Global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear


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Keeping your shoes clean, it’s easier than you might think!

Now, I’m not one to normally clean my shoes with regularity, however, not too long ago I acquired a pair of super cool 5.10 approach/ parkour shoes. I’m no parkour aficionado, but I do get out to climb a bit, so I was psyched for some new kicks. The downside was that these shoes were white, meaning they would stay white for about 5 minutes after I took them out of the box. Sure enough, after an outing or two, they were downright filthy.

My awesome 5.10 kicks, while a stylish white, turned a dirty grey brown.

In order to bring my shoes back to a state that would at least be appropriate for frequenting a dive bar, I turned to my Nikwax arsenal to get them clean. In order to prepare for the overhaul, I removed the laces and insoles in order to get better access to all parts of the shoe. Good thing too, as you can see the tongue was particularly filthy.

removing the laces makes the shoes easier to clean

Remove the laces and insoles.

The next step was to get the shoes good and wet- like wetting your hands before soaping them up.

wetting your shoes help the cleaning gel to work properly

Get those shoes good and wet!

Then, I grabbed Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel and went to town.

Great for all types of footwear!

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel to the rescue!

I scrubbed like a mad person.

Footwear Cleaning Gel gets sudsy!

Scrub your shoes!

Then, I rinsed off the Cleaning Gel suds. I was amazed at how much cleaner they were!

Rinse all the soap off

Sparkly!

Now, these shoes will never be waterproof. As you can see, they have holes all over them and there is no Gore-Tex membrane either. However, in order to help prevent further dirt and mud from corrupting my shoes, I thought, “it couldn’t hurt”! So I grabbed a bottle of Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof Spray-On (as the shoes are of the textured leather persuasion). I sprayed the shoes thoroughly and evenly.

Nubuck and Suede Proof waterproofing

I used the spray-on version.

Then, I set the shoes on a protected surface so they could dry. I also put some paper towel (newspaper works too) inside them in order to help them dry faster and soak up any water that got inside. You never want to accelerate the drying of your shoes with heat, as it can damage the uppers, as well as compromise any glued parts.

Dry your shoes with paper towel or newspaper in them

Drying time!

After a couple minutes I checked on them and removed any excess (pooling, etc.).

Make sure to remove all excess product

Dab to remove excess.

I let them dry over night. the next day gave them a little spritz to check the water repellency- They look great!

waterproof suede

Look at that beading action!

Now to go get them filthy again!

Climbing a dog and a beer

Ready for action!


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What’s Your Rider ID? Take Our Quiz to Find Out

bikers2

Are you a one trick pony, or is your garage a veritable shelter for your bike quiver? Fixie or mountain bike? Do you pedal a state-of-the-art, custom ride? Do you consider brakes “old school”?  Do your besties tell you to wear more natural fiber and less Lycra?

In the words of the great 21st century philosopher, Stephen Colbert, “Facts matter none at all. Perception is everything.”

Face it, if you love bikes, there’s some part of you that can be called a dork. (Trust us, here at Nikwax, we’re all a bit dorky for bikes).

But within that giant cycling umbrella, we all fall into a range of niches. What kind of cyclist are you? Take our quiz to unearth your Rider ID.

First answer the short list of questions, and then add up your scores below to learn your Rider ID.

1. When you dress for a ride, your go-to clothing is:

  1. My full Euskaltel-Euskadi kit. It’s cool because I’m 1/96th Spanish on my mom’s side.
  2. It doesn’t matter, as long as my GoPro is charged.
  3. Dress for a ride? Cycling clothes are so bourgeois. My skinny jeans are all I need.
  4. I opt for the latest in breathable, wicking fabrics. But as long as I have my rear view helmet mirror adjusted, I’m good to go.

…………………………………………………………………

2. When you come up behind another rider, what do you say?

  1. Hold your line! Hold your line!
  2. Dude, on your left.
  3. Talk to another rider? Why?
  4. Hi-da-lee-ho neighbor. Great day to be on the bike, huh?

