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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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Preparing for a Successful Hunting Season – It’s more than a list

AJF_6037

Photo courtesy of Adam Foss

Preparation. It’s one of the best parts about planning a trip. You make a list, you add to it, subtract from it, and then you refine it and then refine it again. You lay out all of your gear before you, ponder over it, and think to yourself, “am I forgetting anything? I better not be forgetting anything. If I forget something, I could be stranded and then I would have to forage for food. Maybe I should bring that book I just got about foods of the forest. Oh god, what if I eat the wrong wild potato seeds and die like Chris McCandless. I better look at the list again.”

What we are saying is: Preparation is important. It is paramount for hunters and it’s much more than a list. That brings us to Adam Foss, The Fossman. He’s part of the Nikwax Faction and we thought we would catch up with him to see how he prepares for his hunts. He’s a good source, as he’s been hunting most of his life and he’s a professional hunting athlete, sponsored by some big guns (pun totally intended) like Sitka Gear, Leica Hunting, Mystery Ranch, Hilleberg the Tent Maker, and Schnee’s Boots. In 2012, at the age of 24, he became the youngest person to take all four species of sheep with a bow.

Talking with Adam, you can tell he LOVES hunting. He hunts more days than some folks ski, logging anywhere from 80-100 days a season. He’s currently planning for a 14 day sheep hunt in Alaska. When we asked him what he does to get prepared, he said it depends on what kind of trip he is going on. His preparation depends on whether he is going for a weekend elk hunting trip or a 14 day sheep hunting trip; the difference is between a 20 pound pack and a 70 pound pack and exactly what goes in those packs to keep him safe, dry, and warm.

The physical demands of hunting are much more intense than most people think. Granted, while he and his pals are in the upper echelon of hard-core hunting athletes, it’s still a very physical activity for all levels of hunters. Adam is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and tends to stay in shape in the off-season by trail running, and does a lot of hiking in the mountains scouting new country. He said when hunting season starts, he pretty much checks out of the gym because each hunting trip gets him in better shape for the next. Hunters can cover up to 20 miles in one day, bushwhacking their way up a face of a mountain in some pretty harsh conditions. They do what they have to do and go where they have to go to achieve their goal. That also means eating plenty of calories, staying hydrated, and having really good equipment that is lightweight, breathable, and durable and all of that has to fit in a pack.

Adam Yukon 3

Photo courtesy of Adam Foss

So, how does one achieve that? Let’s break it down.

Adam says efficient meal planning and hydration is key. He likes Mountain House meal pouches. They supply plenty of his daily calorie requirements without being too heavy in his pack. For more energy he eats Cliff Shot Blocks and Honey Stinger Chews and he eats a lot of them, often. He also drops Nuun tablets in his water. The electrolytes help keep him hydrated when his body is working over time.

Adam believes that layering is everything and hunting is no different than mountaineering or skiing in this regard. He prefers Sitka Gear’s merino baselayers when he is on a long trip. He says merino helps regulate your body temperature really well and he can wear it for 10 days straight and be fine. With synthetics, the smell really starts to build up after a couple of days and that doesn’t bode well for longer trips. He’ll wear synthetic base layers for short, weekend trips, but for the 10-14 day trips he’s really doing his hunting partners a favor by wearing merino. He uses Nikwax Wool Wash to properly clean and care for his merino baselayers, socks, underwear, and hat and glove liners before going out for his long hunts.

Adam Yukon 9

Photo courtesy of Adam Foss

With bow hunting you are generally out in the wildness for a long period of time, and having 10 days of good weather is lucky. Adam says that sometimes you have to spend 1-3 days playing cards and staring at the walls of your tent to shelter yourself from a storm. He also doesn’t feel that he needs to shave off a couple of extra pounds on his back to sacrifice being warm, dry, and comfortable in the middle of nowhere. He likes to carry a down sleeping bag and cleans it with Nikwax Down Wash before he heads out for a couple of weeks. Nikwax Down Wash revitalizes loft and insulation without damaging the structure of the down. It also maintains breathability and the original water repellency.

