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Rainy Rambles

Hands up who has recently realised that their waterproof items are no longer waterproof after rambling for two hours in the pouring rain? That would be me and a few of these wonderful smiling faces, who I took for a rain-filled ramble along the coast from Porthtowan to Chapel Porth recently.

Regardless of the weather, everyone embraced the elements and had a marvellous time. But once I’d finally dried off, I realised that my once waterproof coats and trousers were no longer keeping me as dry and protected as they should. Cue a trip to Cotswold Outdoor in Truro where I stocked up on some performance wash and waterproofing items.

Since realising I needed to give my garments a bit of TLC, I have also received a number of messages from those interested in a little advice on what I use to clean and waterproof my items. Although I’m not an expert and I please ask you to follow the advice of the care label in your items and from the guidance on the back of the bottles, I thought I’d use this recent rainy adventure as an opportunity to share with you how I look after my outdoor gear.

Please continue reading for an insight into my routine but again, please make sure you follow the advice and guidance from either a specialist or from the labels in your apparel.


Down-filled items

I have a few items that are filled with (synthetic) down and although these are not necessarily fully waterproof, you do need to take care of the lining as well as the filling. To do this I start by using the Grangers down wash kit which is a complete cleaning solution for down (and synthetic down) filled garments. This kit also includes three dryer balls which help to fluff the down out and dry the garments faster.

Once my down filled coats are washed, I move onto the Nikwax down proof direct, a wash-in waterproofing for down filled gear. This adds water repellency, revives insulation and breathability. I do this step straight after washing the items.

*If you have more than one item to waterproof then please be mindful that you can only do one at a time.*

Once everything has been washed and waterproofed, I then pop them in the tumble dryer at a low heat along with the dryer balls, and I check the items periodically to redistribute the filling. Alternatively, you can leave to air dry if you do not have a tumble dryer, but this could take a while for the filling to completely dry. Please be mindful of this if you are planning to use the garment(s) soon after cleaning and waterproofing.

Waterproof coats and trousers

Most of my coats are fairly used and old but as long as I take care of them, they can last for a number of years. To do this I start by using Grangers performance wash concentrate to clean my items. It is also suitable for gore-tex which is what most of my coats are made from. I try not to wash my coats too often and usually I wash them when I am also planning to waterproof them. Day to day I will keep them clean by wiping them down if they get muddy and using a spray waterproofing to keep them protected.

Once I have washed my items I then use the Grangers clothing repel which adds durable water and stain repellency and adds breathability to my garments. I usually only pop one item at a time into the washing machine to waterproof, which is why I try to keep on top of looking after my items after each use, to ensure I don't have to waterproof too many at one time.

I always like to add a bit of extra protection on areas where my rucksack sits and can rub at the material so, I will then use Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On on the back and shoulders of my (wet) coats before leaving my items to air dry. I do this same cleaning and waterproofing process for my waterproof trousers too.


My hiking boots are usually pretty good at staying waterproof, but after a particularly wet ramble I will clean and remove any loose dirt before spraying (whilst damp) with Grangers Footwear Repel. This spray is suitable for use on all types of material including full-grain leather, nubuck, suede, gore-tex and fabric footwear. It is also environmentally responsible and water based.


The above is my full cleaning and waterproof routine for my outerwear, but day to day I tend to top up the waterproofing using the spray and ensuring my items are wiped off and any dirt removed after every use, to keep them as clean and looked after as possible.

Please note that none of this is sponsored and I paid for these items myself. Below is an image of said items which I purchased from Cotswold Outdoor in Truro. If you’re a subscriber of Cornish Ramblings, you are able to take advantage of 15% off your items online and in store - please get in touch for a discount flyer be emailing Jody at

I hope you found this blog helpful but do get in touch if you would like any further information on the products I use and the routines I do. Please leave a comment below if you liked this blog and be sure to subscribe to the mailing list to keep up to date with the latest blogs, news and rambling updates.

“There‘s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

Alfred Wainwright


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