…………………………………………………………………

3. How do you fuel up for a ride?

  1. A balanced meal of protein and carbs, like two egg whites with steamed veggies and an avocado for healthy fat.
  2. Bacon and Twinkies, which I bought a yearlong supply of on Ebay.
  3. Double espresso
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

4. What about a post-ride recovery meal?

  1. I own every formulation of Hammer Nutrition
  2. PBR – tall boy
  3. The latest pop-up restaurant, or the Thai-Argentine fusion food truck
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

5. On a rest day, how would we find you passing your time?

  1. After a gentle, low cadence spin, I’ll be studying with Rosetta Stone so I can pronounce every European riders’ name without sounding like an idiot! Can you imagine not being able to pronounce Yevgeniy Npomnyachshiy? The horror!
  2. Oh, I do a lot of stuff. I do river trips. I’m starting my own Vimeo channel. You know, the usual.
  3. I’m studying nihilist philosophy and working on a start-up with my roommates.
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

6. What was the biggest after-market upgrade you’ve made to your bike?

  1. Aftermarket? My bike was never prior-market or during-market. Nothing on my ride is standard. I had the frame welded to my measurements and built it out with THE BEST bike builder in town.
  2. An extra 10-mm of travel on my forks.
  3. Removing the brakes and that pesky derailleur.
  4. A hand-woven basket from Bolivia. The trade supports a women’s compound and sales from the baskets bring economic freedom. I found it at my local Farmer’s Market.

…………………………………………………………………

7. If you were to ride a different discipline (road to mountain to track to commuter) – from your preferred discipline – for a day, which would you choose?

  1. Velodrome. I’m not going to waste my time on any discipline that’s not developing more power and a higher VO2 max.
  2. Dude, I’d totally try a fixie.
  3. I don’t live to ride; I ride to live.
  4. Any! The freedom of a bicycle is pure joy, don’t you think?

…………………………………………………………………

8. What’s the best bike movie of all time?

  1. Breaking Away
  2. Breaking Away
  3. Breaking Away
  4. Breaking Away

…………………………………………………………………

9. Who is the greatest cyclist of all time?

  1. Eddie Merckx
  2. Ned Overend
  3. Albert Einstein
  4. My kids

…………………………………………………………………

10.  If I were to plan a cycling-themed vacation, I would… (fill in the blank).

  1. Follow Le Tour de France route, on an Alpe D’Huez year
  2. One word: Moab and Fruita. Oh, that’s two.
  3. Vacations are so bourgeois. But I’d still go to Portland.
  4. Ride across Ireland or wait, maybe a Napa wine tour. No, no. I’d for sure do a philanthropic trip delivering bikes to rural communities.

…………………………………………………………………

Scoring:

If you answered mostly “1,” your bike ID is “Lycra Lovin’ Roadie.”

If you answered mostly “2,” your bike ID is “Dirt Bag Mountain Biker.”

If you answered mostly “3,” your bike ID is “Hipster, Fixie Guy/Gal.”

If you answered mostly “4,” your bike ID is “Safety First Commuter.”

Lycra Lovin’ Roadie:

Lycralovinroadie You know who you are. In July, you wake up at 5:30am to watch the full coverage of the Tour de France before you head out on your training ride. You have little tolerance for “no drop” rides, especially when you’re feeling strong. Criteriums are good training, but the real mettle is in a road race – mano a mano. There’s more science built into your training regime than exists in all of NASA. And speaking of NASA, several of your components were originally conceived of for space missions. Before, that is, they were improved by Campagnolo engineers.

