Pantyhose is a Paddler's Friend.
We all know we are supposed to re-use and recycle items to help lesson our impact on the environment, right?!! But what does pantyhose have to do with paddlers? While there's actually a lot you can do with an old pair of nylon tights, for paddlers and campers, there are definitely at least two...
1) At the campground: Soap Stockings
Your bar of soap* (or you can take all the old soap slivers and left overs - you know, like when the soap gets too small to hold in the shower) and an old pair of pantyhose can make for a great soap dispenser in the bush. Cut off the leg of an old pair of clean nylon tights around knee height (or just use a pair of knee-highs). Add your soap (or soap pieces) into the sock you just created. Tie off the end near the soap. Hang the soap stocking near your wash/kitchen station while camping for hand-washing, etc., Now the soap won't slip out of your soapy hands or get dirty when you drop it. It also helps to keep the soap drier (not mushy) after use so it is easier to pack away at night (if little critters or bears are a consideration).
2) In the shop: Nylon Varnish Applicator
One reason that people tend to lean towards a varnished paddle is the lack of maintenance over an oiled paddle. But that doesn't mean that varnished paddles don't need a coat of protection every once in a while (depending on use). If you have a hard time with dripping varnish or only need to apply a light coat of protection, old nylons can be of great use. Just cut off the toe and upper portions of stockings, keeping the soft nylon and leaving the rest. Now simply apply the varnish to your paddle (after a light sanding to scuff up the surface a bit) using the nylons like a pad. Rub the varnish gently, making sure it is evenly dispersed, only using enough to cover the area with a light coat. Then leave to dry. You don't have to worry about cleaning your brush with Varsol or other harsh chemicals/spirits as discarding the old panty hose is your only clean up. The whole process takes only minutes but will lengthen the life of your paddle and it's finish. Note: you will want to use a pair of paint gloves to protect your paws!
One last tip: natural pantyhose works the best in most cases where strongly dyed tights or hose can possibly lose some of it colour while being re-used. (eg. You may notice the colour of your pantyhose showing up slightly in your varnish).
Do you have any tips to share? Send us your tips and paddling advice - and if your tip is featured here - we will send you a free Badger Paddles sticker!!! All you have to do is email us your suggestions.
*Biodegradable or earth friendly, please.