating. If you do not clean footwear regularly, the dirt will start to impair the DWR and prevent it from what it is there to do – which is to keep your feet dry. Dirt attracts water, so a build-up of mud will mask the DWR and the breathability rapidly diminishes. The result? Your feet will start to feel clammy as moisture will build up on the inside of the footwear and comfort is greatly reduced.

Why use Nikwax footwear aftercare?

Regular footwear cleaners often contain water-attracting properties, thereby affecting the DWR coating, resulting in loss of water repellency.

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel is a specialist high performance water-based cleaner that does not contain water-attracting residues. It is completely safe to use on your trusty outdoor footwear and it will revive the DWR – meaning you don’t need to re-proof as often as you would otherwise! You will also save yourself money because your footwear will last for longer by caring for it with Nikwax.

Footwear Cleaning Gel is easy to use!

It could not be simpler to clean with Footwear Cleaning Gel and the benefits are amazing. Here is our quick step-by-step guide!

  • Brush away any loose mud and then rinse the outer surface to get the footwear nice and damp.

  • Shake the bottle of Footwear Cleaning Gel, press the sponge applicator on to the footwear and apply generously all over the area you need to be cleaned.
  • Should your footwear require it, use a stiff brush to remove further dirt.

  • Rinse thoroughly in cold water.
  • Leave your footwear to dry naturally. Be aware that by drying footwear next to a fire or radiator could lead to them cracking because they will dry too quickly.
  • Once dry your footwear is ready to use again! The DWR will be revitalised – water will bead up on the surface once more, rather than being absorbed. Breathability is also maintained, helping your feet stay dry.
  • Once you know that cleaning alone is not reviving the DWR, it will be time to re-proof using the appropriate Nikwax waterproofer. For smooth leather footwear use Waterproofing Wax for Leather and for combination footwear use Fabric & Leather Proof.

There you are – it really is as easy as that and your feet will thank you for it as you can continue stepping out, no matter what the weather, to enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer!

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The Best Outdoor Events Of 2020 For Your Diary!

Get the most out of them with Nikwax, the global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for your outdoor gear #DoMoreWithNikwax

FEBRUARY

THE MANCHESTER WINTER WARMER RUN: 2nd February, 2020 @ Heaton Park, Manchester
Lace up those trainers, don your motivational cap and embrace this opportunity for a winter keep fit session in the 600 glorious acres of Heaton Park! Ideal for runners of any level, the race is raising money for the charity Shelter. Entry benefits include full race chip timing, medals, trophies, surprise goodies – and a load of fun and high fives along the way. Make sure your running gear is cleaned, conditioned and waterproofed in advance with Nikwax to ensure you stay warm, dry and comfortable – whatever the weather. INFO: letsdothis.com/gb/e/the-manchester-5k-and-10k-winter-warmer-run-186029

 

MARCH

WILD SKI WEEKEND: 13th – 15th March @ Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore, Scotland
From the Lodge’s base at the foot of the mighty Cairngorm plateau, you can spend the weekend exploring on skis the classic tours, descents and gullies of the Northern Corries and beyond. Venture into one of the biggest ski wildernesses in Scotland! Hosted by some of Britain’s top ski coaches, instructors, guides, freeriders and athletes, this weekend will take you beyond your ski boundaries for a truly memorable adventure. A down jacket could be an outer layer of choice for this event and to maintain that snuggly insulation and warmth, whilst protecting the garment from wetting out, be sure to clean your down jacket with Down Wash Direct® before you go!
INFO: glenmorelodge.org.uk/backcountry-skiing/wild-ski-weekend

APRIL

DEVIZES TO WESTMINSTER INTERNATIONAL CANOE RACE: 10-13th April @ Devizes, Wiltshire
This ultra-marathon on water takes place every Easter weekend and is the longest non-stop canoe race in the world! Kicking off from the market town of Devizes in Wiltshire, the race is 125 miles long and includes numerous locks; as well as arduous paddling, there is also a considerable amount of running involved too. Junior crews and single craft can only race in stages over four days, but senior doubles crews can opt for the hardcore non-stop race – paddling and running continuously throughout the day and night until they arrive in Westminster. INFO: dwrace.co.uk

MAY

CAPE WRATH ULTRA®24th – 31st May @ Fort William, Scottish Highlands
The Cape Wrath Ultra is a once in a lifetime, 8-day ultra-running expedition race that takes you 400km through breathtaking scenery in the Highlands of Scotland. Starting in Fort William, participants experience an incredible journey, linking ancient footpaths and remote tracks to the furthest northwesterly point of the British Isles – Cape Wrath. This event is supported with overnight camps, providing meals and tented accommodation. To continue feeling fresh as you run through the wilderness, you should use BaseFresh® on your technical base layers. BaseFresh removes odours and deodorises the fabric, inhibiting further odour build-up to ensure you smell fresh. It also enhances the wicking, allowing sweat to spread and dry faster, so you will stay comfy!
INFO: capewrathultra.com


