5 minute project: Waterproof your clothing

Today I got out my Gorka’s to waterproof them. I’ve got a Fieldcraft Course coming up this week and it’s going to be a wet one so I thought they could use it. I love the Gorka’s, they are very wind proof and also very quiet, but they aren’t very water repellent that I’ve seen. That’s not a big deal because it’s an easy problem to fix.

I started out the project by washing the Gorka’s in cold water with Dead Down Wind detergent. This is unscented, keeps the colors from fading, and has no UV brighteners.

I normally use Camp Dry, but I thought I would try Scotch Guard this time instead. They are both just a silicone waterproofing spray so it should work good. At the beginning of the year I pretty much give all my gear a good spray down of Camp Dry, and then a few days later I treat it with Sawyer Permethrin spray.

I start off with my tops, giving the hood and shoulders a thorough spray until damp. I work my way down the arms and torso. Then I do the pants, hitting the lower legs heavily and working my way up. After I finish with that I take both of them and put them in a garbage bag and tie it off. This is to prevent the silicone spray from evaporating and forcing it to be absorbed by the fabric, resulting in better water repellency. I’ll leave them in the bag for at least a day, then air them out and hit them with the Permethrin.

I have a gear stand I made that I hung the tops on to give me better access. These are handy for storing gear, or like this one, for storing my motorcycle helmet and jacket.

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