Maintaining Your Outdoor Gear with Wonderland Gear Exchange

Thursday January 21st


Welcome to Wonderland Gear Exchange! I'm Maddie, Store Manager, and today I'm going to show you how to prolong the life of your gear and find a better fit. At Wonderland, our mission is to make adventures cheaper and easier, keep gear in the wild and out of the landfill, and broaden the outdoor community.

A question we get really often is, “why are my ski boots so tight?” While getting expert help at the store can be really useful, it's also nice to wear them around your house and prep for ski season. What you can do is strap on your ski boot, get ready to soak into a good movie, and give yourself a couple good heel kicks. Then really flex forward, lean into your boot with your good ski stance. It'll remind you when those heels are soaked back and those toes are flattened—it'll feel like when you're sliding on snow this winter in the mountains.

If you find yourself tired and uncomfortable on the trail, part of that may be a misfitting pack. At Wonderland we can help you fit a pack, and something we look for and you can look for at home, too, is a triangle of death. You can see that here in Ben's pack where we have an ill-fitting torso length of this pack. What that'll do is a less effective transfer of weight onto your spinal column forcing you to work harder on those uphills and downhills. You can see the triangle of death here on Ben's shoulder, where the strap is not coming into contact with the shoulder blade. What that means is that the pack really isn't resting pressure between your shoulder and hips.

Why isn't my jacket waterproof? At the time of production, a durable water repellency or DWR coating is applied to waterproof fabrics. Of course, waterproof jackets, hard shell rain jackets, whatever you call them, are essential in the Pacific Northwest for keeping us dry in the city, on the trail, or in the mountains. Something you can do to maintain the water repellency is to clean and reapply the DWR coating to your gear. We do that with Nikwax Tech Wash and TX. Direct Wash-In. You can also test this on your gear. Give it a quick spray underneath your sink or faucet and see if that beading up happens, just like when you got it new. At Wonderland, we think used gear can be just as great as new gear. No one climbs Everest in brand new gear—it's everything that they've trained in and used before.

Everyone forgets about caring for their zippers, but zippers are actually the secret to maintaining a lifelong relationship outside with your favorite jacket. Something that I use is the Gear Aid Zipper Cleaner and Lubricant. Just like rubber to the road, over time dirt and sand get in the zipper and wear down the teeth causing it to break at the worst possible moment—like in a rainstorm or a really cold day when you're trying to stay warm. You can run the zipper care lubricant and cleaner along the length of the zipper, run it up and down and it'll take care of your zipper for a long time to come.

If you've got gear at home that you're no longer using, bring it on into Wonderland to consign. It's easy, and we'll find a new home for it. Let's gear up to get out.

At Fresh Chalk, we believe the best recommendations come from friends. Our mission is to help you find the best products and professionals for home, health, beauty, and more — through your personal network — as quickly as possible. Learn More
Join Fresh Chalk About Us