We have to start quite some time ago. When I first started hiking on my trip I used classical zip-hiking pants. I was never really happy with them. Why? Because I knew I was going to loose weight why I bought a pair smaller that they would actually fit at the beginning. But then quickly they became to large. So there was only a very short period were they actually fit. And they were never really practical with a button and a zipper. Since I had to wear a belt later on I always had bruises on my hips from the rubbing of the hip-belt of the backpack, the belt itself and the fabric.

Only by coincidence I came across my red Speedo swimming shorts. For a trip to Fiji I needed swimwear which was almost impossible to get in the deepest New Zealand winter. The one and only I could find was a pair of fire-red Speedo swim shorts. Would have not been my first choice in terms of “hipster-style” shorts for a beach vacation. But – I had no choice. Fiji passed by and back in NZ I hiked in them for the first time on Rangitoto island on a day-hike. And that’s where I realised that they were never intended to be swim shorts for me but hiking shorts!


From this moment on I have never hiked in anything else but my formerly red shorts. They traveled with me through Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, Chile, the Amazon delta, Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

On my way to Choquequirao in Peru

The shorts even made it to the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic. The first time I set foot on the 7th continent – it was in the pink shorts.

Landed on the 7th continent @ -12C

And then I wore them for another five month every single day on my long distance hike from Mexico to Canada. In total they made over 5.500km with me, enduring temperatures of way below -12C in Antarctica, heat, humidity, sweat, sun, being frozen, wet, in saltwater, tons of dirt, sunscreen and food-spills. They have seen and felt it all.

On the Pacific Crest Trail

And through all of this they gradually changed their colours from red to pink now.


During the 1.5 years I did get to learn the advantages of the swim shorts over normal hiking pants. Why? Because they dry quickly, have a loose fit which gives you great ventilation, have a mesh inside – so you don’t need underwear which means less sweating and more ventilation and they have a drawstring elastic waist band which automatically grows with you. Even if you lose a lot of weight. Another great advantage is going to the toilet is a fast thing with them – no buttons or zippers involved anymore just pull’em down and up.

Not only did we become an inseparable team but they also became kind of a my trademark – “the guy with the beard and the pink shorts”. So when they ripped the first time on the trail I knew that there would be work to do when I was back in civilisation. For the last 300km I just fixed them with tape to hold them together. But back home I realised that the rip wasn’t the biggest problem. The fabric was so thin that there were many tiny holes and they started ripping everywhere on the backside.


The first big rip. And you can see how thin the fabric was already then…

On my winter trip in the Black Forest it happened. Not the seam but the entire shorts ripped from bottom to top. That was it. I just couldn’t wear it any longer like this. Most people around me told me to frame them and put them up on a wall as a great reminder of the journey. But having freed myself from most material possessions since I came back I didn’t want to have anything hanging on a wall which I couldn’t use. And actually I wanted to continue hiking with my shorts more than anything else. So I decided to give it a try and fix them. I contacted Speedo to ask them for some “spare parts” and fabric so I could fix the holes and weak sections. When I told them the story they immediately came back to me. Unfortunately they did not have any spare parts or fabric but they just sent me a completely new pair for free. I thought maybe it’s a sign. The effort to fix the old one was immense. So I went on a hike with the new pair. But what can I say. It was just not the same. I came back and I knew I had to get the original pair back to life. No matter how much work that would mean…

It took me over three month to find the right battle comrade. And then by coincidence I met Nathalie – she is a makeup artist for theatres. She does all the costumes but also the stages. And before that she designed swim wear for many years! Can you believe…? The perfect match to tackle such a project. We met for the first planning session where Nat evaluated the option we had. We played around with options, parts and ideas…



And then we had it all sorted out. Nat wanted to save as much as possible from the original pants and only replace some parts of the back to make the structure durable again. I couldn’t believe my luck. I was gonna get them back 😍

Three weeks later we met again to actually do it. It took us only over three hours to take the shorts apart so we could put them back together the we way we had planned it.




When I opened the stitches of the pocket I discovered sand which had been stuck in there. Really curious where this came from. Fiji? Panama? Salar de Uyuni? PCT?


Teamwork: even Susanne who actually connected Nat and me came over to help with the Sisyphus work…

Then we finally had all the single pieces we needed.


Our plan was to keep the seam and the entire front part of the old shorts. Only the back part was supposed to be replaced. On top we wanted to reuse a few parts of the old back.


And then it was time to put everything back together and to start with the special edition parts…




And after 11 hours of work we were finally done! The pink shorts are back alive. And they are ready for the next 5.000km – at least. I can’t really describe how happy, thankful and glad I am that I can continue using them on the trails. It would have been such a waste and they also would have not deserved it to be hung up in a frame…

So here it is – the final result. The pink shorts reloaded. From the front you can’t even tell:


The back part is new below the elastic waist band. We also saved the old pocket and attached it to the new back.


And the last little highlight. We saved the most durable stretch of the back and made a map of the Pacific Crest Trail. You can see the three states California, Oregon and Washington and the actual trail as a stitching. By this we kept a bit more of the original and also honoured where it probably suffered the most… 😉

No room for errors – there was not a lot of fabric to work with…
Washington, Oregon & California – The Pacific Crest Trail

Thank you Speedo for supporting the repair.Thank you Susanne for linking Nathalie and me. And 1.000.000 times THANK YOU Nathalie for helping me sooooo much with this. I could have never done it without you!!!!


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