How to Use Gaiters

How to Use Gaiters
Gaiters are many things to many people, but backpackers and mountaineers usually don't think of huge jaws and a sharp set of teeth when the word pops up. Gaiters, which are worn over boots and calves, have multiple uses. They protect from water, snow, debris and weather, and come in many sizes and designs. No matter the season, gaiters are always handy.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Gaiters Hiking or mountaineering boots
  • Gaiters
  • Hiking or mountaineering boots
Step 1
Choose the proper length gaiters for the activity and season you intend to use them in. There are three main lengths: full, short and super. The main purpose of gaiters is to protect debris and moisture from getting into the space where your pants end and your boots open for your ankle. Full-length gaiters reach to just below the knees and can be worn in all seasons. Short gaiters are about 6 inches high and are usually just for summer, when it is too hot to wear a full. Supergaiters are for extreme alpinism and mountaineering expeditions. These cover the boot from the sole up to the knee, and are not only used to keep debris from entering the boot but also to maintain warmth.
Step 2
Choose the right size gaiter for you. Many are made in small, medium and large sizes. Try them on with the boots you intend to wear them with.
Step 3
Gaiters should be snug around the arch of your boots and not too baggy around your calf. It can be easy to catch crampons on these if there is too much extra fabric. Make sure also that you are wearing them on the right boots. Many are designed as right and left gaiters.
Step 4
Cinch the draw cord or buckle around the calf area at the top of the gaiters. This will help to keep them from sliding down.
Step 5
Carry extra cord in case the strap under the sole of the boot wears out.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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