JUNE

THREE PEAKS YACHT RACE: 13th June @ Barmouth, Gwynedd, Wales

Sail up the wild West Coast and run to the summits of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis – the highest peaks of Wales, England & Scotland in this classic adventure race for runners and sailors. Teams of four or five per yacht sail from Barmouth, Wales to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. The land stages to Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis involve running 54.8 miles, cycling 40 miles and climbing 16,500 feet in 3 or 4 action packed days!
INFO: threepeaksyachtrace.co.uk


JULY

IRONMAN UK: 12th – 13th July @ Leigh, Bolton
Dubbed one of the UK’s friendliest towns, Bolton is the home of England’s only full-distance IRONMAN. The beautiful 2.4 mile lake swim takes place in Pennington Flash Country Park. Cyclists will then embark on a 112 mile, two-loop journey into the breathtaking Lancashire countryside, taking on the famous Sheep House Lane climb twice, where spectators can get up close and personal with the athletes in true Tour de France style. The 26.2 mile run begins at Queens Park and finishes in Victoria Square in the heart of historic Bolton. INFO: ironman.com/im-uk-course

AUGUST

DARTMOOR WALKING FESTIVAL: 22nd – 30th August @ Dartmoor, Devon
Enjoy nine days of walks, runs, rides, talks, demonstrations and other outdoor events, set within the stunning Dartmoor National Park. Partake in Nordic walking, archaeology visits, children’s walks and ranger-led walks; there are also Trampers (all-terrain mobility scooters) available for those who may have difficulty walking. Be sure to clean and re-proof your outdoor footwear beforehand! Footwear Cleaning Gel thoroughly cleans and revitalises the water repellency on footwear. If your boots need re-proofing then use Waterproofing Wax for Leather on smooth leather and Fabric & Leather Proof on combination footwear to keep your feet dry and comfortable!
INFO: moorlandguides.co.uk

 

SEPTEMBER

TREKFEST: 19th September @ the Brecon Beacons, South Wales
Take on the TrekFest charity challenge – choose your distance, choose a charity you want to raise funds for and make every step count! With 25km and 50km routes to choose from, whether you walk, jog or run, you’ll be challenging yourself in one of the UK’s most beautiful national parks – the Brecon Beacons. Full of incredible scenery, rolling countryside and impressive mountains, the area is also an SAS training ground so expect stunning yet challenging terrain! Sign up solo or with a group – the team spirit flag will be flying high! INFO: trekfest.org.uk

 

OCTOBER

ROYAL PARKS HALF MARATHON: 11th October @ Central London
The stunning 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. The money raised by the Royal Parks through this event helps to keep the magic of the Royal Parks alive through restoring monuments and playgrounds, teaching children about the natural world and caring for wildlife. Race day is also as green and sustainable as possible with 66% of all waste from the event being recycled and avoiding landfill sites. To take part                 in the 2020 event you need to enter a ballot, so head to the site to find out more! INFO: royalparkshalf.com

NOVEMBER

KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL: 19th – 22nd November @ Kendal, Cumbria
This four day celebration of outdoor culture includes a world-class programme of films, speakers, literature and art – both homespun and international. The most diverse festival of its type in the world, KMF brings together adventurers, filmmakers and lecturers in the uniting aim of inspiring more people to explore, enjoy and represent mountains, wilderness and their cultures. Wet weather is likely so give your waterproof clothing some TLC in preparation… Tech Wash® will clean away all dirt that could be masking your jacket’s water repellency, whilst TX.Direct® will fully replenish the water repellency and maintain the garment’s breathability. INFO: kendalmountainfestival.com

 

DECEMBER

CHRISTMAS WALKS: Throughout December @ a National Trust coastline near you
The great British countryside remains resolutely open over Christmas and is an opportunity for the National Trust – Britain’s largest coastal landowner and Europe’s largest conservation association – to promote its 780 miles of coastal walks. Popular outings include the two-mile hike along Arnside Knott on the Lancashire/Cumbria border, which affords stunning views over Morecambe Bay, and the four-and-a-half-mile trek on the White Cliffs of Dover, which guarantees great views and refreshing airs. INFO: nationaltrust.org.uk

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Nikwax and The Duke of Edinburgh Award

For the last seven decades, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has transformed the lives of millions of young people – teaching vital life skills and giving them the chance to take part in outdoor expeditions and exciting volunteering opportunities.

Nikwax has been working with the DofE for seven years. A relationship that’s set to continue into the future.

