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


Leave a comment

The Nikwax Spring Break Checklist

2palmsIt’s that time of year again: spring break! After drifting drearily through the murky winter months, it’s finally time to get out and go somewhere exciting. You know you want spring adventure, but where to go? Head to the mountains for some spring snow? Catch surf and sun in some tropical country? Wherever it is that you decide to go, we’ve got your gear covered. Here’s our handy checklist to help you prep for your trip:

 Mountain adventures:

  • Re-waterproof your ski skins. You won’t know your skins need this until they fail. Hit ‘em up proactively.
  • Substitute your big, insulated ski jacket with a shell and a light insulated layer for layering versatility. Wash both in Tech Wash to get ahead of the game.
  •  Consider wool for your base layers in the volatile spring weather. Wool is an effective thermo-regulator, keeping you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. Plus, since warmer springtime temps mean more sweat, wool is naturally anti-bacterial and won’t stink as much as synthetics. Bonus: Nikwax has a special Wool Wash that will preserve all of these awesome qualities.

 Tropical adventures:

  • Pack enough sunscreen to cover every inch of your lilywhite body. While you’re at it, find your sunglasses and a sun hat. Your eyes and head need as much protection from the sun as the rest of your body.
  •  Go get yourself an ENO Hammock. These super packable little hammocks hang very nicely between two palm trees.
  • Bring a tube of Nikwax BaseWash Travel Gel. It’s packaged to be TSA compliant, and it will come in handy to keep swimsuits, swim trunks, and your other travel clothes from smelling sour. Bonus: no washing machine needed! With the travel gel, you can do your wash in the sink.

General camping and biking adventures:

  • Set up your tent BEFORE you go. Did you lose some stakes? Snap a tent pole? Pack the rainfly when it was wet? Figure it out before you’re racing against nighttime and an incoming storm. While you have that tent up, consider spraying it with Tent & Gear SolarProof. We know you aren’t praying for rain on your vacay, but it never hurts to be prepared for it.
  • Air out your sleeping bags. Though it’s recommended that you store down bags by hanging them up in the open air, who has that kind of space? Pull them out and shake lightly to loft the down. If needed, wash them with Down Wash and Down Proof. The combo will add loft and water repellency, and leave your bag smelling sweet after a winter of exile.
  • If cycling is on the agenda, it’s time for a tune-up. If you rely on professionals for regular maintenance, hit them up before the spring break rush.
  •  They call it “mud season” for a reason. Even if you’ll be exploring a relatively dry area, the shaded areas will likely still have some snow or mud. Waterproof your shoes and boots now, so spring break happy hour can legitimately live up to its name.

Like the wise Helen Keller once quoted, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” Now get out there and have some fun, you crazy kids!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Top Ten Ways to Enjoy the End of Summer

Endofsummer

Hey! Back to School shopping: we’re talking to you. You represent the end of the dog days more than Labor Day, more than the equinox and even more than the plummeting mercury in our thermometers. We may be excited for the kids to expand their minds and unleash their daily dose of energy. But as adults, we refuse to accept that summer ends when the school bell rings.

There’s plenty of time to maximize this gorgeous time of year. In no particular order:

10. Let your kids plan the Labor Day Weekend festivities. Three days. Ideal temps. Unlimited imagination. Set a few parameters (or not) and let them come up with their dream way to spend three days. We bet they’ll surprise you with outdoor fun. No kids? Easy. Make your own Labor Day plans with the same unlimited imagination and zeal for adventure.

9. Wake up early. Say what? Summer is supposed to be the season of relaxation and sleeping in. But as the daylight hours shorten, waking up early is the only way to maximize the sun’s Vitamin D-giving goodness. Bonus: if you live near the ocean, the waves are probably getting bigger. If you live inland, consider early rising training for dawn patrol skinning sessions and blissful morning skate skis.

8. Barbeque. There is a caveat: you must use charcoal. Propane grills score for efficiency, but nothing smells of summer like charcoal. Bonus points if you take the Hibachi to the beach or local campground.

7. Pull out your favorite sweater. This may be counter-intuitive to the goal of celebrating summer, but hear us out. After months of hot weather and hiding from the heat, how good does a little chill feel? Really good—for few minutes. Pull on your sweater and cozy up in your big bundle of warmth. Consider this tip your Zen practice for living in the present season.

6. Explore your local wilderness. Summer tends to be the season of extravagant, faraway trips. How much do you know about the wilderness within a four-hour drive of your home? Select one cardinal direction for each of the next four weekends, pack your tent and sleeping bags and hit the (local) road.

5. Nest. Every other animal is busy preparing for winter. No, don’t pack on mega-pounds for hibernation, à la black bears. Instead, think of nesting as organization. When your 3-season tent has seen its last workday for the year, air it out, treat it with Tent and Gear Solarproof and pack it away. Pull out your cold weather gear and proof it for the season. Most manufacturers, as well as retailers like REI, have online recommendations for the proper way to pack and store your summer gear for winter.

