Caring for Your Equipment

Caring for Your Equipment

 

Caring for your Sleeping Bag

Caring for your Gore-Tex Clothing.


Caring for your Footwear


Caring for your Rucksack or Travel Pack


 Caring for your Tent


Caring for your Waterbottle


 

 

 

 


 

Caring for your Sleeping Bag - Down

Unfortunately when you use your sleeping bag your body produces moisture and oils which impede the ability of down to clump and loft as efficiently as it could. Packing your sleeping bag away into its stuff sack only perpetuates the problem. Here are some aftercare tips to help you properly care for your sleeping bag. Proper sleeping bag care will increase the bag life and your personal comfort level in colder conditions   

Sleeping Bag Storage: When not in use your sleeping bag should always be stored uncompressed out of its stuff sack, allowing air to flow through the down. (Many of the leading sleeping bag manufacturers provide mesh or cotton storage bags with your sleeping bag). Mesh storage bags are available for purchase from Paddy Pallin stores or online Click here to view

Use a sleeping bag liner: Using a sleeping bag liner will protect the down from perspiration, grime and body oils which as mentioned will inhibit the lofting ability of your down. This will mean that your sleeping bag will require washing less often. Liners are available from Paddy Pallin stores or online Click here to view in varying materials including silk, cotton, and thermolite polypropylene all of which also act as another layer of insulation and can add extra warmth to your sleeping bags.  

Cleaning your Sleeping Bag: As previously mentioned the down in your sleeping bag works most efficiently when it is clean und unimpeded by moisture, oils and dirt produced by the human body. If you have been on an extended trip or you notice that your sleeping bag isn’t lofting as well as it did it`s time to give your bag a wash. We recommend the following procedure:

1. Undo zippers and soak the bag overnight in a bath or large tub of lukewarm water.

2. Hand wash using a non-detergent soap or one of the specially formulated down soaps available at Paddy Pallin stores or Click here to view Gently knead the suds through the bag.

3. If the bag is really grimy, leave it submerged in the soapy water for a few hours.

4. Rinse with fresh water to remove all traces of soap. Keep rinsing with fresh water until you can`t see any more suds.

5. Gently squeeze out all excess moisture while your sleeping is still in bath or tub.

6. Carefully lift the soggy bag, placing your arms underneath it to support its entire weight, and place into a washing basket. Down is very heavy when wet and can cause damage to the internal baffles, so be very careful when moving the bag.

7. Prepare a clean, dry area out of direct sunlight and carefully lay the bag out flat.

8. Pat the down from both sides of the bag to help minimise down clumping.


9. Your down bag may require several days to dry completely. Hot, non-humid days are best.

An alternative method of drying your bag is to place the sleeping bag into a large delicates calico wash bag. (If your washing machine has no agitator, you can place a sleeping bag in on a low spin cycle to disperse excess liquid prior to drying.) Carefully load the protected sleeping bag into a large tumble dryer. Select low heat and the lowest speed.

Do not use dryers without a heat setting.

Adding a tennis ball helps to break up the clumps as it bounces around the drum of the dryer. Be aware that the bag will still take a long time to dry.

Dry Cleaning: The solvents used in dry cleaning can cause a reduction in the down's loft, and they are generally not environmentally friendly, so we suggest dry cleaning as a last resort. If dry cleaning is your only option, check with your local outdoor store for a recommendation, and ensure the cleaner uses only clean fluids and clear distilled solvent for the rinse. After cleaning, hang up the bag to air for at least a week to ensure any hazardous and toxic fumes have evaporated.

 

Field Care and Tips

Setting up camp: It`s a good idea to remove your sleeping bag from its stuff sack and lay it out to give the down time to loft fully before you get into it. As soon as you have set up camp, A gentle shake will also help ensure the down lofts to its potential.

