With spring run-off in full swing, it might be time to face the facts: winter is not coming back (at least for several months). Make the goodbye a little less painful by giving your winter gear a loving send-off. Writing for Adventure Journal, Abbie Barronian offers these tips to ensure your gear has a restful hibernation and will be ready to rip (but hopefully not rip) come the first flakes.
1. Give your down a little breathing room: Sleeping bags and puffies often come with stuff sacks, but that doesn’t mean they thrive under pressure. After cleaning, store bags loosely in a large canvas or mesh bag in a cool, dry spot. For puffies, wash according to instructions (pro tip: dry with tennis balls to maintain that poof), and hang or folded loosely in a cool, dry spot.
2. Wash your shells and re-up your DWR: Despite what you may believe, washing and drying water-resistant shells actually refreshes the DWR. Dirt, sweat, sunscreen, burrito leakage and beer all can take a toll. Adding a wash-in formula (like Nikwax) is a great thing to do at the end of the season.
3. Tune and wax your skis. During storage, moisture and debris can settle into little ski wounds, making them far tougher to patch come November. Also consider coating (but not scraping) your bases in a thick layer of wax, which will keep them from drying out. When you break them out for early-season turns, simply scrape off the old wax and you’re good to go. Store skis with a strap or two to keep bases apart and skis together, and make sure they’re totally dry– edges rust quickly.
4. Check your avi and backcountry gear: When’s the last time you checked your probe? Affirm all your gear is functioning properly before storing, yet again, in a cool, dry place (note: not the back of your car.) If you’re really gung ho, you can pull debris off skins with tweezers. Although skins should be fine without the mesh “cheat sheet,”make sure there’s no glue exposed and again, keep them cool: heat is the enemy of skin glue. Also, take the batteries out of your beacon – acid can corrode battery terminals.
5. Let those boots breathe: Pull the liners out to dry thoroughly and, if you’re so inclined, wipe down shells, the outside of the liner and base of the footbed with a wet towel. If you’re still rocking a little boot funk, stick a sock full of baking soda or a few dryer sheets in there before storing. Then, last but not least, buckle them down so the plastic retains its shape and be sure to read them a goodnight story. Maybe the one about that epic powder day when you got first tracks.
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- By Michael Elizabeth Sakas/Colorado Public Radio
Can a cloned baby black-footed ferret save her species?
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- A DIFF-erent approach
- By Missy Votel
Durango Independent Film Festival moves to the small screen for 16th annual
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- Here comes the bus
Durango School District 9-R is getting on the bus – the electric bus, that is. Last week, 9-R announced it won a $328,803 grant for a fully electric school bus and charging infrastructure. The 81-seat bus is expected to be operational by next fall.
- Good QRma
The days of scrawling your name and phone number with a Sharpie on your gear are over. A Boise-based company has come up with a tech-age solution to the age-old problem of lost or yard-saled gear.
For $3.99, Karmik Outdoors will send you a QR code decal for all your most precious toys. The unique code will trace you gear back to you, all with a simple smart phone scan (provided, of course, that whomever finds your flotsam, jetsam and improperly secured roof items is a believer in gear karma in the first place.)
Adding to an already grim year of statistics, last week was the deadliest week of avalanches in the U.S. in more than a century. At least 15 people were killed in avalanches in six states between Jan. 31 – Feb. 6, including three in the San Juans alone.
To help folks better contend with this season’s treacherous and unprecedented conditions, Friends of the San Juans wants to equip them the best tool possible: knowledge.
- Serving up help
Early in the morning of Feb. 6, local chef Seanan Culloty narrowly escaped an apartment fire with his life and his faithful dog, Bubba. However, Culloty, the head chef at Manna, escaped with little else. To help Culloty get back on his feet, friends and co-workers are hosting a GuFundMe page. The money will be used to help Culloty replace his belonging as well as with a deposit and first month’s rent on a new apartment.