Saturday, August 31, 2013

Meindl Perfekt and Sno-seal

Never ever will I do a hiking boots test and that is for one reason only. I would never be able to be impartial! Many years ago a friend of mine took me to an outdoor store, where I bought myself a pair of Meindl Perfekt boots.
Meindl is a fairly small company in the town of Kirchanschöring in Germany, near the Austrian border. They hand-make most of their boots, and they are therefore in the pricey end of the spectrum, but they are AWESOME. I've put them through mountaineering in Switzerland, Canada, England, & Sweden. Numerous hikes all over the northern hemisphere, where I've literately walked through fire and icy rivers and they are still holding up. I love my Meindl Perfekt!

Unfortunately I don't show my love too often. While on a small hike with my oldest son, last week, I realized how long it had been since I showed my boots some love. The leather was dry and unhappy looking, and even the shoelaces were starting to look like they needed soap and water (when do you ever wash shoelaces?). At home I gave them a good brushing with a stiff brush and took out the laces. Here is a before picture:
Meindl Perfect - Before care
Meindl Perfekt - Before care
Not happy looking at all, right?

So I grabbed a hairdryer, a cloth and a tube of Sno-Seal. Sno-Seal is my goto leather treatment product. I've never questioned if this what the best product, but a guy with leather knowledge (!) once told me that it was really good so I trusted him. Honestly, if you know of a better product, let me know in the comments!
After using the hairdryer to heat up the boots, I applied generous amounts of Sno-Seal and while using the hairdryer to soften/melt the Sno-seal, I rubbed it in with the cloth.
Some areas of the boots were like a sponge, basically sucking in the Sno-seal, and on those areas I added more. Good amounts were also applied to all the seams and special care was taken with the double-stitched seam, where the top of the shoe is sown to the sole.
After a good 45 minutes of work, my boots were happy again.
Meindl Perfect - After Sno-Seal
Meindl Perfekt - After Sno-Seal
  Look at that! Those are the same pair of boots, 45 minutes apart. Leather is now moist, flexible, smooth and waterproof!

So please! Treat your boots nicely and give them the care they need! They take good care of you!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Going on a small hike with my son, and had a thought (yes, it happens)...

A few days ago, I decided that it was time to take my 6 year old hiking. Just for the night and just pretty simple stuff. Would be a good with some Father-Son time and I would get the chance to test some camping equipment.

For cooking I'm going to bring my new GSI Bugaboo Hiker kit. Its basically the Backpacker kit without the pan.

First, who comes up with a name like Bugaboo. It pretty hard taking the product serious. I almost bought it online as I felt uncomfortable asking for a Bugaboo Hiker in a store...

Second, its a really nice quality kit! I have yet to try it, but the feel of it is really nice. The two cups actually turn into 2 cups and 2 bowls, which is pretty handy for a two person hike.
Trangia 27-6 UL

Third, I realised something when unpacking it. It is almost as big as my trusty Trangia cooking kit, which has followed me for quite a few years now. And that kit contains two pots, one pan, a kettle, a base and a windscreen (plus a burner and lots of other stuff).

That made me think about what to pack. Obviously the Trangia kit is way more versatile, but I don't really need all the pots and a pan for one night. Then again, the GSI kit is almost as big...

Anyway, my plan is to do a video or photo post at some point where I go through the pro's and con's of both kits.

But please leave a comment on what you kit you would bring on a single overnight hike for two.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The launch of my personal blog

So I guess this is one of those boring 'first posts'. But it needs to be done, so here it.

This will be a place for my personal ramblings. An outlet for all that I care to spend time on. It might be about my family, photography, politics, religion (or lack thereoff), DIY projects, camping/hiking, gear... Whatever I fancy.

This blog will not have a general theme. Trust me on that one. I've had blogs before that I decided to reserve for specific topics, but turns out that I'm not that focused on one thing. Call it scatter-brain syndrome, if you must...

Anyway; Welcome to my outlet!