As trail runners, we like to think we are minimalists. All we need to hit the trails are some shoes. However, the longer we run and the more we explore varied terrain, the more specific gear we require. Nowadays, many of us accumulate high-tech gear in order to stay safe, dry, warm, reflective–and generally as good-looking as possible. We need wool layers, Gore-Tex shells, shoes with certain tread, etc. We spend what we have on gear to keep us exploring happily and safely. Our passion for playing in the mountains comes at a cost, and it’s a cost we should be keen to protect. Although we are minimalists at heart, the reality is we understand the importance of high-quality gear needed to protect us in the mountains.
Imagine you’re about to embark on the biggest trail adventure of your life. Whether it be a 100-mile race, multi-day adventure with friends, or bagging that peak you’ve always dreamed of, this dream becomes a reality with the right gear. Required gear lists are becoming increasingly common in the trail and ultrarunning community. The list goes beyond the 10 essentials, and the cost of trail and mountain exploration isn’t cheap. Moreover, the gear we wear can impact our physical and mental performance. If we have the means, investing in high-quality gear is worth it. The love we have for exploring only increases the more we do it, and ideally we want our gear to last adventure after adventure.
Since the 1930s, Grangers has paved the trail to help athletes protect their gear. They’ve done the dirty work by researching and developing how to protect our favourite items. From assisting mountaineers summitting Everest, to extreme thru-hikers, to general outdoor explorers–the company has a long history of helping keep us and our gear protected. They understand that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Now, they are helping to protect the gear of everyday trail runners, so we can continue doing what we love.
Grangers products clean, neutralize odours from, and protect our fancy gear. The products ensure our gear lasts beyond one adventure, so we are ready for the next. It’s a small price to pay, considering the cost of the quality gear required so we can continue having fun in the mountains, no matter what Mother Nature throws our way.
The products are approved with the Bluesign environmentally-aware system. From research and development to on the shelf product, they are completely free of any harmful substances. Testing Granger’s products is easy when everything you own is often filthy and smelly. I was apprehensive at first, but here is what I found out:
Granger’s Active Wash is an essential for a trail runner’s laundry room. Even though we’re not as bad as cyclists, we do love our lycra and other technical garments. It cleans more thoroughly than regular laundry detergent, and helps with smells involving a combination of dirt and sweat. I would come home from a run and immediately throw sweaty gear into the washing machine, with a drop of the Active Wash until a full load was ready to go. The wash not only removes dirt and smells from our technical gear, it ensures our fancy running clothes can last run after run.
The Performance Wash can be used in addition to the Active Wash. It’s ideal for Gore-Tex shells and any gear item with breathable or waterproof membranes. Like the Active Wash, it not only cleans and neutralizes odours, it provides fluorocarbin-free water-repellency while it washes. I preferred using the Active Wash for all daily running attire, and the Performance Wash for specific high-tech gear pieces we love so much. The Performance Wash helps our expensive items last longer since it prevents residue build-up that occurs with regular wear and tear.
In the Pacific Northwest, water-resistant gear is as essential for trail runners as socks. Many water-resistant gear items loose their ability to repel rain, snow, and moisture the longer we use them. And when a good rain jacket costs more than your Subaru, protecting it is a must. I used this for my beloved Gore-Tex shell. After each use, I sprayed the jacket with the Performance Repel in order to maintain the water resistant features of the item. After spraying the item and hanging to dry, I would feel as though my jacket was new again and ready to compete with Mother Nature.
“Trail runners don’t smell.” Said no one ever. I would be lying if I told you my friends ask me to ‘quarantine’ my trail shoes after a run. After using this product for my trail shoes, I learned it can also be used for all footwear made with leather, suede, and fabrics. Considering I am the trail running friend somewhat known for rancid smelling feet, I was quite ecstatic to learn about the technology of Granger’s Footwear Repel Product. After each run, I removed the insoles of my trail shoe, and sprayed the inside and insoles with the Footwear Repel. I was worried that this product would make my shoes and closet smell like the Febreze aisle at Walmart. However, once dry, my shoes did not smell. They did not smell like anything artificial, as though they had been tarnished with a chemical odour. I was pleased that it is possible to neutralize odours, even long after a stench has been imbedded in the shoe or piece of gear.