4. Celebrate the regional season. In the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast, it’s river and creeking season. In the Southwest, the Rockies and the Northeast, it’s mountain biking time. Most of us choose where we live based in large part on weather. Get outside and enjoy whatever weather your hometown is throwing at you.

3. Set a winter goal and build a foundation now. Do you want to run a marathon in January? Classic ski the 54K American Birkebeiner in February? It’ll be a whole lot easier to start your training in gorgeous late summer weather. Maybe you can throw a barbeque (see Tip 8) at a nearby campground (see Tip 6) and inspire a group of friends to do it with you.

2. Garden. Are you lucky enough to have your own plot in the backyard? Celebrate harvest season with seasonal meals and canning parties. No space or no green thumb? Volunteer at the local community garden. It’s an important time to prepare the soil for next year’s planting. It’s not as glamorous as sowing the seeds, but turning soil is great exercise, outside fun and connects you to the community.

1. Spend every available minute outside. Some days, especially with kids back in school and daylight waning, you have neither the time nor the energy for an elaborate outdoor adventure. Instead of feeling guilty, just step outside. Sit on the deck or walk around the block. Heck, grab a cold beer and appreciate this life you’ve built. Raise your glass to your family, your friends and another beautiful summer. Cheers… to the good life!


1 Comment

Get Fit, Don’t Stink: Keeping Your Workout Wear Fresh and Clean

CrossFit_pull-up

Between mud season and daylight savings time, we’re finding more and more excuses to exercise inside these days. Don’t worry—we’re not checking out entirely. We’re just taking advantage of indoors cross training to bridge the gap between snow and summer.

And, as anyone who has ever sweated through a high-octane crossfit schedule or soaked their technical clothes during a spin class knows (we’ll ask again: why is riding a stationary bike so hard?), one of the biggest challenges is keeping workout wear fresh and clean.

Whether they’re bunched in the bottom of your gym bag, or diligently tossed in the laundry later that night, the funk of indoor workout wear is exacerbated by the inevitable byproduct of an indoors workout: sweat.

In a climate-controlled environment, sweat is almost guaranteed. Outside, there might be a breeze. Or fluctuating temps. Or something else to keep the wet at bay. (Or not, we’ve ended many a plein air workout drenched, and, truth be told, it is highly satisfying).

Either way, it requires TLC to take proper care of your apparel.

(Special note: when you’re working out indoors, your feet will likely be sweating up a storm too. If you’re going sockless—a popular trend these days—pull out your insole after a workout to let it dry. If you’re just using insoles that came with the shoes, rinse them with BaseWash.)

So what does TLC for gym wear look like? A special detergent that will get rid of the grime without compromising the gear. And by that, we mean Nikwax BaseWash—a great way to keep your shirts and shorts fresh and clean.

Why a special detergent?

BaseWash cleans, deodorizes, inhibits the build up of body odors, accelerates drying, and improves cooling efficiency of synthetic base layers.

We know that’s a tall order for a cleaner. But it’s true.

BaseWash cleans and conditions simultaneously. It help prevent odor build up, which keeps your duds fresh. It also enhances and revitalizes the wicking properties of synthetic base layers, which increases breathability and helps fabric spread sweat and dry quickly. Get where we’re going with this? Think positive feedback cycle.

Put simply, regular detergent just doesn’t perform as well. Sure, it can clean. But it won’t provide the same results.

Think of it this way: you take good care of yourself with exercise, so do the same for your workout wear.


Leave a comment

Reuse again and again and again! Nikwax for the whole family

We at Nikwax know that outdoor adventurers come in all ages and sizes AND that keeping all those little fast-growing  trail-monsters outfitted can be both a logistical and an economic challenge. Then there’s the environmental impact of discarding all those tiny boots and mittens! Not to worry, parents, Nikwax can help!

Get outdoors with our family

Never again worry about accepting those hand-me-down boots from the lady at work or wonder how much life is REALLY left in that little jacket you picked up at the thrift store. Nikwax makes all sorts of products that can breathe new life into tired outdoor gear and help it last long enough to pass down to the next kid in line. We’ll help you clean and waterproof footwear to extend the life of your family’s shoes and ensure that they don’t have to be replaced as often. Our Glove Proof will keep everyone’s hands dry during your adventures, and help make those gloves last long enough to be handed down.

Make sure to regularly clean your family’s outerwear too! Regular cleaning alone can do wonders for extending the life and performance of your outdoor gear! Use products like TX. Direct, Softshell Proof, and Polar Proof to replenish or add durable water repellency (DWR) to your outerwear and make older items perform like new ones.

It’s easy! With proper care, outdoor gear can last much, much longer, saving your family money and preventing those items from piling up in the landfill. We apologize in advance to the baby – see that jacket on your big brother? That will be yours some day! Wear it well, kid…

Stay Dry out there!

~The Nikwax Team


Leave a comment

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