Lee Jeans x Wolverine x Long-John Dry Denim Survival Weekend

Lee Jeans Dry Denim Survival Weekend

The aftermath from the “Lee Jeans Dry Denim Survival Weekend”

Earlier last year in October, Lee Jeans organized one of the most remarkable and noteworthy denim events of the year – the Lee Jeans Dry Denim Survival WeekendCo-organized with Wolverine Boots and Dutch blog, Long-John, the two-day event doubled up as a crash course in outdoor survival training and garment endurance test.

Each participant was given a brand new pair of Lee 101S and Wolverine Boots 1000 Miles as their new, and closest, companions throughout the hard weekend. As well, participants were lucky enough to receive a few other freebies including beanies, scarfs, french knifes and flask filled with whisky.

Left, Lee 101S Right, Wolverine 1000 Miles and Lee goods

Lee 101S, Wolverine 1000 Miles

The organizers selected a group of denim lovers hailing from all parts of The Netherlands and the Belgian zone of Ardennes as the location. For those more unfamiliar with this area, it’s well known for its extensive forests, rough terrain, rolling hills and ridges.

The group lineup included:

  • Pol Houtkamp of Lee Jeans
  • Martijn van der Vecht of shop, De Rode Winkel
  • Bram Spanjersberg of shop, Daily Rush
  • Paul Travi of RawrDenim.com
  • Wouter Reimert of shop, VIF Jeans
  • Geert-Jan Renzen of salon, De Concept Salon
  • Ruben Donker of shop, De Garage
  • Ike Straatman of shop, De Garage
From left to right, Ike Straatman (De Garage), Martijn van der Vecht (De Rode Winkel), Ruben Donker(De Garage), Paul Travi (Rawrdenim.com), Pol Houtkamp (Lee Jeans), Geert-Jan Renzen (De Concept Salon), Wouter Reimert (VIF Jeans) and Bart Spanjersberg (Daily Rush)

Left-to-right: Ike Straatman (De Garage), Martijn van der Vecht (De Rode Winkel), Ruben Donker(De Garage), Paul Travi (Rawrdenim.com), Pol Houtkamp (Lee Jeans), Geert-Jan Renzen (De Concept Salon), Wouter Reimert (VIF Jeans) and Bram Spanjersberg (Daily Rush)

Day 1

The first day started with a briefing from the Dutch Survival Club, an organization responsible for each participant’s safety over the course of the weekend. After the preliminary training was finished (and everyone understood what they were getting themselves into), the whole group received just one small plastic bag of food that would be their livelihood for the next two days. That was the first lesson – get back to the basics and learn how to ration your small amount of food in a survival situation.

The Crew

The Crew

Preparing for the weekend ahead

Preparing for the weekend ahead

Rationing food supplies

Rationing food supplies

Once the rations were divided, the group was ready to set off and take on the navigation test. The goal was to find a meeting point using incomplete and unclear instructions while climbing through mud, rocks and rain for the next few kilometres. Within just one hour, the Lee‘s and Wolverine‘s received and showed clear signs of some hard wear.

Setting out

Setting out


After they all met at the final location, a tough ordeal awaited – prepare your own protein (not for the fainthearted), also involving classic techniques to start a fire. Keeping warm and dry was critical as well albeit a challenge as everyone’s jeans were completely soaked in mud and water.

Trekking and gathering at the first meeting point

Geert-Jan providing wood (left); Pol building a roof

The crew enjoying from the self started fire

The crew enjoying their self-started fire

Before it was time to turn for the night, the crew was hit with one last surprise – they were left a few kilometres away from the campsite with just a compass. After some careful planning and assessments, the team set off towards the site, meandering through the woods and even a corn field.

corn field

Day 2

The second day kicked off with a quick tutorial in makeshift knots; imperative knowledge for building a zip-line and bridge to cross over a river ahead. Soon after this crash course came a fun, but thorough, test for the garments – a mock mission to rescue one of the “wounded” participants, Pol Houtkam, involving crossing a deep swamp and battling a long walk right through a river. As expected, everyone’s jeans and boots went through the proverbial wringer.

The crew all loaded up with ropes

The crew all loaded up with ropes

Paul's boots and jeans getting a tough time

Paul’s boots and jeans getting a tough time

Ruben and Wouter checking the lines

Ruben and Wouter checking the lines

The line ready for action Zip-lining

Pol working hard to cross the streamA sneak peek of the final result


The team making their way back through a series of rivers and creeks

The team making their way back through a series of rivers and creeks

As the day and weekend came to an end, the Survival Weekend team admired their wares’ work then proceeded to give each garment a well-deserved soak. The two-day event eventually wrapped up with a celebratory BBQ and rejuvenating round of beers, as everyone unwound and swapped stories around a cosy bonfire.

Proudly showing the results

Proudly showing the results

Proudly showing the results


The Survival Weekend crew giving their denim a much needed clean.

Drying Lee Jeans 101S Wolverine 1000 Miles Boots

Paul Travi

Paul Travi

Paul's first experience with raw denim was at the age of 10 when his parents purchased him a pair of raw Lee Jeans. After many years, he found the very same pair of jeans in the U.S. and since then his interest in denim became a passion. Now based in Holland, Paul is constantly researching and experimenting with the amazing fabric.

More Posts - Website

  • philip_reaves

    That looks amazing, and I am super jealous.

  • Davil

    Yeah thats pretty cool.

  • Alex

    Nice to see jeans & boots being used for what they were designed for, for a change, rather than being kept as pristine as possible. Nice one guys!

  • sdgbh

    Am i the only one that thinks this is a stupid activity, even they cheapest pair of jeans and boots could survive one weekend of abuse, and with how much theya re carrying and the activities they do it seems alot more like summer camp than a “survival weekend”. A true test would be a month+ long backpacking trip in some real wilderness, but only an idiot would do that in jeans and leather soled boots.

    • Isaias

      Yes sdgbh, I think you are the only one. Clearly this people were having a lot of fun wearing quality garments, just great!

  • Arie van den Berg

    Great, read earlier about it on the site of Long-John, and wished I could have joined in my favorite second brand Lee (Levi’s 501 is my first love).

  • mrdoves

    Really cool!

  • Adam

    I like denim, should I grow a beard?

  • Pimmel

    Three word: Rid Icu Lous

  • Alex

    Looks like a bunch of Jackson Pollock wannabes….

  • John

    Awesome photos. My favorite pic is of the sack of potatoes- so rugged. The two pics of them “proudly showing the results of sitting in mud” are pretty epic, too.