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Scarpa Boot Cleaning!

After an odd couple of years which you may have noticed I’ve not managed to blog as much as I should, not just Covid but other personal issues, health etc I’m doing a quick blog just to try and get back into the swing of things.   

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about walking kit, or gear as some like to call it, so I thought a nice simple but none the less essential bit of advice of how I do things, doesn’t mean to say it’s the right way but after over 3 decades I’ve picked up a few things along the way. 

Boots! Or more accurately, our (me and the missus have the same boot make/model) Scarpa Terra GTX boots.  In previous blogs I’ve explained that I’m not a kit guru, I find a bit of walking kit and if it work’s I stick with it.  For crying out loud my base layer, a bog-standard Lowe Alpine short sleeve I‘ve had since 1995 and still use it when out and about.  I used to use Karrimor KSB boot for most of the 90’s but when the old boots gave up the ghost, I found the replacement update didn’t suit my feet, not because they’re a bad make, just didn’t suit me.  I tried a pair of Meindl’s which were a nice boot, but again didn’t suit my feet so after a few miles tried a pair of Scarpa’s after the missus had chosen a pair when I got the Meindl’s.   

I know exactly what I like about them, the leather is soft but durable.  They’re light and fit around my feet perfectly.  They’re made from a really soft leather; I’ve heard it called Buck leather or something but it is still hard wearing.  The only thing is they do need to be taken care of to get the maximum wear from them.  So, with that in mind for anyone out there I would like to pass on how I take care of ‘our’ boots, I say ‘our’ as the missus doesn’t even know where I keep the cleaning kit.

 

The first thing I do takes place on the last walk we do before cleaning, I find a stream or long wet grass and clean any dirt off.  Get home and the day after, or ASAP, take the laces out and get them over the sink and using an old plastic bristled pan scrubber I clean off any excess dirt.  I DON’T scrub them within an inch of their lives, the bristles are just useful for getting in the knucks and crannies.  Then while the boots are still damp, I squirt a grape size blob of NikWax leather cleaner onto a soft bristled boot brush.  Massage the cleaner with the brush all over the boot, into the tongue area and the stitching.  I then let the cleaner dry on the boot before putting the laces back in.  At this point some of the cleaner will have collected in the lace loops which the plastic part of the lace will push out, I just rub the little chunk into the leather. 

It isn’t a kick in the arse off the instructions on the NikWax tube but it works well for us, and unless you spend your next route trapsing through cow fields and farm yards, that clean should last about 4 or 5 walks without having to clean again.   

I have walking buddies who never clean their boots and I just don’t get it, they are replacing the boots every 3 to 4 years and complain after a year when the water starts to seep in!? 

Guys I’m not sponsored by these manufacturer’s and don’t sell for them, it’s just my opinion! 

Paramo Pajaro Waterproof, nice!

There’s few bits of kit that I feel are essential to spend just that little bit extra on, mainly the items that will be the difference between a good day in the hills or an absolute stinker.  One I feel is right at the top of the list when buying your fell wear, the waterproof coat!IMG_6049 IMG_6061 IMG_6062 IMG_6063 udr_greenfinches-early_1980s

I’ve had a North Face waterproof jacket up until last year which I got on with and thought I wouldn’t replace in a hurry.  But Mrs Hyde bought a Paramo water proof some time ago and I was mucho impressed.  Our walking buddie Dicko has had one for ages but he has that much kit I get confused with him and his clothing selection, his wardrobe must look like Go-Outdoors’ male section.  We used to come down from the fells on wet days and their attire always seemed to be bone dry, whilst I had the odd wet patch here and there.  So I bit the bullet and got myself the Paramo Pajaro!

One word; Awesome!  I have mentioned in previous blogs about kit, I sometimes gravitate back to old military bits and bobs, well, I just makes sense to me if somethings tried and tested.  This coat obviously wasn’t something issued to me in my army days, but if you have a good look at it, the design (pockets, zips, hood) it is a cross between the old Ulster Defence Regiment Greenfinch Waterproof and windproof smocks we got given throughout the 90’s.

As I said, I bought it last year and left it to now to blog about as I wanted to test it.  It’s now been through rain, hail, snow and wind and appears impenetrable.  As long as the temperature isn’t well into minus I’ve got by with just a base layer and the jacket on lot of the outings, mind you that’s not a true test, I forgot the layer of Yorkshire grit under my epidermis.

So, another kit ‘review’ which you may or may not take note of but if you have a bit of spare cash it’s worth a look at.  To be fair I use mine now for dog walking and general winter use, plus on the hills.