Know How

How to Use : Gaiters

Sarthak Madan

Last updated: 23-10-2018

Bikat's HOW TO USE series provides information about how to choose and use trekking or climbing equipment like backpacks, boots, gaiters, microspikes and a lot more.

Gaiters are sleeves made of synthetic, abrasion-resistant material that protect your boots, ankles and lower legs. They prevent dirt, pebbles, mud, and snow from entering your boots. Some gaiters also have a durable water repellent (DWR) membrane for added waterproofing. Cold weather gaiters have an inner lining that provides additional insulation.

HOW TO CHOOSE

 

As important as knowing how to use gaiters, is choosing the right one. A well built gaiter will have the following components:

  • A zipped closure, with either a waterproof zip, or an additional storm flap with velcro closure.
  • Waterproof, abrasion-resistant fabric.
  • Elasticated drawcord for security at the top
  • Lace hook at the front.
  • Instep or stirrup strap the secures the gaiters under your boots. Most gaiters come with nylon or rubber straps. Nylon straps are more durable and easier to adjust

HOW TO USE

A gaiter is useful only if worn properly. If not, it will not prevent mud and snow from getting into your shoes, and you will waste valuable time readjusting it later.

 

  • Wear your gaiters while sitting down, with your hiking shoes or boots on.
  • Open up the gaiter completely, but make sure the instep/stirrup strap is fastened.
  • With the adjustment buckle on the outer side of your feet, lift your heel and slip the strap under your foot. The strap should sit in the raised cavity between your boot’s heel and palm. The lace hook should be towards the front of the boot.
  • Close the zip a few inches, then stretch the lace hook as far as you can and clip it into your laces. Some boots have dedicated loops for gaiter hooks.
  • Zip up the gaiter completely, and close the storm flap.
  • Make final adjustments to the instep/stirrup strap, as tight as possible.
  • Adjust the drawcord at the top, so that the gaiter doesn’t fall or allow debris to sneak in, but not tight enough to restrict circulation.
  • Repeat for the other leg.

Sarthak Madan

I work with Bikat Adventures as an expedition leader and technical content writer. Sometimes, I fly. Read more

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