Setting up camp: Always use either a self inflating or closed cell insulating mat under your sleeping bag. Cold ground will conduct warmth away from a sleeping bag, and the down on the underside of your bag will be compressed when you lie on it. A sleeping mat provides protection and insulation preventing heat loss. A wide range of sleeping mats is available in varying lengths from Paddy Pallin. If you are using a 3/4 length mat to reduce bulk and weight, use a rucksack or spare clothes as ground insulation for your feet.

Keep your bag dry: Down loses much of its insulating quality once wet. It is therefore crucial to protect your bag from dampness by using a good waterproof stuff sack, rucksack liner, groundsheet and tent or bivvy bag as required. If you are likely to encounter wet conditions frequently, consider a sleeping bag which has a weatherproof fabric like Gore Wind Stopper, Epic shell or similar protective fabric on the outside to help protect the down from moisture. If your bag does not have a weatherproof outer fabric and the foot of your bag is in contact with a moist surface, such as a condensation on your tent wall or a snow cave, keep it dry by zipping up your Gore-Tex jacket and slipping it over the foot of the bag.

Reduce heat loss: Free moving air will conduct warmth away from a sleeping bag. If your bag does not have a windproof outer fabric such as Gore Wind Stopper or Epic Shell, a windproof shelter or a bivvy bag may be necessary to ensure maximum warmth

Reduce heat loss: Reduce heat loss through your head by wearing a warm hat or snuggling into the collar and hood of your bag. Up to 50% of body heat loss can occur through the head.

Sleeping position: Sleeping with your feet slightly down hill increases blood circulation to these extremities and keeps them warmer.

Nutrition: Eating a nourishing meal, with protein and having a high energy snack before bed will also help to keep you warm, by increasing your metabolic rate. Protein is important in cold conditions as it will keep the fires burning in your body longer than just high energy carbohydrates,

Packing: When packing up camp always stuff your sleeping bag back into its stuff sack. Never roll it as this can damage the baffles (the internal walls which separate the down into panels).

Zippers: Most modern sleeping bags use nylon coil zippers which are 'self-repairing'. This means the teeth can move about a little so they are less prone to damage if snagged. A lot of manufacturers recognize that snagging zippers is an issue and there are many snag proof zip systems built to modern sleeping bags. If a snag occurs, carefully ease cloth out of zip teeth. Coil zips have rounded teeth that are less likely to chew your sleeping bag fabric.

When opening or closing a zipper it is best to use the pull tag inside the bag. Placing your hand between the cloth and the zip as you slide it will virtually eliminate snagging of the fabric. When joining zips back together make sure both sliders are hard up against each other.  

Leaking down: Quality sleeping bags use down-proof fabrics which effectively prevent the down fill from leaking out. The majority of the warmth-trapping down consists of soft, spidery clusters that cannot poke through the fabric, and thus remain safely contained inside. However, there is often a small percentage of feather quills in the down mix, which can occasionally pierce the cloth and escape. This minor leakage from a new down sleeping bag is no cause for alarm, and some of the escaping quills can be pulled back inside simply by feeling through the fabric and easing them in from the other side.

Sometimes a small amount of down may appear on the surface of a new down sleeping bag, particularly where the fill is a very high quality down. This is quite normal and will cease after the bag has been used a few times.

 

Caring for your Sleeping Bag - Synthetic

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How your Sleeping Bag Works:

Synthetic sleeping bags work on the principle warmth for weight. A synthetic sleeping bag is a lot like a technical light weight packable blanket. Although lighter weight warmer fabrics are always being developed we unfortunately have not been able to replicate the efficiencies of down. The advantage of synthetic sleeping bags is that they are often less expensive than down sleeping bags and they retain better insulation than down if they are wet.