As a professional hunting athlete, Adam is lucky to get new gear at the start of every season. But during the season, he is pummeling that gear. It gets campfire smoke, sweat, and blood from dressing animals on it. When he gets back, he washes his jackets and packs in Tech Wash because it effectively removes the tough bloodstains and smoke, making his gear look and perform like new again. He also religiously applies Waterproofing Wax for Leather to all of his Schnee’s leather boots throughout the season.

Photo courtesy of Adam Foss

Photo courtesy of Adam Foss

Hunting as a sport is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Adam says hunting has come a long way from the idea of rednecks in their 4-wheelers or trucks. The new hunter has gotten younger and more conscious of where their food comes from. They feel good knowing that they harvested an animal themselves. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg has taken up the sport and Eva Longoria boasts the fact that she can skin anything from a rabbit to deer!

With that in mind, we asked Adam what kind of advice that he has for new hunters or folks that are thinking about getting into hunting. He said that the big thing is not to be intimidated.  Anyone can get a copy of the hunting regulations for their state. Take hunter’s ed courses, do your research, use apps and info that is available on the web, get onto hunting forums, and take the time to find the right products, and most of all go far and deep and have fun.

While Adam is a lucky duck and gets new products at the start of every hunting season, we have advice to help out those less fortunate hunters that have to wear the same products for a few seasons.

If the DWR on your outer layers are in need of a bit of extra TLC, even after a cleaning with Tech Wash, wash it in TX.Direct. It will add water repellency to the shell and maintain breathability so that you continue to stay warm and dry from the inside out.

Now not everyone is a merino guy like Adam, so to keep your synthetics from stinking try BaseWash. It does the same job as Wool Wash; safely cleaning the high performing technical fabric, as well as enhancing and revitalizing its wicking abilities.

If your tent has taken a beating each hunting season and isn’t performing as well as it once was, try Tent & Gear Solarproof. It not only adds water repellency to the tent, it protects it against UV degradation. For that matter, use it on your hunting pack for the same reason.

Now that we have you all educated – get out there!


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The Nikwax Faction Welcomes Adam Foss

Adam Foss, photo courtesy of Francesca Pirolo/Seacat Creative

Adam Foss, photo courtesy of Francesca Pirolo/Seacat Creative

Adam Foss, photo courtesy of Cam Foss/Seacat Creative

Adam Foss, photo courtesy of Cam Foss/Seacat Creative

The Nikwax Faction is a compilation of extraordinary outdoor enthusiasts. These athletes are passionate participants in all types of outdoor sports and disciplines. They represent Nikwax as evangelists by taking their Nikwax treated gear out into some of the harshest elements and coming back with photos, feedback, and songs of praise. Today, we would like to introduce you to our newest Faction member, Adam Foss.

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Adam began bow hunting at the age of 12. By the age of 14, he was following his father, Tom, on weekend expeditions into the Rockies in pursuit of Bighorn Sheep. In addition to hunting, his passions include hiking and photographing the natural world, but it isn’t often he’ll turn down an opportunity to spend time outdoors to do just about anything from snowboarding to fly fishing. In 2012, he became the youngest person to take all four species of North American Wild Sheep with a bow. As the Conservation Director for Seacat Creative, a creative agency and media firm, he is encouraged to spend nearly 100 days in the field a year – an opportunity he takes full advantage of. Throughout the year, Adam welcomes a backpack tent as his second home, whether that’s in the backcountry mountains of Montana, the wilds of British Columbia, the Mackenzie Mountains of Canada’s Northwest Territories, or anywhere else he finds himself.

When asked what Nikwax products he uses, Adam replied, “I religiously apply Waterproofing Wax for Leather to all my Schnee’s leather boots throughout the season. I wash all my GORE-TEX® products in Tech Wash. Hunting is hard on gear, whether it’s the smoke from a campfire or blood from field dressing an animal. Wool Wash is awesome for all my merino baselayers, socks and underwear. On a ten day backpack hunt where I’m working hard and sweating a bunch, merino is a necessity. Having the proper formula to wash these pieces in keeps them fresh and lasting much longer than regular detergents.”

Not only is Adam representing Nikwax, he also represents Schnee’s Boots, is a Sitka Gear Athlete, a Leica Hunting Pro, a Mystery Ranch Backpacks Hunting Ambassador, and a Friend of Hilleberg the Tentmaker.

