The Basics

What the outdoor retailer offers is personal expertise which is something the web cannot deliver. In a world awash with product and competing claims, the informed sales person comes into his or her own. On these pages and in concert with individual sponsors we offer a series of bullet point guides to the basics of the key outdoor product categories. Our aim is to provide inexperienced sales staff a guide to what to remember and for more experienced ones a reminder of things they might have forgotten. The Basics has been produced so as to make it simple to download – in most cases each takes up no more than single sheet of paper.

The basics of care products - storm

Sponsored by Storm

It is extraordinary that consumers will sometimes happily pay out hundreds of pounds for outdoor gear, but quibble over finding a fiver to look after it. But that isn’t because most are mean. If they realised just how much care products add to the performance and lifespan of outdoor clothing and footwear most would happily cough up the money. 
1. Why clean at all?  
Dirt will build up on the surface of outdoor gear and in the case of breathable jackets for example will, in a very short space of time, compromise the performance of the fabric. This is especially true of coated products (Click on The basics of breathability)

2. Base and mid layers
are particularly prone to damage arising from the accumulation of salt residues caused by the body’s perspiration. Technical base layers succumb to this more readily than those made from natural fibres such as merino wool, but if not attended to all constructions are affected.  Normal detergents won’t be able to stop the build up of bodily residues leaving your base layers with an unwelcome whiff!

3. Footwear
is vulnerable to attack. Few people bother to clean footwear the moment they take it off. Abrasion from contact with the earth can be exacerbated by deposits of salts and acids which occur naturally in the soil. Constant exposure to wet conditions followed by rapid drying will cause boots to lose their flexibility, reducing the lifespan of both leather and fabric footwear.

4. Garments
need to be washed well before reproofing. Traditional household detergents can be too harsh and damage your waterproof clothes and kit.  If any dirt remains on the surface before the process, it will undermine the effectiveness of the waterproofing. 

5. Customers
can be very hot on environmental detail, so it pays to ensure that the brands you are offering have all the necessary credentials and approvals.  It’s important not just to pay attention to the chemicals used in the products themselves but also in the production process used to make them.

For information on the Storm range go to

Download PDF