Climbing Season is Upon Us

Climbing Season is Upon Us

It’s been awhile since the last update but climbing weather is finally here in southern Germany.

I’ve got a Donautal trip planned for June 26th with a friend from the US. Not sure whether we’ll hit Schreyfels, Stuhfels or Aussichtsfels, or maybe two of them.

Here’s hoping for a few good outdoors trip soon with my meetup group!

How to Wash Arcteryx Hard Shell Climbing Jacket & Gear

How to Wash Arcteryx Hard Shell Climbing Jacket & Gear

When you spend several hundred dollars or Euros for a nice hard shell jacket, like I did for my Arc’teryx Alpha FL, you may start getting cold feet when it comes time to wash it.

Eventually, you’ll start seeing sweat stains, dirt and other signs it’s time to toss that waterproof shell in the washing machine. Don’t worry, you can restore the waterproofing relatively easily and get it back to brand spanking new!

As Arc’teryx notes:

Dirt buildup and body oils from sweat can compromise the membrane and overall effectiveness of the textile’s Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment. DWR encourages water to roll off the surface –this is called ‘beading’. Regularly washing and re-applying DWR will restore the performance and extend the lifespan of your GORE-TEX garment.

What You Need to Wash your Hard Shell Jacket:

Additional detergents for technical clothes include:

How to Safely Wash your Jacket:

  1. Close the main zippers and armpit zippers
  2. Open chest and pocket zippers
  3. Release tension on all elastic draw cords
  4. Add the special tech wash to your washing machine.
  5. Wash on medium heat 40 C (104 F) with only a few other garments
  6. When done, shake off the excess water and then tumble dry on low (40C / 104F) for 40-50 minutes.
  7. Once dry, apply a new coat of waterproofing such as with Nikwax Tx.Direct Spray-on

How Often to Wash your Waterproof Jacket:

Simple: as often as necessary. When you notice sweat stains, dirt and it losing its ability to bead water, then it’s time.

Arc’teryx recommends every 10 – 12 days for hardcore users and once a month for light users. But once you start seeing dirt on the jacket and that water isn’t beading anymore, it’s due for a wash!

Video: How to Wash Arcteryx and other Waterproof Performance Clothing

5 Reasons Climbing is a Great Sport for Kids

5 Reasons Climbing is a Great Sport for Kids

We all love climbing for different reasons. Some enjoy being outside, some the challenge and others prefer more solitary sports vs. team ones. Whatever the reason, it’s a particularly great sport for children. Why?

1. It promotes individual accomplishment vs. relative win

Team sports are quite popular, especially in the United States. However, they are not for everyone and many children who prefer smaller groups get the impression they are “not good at sports” when the reality is, they haven’t found something that suits their personality. It took me over 30 years to realize this!

Climbing is an excellent all-round sport for those who prefer small groups and individual activity.

2. It’s a full body workout

Unlike sports which focus on the same muscle groups or the same movement over and over, climbing is very dynamic. While certain groups are used more than others, it requires a wide range of movement, general strength and stamina.

3. Kids are just natural monkeys (climbers) anyway!

We all know this intuitively. Children are just drawn to climbing on things from furniture to trees and rocks. In many ways, it’s a far more natural sport than things like football or baseball and only a small “leap” in terms of new activity. Also far less rules to remember!

4. Climbing helps you overcome fear and improve yourself

Unless you’re lucky enough to be born without fear of heights, climbing is a great method to overcome many fears at once. This includes not just heights, but self-doubt and fear of taking risks. Best of all, your accomplishment is 100% your own. Nobody else gets you up a route but you.

5. Climbing teaches trust

Growing up, learning to trust others can be difficult. When climbing, you must learn to intuitively judge whether you can trust others with your life. You can get injured in soccer, but if you’re belayer messed up, that may be it for you. Learning to climb involves learning good judgement regarding very serious choices.

For another take on reasons to go climbing, check out The Adventure Lab or Backwood’s Mama’s guide to climbing with kids.