gearrehab_support_group2I saw you at a Seattle 3-Step Gear Rehab support group. You were wearing a purple 2-layer jacket, but you called the color eggplant or cabernet or Manchurian sunset or something.

Me: I was wearing a pair of jeans with a short-sleeve plaid button up and flip-flops. I was shy. You were so beautiful. Your strong, calloused hands looked like you may be my manic-pixie-dream-climbing partner.

You: Alone, sitting just outside the circle, because you were ashamed of the dirt and your raincoat’s obvious failure to keep water out. I hope it’s not too presumptuous to say, but I’m proud of you. Admitting the problem is the first step.

Showing up is like step 1.5.

I’m here to tell you: it gets better. My gear is six months clean now. It’s only four months proofed, but hey, you don’t need to proof as often as you clean!

At my first Gear Rehab meeting, I was a skeptic.

I know you can just send your gear to Nikwax and they’ll take care of it through their free internal Gear Rehab program, but I wanted to debunk the juju. Besides, I really wanted to replace all of my gear with newer versions that had brighter colors. But before I binged, I decided to “lift the curtain on Oz.”

“Put your proofing where your mouth is, Nikwax,” I said, because I’m not worried about mixing metaphors.

You know what? They did it. Well, they didn’t actually drink the waterproofing, but that’s not important right now.

You know what’s important? The fact that the 3-Step system works.

It’s easy:

  1. Admit your gear needs help.
  2. Clean it. Keeping gear clean will keep it at peak performance.
  3. Waterproof it. Nikwax formulas are non-toxic and fluorocarbon-free, so they are safe for home use and not harmful to the environment.

These three steps are the reason I didn’t splurge on thousands of dollars of new gear I couldn’t afford. They’re why my gear looks as good as it does. They are solely responsible for my gear’s improved performance. Hell, they’ve helped me break my addiction to consumerism!

Oh boy—I sound like a zealot. I kind of am.

When you figure out how you want to spend the rest of your life (having adventures in gear that works) and the woman you want to spend it with (umm… you), you want the rest of your life to begin right away.

I hope to see you at the next 3-Step Meeting. If you decide to send your cabernet Manchurian raincoat to Nikwax for the Gear Rehab program, please, please, please respond to this missed connection and we can climb into the sunset together.


The guy with perfect beads of water rolling off my jacket shoulders

*All gear addicts and Gear Rehab support groups mentioned above are fictional. In the non-fiction realm, Nikwax will clean and proof your gear in-house and for free – all in the name of making you a believer. Not to confused with Beliebers. We have no vested interest in that. Check out all the details here:

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