Dirt Bag Mountain Biker:

dirtragMtnBiker You’d hate the “dirt bag” cliché if you didn’t embrace as heartily as you do. No one (save for the hipsters) has ever worked so hard to look like they’ve put so little effort into looking “good.” You love a dirty ride almost as much as you love the BBQ and beer afterward. BMX still holds appeal, with the likelihood of participation in inverse relation to your age. Your dirty little secret is that you’re actually really serious about riding, but that can always be cloaked under your frequent, verbal dismissals of roadies.

Hipster Fixie Guy/Gal:

hipstertumblr_lukbxrms3h1qj1y05o1_500You secretly long for brakes and a derailleur, though the associated social stigma keeps them securely out of reach. Irony runs so deep that you’re beginning to question if it would be more ironic to no longer be ironic… hmm? Your circle of friends looks like they stepped out of Nylon Magazine photo shoot and your Tumblr blog is really taking off. Portlandia was more entertaining before it went mainstream, and Chuck Palahniuk is an under-rated genius. Truth be told, you have wicked good fitness under your scissor-cropped jeans and big-framed glasses.

Safety First Commuter:

commuterYou’re excited about riding and likely have a passable road bike and a mountain bike, along with your commuter. Most of all, you think biking is the most responsible option for the health of the planet and your own body. You’re not too cool to wear a helmet to the grocery store (not to mention in the grocery store) and you volunteer for all the local trail work. You do good things, even if they don’t scream “cool.” You could care less about how fast you are. The feel of the wind in your face every morning on your way to work does more for your sanity and happiness than winning a race ever could.

Regardless of your tongue in cheek Rider ID, the most important thing is that we all continue to define ourselves as bike lovers, riders, cycling geeks and biking advocates. Here’s to you, our two-wheeled friends. Let’s ride.


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Helge Pederson’s advice on how to stay dry on motorcycle rides.

In Norway we have a saying that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. As a motorcyclist I know this to be a wise saying to live by. I can’t afford to dress poorly on any of my adventures. For that reason I pay very close attention to what gear I pick for my journeys and how I treat my gear to have it last for my journeys and beyond.

A good example is my current expedition. I am riding a motorcycle from Cape Town, South Africa to Paris, France. My BMW riding suit had already been used on another trip and, as always, it needed a good cleaning at the end of the journey. This is when Nikwax came to my aid, helping restore my Cordura riding suit for the adventure ahead.Lesotho riding in village

I have been using Nikwax products since my early days as an outdoorsman and am very familiar with the advantages of taking good care of my garments. Cleaning and waterproofing my riding suit helps tremendously in making it resistant to absorbing water and dirt, aiding the GORE-TEX in performing to its maximum potential.

I see it over and over again; riders that take extremely good care of their bikes with regular oil changes and services at given intervals. However when it comes to taking care of their riding gear it’s another story, as their gear more often than not faces neglect. As a result, their riding gear performs poorly and nobody is happy.

Most people think of travels in Africa to be dry and hot. I wish that were the truth.  The reality is that the continent can offer some extreme weather and we have seen plenty on this journey. The sudden changes that occur make my BMW GS Dry riding suit the ideal garment to wear. I do not need to stop and put on raingear, all I need to do is to make sure my vents are zipped up to keep dry.

I used to carry a separate rain suit, but those days are gone. As long as I keep taking good care of my riding suit by treating it with Nikwax products, we will still be able to share many more miles together.

Do yourself a favor and treat your riding gear with Nikwax and you will see for yourself the difference in performance.

Ride Safe – Ride Far!

Helge Pedersen


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How often should I clean my jacket?

Q: How often should I clean my jacket? 

A: Every month.