Sleeping Bag Storage: When not in use your sleeping bag should always be stored uncompressed out of the stuff sack allowing air to flow through the fabric and filling. Storing your synthetic bag in a compressed manner will cause the insulating material to have a memory or creases which will break it down faster, and cause cold spots.  Mesh storage bags are available for purchase from Paddy Pallin stores or online Click here to view

Use a sleeping bag liner: Using a sleeping bag liner will protect the down from perspiration, grime and body oils which will cause the insulating fabric to break down faster. This will mean that your sleeping bag will require washing less often. Liners are available from Paddy Pallin stores or online Click here to view in varying materials including silk, cotton, and thermolite polypropylene all of which also act as another layer of insulation. 

Cleaning your Sleeping Bag: Synthetic-filled sleeping bags may be washed in a front loading washing machine using a mild detergent and the gentlest spin cycle. If using a dryer, choose the lowest temperature and speed. Before the bag is completely dry, remove it from the dryer and place outside to air dry.

 

Field Care and Tips

Setting up camp: It`s a good idea to remove your sleeping bag from its stuff sack and lay it out to give the down time to loft fully before you get into it. As soon as you have set up camp, 

Setting up camp: Always use either a self inflating or closed cell insulating mat under your sleeping bag. Cold ground will conduct warmth away from a sleeping bag, and the down on the underside of your bag will be compressed when you lie on it. A sleeping mat provides protection and insulation preventing heat loss. A wide range of sleeping mats is available in varying lengths from Paddy Pallin. If you are using a 3/4 length mat to reduce bulk and weight, use a rucksack or spare clothes as ground insulation for your feet.

Keep your bag dry: Your sleeping bag loses much of its insulating quality once wet. It is therefore crucial to protect your bag from dampness by using a good waterproof stuff sack, rucksack liner, groundsheet and tent or bivvy bag as required. If you are likely to encounter wet conditions frequently, consider a sleeping bag which has a weatherproof fabric like Gore Wind Stopper, Epic shell or similar protective fabric on the outside to help protect the down from moisture. If your bag does not have a weatherproof outer fabric and the foot of your bag is in contact with a moist surface, such as a condensation on your tent wall or a snow cave, keep it dry by zipping up your Gore-Tex jacket and slipping it over the foot of the bag.

Reduce heat loss: Free moving air will conduct warmth away from a sleeping bag. If your bag does not have a windproof outer fabric such as Gore Wind Stopper or Epic Shell, a windproof shelter or a bivvy bag may be necessary to ensure maximum warmth

Reduce heat loss: Reduce heat loss through your head by wearing a warm hat or snuggling into the collar and hood of your bag. Up to 50% of body heat loss can occur through the head.

Sleeping position: Sleeping with your feet slightly down hill increases blood circulation to these extremities and keeps them warmer.

Nutrition: Eating a nourishing meal, with protein and having a high energy snack before bed will also help to keep you warm, by increasing your metabolic rate. Protein is important in cold conditions as it will keep the fires burning in your body longer than just high energy carbohydrates,

Packing: When packing up camp always stuff your sleeping bag back into its stuff sack. Never roll it as this can damage the baffles (the internal walls which separate the insulation into panels).

Zippers: Most modern sleeping bags use nylon coil zippers which are 'self-repairing'. This means the teeth can move about a little so they are less prone to damage if snagged. A lot of manufacturers recognize that snagging zippers is an issue and there are many snag proof zip systems built to modern sleeping bags. If a snag occurs, carefully ease cloth out of zip teeth. Coil zips have rounded teeth that are less likely to chew your sleeping bag fabric.

When opening or closing a zipper it is best to use the pull tag inside the bag. Placing your hand between the cloth and the zip as you slide it will virtually eliminate snagging of the fabric. When joining zips back together make sure both sliders are hard up against each other.  

 

 


 

Caring for your Footwear  

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Your boots are a major investment within your kit bag. Not only can a good pair of boots be expensive they can be hard to match or replace, and they need to be broken in, so why not prolong the life of your boots and avoid the hassle and expense. There are many types of boots, leather and synthetic and as many water proof lining systems to match here are some suggestions on how to better care for your boots to make them last and perform to their full potential.

