View Full Version : Gaiters?

03-25-2003, 13:19
Do you wear them? If so just the ankle or full length?

03-25-2003, 13:53
I didn't use them last year, but I will this year. I got a pair of the shorter ones just to keep mud and water out of my boots.

Last year, there wasn't as much rain as there has been this year (from what you can read in the journals).

03-25-2003, 13:53
I wore full length gaiters the whole way. I hiked SOBO and encountered tons of mud up north in Maine and NH. By the time I got to VT I was worried about the ticks, so I kept them. They kind of became a part of me but i did start loosening them and folding them down in the Mid Atlantic States. I hiked ina kilt most of the way so by the time I hit southern VA I pulled them up again to be kinda like pants for the colder temps.

With that being said...I recommend gaiters to keep all the crap out of your shoes. You probably do not need the full length ones though. They are heavier and overkill.

max patch
03-25-2003, 13:58
Not necessary for a 3 season hike of the A.T.

Extremely hot in summer.

Ramblin' Rose
03-25-2003, 14:31
I wear Outdoor Research Flex-Tex low gaiters. I use them all year long except in deep snow or extreme cold. They are not coated so their cool in the summer. They are also light weight abrasion resistant and stretchy. They do the job of keeping the mud off my socks and the pebbles out of shoes. Life on the trail seems just a little bit better with them. Its really a personal preference. I think if I had to wear long gaiters I'd probrably opt to wear long nylon pants instead.

The only irritaion are the instep straps - nylon just doesn't hold up well. Does anyone out there use a material that lasts longer?

03-25-2003, 14:39
If you're insist on wearing gaitors, then at least use the 4-oz OR short gaitors. However, after having tried them in Virginia, I'm not at all convinced that they're even worth a quarter-pound of weight unless you're always walking through wet grass. I just have never had that many problems with junk in my shoes or water entering from above (it'll enter anyway eventually!).

03-25-2003, 14:56
I wore gaiters from Springer to Damascus. These were a very simple, low type of gaiter. They did help keep my feet a bit dry and kept some stuff out of my shoes. I probably would not take them again and they are staying at home on this summer's PCT hike. Gaiters are nice to have for snow, so I may put them in my bounce box for the Sierras. I wouldn't bring them again on the AT unless I was planning an early start or a later SOBO finish.

03-25-2003, 15:44
For the nylon cords wearing out...I replaced the polyester ribbons that came on the gaiters with a peice of 3mm cordage..tied a knot on the inside, ran it through the outside grommet, slipped on a cord-lock and tied another knot to keep it from slipping off....works a lot better than trying to tie the darn nylon cords in cold weather and seem to last longer as well...

As for wearing gaiters...I tend to wear the high gaitors only when snow (or snow drifts) is higher than the top of the boots...

03-25-2003, 16:12
I started without them, and bought a pair in Damascus and wore them every day for the remainder of the day. The OR short ones, worked great. My socks stayed relatively clean, and the little pebbles (and especially pine needles) stayed out of my boots. I reccommend them if you plan to use low-cut shoes.

The instep strap also didn't hold up at all, but you don't need it, or just use parachute cord as a replacement.

03-25-2003, 17:28
Originally posted by stickat04
Do you wear them? If so just the ankle or full length?

Gaiters are a personal preference type of item. The plus is that they keep the skree out of your boots, and so your socks don't wear out as fast.

The lower cut your boot is, the more apt your are to pick up skree in your boots. Also, when wearing long pants, then gaiters are redundant.

The negative is they make your feet hotter.

Maybe the topic for a poll.

03-25-2003, 19:16
i have full length ones. in australian bush, they keep the leeches off, here in the uk, they keep the bog and rocks out :) i will be taken em with me on the AT in 04. full length gaiters + kilt! whooop!

Trail Yeti
03-25-2003, 22:33
I'm with the Mad Aussie and Grimace. I started in low gaiters, wore them all the time except when I hiked in sandals. When I got to Vermont I bought a pair of high gaiters and ditched my rain pants. Pushed them down when it was hot, pulled em up when it was cool. Like Grimace said, when wearing a kilt with gaiters its better than pants! (Kilt is always better)
going to get a pair of the OR short ones sometime soon, I used REI brand last year (the stretchy kind) and didn't like them.

03-26-2003, 03:35
I use gaitors year-round..long in winter, short in summer...they work well with the quilt...ibid the advantages listed above, AND when combined with a pair of Pearl Izumi leg warmers (used mostly by road cyclists) you have much more variability in staying warm,dry,clean,etc. Get the OR models, they have it figured out.

03-26-2003, 10:28
Durring the winter I use the OR RockyMountin Low Gaiters. This year I'm going the Teva Guide Wraptor route, so Gaiters will be pointless. Less stuff to carry :)

03-26-2003, 11:27
Don't forget they look all "Last of the Mohicans" cool. Unca and Magua would approve.:D

03-26-2003, 23:10
I picked up an abandoned pair of gaiters about halfway along the trail, cleaned them up good and tried them out. They were the short OR ones. I had never had any problems with stuff getting in my running shoes or socks, but I thought I'd see if there were any advantages. After a couple weeks, I ditched them as they gave me heat rash really bad on my ankles. The straps also broke on them, and the snaps kept unsnapping.

The only thing I liked was that they kept my shoelaces from ever untying. I knew some people that really liked them though, so it never hurts to try.