No really. Even GORE-TEX product experts recommend cleaning your jacket every month. Keeping your jacket clean is one of the best ways to preserve its useful life. Dirt, smoke, and even body oils and sweat can wreak havoc on many aspects of your jacket. Your body oils and sweat can cause the seam tape and lining of your jacket to break down more quickly. Dirt, grime, and smoke can mask the water-repellent coating, making your jacket wet out faster. “Wetting out” is when water soaks into the surface fabric of your jacket. This is bad, as a wet jacket is not a breathable jacket, and you will get wet from the inside. (See image below.)

jacket_sandwich_nodwr_colorBy washing your jacket, you remove all these harmful contaminants, thereby allowing your jacket to perform at its best. Be mindful though! Cleaning with regular detergents can lead to other issues. Household detergents leave behind a water-attracting residue that can cause your jacket to wet out; similar to dirt, oil, and grime. The safest bet is to always clean with a technical cleaner, like Nikwax Tech Wash, or Nikwax Down Wash if your jacket is down-filled. Tech Wash and Down Wash are soap-based cleaners that are formulated to not leave behind any water-attracting residue. They are also biodegradable and never tested on animals.

Almost all jackets are safe to simply wash in your washing machine- it’s easy! However, if your jacket is down-filled, make sure to use a front-loading machine, as agitators in top loaders can bash up the delicate down feathers. Lastly: always check your garment’s care label before washing.

Enjoy your clean, high-performing jacket!

how to clean your jacket


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Dear Professor Nikwax: How do I care for my footwear?

Dear Professor Nikwax,

My summer plans have me climbing several peaks, riding my bike along the California coast, and wearing my sandals to the Farmer’s Market. Of course I’ll also be logging a lot of time in the office. I’ve invested in some good shoes for the different sports, but I want to take care of them so they last through the season and beyond. Help!

-Wanderluster

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

Dear Wanderluster,

Your instincts are correct; even the highest-quality footwear needs regular cleaning and conditioning to last.

Congratulations on taking the time to learn about the best steps for caring for your kicks.

I’ve put together a handy chart to remind you about what to do for different shoes and when. Print it out and hang it in your gear closet!

Then, read on for a break down by sport.

Back_room_poster_footwearv4

Hiking/mountain climbing

As you know, stable boots or hiking shoes with lateral support, excellent tread, and waterproofing are priority number one when you’re heading to the high country.

Leather: Before you do anything, clean ‘em with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel. This gets rid of the dirt and establishes a clean slate for the next step: waterproofing.

Are they pretty beat up? Treat them with Conditioner for Leather, which is absorbed into the leather and helps keep the material supple.

Then, even if your boots come with a waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex, waterproof them. We’ve got both a wax and liquid waterproofing product, and both can go directly onto wet leather. So sit down, clean, waterproof, and leave to dry.

Finally, send me a picture from one of the peaks you climb this summer.

Fabric and leather combo: Whether we’re talking about your ultra light trail runners or your low-top hiking shoes (which is what I use in all but the most epic mountaineering adventures), this leather and fabric combo needs to be cleaned with the Nikwax footwear cleaning gel and then treated with our Fabric & Leather Proof product. I guarantee this will add water repellency and keep your shoes in better condition, longer.

Biking

Until recently, I thought high-end, leather cycling shoes were the purview of professional cyclists. Then I got a pair. Wow. They’re comfortable, lightweight, and they make me feel powerful. I, like you, want to return the affection. So I use the same products on my leather biking shoes that I do for my leather hiking boots: clean, condition, waterproof.

Sandals

The worst thing about sandals is the stench. Sporty sandals with a rubber sole and technical fabric upper can collect stinky bacteria and, put simply, reek. Fortunately the Nikwax Sandal Wash deodorizes and sanitizes those bad boys.

Office/Daily wear

Are your office shoes nubuck or suede? Then treat them with the Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof waterproofing. Leather? See the instructions for leather footwear above.

I hope that answers your questions. Follow these tips and your shoes will last far beyond this summer.

Happy travels!

Best,

Professor Nikwax


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Nikwax Wins Prestigious Queen’s Award for Eco-Friendly Product Innovation and Sustainable Practices.

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2010 Nikwax, global leader in high performance, environmentally-friendly waterproofing solutions, has become the first outdoor brand ever to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. The award is the most prestigious British environmental award and is testament to Nikwax’s clean waterproofing technology and its commitment to promote sustainable practice.