Leather Boots: These days leather boots will often come with further water proof protection, in the form of a lining on the inside of the leather. If this is the case the care and products which you administer to the boots will differ from that of your standard leather boots.

Leather boots with water proof lining: Due to the way in which many modern breathable water proof membranes such as Gore-Tex work, traditional wax treatments are not an appropriate treatment with which to treat your leather boots.  Waxes will block the pores in the waterproof membranes preventing breathability. There is however some great products available from Paddy Pallin stores or from www.paddypallin.com.au such as Revivex suede and fabric water repellent, which will improve the water proofness of the leather without clogging the breathability of the water proof membrane or breaking down the leather. Or Revivex boot cleaner which also improve the performance and life of the leather but will not damage or clog up your membrane.     

Leather Boots without waterproof lining: If your new leather boots do not come with a manufacturer-applied waterproofing treatment, they should be treated with a compound to improve their water proofness and to keep the leather supple. Most waterproofing compounds are wax-based products like Sno-seal, or Revivex Leather wax repellent gel. Avoid fat-based products, as they may over-soften the leather (D rings may even pull through the leather in the long term) and harbour harmful bacteria. There also spray and gel applications available from Paddy Pallin stores or online from www.paddypallin.com.au such as Revivex Leather water repellent spray or gel. Most compounds will generally darken the leather, affecting the appearance of the boots.

Application: Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions when applying a compound. Generally the procedure is as follows. Remove the laces and use a soft rag to rub a thin layer evenly over the whole boot, paying particular attention to the tongue and all stitch lines. The thinner the layer the more easily the proofing will melt into the pores. There is no benefit in applying half a tin: most of it will sit on the surface and be wiped off. DO NOT use excessive heat (such as from a heater or hair dryer, or the sun), as this will permanently damage the leather. Polish off any excess with a soft cloth. Re-apply a compound when boots start to dry out or are leaking.

Soft Leather/ Nubuck: Soft leather boots are best treated with a special nubuck treatment or a silicon based sprays available from Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au  such as, Revivex suede and fabric water repellent and Revivex boot cleaner. As well as improving water resistance, it will help maintain their appearance. Be aware that silicon sprays will darken the colour of the boot slightly. For maximum protection, Sno-seal or Revivex leather wax repellent gel may be applied as for leather boots, but this will significantly darken the colour of the boot.

Synthetic boots: Synthetic boots are widely available from Paddy Pallin Stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au Often synthetic boots will come with a water proof lining such as Gore-Tex or eVent. Synthetic boots are often lighter and take less time to break in but will probably not last as long as full leather boots.

Synthetic boots with a water proof membrane: The main contributing factor resulting in poor performance in breathability when it comes to your synthetic boots is dirt and grime. Keeping your boots clean will improve the performance products such as Revivex boot cleaner will help remove dirt and grime from your boots without compromising the water proofness or breathability.

Synthetic boots are also prone to odour issues. This situation can be rectified with products like Revivex footwear odour eliminator available at Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au.  

Synthetic boots without a water proof membrane: Light weight and ready to go almost straight away non water proof synthetic boots are often a cheaper option but offer no protection from the weather sprays such as Revivex air dry spray   will help to improve water resistance, but will not make the boots completely waterproof.
 
In the Field:

Gaiters: Gaiters can provide extra protection for your boots from water, mud and grass seeds, and rocks as well as protecting your ankles and shins.

Wet Boots: Never dry your wet boots in front of a fire, for prolonged periods in the sun, or in front of any direct heat source, as you may damage the leather or loosen the cement used to bond the soles to the uppers.

A spare pair of laces could be a good investment, as water can damage the laces in your boots much more rapidly than other parts of your boots. They are light, take up hardly any room in your pack and could save you some discomfort and lost time if you break your laces in the field.   
 
