Nikwax – They’ve Got Your Gear Covered From All Angles

After a winter that never really showed up in full force, spring is mostly here. I say mostly, because we had snow last week in Utah, and not just in the mountains, but down in the valley. As I was writing this, rain was coming down pretty steadily, so I figured it was as good a time as any to write about some of the products Nikwax has to offer. If you’re sitting home due to the weather, now’s a good time to clean your gear and treat your tent.

First up is their Tech Wash. This wash-in cleaner is designed specifically for your waterproof textiles, and is even recommended by the folks at Gore-Tex®, who know a thing or two about waterproofing. If you’ve paid good money for waterproof clothing, don’t risk compromising that feature by using regular detergents. It’s easy enough to use in either a washing machine or even hand washing, and is suitable for all fabrics. When applied according to the directions, it removes the dirt without affecting water-repellency.

Next is the BaseWash. Whether you hike, run, bike, or ski, you’ve probably got a few synthetics in your closet or dresser drawer. While they’re great for wicking away moisture, they can end up pretty ripe after a good day (or three) of use. BaseWash will not only clean them and remove the stink, but it actually helps maintain the wicking properties, allowing perspiration to be drawn off your skin, then distributed along the synthetic fibers more effectively for rapid drying. And who doesn’t want to stay drier? Like the Tech Wash, it can be applied in a washing machine or hand wash.

So you’ve got some Merino wool base layers and socks? No worries, Nikwax also offers a Wool Wash, which works to remove dirt and odors, while keeping that wool soft against your skin. Regular cleanings with Wool Wash can reduce the friction between wool fibers, extending the usable life of that favorite garment. Clean wool also does a better job of regulating temperature – keeping you cool when it’s hot out, and warm when it’s cold. Use it in on machine-washable wool, or hand wash.

Finally, there’s the Tent & Gear Solarproof. UV light can quickly degrade the waterproof coatings of your tent, backpack, and other outdoor gear. It will also speed up the breaking down of fibers. A simple application of Tent & Gear Solarproof offers increased protection from sun damage, in some cases doubling the useful lifetime of your gear. Apply it to all your new gear for best results. It’s available in a pre-mixed spray bottle, or the concentrate (shown) that makes 500ml.

Wouldn’t it be convenient to have all four of these great products to try, risk free? Well, your favorite outdoor site (we are your favorite, right?) is giving away the items pictured above to one lucky winner. And we’re making it pretty easy to win too. Leave a comment about your stinkiest outdoor adventure, and we’ll choose a winner at random. Continental U.S. addresses only. Enter by midnight on Sunday, April 15, 2012. We’ll announce the winner the following week, once they’ve been contacted. Good luck!

For more info on Nikwax, go to

– Brian

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Alex the "KneeDrachen"

My stinkiest outdoor adventure? My first time mountain biking with my medic partner. Six and a half hours, grossly out of shape, no proper riding gear and no idea what I was in for. My pre-ride meal? Taco Bell. Yes, Taco Bell/Hell/Smell. Anyway, the nice cool weather of mid-July led to me puking my brains out all over the woods, my bike and me. Stink doesn’t even begin to describe the vile odor emanting from my body. I was actually able to cure forest overgrowth as I rode by and made a few beavers hide lest their dams go up in flames as I passed by. I ended up throwing out the shirt I was wearing; the stains from my recycled Gorditas as well as armpit stains made it a hopeless case to wash. And the smell. Oh, the smell. My dog tried his best to be able to roll around on my shirt as I was throwing it in a garbage bag.

Steve Byers

I would love to win these products. Not for myself but for the people around me. I suffer from Anosmia (I have no sense of smell – EVER)
This means that I can’t EVER smell my stinky clothes, I only get to see the reactions of my co-workers as I walk into work with my stinky bike commuting attire. I can usually tell when these are in need of a wash based on the looks that I get. I have a merino base layer that I love but I have not found a good solution for washing it. I am hoping that the Nikwax product is the solution that I am looking for. The other products will work great with my upcoming bicycle touring plans.
In terms of my stinkiest adventure I can not offer much insight except to say I could wear shirts or items that others would throw away and it wouldnt faze me at all. It’s allways fresh air to me.
I’m sure my wife and kids would appreciate these products much more than I.
Anyway I found your site thru bike forums and look forward to all the articles to read.. Thanks for the contest and the info about nikwax products.


My stinkiest outing that I can remember was when I was 9yrs old. It was Memorial day weekend and my family had decided to go camping. We headed for Logan canyon and decided to camp near Tony Grove lake. We made camp that evening and were preparing for bed when my mom took my brother and I to the outhouse, no big deal we had done this a hundred times before. However, this was the first time with my newly adopted brother who was also very handicapped. Long story short my mom and I were waiting outside for him for a long time when my mom finally decided to go in and check on him. She went in and about five seconds later I heard her screaming for my dad. Somehow or another my brother had fallen into the outhouse. My dad and a couple of other friendly campers were able to get him out after about 15 minutes worth of work. He was covered from head to toe in things that nobody should be covered in. All of the men and my brother proceeded to go directly to the lake where they all promptly removed most of their clothing and tried their best to remove the stink. Needless to say our camping trip was cut short and we left the next morning with the Windows down on the way home.


Some stinky stories. Keep them coming!


Stinkiest… well… on our last hike with our toddler son, he blew out a diaper and we changed it right there on the trail to prevent it from leaking out onto the Kelty child carrier pack. Then we packed it out.

Not sure I can compete with Doug there. 🙂

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