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The following article describes how to care for skins that are rented from Outback Adventures.

Proper Use and Care of Climbing Skins

In order to help ensure a good experience with the use of climbing skins, proper care and precautions must be taken. The following information outlines how to care for your skins, how to avoid damaging them, and how to address common issues.

If you are renting skis with your skins from Outback Adventures they will be fitted and adjusted by our staff. You should not need to make any adjustments to the tip or tail portion of the skin. If the tip of the skin utilizes an overlap adjustment system then this will be the macro adjustment side of the skin. The adjustable tail section is the micro adjustment and on occasion may need to be adjusted slightly if the skins have stretched after use. It’s very important not to over tighten the tail straps otherwise rivet loss or tail strap/skin tearing can occur.

As a precaution and as a standard backcountry safety practice, all skiers are advised to bring duct tape and/or ski straps in order to address skin related issues as well as other equipment and first aid problems.

Do not put your skins on skis in a warm environment and do not leave skins on skis when you’re done skiing. This practice can lead to glue transferring to the ski.

At the trailhead pull your skins apart without connecting them to the skis. Applying excessive stress to the tip and tail attachment systems can damage them. When pulling skins apart make sure you grab the skin’s fabric rather than the tip loops or tail straps. Pulling from tip loops that use an overlap length adjustment system can alter the skin’s length if the skin slips through the tip loop whereas pulling on a fixed tip or tail system can damage those connection points.

Do not plunge your skis vertically into the snow in order to keep them upright especially with skins attached. This practice regularly damages skins and ski tails.

If a skin failure occurs at the tail do not cut the skin. Simply remove the clip and either duct tape the skin down to the ski or use a ski strap. Some people fold the tail end under itself and then tape/strap it down to the ski.

A wet or icy skin can have issues sticking to the ski. Try to avoid repeated on/off applications and try to avoid getting snow on the glue side of the skins or on your skis when applying your skins. Sometimes skins will get ice and snow stuck under them. You can knock off the snow and ice while warming the glue slightly by running the skin’s glue side back and forth over your ski’s edge using it like a scraper. A wet or icy skin can be helped by placing them in your jacket between runs which aids in warming the glue and drying the skin. The lack of glue adhesion can also be addressed by wrapping strips of duct tape or ski straps around your skins and skis.

During rare snow conditions and particularly in warmer conditions, skins may experience snow clumping where snow sticks and builds up on the skins. This effect can be lessened by purchasing skin wax and applying it preemptively or when needed.

When at a cabin, hang your skins to dry with the glue exposed and away from intense heat. Make sure the skins do not fall on the floor or stick to clothing where debris could contaminate the glue. Similarly, be careful not to drop your skins on the ground and avoid skiing through heavy pine needles or where the ground is exposed.

When stowed away, be sure to have the skins in a skin bag with the glue surfaces protected by folding each skin onto itself, glue to glue. Do not stick the glue side to the plush fabric side.

If damage occurs due to improper skin use or care, Outback Adventures will charge a fee to repair, reglue, or replace the skins. If the skin pair that was rented is not returned, a charge of $160 will be charged. A minimum reglue fee of $100 will be charged for skins that become contaminated with debris. If the skin storage bag is not returned, a fee of $15 will be charge.

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