At Home:

Upon returning from a walk, it is wise to rinse the boots inside and out to remove any mud or dirt as well as any salt and odour inside. Leave the boots to dry in a ventilated area. As in the field, never dry the boots in the sun, by a fire or intense heat source or you risk baking and permanently damaging the leather, or melting the fabric of synthetic boots. When boots are thoroughly dry, reapply some proofing if needed.

Resoling: Some leather boots can be re-soled. Check with your Paddy Pallin store whether this is possible with your boots. If you have your boots resoled, do a few short walks to test the strength of the repair, before you embark on more ambitious trips. Nobody wants their soles to fall off on the second day of a five day trip!

 

 


 

Caring for your Gore-Tex 

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GORE-TEX® membrane is what makes GORE-TEX® fabrics completely waterproof. Each microscopic pore is about 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, which means no external moisture from rain and snow to that puddle you just stepped in can penetrate the membrane. The pores in the GORE-TEX® membrane are 700 times bigger than a water vapour molecule, so perspiration can easily evaporate through and you can stay dry from the inside out. Breathability is an important component of comfort when you are active. Your natural body oils, sweat, grime and dirt can block these pores preventing the garment from breathing. This means you need to wash your GORE-TEX® product to maintain its performance.  GORE-TEX® products are not only built to last, they're easy to take care of, too. Routine care and maintenance will ensure the highest performance from them and extend their useful lifespan.  

Follow these manufacturer’s recommended care instructions and your GORE-TEX® products will be ready to go when you are.

Washing & Maintenance Instructions: It’s critical that you clean your GORE-TEX® products frequently, relative to the level of use and even if your garment does not appear soiled. Recommended care instructions, are typically found on an inside tag, of your GORE-TEX® product
Simply machine wash your garment, rinse it and put it in the tumble dryer, being sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the care label attached to the inside of your garment. Washing removes dirt and other contaminants and the heat from the dryer helps redistribute the DWR treatment on the fabric surface.

Restoring Water Repellency: Wet out occurs when water saturates your garment’s outer fabric layer above the GORE-TEX® membrane, as opposed to water beading and rolling off, leaving you feeling damp and clammy as if your garment were leaking, even when it’s not. To prevent wet out, all GORE-TEX® shell fabrics are treated with an ultra-thin treatment called DWR, a durable water repellent coating that is applied to the outermost fabric layer. DWR causes water to bead up and roll off this outer layer of fabric, instead of being absorbed. DWR is not permanent. Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, insect repellent and other impurities can shorten its lifespan. The good news is that restoring the water repellency of your GORE-TEX® shell is easy.

Once the garment has been cleaned and tumble dried, you can test the DWR’s performance by putting a few droplets of water on the outer fabric. If the water beads up and rolls off, you have effectively restored the DWR. If the water fails to bead up on the surface and appears to soak into the surface fabric, the DWR treatment on your garment has reached the end of its useful life. You can restore the garment’s DWR water repellency by applying Revivex outerwear repellent restorative (DWR treatment) for outdoor fabrics, available at Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au . GORE do not recommend wash-in treatments, as they can hinder your garment's breathability.

Pockets: Very few pockets are truly waterproof, especially those that are on the outside of the garment. While the Gore-Tex fabric is waterproof the seams where sewing needles pierce the cloth are not. Patch pockets are the most prone to seepage of moisture through their seams. Application of a liquid seam sealant Such as Gear Aid Seam Sure available from Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au can improve the weather proofness of outer pockets but will still not make them watertight.

Outside pockets should only be used in the rain for items which are resistant to moisture such as compasses, water bottles, maps in map cases, etc. Interior pockets are more weatherproof, but should be used with care. While the pocket itself is constructed so that rain can't get in, if you put  a wet map case into an interior mesh pocket, you risk wetting your inner garments!

Saltwater: After use in marine or coastal applications such as sailing or fishing, make sure to wash and rinse your garments thoroughly in fresh water before wearing again. Otherwise, salt from both water and spray builds up on the interior of garments either in linings or mesh scrims, and the next time you wear the garment, perspiration is absorbed and held by the salt. This leads to the sensation of stickiness which is often wrongly attributed to lack of waterproofness or breathability. Salt build up is also a problem with non-Gore-Tex products.