Nikwax products feature on the DofE Expedition Kit List, and all of the products have been tried and tested to ensure they are suitable for DofE expeditions and offer value for money. We recommend using Nikwax products as they offer additional protection and prolong the life of expedition kit for DofE Leaders and participants, making expeditions more affordable and enjoyable for everyone.

“Before any expedition it is important to make sure your kit is clean and serviced” says Oliver Dibbens, Operations Officer with the DofE. “Expeditions can be particularly tough on waterproof jackets due to the abrasion caused by a rucksack’s hip belt and harness, so using a spray on these areas to ‘top up’ protection before the expedition can really help. This can also be done to the knees of waterproof trousers. Don’t forget to re-proof your tent and especially the ground sheet, as not only will this help keep you dryer – it also means not having to pack away a sodden tent every morning. Remember, even if it has not been raining there will be morning dew about!”

“And it’s good to get into a habit of re-proofing your equipment, as it gives you the opportunity to inspect for tears and other damage that you might have missed when you put the kit away last time. Expedition kit can be expensive and re-proofing will extend the life of the garments and equipment” says Dibbins.

“Nikwax is incredibly proud to be associated with this charity” says Nikwax Founder, Nick Brown. “To be a part of something whose ethos is to encourage young people into the great outdoors and introduce them to its challenges and opportunities whilst developing outdoor skills is to be admired.

“We are particularly pleased to know that Nikwax is helping thousands of young people to keep themselves and their kit comfortable and protected each year whilst on their DofE expedition. No matter what the weather throws at them.”  

The DofE recommends the Craghoppers Horizon Jacket and Ascent Overtrousers, and the following five Nikwax products:

 

 

 

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Get your gear ready for the half-term winter break

The half-term holidays are not far away and lots of us will take the opportunity to get away on a short winter break. Whether you choose to travel abroad to spend time on the wintry slopes, or even just have a staycation here in the UK, we guarantee you will be taking key pieces of winter kit with you – you just never know what the weather will have in store!

Winter’s break in the Nordic countries or a spot of skiing in the Alps?
Half-term has proven to be a popular time for families to visit the lands of the northern lights, with prices often being slightly cheaper than around Christmas. Perhaps some huskie sledging in Finland? Or, you just prefer to head to the slopes for some skiing in the Alps?

Either way you all need to be kitted out appropriately to keep warm and dry in such cold conditions.

Down jackets can benefit you in really cold, and damp, conditions
If you already have an insulated down jacket, then check it now to see if it needs preparation for your trip, or have you used it already over the start of winter? If items have been used a number of times then they could use a clean, in order to ensure optimum performance whilst on your break.

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Nikwax Down Wash Direct
People may feel nervous about cleaning their down jackets, for fear of the down fill clumping and not returning to its original condition. Fear not! Even if your jacket is not hydrophobic, Down Wash Direct will efficiently clean it without harming the item in any way. Dirt and body oils are removed from the outer fabric and the down fill, whilst durable water repellency is restored. Your down gear will have a prolonged life and its performance will be optimised in cold and wet conditions.

  • Down Wash Direct can be used on your jacket easily in the washing machine.
  • Dry the item thoroughly afterwards. We recommend you spin dry the item a number of times, in order to get as much water out as possible.
  • If you have a tumble dryer, and if the item’s care label allows, then this is the perfect way to ensure the down is completely dry after cleaning.
  • Remember to tease apart any down clumps during the drying of the item – it will help restore the loft so that your jacket is back to normal ready for use.
  • Air the item in a warm environment for a day or so after drying.

After your trip, and when it comes to putting the down jacket away until next season, be sure to store it appropriately. Folding your garment away in a bag will compress the down. Ideally you need it to have plenty of room in order for the loft to be maintained and also keep within a warm environment.

Tempted by a staycation this February?
Wherever you may choose to stay in the UK for this winter break, there is a very strong chance of rain. However, there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy and allow you to continue enjoying the outdoors.  

Wet weather gear should be a must-have for this February half-term. Waterproof items are covered in what is known as a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating – this is what causes rain to ‘bead up’ and roll off the garment, instead of being absorbed into the fabric, which causes it to ‘wet out’. Some people think they cannot wash their waterproof items for fear that this coating will be damaged, when actually it will be reduced if the items are not kept clean.

Nikwax Tech Wash & TX.Direct
The perfect aftercare companions to ensure all of your family’s rainy day clothing is kept in top condition and therefore keep you safe, warm and dry if you experience a wet half-term break.

