Everyone dreams of attending summer camp. The fresh mountain air, crystal clear lakes, and the friendships formed along the way. For many kids North Cascades Institute helps make those dreams a reality.
Through NCI Youth Leadership Adventures, kids learn to be better stewards of the environment as well as learn valuable outdoor skills like hiking, backpacking, and Leave No Trace principals. Many of the kids who attend programs at NCI aren’t equipped with the appropriate outdoor gear or have little to no outdoor experience.
NCI provides gear for all of those who can’t afford to bring their own. Things like boots, backpacks, and tents take a beating. Buying new gear every year would be a huge expense for NCI. That being the case, McNett® has stepped up to provide NCI with the training and repair products to help get their gear back on the trail.
Last week NCI brought us their entire stock of beat-up boots, broken backpacks, torn stuff sacks, and even their rain jackets. We spent the afternoon out in the sun chatting up their staff about how to make various repairs in the field, while working hands-on to repair the things they brought with them.
Their number one issue? Broken boots. These boots see some rugged terrain in the North Cascades National Park and kids are wearing through them pretty quickly. Imagine the normal wear and tear you would inflict on a pair of hiking boots in a summer. Now, multiply that by 4. That’s how many programs these shoes are used for all summer. A flappy sole here, some melted tops there, you get the picture. With some painters tape, a good scrub with ReviveX® boot cleaner, and a whole lotta’ Freesole® we showed NCI staffers how to keep their boots performing all summer. Not only did we repair boots, we did a fair amount of sewing and gluing.
Have you ever seen an outdoor guide wield a needle and thread? Stand back. With stuff sacks being constantly drug across the rough ground, there were a lot of tent bags with broken seams, ripped drawstrings and holes. We had NCI staffer Amy armed with a seam ripper to pull out the broken zippers on the packs, so that she could sew in replacements.
For the non-sewers we substituted a lot of Tenacious Tape™ and Seam Grip® to make some bomb-proof repairs. You can never go wrong with Seam Grip to make any sewing repair a little more durable and tough. Inside headquarters we had the washer and dryer operating at full capacity while we washed and treated all the NCI raingear with Synthetic Fabric Cleaner and ReviveX Durable Waterproofing.
This event was a lot of fun for both McNett and NCI staffers. We’re excited to continue supporting North Cascades Institute and their mission to get kids outside!