Repair Information: Although GORE-TEX® products are renowned for their durability, sometimes under extreme or rugged use an accident happens resulting in a small tear or puncture in your garment. Often small perforations of the membrane are the reason for “leaking GORE-TEX®” complaints.

Field Repairs: A GORE-TEX® fabric Repair Kit allows you to make instant repairs to preserve the waterproof integrity of your outerwear when you’re out in the field. McNett GORE-TEX® fabric Repair Kits can be purchased from Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au. These kits contain press-on adhesive patches, precut to standard shapes that usually don’t require trimming. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the repair kit to apply the patch effectively. While patches will provide temporary protection from leakage, they are not recommended for permanent repairs.

Permanent Repairs:  For permanent repairs of punctures and tears, in Australia contact a certified GORE-TEX® product Repair Centre.

Repair Centre Contact Details:

Remote Equipment Repairs
L3, 373 Little Bourke Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Australia

Tel: 03 9670 2586

 

This is what  it should say on your GORE-TEX® outerwear (jackets and pants) tags

WASH
Machine wash warm water (40°C/104°F). Use a powder or liquid detergent. No fabric softener. For best results it is important to rinse the garment thoroughly after washing to remove all soap and detergent residues. Follow manufacturer's instructions.

DRY CLEAN
If professionally dry-cleaned, request clear distilled solvent rinse and spray repellent. Follow manufacturer's instructions.

IRON
Steam-iron warm, placing a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. No need to iron the garment until it is completely dry.

BLEACH
No chlorine bleach. It may damage your garment.

DRY
Tumble-dry warm. The heat from the dryer will help to reactivate the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your garment's outer fabric. Always read and follow manufacturer's care instructions.

WATER REPELLENT TREATMENT
Gore recommends applying a topical water repellency restorative (DWR treatment)  such as Revivex Outerwear Repellency for outdoor fabrics, available at Paddy Pallin stores or www.paddypallin.com.au. GORE do not recommend wash-in treatments as they can affect the garment's breathability.  

STAIN REMOVAL
Prewash stain removers can be used to treat stains on your garment. Treat stains as quickly as possible for best results, following its manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure your garment is rinsed well after washing.

 

 


Caring for your Rucksack or Travel Pack

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When you`re out and about your pack holds all of the things that help you to survive. If you`re on a mountain, walking through bush or traveling through Europe, a sturdy functional and well maintained pack will see you through your adventure. When you get home you take it off, empty it and throw it in a cupboard somewhere. Next time you pull it out it might be smelly or mould covered and not capable of lasting the distance. To make sure your pack is ready and able to see you through your next trip there are some steps you can take to ensure its longevity.

Cleaning Your Pack:

Whatever your adventure may be its inevitable that your pack will get dirty. Your pack will absorb sweat, body oils, dirt and grime which will over time break down the fabrics that keep it together. You should always clean your pack after prolonged use before you store it.

Cleaning your pack is less of a task than most people imagine. Regardless of what it is made of it is a simple process of scrubbing the pack down using a scrubbing brush and a mild detergent/soap such as Revivex Synthetic fabric cleaner available at Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au  mixed with warm water then hosing or rinsing it off. To dry, simply hang your pack, out of direct sunlight. Do not use any external heat source as it may damage the fabrics.   

Mildew: Mildew may occur if you have stored your pack wet. The best advice here is simply don`t let it happen! Make sure your pack is dry and clean before you store it.
If the pack is canvas and you do in fact have a mould problem a number of specialised canvas mould removers are available for pre-wash treatment from Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au . If the pack is of any other material the best bet is a mild solution of warm water and Revivex Synthetic fabric cleaner combined with a lot of elbow grease.

