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Revive your survival instincts through immersive wilderness experiences.


  • Writer's pictureEliza Brown

TOP TIPS: Extend the Life of Your Outdoor Kit

Words by Megan Williams, Sustainability Consultant and founder of Leylines, a marketplace for second-hand outdoor gear and equipment

“There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” 

Alfred Wainwright, A Coast to Coast Walk 

Essential to getting outdoors is the right kit - it’s survival on cold nights, the distinction between Type I and Type II fun, reliance when a weather front comes in, and dry feet at the end of a long day. Choose the right kind of kit and it’s incredibly hard-wearing, designed to endure the harshest of conditions, yet, in time, it’s inevitable that each item will start showing the signs of the elements it’s been exposed to. When this happens, the impulse to run out and buy new gear is often irresistible. However, even with all the improvements outdoor clothing companies have made recently in terms of reducing the environmental impact of the production line, getting serious about our carbon footprint means shifting from a consumer society to one where we reuse, repair and recycle. Preserving the life of the kit you already have is the best place to start so I thought I’d share with you some of the best tried and tested tips on this one. 

Regularly re-waterproof your gear. 

Overtime, dirt and oil break down water-repellent clothing, and when this happens your kit starts absorbing rather than repelling water. An early warning sign to look out for is the inside of your clothing feeling damp as the moisture prevents sweat from escaping from the inner layer. As a rule, it’s suggested that you should reproof your waterproof at least every 6-12 months so it’s a good idea to think about reproofing your item in the autumn before your going to seriously need your waterproof to perform.The reproofing process is fairly simple and can be done at home if you follow these steps: 

  1. Fasten any zips or Velcro before placing inside the washing machine.

  2. Pour 25ml (1/2 cap) of Grangers® Performance Wash per wash load to a clean detergent drawer in your washing machine. 

  3. Wash your waterproof jacket according to its care label instructions.

  4. Allow to air dry naturally or tumble dry on low.

Look After Your Leather. 

One of the best ways to prolong the life of your leather items, like mitts, boots and gloves, is to apply beeswax leather polish and conditioning restorer. A 100% natural pure beeswax formula will nourish and moisturise your leather, making it soft and supple again, helping to protect and prevent it from cracking and drying out. 

Treat Zip Corrosion Early.  

Zips, especially those exposed to saltwater and salt air are often susceptible to corrosion, usually building up in a white film around the slider or teeth. It’s an easy fix. Remove with a mixture of boiling water and white vinegar and scrub the teeth of the zipper with a toothbrush. 

Rinse Your Wetsuit And Dry In The Shade. 

Heat contact with neoprene affects the fabric’s flexibility and durability so it’s really important not to wash your wetsuit with hot water or dry in the sunlight. Best practice is always to rinse in fresh, cold water, turn inside-out and dry in the shade lying flat. 

Always Carry Down & Synthetic Repair Patches.

Get yourself an emergency first response kit with a range of baffle sized strips and circles (RAB do a great one) so that you can instantly patch up holes in down or synthetic insulated gear at the scene of disaster. As they say, a stitch in time… 

Find The Right Professionals To Repair Your Gear. 

And if all of the above fails, the UK has got a great selection of places where you can repair your outdoor gear. The best list I’ve found so far is by Homemade Adventures

Shift The Mindset. 

When it comes to the inevitable and you're in need of new gear, there is an incredible amount of seriously good second-hand gear in circulation - made for a lifetime of adventures and in need of a new owner who will give it the good time it deserves. At Leylines, this is what we do - provide a singular marketplace for second-hand outdoor gear. Launching online soon, follow our Instagram for updates on how to get involved. 

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1 Comment

Feb 01

Blooming great top tips Pegs to extending the life of your gear! Any chance you could put in a plug for my beeswax boot and leather conditioner here? Can provide pics…..Lulu did a v good before and after on boots.

Given up with my

Website as they were charging £450/pa for shop so just use email address now.

Love your title

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