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Beat the heat

trailrunningsun

Summer: the one season that has the power to make us suffer and enjoy it at the same time. It’s during these dog days that we have hours and hours of sunlight that lure us outside. The same sun bears down in relentless heat, which can zap the enthusiasm of even the most die-hard athlete.

And for us recreational athletes? Well, we get hot, too! It’s (kind of) tempting to hole up inside, but we don’t really want to. There’s vitamin D to absorb, after all! Blue sky! Sun! Here at Nikwax USA’s Seattle headquarters, those are in limited supply. We want to beat the heat, not escape it.

So, even if it’s hot enough to almost fry an egg on the sidewalk, we’ll take fresh air and scenery every time.

(A side note: always be on the lookout for symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

If you experience any of these symptoms, move to somewhere cooler, sip water, and stop rigorous activity.

Now—when it’s just hot, and not heat-exhaustion hot—here’s how we suggest you  beat the heat and  keep your cool.

  • Do acclimate. Don’t go out for a two hour hike in the heat of the day if you haven’t been consistently working out in the warmer temps. Build your way up time wise, so your body doesn’t go into shock when blasted with that blazing sun.
  • Do take advantage of the extra daylight. The cooler evening and morning temperatures are so much easier on the constitution than, say, high noon.
  • Do wear the right clothing. Clothes that wick and are light in color are the best choices for the summer swelter. Don’t forget that a hat/visor can also do wonders to keep you cool. Make sure you keep those wicking and cooling properties at there max by properly washing and maintaining your workout wear with products like Nikwax BaseWash.
  • Do hydrate properly. Avoid that last beer before bed and caffeine in the morning before that singletrack ride or five-mile run. Keeping on top of your hydration all day long (before, during and post workout) will help keep your body temperature regulated. Not a huge fan of H2O? Try adding some Nuun hydration tablets, or toss a slice of lemon into your water bottle.
  • Do choose your path wisely. Is there shade, access to a water fountain, a sprinkler or two that goes off during your route? Ask yourself what are the cooling benefits you will have access to based on the direction you go and maximize those advantages.
  • Do partner up. Nothing helps more than having a buddy to keep that motivation up, to keep accountability and to keep safe.
  • Do know when enough is enough. If you begin to feel any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion/stroke from dizziness to cramping, stop activity.
  • Do take care of yourself once back indoors. Continue to hydrate by jazzing up water with a slice of lemon, enjoying a coconut water or some green tea with honey, eating water-based fruits and veggies like watermelon, pineapple and cucumber and taking a cold shower.
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End of Season Care for Winter Gear

snowboarder-cartoon-thoughtThe days are getting longer and the powder days are soon going to fade into memories. As winter winds down, we here at Nikwax urge you to take advantage of the remaining snowy days. Make turns while you can! Skip work for a snowy backcountry adventure!

And then, when you’re ready to call it quits, be kind to your cold weather gear.

In other words, before stashing it away, give it a good cleaning so it will be fresh and ready to wear when the snow starts to fly next season.

How should you prep your winter gear for storage?

That depends on the gear. Read on for gear-specific tips:

Down jacket

Love your puffy?

Clean it with our Down Wash in front-loading washing machine. Make sure to follow the care label on your jacket!

To dry, toss your jacket in the dryer at low heat with two clean tennis balls (or “sock balls”) to help “refluff” your coat. Keep in mind that your jacket may take 2-3 hours to dry.

If desired, follow up with Down Proof wash-in waterproofing.

Shell pants and jacket

Got Gore-Tex? Your ski jacket and pants have likely seen some good action this winter, so before stashing them away, give them a cleaning in your washer with Tech Wash.

If the care label allows, dry in a regular dryer at a low temp, or hang out to air dry.

Softshell

Spring skiing and snowy adventures are often softshell weather, so take care of those pieces with our Softshell DuoPack, which contains Tech Wash to clean, followed by Softshell Proof to waterproof.

Close to the skin

Last but not least, don’t neglect those next-to-skin base layers and techy ski socks! Run them through a cycle with our BaseFresh then fold ‘em up, store ‘em in the drawer and bid them adieu until next winter.


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BaseFresh: Saving the World from Stink!

It’s an epidemic! Active people around the globe are trudging shamefully around with rotten, offensive smelling athletic wear.

Conventional laundry detergents impair the wicking ability of technical next-to-skin garments and do not always remove offensive odors. Thousands of garments have ended up in the garbage and thousands more sad and disappointed runners, skiers, bikers, and other athletic types are left wondering, “Why? Why, can’t I just get the smell out? And why don’t my clothes wick like they used to?”

After years of trial and error, the brilliant scientists at Nikwax came up with and effective, easy to use way to save your athletic apparel. We’re proud to introduce, BaseFresh!

Say so long to having to separate your laundry! BaseFresh is an additive that you use with your regular detergent. No need to do a special load for your workout clothes. Simply add BaseFresh to your fabric softener tray when you wash any laundry load. BaseFresh improves wicking ability, drying time AND it removes that horrible odor from your base layers or athletic wear!