It may be tempting to use a heavier detergent or bleach based product DON`T! Heavy detergents or bleaches can do significant damage to the fabric.

Waterproofing:

 Neither canvas nor nylon packs are totally waterproof. While the actual fabrics may be (and usually are) quite water repellent, water is still able to seep through the seams or zippers in wet conditions. You can improve the water proofness of the fabrics by applying dry water repellent products such as Revivex Wash in repellent or Revivex air dry spray these are available at Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au Because of the shape and construction complexity of most packs, sealing the seams of a rucksack, either in the factory or at home, is difficult not always effective.

The good news is that there are several other relatively simple ways to improve the weatherproofing of your pack. These include the following:

  • One way is to use a waterproof pack cover like a Sea to Summit Pack Cover available from Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au. Pack covers are like are like shower caps for your pack with an elastic hem which hugs the body of the pack leaving only the harness exposed. (So you can still carry it.) This system is great for travel packs as you don’t have to use a pack liner inside.
  • For top-loading packs, another effective way is to use a waterproof pack liner such as the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Liner available in Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au. These are simply large bags made of light weight highly waterproof fabric with tape-sealed seams or welded seams to keep them waterproof, and a roll down top to prevent seeping. Pack liners are placed inside the pack to act as a lining. Look for a liner that extends higher than the actual body of your pack. (To you maximise the available space once you`ve rolled the top down.)  You could also use a sturdy plastic bag. Again make sure you use a bag taller than your pack, then you will have ample material to tie a gooseneck knot at the top. To do this, tighten the draw chord, twist the neck tightly and double it back on itself so it creates a U bend. Tie this off with the chord from the draw chord which is usually used to close of the top of your rucksack.
  • Another option, which works for both travel packs and rucksacks, is to use a collection of waterproof stuff sacks Such as Sea to summit Ultra-Sil Dry sacks These are like smaller versions of the pack liner described above. Or you could use Sea to Summit Compression dry sacks to help maximise the available space inside your pack. Both products can be found in variety of sizes at Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au. One advantage of this approach is that by using different coloured stuff sacks, you can easily organise and locate gear within your pack. Stuffsacks are also effective in keeping dust and sand out of you gear. Using this method in conjunction with a pack liner will greatly increase your chances of being dry and warm when you most need it during periods of in activity.

 

 


 

Caring for your Tent

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Your tent is your home away from home, your sanctuary from the battering winds, driving rain, and bitter cold which often comes hand in hand with many adventures. Maintenance and care for your tent is paramount as your fortress of comfort and safety, cannot be performing at anything but is peak in the field.

Before you go:

Pitch the tent at home first following the instructions supplied. Check that all of the components are present and in good order. If it`s been packed away for a while or the tent got wet on your last trip your zips may need some attention. Application of a silicon spray such as McNett Zip Care   will prevent zipper wear and promote a smooth zipper motion. These products are available from Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au

This is also the best time to use liquid seam sealant on any exposed seams. Use Gear Aid Seam Sure , or Gear Aid Seam Grip  for  non silicon products or if you have a siliconised nylon tent use Gear Aid Sil-Net. All available Paddy Pallin stores or online Click here to view Follow the manufactures instructions and remember to apply such finishes in an outside area as the fumes may hazardous in an enclosed area, and allow them to dry fully before storing or using your tent.

In the Field:

Setting up: Select your campsite with care. Look for high, well draining ground that is protected from the prevailing wind, and is well away from overhanging dead trees or branches. Clear away all sticks and rocks which may damage your tent floor, and remember to remove your boots before entering the tent. Using a separate groundsheet underneath your tent floor will also help protect the floor.

Avoid cooking inside your tent. Most lightweight tents are made from synthetic materials, so it is likely they will melt or catch on fire in contact with a naked flame. There is also the danger of hazardous fumes building up inside the tent causing asphyxiation. 