As a winner of The Queen’s Award, Nikwax will be invited to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace in London, and will be proud to use The Queen’s Award emblem on Nikwax packaging. The awards are made annually by HM The Queen, and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category.

Nikwax also has been voted number one by users in four recent outdoor industry awards, which recognized Nikwax products as the leader in both ease of use and durable performance. Breathable jackets can be waterproofed in the washing machine at home, using Nikwax TX.Direct in place of normal detergent. There is no need for heat activation – unlike the many treatments on the market that contain harmful perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).

Nikwax has been keeping people dry and comfortable in the outdoors since 1977, when current Managing Director, Nick Brown, founded the company. Led by Brown’s vision to protect our beautiful outdoor surroundings, the company has always identified environmental and social responsibility as a priority. Nick Brown-crop “We must stop to think about the fuel we burn to arrive at our walk, the energy and materials consumed in the clothing that protect us from the elements, and even the wear on the pathway,” said Brown. “We may be destroying the very hills that we care so much about. Restoring the waterproofing of your outdoor clothing is in itself a sustainable act; using far less energy and money than replacing equipment; and for us, it all counts.”

Nikwax’s stringent restricted chemicals policy sets it apart from other aftercare manufacturers. Nikwax prohibits the use of flammable and aromatic solvents and potentially persistent materials like PFCs – chemicals widely used by other brandsin the waterproofing of outdoor clothing. In contrast to the industry norm, Nikwax is the only established aftercare business in the world never to have used PFCs, knowing that they persist in the environment and can bioaccumulate, building up at higher ends of the food chain.

As tighter legislation kicks in and environmental awareness heightens, Nikwax is fast becoming the go-to brand for environmentally safe waterproofing technology for leading outdoor gear manufacturers worldwide. The latest Nikwax innovation – Nikwax Hydrophobic Down – is about to hit retail stores in Rab’s new range of down-filled sleeping bags and jackets.

Delivering sustainable processes is a fundamental part of Nikwax’s day-to-day rhythm. The company harvests rainwater for use in the manufacture of core products, and has invested in a solar generation system that provides virtually the entire electrical usage of its main office unit, and is carbon balanced though the World Land Trust. Nikwax’s waste reduction initiative has already seen the company’s proportion of waste recycled go from 16-percent in 2006 to 71=percent in 2013. With an 80-percent target for 2014, the company aims to become waste and landfill free in five years. But it doesn’t stop there.

“Taking the ethical route rather than the easy-money road is a difficult decision for some, but minimizing our environmental impact was always the way for me,” said Brown. “I feel immense pride when I see our product on the retail shelves – it’s a win for the customer and conservation. The Queen’s Award is a great endorsement that says, yes, you’re doing alright, keep going.” Nick Brown with Nikwax 2


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Caring for your Wax Cotton Jacket

Wax cotton has a reputation as an old school waterproofing technology. However, with the recent resurgence in “heritage” design, wax cotton is making quite the comeback. This renaissance is amplifying the popularity of wax cotton jackets and bags from brands such as Filson, Orvis, and Barbour. Like any waterproof technology, it is a good idea to take proper care of your wax cotton gear. With that in mind, we present the following photo essay on how to re-waterproof you wax cotton jacket using Nikwax Wax Cotton Proof.

Dirty Wax Cotton JacketThis Orvis Wax Cotton jacket was filthy! As you can see, it wasn’t repelling water as well as it should.

Clean Wax Cotton JacketThe first step is to wash the jacket in Nikwax Tech Wash. This jacket was so dirty that it took multiple cycles to get it clean! While it’s still wet, lay it out on a protected surface.

Waterproofing a Wax Cotton JacketStart spraying Nikwax Wax Cotton proof on the jacket. The waterproofing will be opaque and white, but don’t worry, it will dry clear!