Would you like to see the odor removing powers of BaseFresh?  Watch our BaseFresh Smell Challenge here.

Want to learn more about the wonders of BaseFresh?  Visit our website!


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Summer Lovin’

Summer is coming! For some of us it’s coming quite quickly, for others it may seem like it’s taking its sweet time, but it is on its way. Be prepared for this lovely season by getting your gear ready. You don’t want to miss one sunny day!

To help you get your gear ready, here’s a checklist:

Get your summer gear ready for action!

1. Give your tent and pack(s) some loving! Set up your tent to air it out, and give it a good washing with Nikwax Tech Wash. Tents and packs need special care to help protect them against sun damage in the fairer months. Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof not only adds water-repellency, but also protects your gear against the sun’s damaging rays. Now available in a concentrated formula! (See how Tent & Gear Solarproof helps your gear improves the durability of your fabrics in this short video?)

2. Clean your summer bag! Did you remember to clean your bag before you put it away last fall? If not, think of all the dirt, sweat, and body oils that were left in there all winter (ewwww). Clean your bag with either Nikwax Tech Wash (synthetic fill bags) or Down Wash (down-filled bags) to remove any residual grime and to get your bag nice and fluffy again after its long winter’s nap. If you want to add some water-repellency to your bag (and who wouldn’t?), use Polar Proof for synthetic fill bags, and Down Proof for down-filled bags.

3. Put some zing back into your waterproof clothing! Just because summer is warm, doesn’t mean that being wet is any fun (unless you’re swimming). You want your waterproof clothes to be performing their best if you get caught up in a summer deluge. Use Tech Wash to clean any waterproof clothes and TX.Direct to add more water-repellency.

4. Make sure your summer footwear is ready for action! Give your summer hikers, trail runners, and warm weather stompers a seasonal spiff-up. Use Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel to remove any embedded dirt and make them sparkle. Then, if needed, add water-repellency with Nikwax footwear waterproofing products. Fabric & Leather Proof is perfect for all fabric and leather combo footwear. Nubuck & Suede Proof is fantastic for your textured leather kicks. Waterproofing Wax for Leather is just the thing for all smooth leather shoes.

Don’t forget! Make sure all your winter clothing and equipment is clean before you stow it. Putting your gear away dirty can seriously reduce the life of your gear.

All of these products are now available for sale on nikwax.com!*

*Sales on nikwax.com not available for Canadian customers at this time. Please use our dealer locator to find your nearest retailer.


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You Don’t Need a New Jacket!

You may know this story. You buy a brand new jacket. It is shiny and wondrous.

Bling bling!

You love your new jacket. You go places together, and it keeps you dry and toasty.

Time passes, as it inevitably does, and suddenly your jacket is no longer shiny. As a matter of fact, it seems to have become more absorbent than a sponge. Even if your jacket is Gore-Tex, if it wets out, you will be unhappy. The jacket will weigh you down with its soggy fabric. It will no longer be breathable. The rain might not get through to your skin, but you’re miserable all the same.

What do you do? This jacket was supposed to be waterproof. You storm back to the store and berate the employee who sold this jacket to you. False advertising is unacceptable!

However, the store associate knows her business. She tells you that like a car, outdoor gear needs proper maintenance. She shows you this stuff called Nikwax.

It’s easy to use! Just throw the offending jacket in the washer with Tech Wash first to clean it. Sometimes just cleaning will make your jacket work like new again. Dirt, oil and other grime can muck up the performance of your jacket, making it wet out. Be careful about cleaning your outdoor gear in detergents, they can leave behind a residue that will attract water to your gear, which is a bit counter productive! Tech Wash is a non-detergent cleaner and gets rid of grimy crud and detergent residue! Follow the instructions on the bottle so you know how much to use!

Washy washy!After that cycle is done, you have two options.

#1. You can call it good, and (if the care label allows) put your jacket in the dryer. This will help revitalize any factory applied DWR (durable water repellant) coating. That’s the stuff on the outside of your jacket that makes the water bead up. That’s what failed and allowed your jacket to soak up water. If your jacket is pretty haggard, you might just want to skip to option #2.

#2. You can run another cycle with Nikwax TX. Direct. This will add more of that wondrous DWR to your jacket. Follow the instructions on the bottle to know how much you need to use!

With TX.Direct you do not need to put your jacket in the dyer afterwards. You can if you want to, and the care label allows it, but it is not necessary with Nikwax waterproofing products, as they do not contain fluorocarbons! (Fluorocarbon-based waterproofing requires heat to activate). Save some energy and hang dry.

That’s it! After those steps your jacket will be happy and ready for the next adventure. This process can help you keep your jacket performing year after year! No need to throw it out, no need to buy a new jacket. Save money! Keep your gear out of the landfills! Also, all Nikwax products are created to be safe for you to use, and safe for the environment.

Now get out there and have fun outdoors!

Woohoo! Adventure!~The Nikwax Team