Right on, Adam! Right. ON.


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Glen Young is another member of the Nikwax Faction Team. His non-profit organization, Direct Experience International, provides hands on learning, adventure, and travel to help his students grow. His programs take place all over the world and we would like to share his Mt. Rainier climbing experience with our readers.

Direct Experience International space

As has become the tradition the past three years, after finishing a month at elevation in Peru, I returned home to the United States for some high elevation escapades.  And as has become the tradition since living and working around the Seattle area, I focused my adventures on Mount Rainier.

I met my climbing partner Bonom at the Seattle airport after he flew-in from the Bay Area, and the two of us raided nearby grocery stores for all the items we thought we might crave on a high altitude exploit.  Our decision-making was informed by an expedition we did in Nepal the year before, and it didn’t take long before we realized that carrying twenty-pounds of food per-person, per-day was a bit heavy.  So, we cut-out a bunch of goodies, eyed the pile, shrugged our shoulders, and set-off for Rainier.

Heading to our first camp

In previous years we had both climbed the standard routes…

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A SUP Adventure on Film

This year our Nikwax Faction Athlete, Norm Hann, has been working on a coastal conservation project called STAND.  It’s a short film talking about the threat of oil tankers to the British Columbia coast and more specifically, the Greatbear Rainforest.  Norm has been a guide, a fisherman, an educator, and leading SUP expeditions in the Greatbear Rainforest in British Columbia since 2002.  Check out a clip of the movie and his blog Mountain Surf Adventures here: http://mountainsurfadventures.blogspot.com/2012/03/standfilm.html


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Standing Up for the Greatbear Rainforest: Nikwax Faction member Norm Hann

When a Canadian energy company made a proposal to start routing oil tankers through the Douglas Channel and Greatbear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada,  the birds, whales and other wildlife endemic to the area couldn’t stand up for themselves. So Norm Hann stood for them.

Norm and his partners traveled the 400 km tanker route by standup paddleboard, connecting with the Native people that have lived for generations in this pristine wilderness and raising awareness of the impacts of the proposal. His efforts remind us all that there is ALWAYS something we can do and one person CAN make a difference.

For more information and to support Norm’s efforts, visit Standup4GreatBear.

If exploring incredible terrain via paddleboard (or just taking a few lessons) is EXACTLY what you were hoping to do this summer, Norm’s your guy – Mountain Surf Adventures.

This is their story:

Thank you Norm.

Kelsey is the Technical Field Service Rep for Nikwax North America. She travels the country preaching the gospel of gear care as the Nikwax Nerd. Prior to working for Nikwax, Kelsey spent 7 years working in outdoor industry and footwear retail. She welcomes your gear care questions at kelsey.hulse@nikwax.com. Follow her on Twitter @nikwaxnerd.


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Nikwax Faction member Jen Segger is making tracks in Costa Rica!

Think you’ve had a busy week? Canadian endurance athlete and Nikwax Faction member Jen Segger (www.challengebychoice.ca) will run 250km before the week is out. Jen, along with 12 other Canadian athletes, is in the final stages of the 250km staged endurance run in Costa Rica.

As the Canadian ambassador for the race and the coach for several of the other runners, Jen’s wearing several hats, er, shoes? Follow her progress (as well as that of her team) through the Coasta Rican jungles via her blog and Facebook (as internet connection allows):

http://challenge-by-choice.blogspot.com/

Race Website:

http://www.thecoastalchallenge.com/

Live coverage:

http://leadadventuremedia.squarespace.com/tcc/

The race gets began Saturday, January 30th and finishes today. Stage lengths ranged from 30km to 50km each day.  Jen is hoping that the hilly course profile will play to her favor but with other top female endurance athletes in the race, things should remain exciting right through the finish.

We wish Jen and her team the best of luck and the speediest of feet!

Are you an aspiring endurance athlete yourself? Check out Jen’s training tips AND her killer soon-to-open Vancouver training facility:

www.challengebychoice.ca

Find out all about Jen’s training, coaching and motivational speaking at www.jensegger.com.