Ode to Gaiters

Early spring in Maine

Now that New Mexico has a few inches of snow on the ground, I’ve broken out my all time favorite pieces of nerdy hiker gear: gaiters! Gaiters are waterproof coverings for your lower legs that loop under your boots and velcro around your calves. I originally bought mine for my first big mountaineering trip to Ecuador and I’ve been using them every winter and spring ever since. Best $35 I ever spent!

Gaiters with snowshoes!

Good for mud too!

Gaiters help keep my feet and legs dry, even when wading through deep snow. I wore them all winter last year in Maine, when I had to wear snowshoes just to go to the mailbox. When the snow melts into mud, gaiters keep my pants clean and dry. It’s so much better to take the gaiters off at the door and hose them off than to track mud through the house after every hike!

Me & my gaiters on the Pedernal

Winter is my second favorite hiking season, after fall, but it does take some planning and the right equipment to stay warm and dry. In addition to the gaiters, I always wear several layers of non-cotton clothing, wool socks and waterproof Asolo boots. I also keep a warm hat and gloves in my pack at all times, year round.

Don’t let winter keep you inside! Get some gaiters and good boots and get out there! Winter is a beautiful time to see more of the world…

Hiking Angel's Landing in Zion in January

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in Big Sky, Montana. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
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6 Responses to Ode to Gaiters

  1. seekraz says:

    I so agree with you, gaiters are wonderful, and let you do so much more in this beautiful snow-covered season. I’ve got some great Keen snow boots and gaiters, but probably less-than optimal other gear…but am still out there every weekend, hiking the canyons and trails in the 25 or less degree weather…so beautfiul, would be a shame to miss it. Thank you again for your beautiful photos. 🙂

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