Be aware that vapours from petroleum products and insect repellents can damage the coatings of your tent. Prolonged exposure to UV rays will also cause fabric failure, so pitch your tent in a shady spot where possible.

Avoid the temptation to flick shock-chorded poles together, as it damages the joining elements. Resulting burrs can shred the shock-chord or split the pole.

Packing up: When you are ready to take your tent down it is important to remove as much moisture as possible. The most effective way to do this is to wipe moisture away with a chamois or a micro-fibre towel such as the Sea to summit Dry-Lite Micro-fibre Towel available at Paddy Pallin stores or online Click here to view

 You should also make sure that the floor of the tent is swept free of dirt, twigs and pebbles, as these can damage the fabric. It`s also a good idea to check around the campsite to ensure you have collected all the pegs. If you are putting the pegs in the same bag as the tent, clean them thoroughly so as not to soil the tent. Better still prevent them from damaging the tent by packing them in a stuff sack of their own.

Treat your tent poles with particular care, a snapped pole could mean disaster in the field. Poles are strongest while flexed into shape and linked with the tent. They are less robust folded up. A separate stuff-sack will provide some extra protection.  a variety of stuff-sack`s are available from Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au. Carry your tent poles inside your rucksack, rather than strapped to the outside. Avoid stepping on them as this can result in damage to the tubing.

When packing your tent into its stuff-sack, roll it or fold it differently each time. Varying the folding pattern prevents deep creases from forming which, over time, can flex off the coating.

Tent field repair kits are available at Paddy Pallin stores or online at www.paddypallin.com.au

At Home:

Storage: A tent should never be stored wet. This is obviously not always possible to avoid in the field, but it is a definite rule for home storage. After a trip take time to 'air' your tent so all excess moisture can evaporate. Any moisture left on a tent that is stored for long periods will turn to mildew, which can be difficult to remove even from synthetic fabrics. Store loose if possible, rather than tightly rolled or folded.

Washing
Most detergents will cause the coating to delaminate, so try to avoid washing your tent. Keeping it clean in the field is the best bet, but if cleaning is necessary sponge it down with lukewarm water and a mild, pure soap.Rinse well and dry thoroughly before storing. Do not machine wash or dry. 

 

 


 

 

Caring for your Waterbottle

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Caring for your Waterbottle

Water is one of the most important survival commodities on any trip. Often an over looked piece of equipment when it comes to care and maintenance, your water bottle needs attention too. Plastic water bottles can periodically develop unpleasant odours and or tastes. These can result when bottles are stored incorrectly, cleaned infrequently or used to carry liquid, which may impart a flavour or odour. 

General Care:


The best way to maintain any plastic water bottle or bladder bag is to rinse it out after each use and to let it air dry completely. Most odour and taste problems occur when bottles are stored in wet areas or kept sealed for long periods of time with liquid inside. Polyethylene bottles can also develop unpleasant tastes/ odours when their used to store a variety of acidic juices. A wide variety of water bottles and hydration bladders are available from Paddy Pallin stores or online Click here to view

Cleaning:


If your water bottle develops an unpleasant taste or odour, try the following procedure:

  1. Put a teaspoon of baking soda in the bottle and fill it with water. Give it a shake
  2. Let the bottle sit overnight.
  3. Rinse out the bottle completely the next day 
  4. Let the bottle air dry completely.

When cleaning hydration bladders, rinse them thoroughly and let them completely air dry before using them again. Do not place  hydration bladders in your dishwasher.  

Most plastic water bottles are made out of either polyethylene plastic (which tends to be cloudy in appearance) or polycarbonate (which tends to be clear). Most hydration system bladders have polyethylene linings, which retain tastes and odours more easily than polycarbonate. But all plastic bottles are susceptible if cared for incorrectly. Water bottle and hydration bladder cleaning kits are available in Paddy Pallin stores or online Click here to view   

Health Concerns:

If you aren’t diligent with your water bottle up keep mould, mildew, and bacteria can develop causing illness.

 

 

 

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