Waterproofing a wax cotton jacketKeep spraying the jacket. Ensure maximum coverage, especially seams and hard wear areas.

rub in the wax cotton waterproofingOnce covered, rub the Wax Cotton Proof into the jacket. Make sure to remove all excess waterproofing!

waterproof the back of the wax cotton jacketFlip the jacket over and waterproof the back.

Ensure even wax cotton proof coverageBuff the entire jacket, making sure to get even coverage and to remove any excess.

Waterproofed wax cotton jacketLet jacket hang dry. It may take a day or two to dry completely. Voila! Clean and Waterproof.

wax-cotton-hunterAnother Satisfied Customer!


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Personal Ads for Runners from the Nikwax Gazette

personal-ads_blog

SWF ISO TRP: Single white female in search of a trail running partner for early morning ascensions of the nearest 15-degree pitch climb. Prefer someone without much baggage, save for perhaps a Nathan hydration pack for runs longer than 1.5-hours. Likes: agility, scree fields and any season other than allergy season. Deal-breakers: barefoot shoes, matchy-matchy outfits and when killer trails have paved access.

MLDR ISO MLDR: Marathoner and long distance road runner seeking fellow marathoner for training, Paleo dieting and traveling companion to the world’s renowned races. If you’re on the quest for a sub-3 hour marathon, I may be the partner for you. Prefer a big drinker (electrolytes!) and someone willing to share their iTunes library. Long distance relationship is fine, as long as we connect with Strava every day to compare runs and times.

MR ISO Non-runner Meet me: I’m a mud runner/racer who was looking for a little motivation to get some exercise when I signed up for my first mud run. Two years of cross-fit, 3744 burpees and eight rounds of my gym’s Boot Camp Class later, I’m the proud finisher of eight mud runs. I’m looking for companionship and support, but more in the way of someone who is able to hose me down after my race and drive me home without destroying the car with mud. Will consider other mud runners/racers so long as we vow to never compete in the same event.

Dean Karnazes disciple seeks fellow ultra-runner to lose sleep with. Must be mildly insane—in a good way, of course—and eschew the term “pain tolerance.” Must appreciate the finer things in life, like downing a dozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at mid-race aid stations and traveling from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney in the middle of summer… on foot… in 120˚ + temps.

5Ker seeking ex-collegiate sprinter to work on intervals together. Who are these people who say that life is a marathon, not a sprint? I’m not settling into a pace for the long haul; I’m amping it up and grabbing life by the horns—3.1-miles at a time. If you like to have your race day wrapped up before most people finish their first cup of coffee, well, maybe we should pace set this world together? Must have racing flats and a yellow and green “Pre” zip up jacket.

To place a personal ad in the Nikwax Gazette, please comment below or on Facebook. All ads are free and Nikwax accepts no liability for the punishing runs that your new partner may encourage. 


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The History of the Tent: From mammoth to man-made

The history of the tent is long and storied. From prehistoric times to recreational camping, tents have been a part of human comfort and survival. Check out our tent history infographic and read on to learn more!

tent_history_infographic

Since the days Homo erectus, every kid throughout history has heard their parents squabbling over which tent pole goes where and would that gall-darned wind just stop blowing for one miserable minute so they could get the thing up.

A tent – first and foremost – provides the basic survival need of shelter. History’s first tent dwellers likely would have ditched their lean-to for an energy efficient stone cottage with a jetted bathtub and 500 channels on cable. Today’s tent dwellers (at least in North America) are typically looking to swap those modern trappings for an experience more evocative of a simpler time.

Of course, it’s easy to romanticize the notion of “simpler time.” The first evidence of tent construction can be carbon dated to around 40,000 B.C. While structurally rudimentary, the protective elements of the tents were made from Mammoth hides. Not so simple when your after-school chore consists of slaying, cleaning and sewing the hide of an 8-ton, 13-foot tall elephant.

