October Challenge #1: Resurrect Kit

This is utterly amazing stuff.  Nikwax TX.Direct wash in re-waterproofing.  I know the internet is full of "unbelievable, brilliant products", but this one really is.

Remember how your waterproof jacket shed showers when it was new?  The rain 'beaded' on the surface and rolled off.

However, now the garment probably 'wets-out' because the DWR, Durable Water Repellent finish has gone.

This is the way to put it back.  It has to be done every year or so but it hugely extends the life of waterproofs.

In a throw-away society, it's great to have well-designed outdoor gear that lasts and functions year after year.  For example, both my jackets, worn by my brother-in-law and me to run the OMM in 2006, are still in regular hill use, both for fun and filming work.  In fact, I reproofed both (again)) today.

TGO Article from 2006 - Both jackets are still in regular hill use
Trouble is, it's a bit of a faff.  One of those early-winter jobs you'd like to put off, like sweeping the chimney.  (Yeah, I have that to do too).  I could have called this challenge "Stop procrastinating".

So here's my method.  First, buy the right Nikwax product for the kit you're going to do.  If that kit is dirty, you will need to wash it first, and the Nikwax cleaning product is ideal.  Then read and understand the instructions, so if anything in my method contradicts their recommendations, you can decide what to do.  Don't follow blindly.

Select the jackets you want to re-proof, up to six in one go, and clean the dirty ones.  I don't use the washing machine method because I don't want your machine full of a weird chemical.  And boy is it weird - you'll see!
Production line
Place a plastic box next to the kitchen sink, and fill that box with 12L of hand-warm water and three caps of Nikwax.  You're going to set up a production line.  Soak in the box for ten minutes, rinse in the sink, carry outside to drip dry.

You'll agitate the jacket in the Nikwax by hand, and it's when you remove your hand that you'll realise how weird this chemical is.  Your hand comes out of the water... dry.  The water beads on your skin like on a new rain jacket.  Oh, and your skin feels weirdly soft.

One significant point.  This puts the DWR finish on the outside and inside of the garment.  It might feel a bit weird at first and need a couple of washes to settle.  If it does feel odd, put it in the washing machine on a rinse cycle.

Of course, this chemical might irritate sensitive skin.  I wouldn't put it on a shirt or any item in direct contact with my skin.

October has been a strange month for us.  Liz has been away looking after a poorly Mum for the first half.

While she's been in English sun, here in NW Scotland the weather has been utterly dire.

It has been a challenge just to stay motivated to exercise, almost all of which has been on the turbo in our home gym.

This was another job I'd been putting off doing, but it certainly pays dividends later in the year.  Take it from someone who wears a waterproof almost every day!

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