That is the question!  Why do we wear gaiters? What environments are they best used for? How do you properly wear them? These are all questions I want to answer.

 

Why do we need another piece of gear? It seems as if gaiters are a trick from the manufacturers, who somehow brainwashed our minds to make us think that they are useful. What about the looks of them? Every time I see someone at the trail head with shorts, long johns, and gaiters, I cringe!

I am here to prove to you that gaiters are actually useful. Believe me, I hate more equipment. Weight is my enemy when I am camping and I despise the thought carrying anything extra. Still the piece of gear I never leave home without, no matter what climate, is my pair of gaiters.

Gaiters:

–          Protect my socks – from dirt and grime. This reduces blisters over time.

–          Keep my feet dry – from the snow, rain, mud, dew, and small streams.

–          Keep my feet warmer – especially in cold climates.

Gaiters:

–          Should be a part of my boot.

–          Should be worn INSIDE of the rain shells or pants. Think about this one. If your gaiter is open to the elements, the rain will funnel into your boots.

–          Should have the buckle on the outside of the leg and boot.

–          Should fit around the boot  (be careful with different sized boots).

–          Women’s sizes fit differently than men’s. Women have bigger calves.

Ultimately, a gaiter is a useful  piece of gear that shouldn’t be missed. As silly as they look and feel, they truly give a good amount of protection to your socks and feet. If you are concerned about weight, try a shorter version for warmer weather. They even make a soft shell style gaiter for the summer backpacker.

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