  • Dirt will eventually prevent the DWR from working, which is when you will get cold and damp in your waterproof clothing.
  • Normal household detergents actually leave water-attracting residues on the fabric, so cleaning with these will not help your waterproof clothing to stay waterproof.
  • Tech Wash is the no.1 high performance cleaner, designed especially for wet weather gear. Cleaning away all dirt, it will revive the DWR on the outer fabric, whilst making sure that garment remains breathable.
  • Eventually, after lots of use, the DWR will need replenishing on waterproof items.
  • TX.Direct is the easy to use wash-in, or spray-on, waterproofer. It leaves a flexible water repellent treatment on the item, while making sure moisture can escape through the fabric from the inside.
  • The result? Your clothing will work again at its full potential.

When the season turns and you plan to put your wet weather clothing away, try to keep it hung up loosely. Don’t be tempted to put it into a stuff sack, because this could lead to the items becoming creased, which in turn could lead to the DWR starting to wear off.

Don’t forget your feet!
Wherever you spend your half-term break, footwear cannot be forgotten. If your feet get wet and cold, then inevitably the rest of you will feel this too. Keep the following Nikwax staple items in your cupboard so your shoes can be cared for too.

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Footwear Cleaning Gel & Waterproofers
Suitable for all outdoor footwear, Footwear Cleaning Gel is a sponge-on aftercare product easily applied by hand to clean away all of the dirt, which may be causing your shoes to absorb water.

  • Rinse shoes to dampen the footwear, then apply Footwear Cleaning Gel generously over the area to be cleaned.
  • You can use a stiff brush to help remove tougher dirt or mud.
  • Rinse well with clean water.
  • Leave the shoes to dry naturally, whereupon the DWR will be revitalised and your shoes will remain comfortable, breathable and supportive.
  • If waterproofing is then required, ensure you use the appropriate product for your type of footwear – these can be used whilst the shoes are wet.
  • Waterproofing Wax for Leather: designed for all smooth leather footwear – perfect for leather hiking boots for example. It keeps leather shoes waterproof, prevents them from stiffening and maintains breathability so feet do not get sweaty inside.
  • Fabric & Leather Proof: for combination outdoor footwear. You can either sponge or spray on to the footwear to provide instant DWR, which will develop when the shoe is left to dry naturally.
  • Nubuck & Suede Proof: provides the same high performance as our other footwear aftercare, but is optimised for nubuck and suede shoes.

Keeping all of your kit cleaned and proofed with Nikwax aftercare will help ensure your clothing will last for much longer and allow you to stay dry and warm when you are enjoying all of your outdoor adventures.

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Start your weekend off right with Park Run

This month’s guest blog is from our very own Nikwax PR Specialist and outdoor sports addict – Tom Willox. 

Park Run has been growing rapidly all over the UK in recent years. Every Saturday morning at 9am hundreds of people gather at 468 public parks all over the country to run, jog or walk 5km.

I try to start most weekends by joining in my local Park Run at Hampstead Heath in North London. As well as the obvious health benefits there is a strong community feel. Every event in the country is free thanks to the teams of local volunteers. They gather all of the runners for the start, marshall the course throughout the park, and clap everyone over the line at the end. Before the run the volunteers welcome those who are joining for the first time and give recognition to those making a milestone run, there was someone on their 100th during my last Park Run.

Runners vary from Dad with stroller to marathon trainer, from dog walker to PB setter. There is a huge mix and those that attend make the effort to clap others over the line that finish after them. Park Run is a genuinely welcoming and open event and regardless of ability I highly recommend heading along and giving it a go!

To do so you will need to one-off register with Park Run here. This will mean you will be able to see your running times and if you’re the competitive type, you can see how you compare to others locally and nationally, and within your age grade.

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At Nikwax we have some great products to help you while you’re out running, in both the wet and the dry.

Keeping your base layers fresh:

Nikwax BaseFresh® is our easy to use deoderising conditioner for all technical underwear and wicking clothing worn next to skin. Nikwax BaseFresh® revitalises the wicking properties of base layers, improves moisture management and thermal regulation. It also reduces and removes body odours, and inhibits the new build-up of odours. 

Footwear care for park running:

Running in British parks can be muddy business. We have a great product to help you maintain your footwear. Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel™ cleans safely and revitalises both breathability and the water repellency of your footwear, through a simple sponge application.

Proof your outerwear for those winter runs:

In typically British weather you may find yourself running in the rain regardless of season. I regularly keep my light running jackets proofed with Nikwax TX.Direct®. Breathable waterproof garments are most likely to get sweaty and wet inside when used in damp or wet conditions. If the outer fabric absorbs water, the garment can lose up to 70% of its breathability. Therefore, the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) on the outer fabric of your jacket must be maintained to ensure comfort. It will eventually wear off and need to be renewed with Nikwax TX.Direct®.

Next Saturday morning head to your local park and get involved with park run: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/events/events/

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