Over the course of a few millennia, our ancestors realized the mammoth-motel lacked in some practical applications, like portability for their increasingly nomadic lifestyle. You just can’t hold a good Homo sapien down. Enter the yurt and the teepee (depending on your continent).

The hallmark of both the yurt and the teepee is ease of mobility. Folks from around 450 B.C. could follow the beast-du-jour migration or the seasonal flow of water. Essentially, early yurts and teepees served as the first iterations of the modern cab-over camper.

Yurt and teepee designs were sound enough to stand the test of time with minimal adaptation. To this day, Homo sapiens ‘Rocky Mountain hippie-ius’ still yearn for yurt living and backcountry yurt holidays.

As societies moved from nomadic to agrarian, complicated feats of portable architecture replaced simplistic engineering. With the species settling down, a tent came to symbolize a particular breed of wildness – whether as recreational pastime or enforced living.

Child labor could no longer be counted upon for preparing hides for the shelter, and the Industrial Revolution made heavy canvas and waxed fabrics easy to find. Tents were heavy, difficult to erect and inevitably stinky. Wall tents, still the preference of the military and many outfitters, loosely followed the form of the yurt and maximized indoor space. On the flip side, camping enthusiasts and outdoorspeople favored smaller versions of tent living. They sought structures falling somewhere between a teepee and a lean-to. These were still heavy and stinky, but less difficult to erect and better suited for turn of the 20th Century “light and fast” bragging rights.

Tent technology stayed fairly static until the fabric and materials revolution of the 1970’s. Nylon, which was invented by the DuPont Company in 1935, began its longtime reign as the go-to tent material. And the same tortured minds that brought us polyester leisure suits can be credited with a gigantic leap in making recreational tents lightweight and more weather resistant. Aluminum tent poles lightened the load even further.

Today, if you can dream of a perfect tent, there’s a good chance it already exists. Lightweight, portable and extremely weather resistant, we should all take a moment to thank our ancestors for the millennia of R&D to arrive at 2013’s tent technology.

The only concern is for today’s children. With tents so easy to erect, what will the youth of today do without the inevitable family fight the first time the tent is pitched in the backyard or the backcountry? We can only hope they’ll build new memories for a new generation.

*Nylon and polyester are truly wonder materials for your outdoor shelter needs. The main drawback is that these synthetic materials breakdown under UV light. Treat with Nikwax Tent and Gear SolarProof to guard against UV deterioration and to maintain water-repellency over the life of your tent.


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Saint Patty’s Shoe Care- the luck of the Dry-rish.

shamrockHappy almost St. Patty’s day! If you’re like us, and enjoy a pint (or two) out in the pubs, we have some advice to help keep your shoes in tip-top shape this year. Why shoes? Being veterans of this holiday, we know that anytime you combine a crowded bar with over-enthusiastic alcohol consumption, the danger of beverage spillage increases ten-fold. Of course we’re being optimistic and not considering other things that could, ahem, sully your footwear.

May we present, the three-step plan for taking care of your party slippers.

1. Proper footwear selection. We recommend something close-toed, preferably not mesh. If you don’t want soggy feet (or getting your toes mashed by a jigging maniac), wear something appropriate.

2. Pre-clean and waterproof. Prevention is key. If you can prep your shoes so that liquids roll right off, you’ll be happier than a gold-bedazzled leprechaun. Clean your kickers with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel. Then, while they’re still damp, follow up with waterproofing. Which product should you use? Check out the chart below to pick the best one for you.

footwear_chart

3. After-party cleaning. A day or two after the shenanigans are over, when you’ve finally sobered up, give your shoes a good scrubbin’. All that sticky beer (hopefully just beer) isn’t good for shoes. Clean with Footwear Cleaning Gel. Let your shoes dry naturally (no heat) and voila! It’s like your weekend never happened… at least for your shoes.