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How To Choose Gaiters for Mountain Hiking

how to choose gaiters
Written by Robert Miles
Last Update: August 23, 2021

Mountain hiking is challenging and exciting walking experience. You may experience different types of obstacles and dangers while mountain hiking. Worst among them is snake bite. Hikers often wear gaiters to prevent snake bites. Gaiters also protect our feet and footwear from water, mud, rock and keep our feet dry. Snake gaiters are very useful if you go for snaky places to hike.

What Are Gaiters?

Generally, a gaiter is a kind of protective sleeve or protective lather that covers the lower, ankle and upper boot. Most modern gaiters are mostly synthetic fabric made while former gaiters were mainly made of lather. The reason behind using synthetic fabric (Nylon, Cordura, tough polyester) is that, these fabrics are tough as well as light weight. For waterproofing performance some gaiters consists of laminated membrane on the outside fabric.

What Are Gaiters?

How To Choose Gaiters for Hiking & Outdoor Adventure

The most important thing while buying a pair of gaiters is to consider the purpose. There are different types, shapes, sizes and materials made gaiters to choose from. The key difference is in their material. For example,

  • Normal waterproof trail running gaiters only provide protection against rain water, wet, muddy and snow environments.
  • Other light gaiters will protect against dirt, sand, seeds from getting inside of your shoes
  • Ankle gaiters are ideal for running purposes as they are light weight, small in size and protects your legs and socks from sand, seeds and dirt.
  • Tough gaiters like rattlesnake gaiters are good to repel snake bites, thorns, scrubs and scratches.

You may also find mixed featured gaiters for different usage. For example, a lot of snake gaiters are found that offer water resistant as well. So, if you want a snake gaiter, make sure it is tough one that repels most venomous snake bite.

Choosing the Right Gaiter

You can buy more than one type of gaiters for different purposes. However, if you are short in budget and want only one pair of gaiters then snake gaiters should be you pick. It will provide you protection against most tough conditions.

Buying a Snake Gaiter

To choose a snake gaiter look for tough fabric like Cordura and Polycarbonate.  Snake gaiters are little tougher than normal gaiters. These are mainly made with polycarbonate and strengthened ballistic fabric. Some light weight gaiters only made of high strength fabric with strong polyester. Polycarbonate, poly-cotton fabrics are good to repel snake bites, thorns, briars and sticks and they offer quality gaiters snake bite protection.

As snake bite occur below knees in 80 % situations, try to buy gaiters that goes high to the knees. Do not buy ankle gaiters as they will not protect your knee and they are not made to repel snake bite either.

As it is seems that you will wear gaiter in summer environment when snakes are most active, try to find breathable gaiters which can reduce the sweet factor. Do not go for plastic coated gaiters as they increase your sweeting factor and make you uncomfortable while walking for a longer time.

You may also get waterproof snake gaiter as they provide you additional protection against water, mud, dirt, snow and wet conditions.

Why Do You Need a Snake Gaiter?

As human being we are top on the food chain and we forget potential dangers now and often In United States alone around 7000 to 8000 people become victims of venomous snake every year. Some snakes are harmless and go away to avoid people.  However, most venomous snakes become aggressive when they encounter a potential threat.

Why Do You Need a Snake Gaiter

So, if you are hiking on places where snakes are not hard to find, then it is better to wear snake gaiters for additional safety. Especially, if your mountain hiking place is in any of these areas which include Nevada, Texas, California, Arizona and some other southern and western part of US, you should wear snake gaiters for hiking and other similar outdoor activities.

Snake gaiters are found in many colors and sizes. So, for your safety purposes find a pair of snake gaiters and avoid snake biting.

Look at the Signs

Many spots have warning signs to let hikers know that there are risks of encountering snakes. Although more warning signs are about rattlesnakes, you might find other signs as well. It’s wise to take precaution.

Look at the Signs

Final Words

Mountain hiking is always exciting and fun. But, this excitement can be ruined by a vicious snake bite. Not all snakes are equally venomous and dangerous. But, identifying a venomous snake is not easy either. So, it is better to consider all snakes dangerous and avoid possible interaction with them. However, while walking especially mountain hiking we do not always see the potential danger lying beside our feet. For this, snake gaiters are essential and a good pair of snake gaiters can save your life.

By reading this article we believe you have the potential risk of snake bite and the need of a good pair of snake gaiters. For additional information or if you have any relevant question, you can write to us. Visit a reliable website to find other tools, accessories and equipment for safe mountain hiking. Have Safe Mountain Hiking!

About the author

Robert Miles

An Avid Backpacker

Robert is a smart backpacker. It’s what I feel proud of hearing from those I know. Brainstorming some ideas, packing whatever comes to knowledge, jumping on a bus/plane, landing somewhere totally unknown, and completing a journey amid fear, restlessness, scarcity, and tiredness are what many backpackers do. But that’s not my type. I go on adventures several times a year but not without doing my homework because I want to enjoy my time out in the middle of somewhere rather than worrying about my whereabouts. I also wish all of my fellows, known and unknown, to know before they leap. Feeling excited? Check out my tips and guides!

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