Product Aftercare

Caring for your outdoor clothing

With the cold and damp weather, we could all do with taking some time out to ensure that our outdoor kit is in the best condition possible.

No-one wants to be stuck outside in a rain-storm, only to find that their waterproof clothing isn’t quite as waterproof as they remembered! That can make for a pretty damp, uncomfortable and miserable adventure in the great outdoors. However, if you buy outdoor clothing appropriate for the weather conditions that you expect to encounter, as well as take care of your outdoor gear post-wear, there is no reason why it shouldn’t remain functional and comfortable for years to come! Let’s start with Boots – no one likes a wet and cold foot (well, I assume no one does – I certainly don’t!). To keep your boots in tip-top condition, it is important that after each use, they are thoroughly dried and any excess mud or dirt removed from the upper as well as the sole of the boot. Any moisture or dirt particles left on the boot can work to degrade the fibres of the material used in the footwear – this can lead to the fabric wearing away in certain areas more quickly than it should, as well as causing any waterproof membrane in the fabric to lose its effectiveness. If you have leather boots, regular treatment with Dubbin wax can help to ensure that the boots remain waterproof. It also helps to ensure that the leather remains in good condition, rather than going all crispy and dry (factors which do not contribute to comfy footwear!). If your footwear is made of Nubuck or a man-made fabric, you will need to invest in some proofing spray specifically designed for the material of your boots in order to ensure that they remain waterproof in the months and years following purchase – you should be able to find this in any good outdoor shop. Once again, no matter what fabric your footwear is made of, it should be thoroughly dried after each use, and any build-up of dirt removed, to ensure that your boots remain comfortable and hard-wearing for the longest time possible. If you sling a damp and muddy pair of boots into a plastic bag and hope for the best the next time you want to wear them, I’m afraid you are asking for trouble – well, discomfort anyway! When it comes to waterproof clothing, the process of re-proofing your garments is a little more in depth than it is for footwear! It shouldn’t be required quite as often though, particularly if you invest in appropriate and effective waterproof clothing in the first instance. The Ramblers.org website provides some great and detailed instructions for re-proofing waterproof gear – take a look if you feel that your outdoor wear isn’t quite as effective in wet weather as it used to be.