Friday, April 20, 2012

Waterproofing–One Week to Go!

waterproofing

I can hardly believe my trip starts in a week! Excitement and anxiety are taking turns like ying and yang as I think about and prepare for the trip. One thing that makes me anxious is spending so much time in a tent in a remote part of the continent. I’m not an expert camper, but I am confident this trip will improve my skills.

One thing I dislike while camping or riding a motorcycle, is being cold and wet. I have a good rain suit, and my tent has been tested by several strong storms. Both work great. This trip is 50 days long, so I expect to get wet. I thought it prudent to take some extra steps to ensure I stay dry longer.

I washed all my riding gear with Nikwax Tech Wash. It is a safe way to wash waterproof/water resistant gear where a regular detergent might damage it. After everything was clean, I ran a bottle of Nikwax TX Direct in to renew the waterproofing of my gear. This is a yearly ritual with my gear, and it works well for me. I opted to buy the Nikwax Hardshell Twin Pack this time to save a couple dollars.

A time like this is when I’m very glad to have a second set of riding gear! It usually takes a day or two before everything is dry and ready to go. It would be a shame to miss riding in a sunny 70F day. 

For the tent, I sprayed the rain fly, footprint, and lower portion of the tent with the Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof. It improves the waterproof ability of the fabric and adds some UV protection. I also inspected all the seams to verify they were still solidly taped. Looking good!

tent waterproofing

Finally, I sprayed my Sidi On Road Boots and Knox Zero gloves with Kiwi Camp Dry. I’ve been using it for several years now on my boots, and my feet have always stayed dry. Well, except for that one time I didn’t fasten my rain gear correctly and I filled my boots up with water from the inside. It is funny now, but it wasn’t then. :)

The gear preparation is coming along nicely.

18 comments:

  1. Only one more week!?!?

    How are you going to sleep with all that excitement?

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    1. I know!!

      It's just like when you're riding, you focus only on the now and the next few seconds. (or at least that's what I tell myself. lol).

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  2. You know it's not really camping if you do it in your garage.

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  3. I've had good luck with the Camp Dry on my tents. It may have darkened them a bit but that's ok. I prefer happy and dry over new looking camping gear any time. I've never tried the Nikwax products, but they look interesting. Good luck!!!

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    1. I am with you on happy and dry over good looking gear. thanks!

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  4. I can't wait to see a photo of your bike all loaded with your gear. I am guessing with a week until you leave, you are going through the "Do I really need to take this?" questions. It is a tough choice and I expect you will be posting stuff back home as you ride further south?

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    1. I guess packing should be my next post :)

      You can almost make out the bike with bags in the background. It's only missing the tank bag and small gas can.

      More like the one in this photo plus a small gas can on the rear seat: http://www.everydayriding.org/2011/08/bigtrip2011-day7-mountains-and.html

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    2. Can you get your tent and camping gear in the top box and panniers?

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    3. That is the expectation; I got it all in the cases last year. I am in the midst of test packing now to confirm I can do it again. I'm bringing more food and water this time, so we'll see.

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  5. I am a big Nikwax fan. I use almost all of their products on my gear it it works. I usually camp in a hammock or a bivy tent, but I took the 2-man to Alaska because I figured there would be a shortage of trees for the hammock and I might be kept inside due to weather for a day or two. It was a good call, but I found cabins were so cheap in Alaska and BC that I often spent the $12-20 for the extra comfort and WiFi access. Spoiled, I know, but when a campsite is $8 and a cabin is $12 I can't justify saving the $4 when it's cold and raining.

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    1. I'd pay $12 for a cabin over an $8 camp site nearly every day of the week!

      I'm also bringing a 2-person tent. I like the extra room to move around and somewhere to store my riding gear out of the elements.

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  6. I can't believe it's a week away either! I'm taking lessons from you on the waterproofing. Why didn't I know we wore the same boots? Did you have them when you visited? We're talking the tall, velcro boots?

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    1. much less than a week now. Just a few more days!

      Yes, we have the same boots. I had them both times i visited too. We compared them last year. hehe.

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  7. Chris:

    Only 5 more sleeps ! Our weather is going downhill. Rain forecast for the next 2 weeeks. I know what you mean about getting excited. I was on the highway last weekend and it felt like I was on an adventure . . . felt good

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

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    1. indeed! well four more now. The forecast is getting nicer here, but the weather guessers are rarely right more than a day in advance.

      ride in some heavy traffic, that's always an adventure! lol.

      looking forward to seeing you in a month or so.

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  8. Awesome Chris.. I'll be following your trip.. man it looks epic!!!

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