04/20/2017 / By Amy Goodrich
As temperatures start to rise, the country’s best hiking trails come alive. Flowers are starting to bloom, birds are nesting, and the sun is slowly warming up the earth. Be sure to take advantage of all the natural beauty the spring season brings and plan a hike or camping trip away from towns, cities, and digital devices. Take some time off to slow down from the hectic life you live and breathe in some fresh air.
Before setting off on a wild adventure, you might want to weatherproof your gear. Nothing is worse than drenched hiking boots or water leaking into your tent. Below you’ll find a two-ingredient wax to seal and protect leather and canvas jackets, hats, bags, boots, and tents. (RELATED: Stay informed about the latest survival and outdoor gear at Gear.news.)
What’s more, making your own waterproofer allows you to add essential oils to your gear that repel insects and rodents. Since mice love beeswax, opt for peppermint, lemon, citrus, eucalyptus, citronella, or a mix. These essential oils repel both bugs and mice.
Also, forget about mosquito repellents that contain the controversial chemical called diethyltoluamide or DEET. DEET is a toxic substance linked to allergic reactions and other health issues. Did you know that a mix of lemon and eucalyptus essential oil works even better than DEET, without adding any harmful side effects?
According to researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom, DEET gives about 85 percent protection in a four-hour period, while a eucalyptus and lemon-based repellent provides nearly 97 percent protection over the same period.
To weatherproof your gear, make your own waterproofing mixture following the instructions below.
FYI: while petroleum jelly gives the best result, boiled linseed oil can also be used. Though it will do an excellent job at waterproofing your gear, there is one drawback to using it over petroleum jelly. When linseed is used in combination with beeswax, you will also need to add turpentine. Turpentine is the byproduct of the sap of pine trees and, just as linseed, has a pungent smell and is highly flammable.
Equipment and materials
FYI: some people prefer to waterproof their clothes with a solution that’s still hot and liquefied, using a spray bottle and rag. However, Off The Grid News recommends to let it cool completely and use a cloth or brush since the petroleum-based mixture cools quickly and may turn into a paste in a matter of minutes.