Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Timberland Earthkeepers: The Journey Begins...

As many of you would have known by now, I've been chosen to be a part of Timberland's reforestation efforts in Horqin, Inner Mongolia, not to mention that I will also get to go on a nature appreciation and Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan.

On Sunday, my journey begins, thanks to a contest that I was initially quite hesitant to join. I'm really quite excited, and I'm sure that I will have a memorable experience over in China.

But of course, there is the issue of getting the proper gear.

Inner Mongolia is a very different environment from the seashores and tropical rainforests I am more accustomed to. With its cold, dry winters, and hot, humid, summers, I need to be adequately prepared for an entirely different climate.

The Inner Mongolia scenery;
(Photos by FOE TOE's)

And so, I paid a visit to Timberland Singapore's flagship store in Raffles City.


I met up with Gillian, a representative from Timberland, who assisted me in getting some of the items I would need.

For starters, there's the boots.


I took a look at the Product Catalogue on the website: these boots are listed as the 6" Premium Waterproof.

(Photo from Timberland Product Catalogue)

Made from premium full-grain and nubuck* leathers for comfort and long-lasting wear, these boots also feature direct-attach, seam-sealed waterproof construction that helps keeps feet dry in any weather. It's not just the boots themselves that are built to last, the laces are made with with Taslan® nylon fibers for long-lasting wear.


Yet despite these boots being tough, they are gentle on the feet, with padded collars for a comfortable fit around the ankles, and an anti-fatigue midsole and footbed which provide all-day comfort and support.

Where it comes to footwear that needs to withstand an awful amount of abuse, it is often the sole that gives way first. These boots sport a rubber lug outsole for that extra durability.


Indeed, as the song goes, these boots are made for walking.

*Nubuck refers to top-grain cattle rawhide leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side, or outside, to produce a velvet-like surface that is resistant to wear.

The next item I received was the jacket, another key item that I can't afford to do without on the wind-swept plains of Inner Mongolia.


This is the Packable Benton Jacket.

(Photo from Timberland Product Catalogue)

This is made from 100% nylon, and feature ripstop fabric, a special reinforcing technique that makes the jacket resistant to tearing and ripping in strong winds. The outside also has an extra polyurethane coating that renders it waterproof. There is always the chance that we'll be caught out in the open during a downpour, and a waterproof jacket is an essential tool to help prevent me from getting soaked and losing body heat.


An added feature is the hood, which is easily rolled and tucked behind the collar, and the whole jacket can be folded into a very small bundle for easy storage if not needed. If you invert one of the side pockets, it turns into a small pouch which you can then stuff the rest of the jacket into. It even comes with its own little carabina, allowing you to clip it to your bag for easy access.

It probably also makes for a nice little pillow for those long trips on the road.

Besides the boots and the jacket, I also received some of the other prizes I had won:


You're not going to find them in the Timberland Product Catalogue though.


There's a certificate of congratulations on winning the blogging contest, as well as S$1,000 worth of Timberland vouchers. Excellent, since it means that there's still a chance for me to head down again to get more gear, and for my family to do a bit of shopping as well.

Oh, and did I mention that for now, a Timberland multi-purpose backpack (worth S$89) could be yours for free if you spend S$350 in a single receipt?

Can't wait for Sunday to arrive, and for my chance to really test my gear against what Inner Mongolia has to throw at us.