Blog 05.10.2020 By Nikwax

Preparing for autumn outdoor activities

British weather is unpredictable and quite often wet! So, staying dry and warm outdoors is a top priority. Nikwax explain how kit care products can help keep your outdoor kit in great condition – whether it’s a DofE expedition when Government guidelines allow, or on adventures with family or friends.

No one likes to be soggy, cold, and miserable, right? Waterproof coats, fleeces, and boots, if treated properly, will help to keep you dry, warm and comfortable. Sleeping bags, tents and rucksacks can also be waterproofed. These items are usually made of technical fabric and so need the right care. The fabrics are designed to breathe so you don’t sweat, whilst keeping you dry and warm. Over time and through use, dirt and grime will reduce their effectiveness and your waterproof gear will no longer work as well as it once did. To make sure they stay water repellent and breathable, you need to clean and re-waterproof them regularly.

This is where Nikwax comes in. We have a range of easy to use aftercare products specifically designed to care for outdoor clothing and equipment. Nikwax products clean and waterproof effectively; reviving breathability and adding water repellency. This means your clothes and boots will work as they should to keep you dry and comfortable on all your adventures. expedition and beyond.  Cleaning and re-proofing your gear not only saves money but is also good for the environment as it lengthens the life of your garments – so you can keep your favourite kit for even longer.

How to look after your outdoor kit

There are two key times to check and treat your outdoor gear – before and after your expedition or walk. You can tell if your clothing and equipment is losing its water repellency as it will ‘wet out’. This is when you’ll see darker patches forming where water is being absorbed through the surface of the material.

Walking boots play a big part in keeping comfortable in the outdoors and can last for years if looked after well. Nikwax footwear products are specifically designed for the fabric and leather your walking boots are made from, so if you clean and waterproof your boots your feet will stay dry which reduces the chance of blisters. Very importantly, Nikwax footwear products do not over-soften, ensuring that your boots maintain their essential supportive features for hiking outdoors.

If your boots are dirty, clean them using Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel which will gently remove the dirt and revive their breathability. Then apply Nikwax Fabric and Leather Proof afterwards which will restore their water repellency.

For your clothing, cleaning and re-waterproofing with Nikwax Tech Wash and TX Direct will revive breathability, restore water repellency and make water ‘bead’ on the surface – forming droplets. Water will be on, not in, your waterproof. If you see these droplets forming this means your clothing is ready for the outdoors.

Nikwax aftercare products are all really easy to use. Depending on which product you’re using, you can either use them in your washing machine, apply by hand or spray on.

Preparation is key! Prep, check, pack!

Nikwax has some simple advice to ensure that you’re ready for your outdoor adventures:

1. Prep

We’ve already established that walking in wet clothing and footwear is miserable. Make sure that you prep your kit with Nikwax before your activity to ensure that you stay dry, warm and comfortable.

2. Check

Simply, check the weather forecast to ensure that you pack the correct clothing and equipment and be prepared for a change in the weather too!

3. Pack

Use the DofE Kit List and tick off as you pack. When you’re ready to do your DofE expedition, liaise with your group so you can pack smartly. ­You can share some Nikwax products that can clean or waterproof kit.

Nikwax is safe on the environment

Producing high performance, low impact products that improve everyone’s enjoyment of the outdoors is really important to Nikwax. All Nikwax products are safe on the environment, water based, non-flammable, and don’t use harmful chemicals like fluorocarbons (PFCs).

Nikwax has proudly been in partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) for nearly ten years. Through our partnership, we take joy in supporting and helping young people discover, enjoy, and respect the great outdoors. Enjoyment of our natural environment and environmental responsibility has always been at the core of the Nikwax philosophy.

Everyone has a responsibility to protect the countryside for others and for future generations. Stick to the pathways, leave gates as you find them, respect livestock, and protect our environment by leaving no litter behind. Leave no trace.

Learning to respect our environment is vital for its protection, which is especially significant at a time when there is a climate crisis. The work that the DofE does in teaching the next generation how to enjoy and respect the great outdoors is essential. With this knowledge, they’ll be able to help protect the outdoors we all love, continue to enjoy it for years to come, and eventually pass their knowledge on.

We know now, more than ever, that getting outdoors in the fresh air is very important for mental health and wellbeing. Disconnecting from the busy world we all live in and reconnecting with nature, each other, and ourselves is a refreshing challenge, one which both Nikwax and the DofE love to embrace.

Find out more about Nikwax.

Shop the whole Nikwax range and save at least 10%, and often more, with your DofE Card or Digital DofE Card.