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During my recent ski touring trip I have forgotten the protective mesh of my climbing skins in the car. I have noticed my mistake when on the top of the mountain, but by then it was way too late. Not having a better idea, I have stuck the two skins together, and hoped for the best. This was not a good idea. Once at home, I had big problems taking the two skins apart. I am afraid I might have even damaged the skins somewhat. And the edges of the skins that were not alighned properly got some fluff on the glue anyway.

Was there any way to protect my skins better? I thought about just rolling them up, but then I would have gotten fluff from the back of the skins all over the glue? Maybe I should have stuck them on my backpack? But it was not exactly clean.. Should I have tried to get some garbage bags or some paper? But that could have gotten stuck and break when taking it off? The best idea I came up with, albeit too late, was to stick as much snow as possible on the skins, and then put them together. Would that have worked?

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What you did is not uncommon. Randonee racers fold their skins in half and stick them to themselves all the time. The mesh cheat sheets work great at prolonging the life of the glue on your skins, but they aren't 100% necessary. I ski with people who for years have only ever stuck their skins to themselves, and aside from some pitting of the glue, their skins are fine and stick just as well. That being said, I always use my meshes when I'm putting my skins away, with the exception of making quick transitions.

If it's cold enough, and your skins are clean (you haven't walked through any dirt or pine needles), then something else you can do is roll your skins. I've never done this myself, but supposedly the glue doesn't stick to the mohair.

Rolled climbing skins

Whatever you do, the important thing is to make sure you unstick you skins from each other before you let your skins warm up, especially if they're wet. In your situation, I'd pull your skins apart as soon as you got back to your vehicle and stick them to your meshes.

If your skins get dirty, you can clean them by picking the bits off the bottom with a pair of tweezers, then soaking them in a bucket of cool water overnight with some light detergent. If you're glue is to the point where it isn't sticking so well, you can reactivate the glue using a hot iron, or buy some new transfer strips. A good post about cleaning your skins (where this image was taken from) can be found here: Tech Tip: Skins, drying, cleaning, re-activating glue.

  • Rolling up sounds like another solution! I have considered it, since I think I have heard of it somewehere before. But in the end I did not dare. I wonder if it would have worked in my situation, because my skins are not pure mohair, but a mix. And also it says not to do that in warm conditions, I wonder why is that? On that day it was really warm, so maybe that's why I had such big problem taking the skins apart? I think it only took 20 minutes between the time I put the skins together and tried to take them apart for the first time. Was too hard, so I left the task for when I get home (; – april rain Mar 8 '18 at 10:52
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    @aprilrain The glue is designed to stick in cold conditions, that means when it's warm it's TOO sticky. My brother always sticks his skins together, I have to fight like crazy to get them apart when I borrow them for friends to use. Wet and warm is a bad combination for the glue on climbing skins. When I do stick my skins together, I make sure I do it very lightly (don't press them together), and store them loose for the descent so they don't get too stuck together. – ShemSeger Mar 9 '18 at 17:46
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That depends a lot on the specific type of skin: Traditional "glue" type skins can be stuck together generally without damage, but as you discovered, it is not ideal. They are quite hard to pry apart and it can happen (albeit not often), that some of the glue is on just one side afterwards. There are several "modern" type "adhesion" skins, which differ in their handling, I am aware of silicone and acrylate based solutions. Those can be either rolled up or stuck together. If there is any dirt on them, they are washable. There were some early types of "non-traditional" skins that cannot ever be stuck together, it will break them - afaik those aren't on the market anymore.

From your description you have the traditional type of skins. Paper definitely would be a bad idea: As you discovered they stick quite a lot so paper will mostly likely tear and it will be really hard to remove from your skin. Same with thin plastic/garbage bags. Sticking snow in between wont harm the skins long term (they won't stick until dried though), but I doubt the snow would stay in between the skins.

All in all if you don't have obvious substitutes like strong plastic bags, sticking them together is the best option to keep dirt away.

  • Yes, those indeed are the traditional skins. Till now I have used Gecko (adhesive type?) skins, and the default handling for them is to just stick them together. I have found this very practical, but then again, I had problem with them coming off when walking in cold temperatures. – april rain Mar 7 '18 at 12:24

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