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Title image:  Getting ready for expeditions, resources and tips

Expedition Gear Series

Don’t Just Dump Your GORE-TEX into the Top Loader!

By Tracy Jacobson

Good durable gear doesn’t come cheap. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or just looking to stay dry and warm in the winter months, it is important to keep the integrity of your protective gear. We recently read an article Outdoor Research posted about ‘How to wash Gore-Tex’ and a few of us in the office were: “ops!”

We realize how important it is to get the right gear for any adventure, though, it is equally important to take care of it properly.

It’s important to take care of your gear for all types of weather.

It’s important to take care of your gear for all types of weather; and it's always more enjoyable to celebrate summit success when you’re dry and warm

Sweat, sunscreen, weather, and the typical wear and tear, can take a beating on your gear. We did a little research and here are some tips for you to get the longevity out of your gear investment:

#1 READ THE TAG: A lot of us are guilty for not reading the wash tags. IT’S TIME! Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Outerwear/Footwear/Gloves. All garments can vary in washing specs; temperature, cycle, hand wash etc.

#2 FASTEN ALL FLAPS: Make sure before you launder, to zip it up (all zippers, front, and fasten flaps). The Velcro on your garment will find fuzzies in your dryer even if you think they are not there. Fasten everything!

#3 DETERGENTS: Don’t use just anything. Fabric softeners, perfumes, conditioners, bleach, etc will affect the integrity of the garment. There are specific wash brands out there, or use a mild, unscented, liquid detergent.

#4 NO BLEACH: Do not use chlorine bleach on any GORE-TEX gear.

#5 DRYING: Garment dependant. Check your tag! The tumble dry (for specific garments) allows the durable water-repellent [DWR] to reactivate.

#6 DRY CLEANING: Not recommended. Unless the cleaner uses a clear distilled hydrocarbon solvent and sprays the DWR before drying.

#7 REACTIVATING: If your garment is losing its performance, there are ways to reactive the durable water-repellent**Apply DWR (available at any outdoor retailer) to the outer fabric.

Left: When your garment is not performing; Right: can reactivate the DWR

Photo credit: Outdoor Research