When you’re backpacking, every ounce of weight counts. Knowing how to dry your boots while on the trail is essential. If your shoes get wet, take them off as soon as possible.
Once you have your boots off and any excess water shaken out, there are several ways to dry them. For example, if you can find the sun while on the trail, leave your boots outside in an open area so they can get direct sunlight. This will cause the heat of the sun to evaporate some of the moisture from inside your boots.
If there is no sun available, you can always create your own “sun” using a campfire. Just make sure to keep the boots far enough away from the fire, so they don’t get too hot and cause any damage. If you are in a wet climate, you might also want to consider packing some newspapers with your gear. After each day of hiking, stuff a few sheets of newspaper into both boots and replace them with fresh ones the next morning. This is a good way to help absorb any remaining moisture overnight.
If you are camping in an area that doesn’t allow fires or don’t have access to newspapers, then you can always use your body heat to help dry your boots. Put them on, wear them for a few hours, and the moisture will evaporate from the inside of your boots due to the heat generated by your feet. This is not ideal as it won’t completely dry out the insides of your boots, but it should be enough for them to be wearable on the trail again.
Why Are Boots So Hard To Dry Out?
Boots are made of materials that are designed to be water-resistant. This means that when they get wet, they take longer to dry out than other types of footwear.
Why Is It Important To Dry Hiking Boots?
Drying out your boots is essential for three reasons.
- Wet boots are heavy.
- Wet boots can cause blisters. When your feet are wet, they slide around more inside your boots, leading to friction and blisters.
- If you don’t dry out your boots, they can start to smell bad. This is especially true if you’re wearing them while walking in hot weather.
How Do You Dry Boots While Backpacking?
To dry out your boots while backpacking is to stuff them with newspaper. This will help absorb the moisture and speed up the drying process. Here’s how to do it:
- Remove the laces from your boots and set them aside.
- Stuff each boot with as much newspaper as you can.
- Place the boots upside down on your backpack or in a sunny spot to help them dry out.
- Replace the newspaper every few hours until the boots are completely dry.
- Once the boots are dry, put the laces back in and tie them up tight.
Following these steps should help you dry your boots quickly and efficiently while on the trail.
How To Dry Hiking Shoes Overnight
If you don’t have time to wait for your boots to dry during the day, you can do a few things to speed up the process.
Prep The Hiking Boots For Fast Drying:
The first step is to prep the hiking boots for fast drying. This means removing the laces and taking out the insoles.
If you can’t remove the insoles, that’s okay.
Using A Cedar Boot Tree:
If you have a cedar boot tree, you can use it to help dry out your boots. Place the shoes on the tree and leave them dry.
If you don’t have a cedar boot tree, you can use rice to help dry out your boots. Place the boots in a container filled with rice and leave them overnight.
Hang Them Up:
Another way to dry out your boots overnight is to hang them up. If you have a boot drying rack, place your boots on it and let them air out overnight. If you don’t have a boot-drying rack,
Using Cat Litter:
You can also use cat litter to dry your boots if you’re in a pinch. Place the boots in a container filled with cat litter and let them dry for twelve hours.
Use A Boot Drying Rack:
If you have a boot drying rack, you can use it to help dry out your boots. Place the boots on the rack and let them air out.
Use A Boot Dryer When Possible:
All you need to do is place your boots on the dryer and let them do their job. Boot dryers are great when you’re in a hurry and need to dry your boots as quickly as possible.
With either of these methods, you should be able to dry out your boots overnight so that they’re ready to go in the morning.
How To Dry Boots In The Field:
Campfire Boot Drying:
If you’re trying to dry your boots in the field, one of the best things you can do is use a campfire. The heat from the fire will help speed up the drying process.
Here’s how to do it:
- Build a small fire and let it burn for a few minutes until the flames die.
- Place your boots near the fire, but not too close. You want to protect the materials.
- Let the boots dry for a few minutes, then rotate them so that the other side can dry.
- Repeat this process until the boots are completely dry.
Drying Boots Using A Shammee :
Shammy is an absorbent material that you can use to soak up the water from your boots.
Here’s how to do it:
- Place the shammy inside one of the boots.
- Use your hand to press the shammy against the boot and soak up as much water as possible.
- Repeat this process with the other boot.
- Once the shammies are saturated, wring them out and let them dry.
- Place the shammies back in the boots and let them dry
Use Hand Warmers To Dry Hiking Boots:
We can use hand warmers to dry out our hiking boots. All you need to do is place the hand warmers in your boots and let them sit for a few hours. The heat from the hand warmers will help speed up the drying process.
Use A Sleeping Bag To Dry Hiking Boots:
If you don’t have hand warmers, you can also use a sleeping bag to dry out your boots. Place your boots in the sleeping bag and sit for a few hours. The heat from the sleeping bag will dry it.
Things “Not-To-Do” :
You should refrain from doing a few things if you want to dry your boots quickly and efficiently.
- Don’t put on the fire:
One of the worst things you can do is put your wet boots on the direct fire. This will not only damage the materials, but it can also be dangerous.
- Don’t use a hair dryer:
Another thing to avoid is using a hair dryer on your boots. While this may seem like a good idea, it’s one of the worst things you can do. The heat from the hair dryer will damage the materials and make it harder for your boots to dry out.
- Don’t put them in the oven:
Putting your boots in the oven is a bad idea because putting them near the fire is a bad idea. The heat will damage the materials and make it harder for your boots to dry out.
The Things To Do:
- Dry Insoles Separately from Boots:
One thing to keep in mind when drying your boots is to dry the insoles separately. The insoles will take longer to dry than the boots, so it’s best to remove them and let them dry on their own.
This will help ensure that your boots are completely dry before you put them back on.
- Store Boots in Places Where the Temperature is Normal:
Once your boots are completely dry, you’ll need to store them in a place where the temperature is average.
Instead, store your boots in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use them again.
Drying your boots is essential if you want them to last longer. Wet boots can lead to several problems, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. If you get your boots wet, use one of the methods above to dry them out quickly and efficiently.
Should Hiking Boots Be Waterproof?
It’s better if they are water-resistant so your feet can breathe.
Do All Hiking Boots Need To Be Broken In?
No, not all hiking boots need to be broken in.
How Often Should I Clean My Hiking Boots?
It depends on how often you use them. If you’re using your boots regularly, you should clean them every few weeks. However, if you use them occasionally, you can clean them less often.
Do You Prefer Hiking Boots Or Trail Runners While Backpacking?
There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on your personal preferences. Some people prefer hiking boots because they offer more support and protection. Other people prefer trail runners because they’re lighter and more comfortable. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which shoe is best for you.
How Do I Tie Hiking Boots?
There are a few different ways to tie hiking boots, but the most common method is to tie them in a double knot. Start by threading the laces through the eyelets on the boot. Then, tie the laces in a double knot at the top of the boot. Finally, pull the laces tight and tuck them in, so they don’t come undone.
Are Waterproof Boots Suitable For Backpacking?
Waterproof boots are suitable for backpacking if you know you’ll be hiking through wet conditions. However, if you don’t need the extra waterproofing, it’s not necessary. Waterproof boots tend to be heavier and more expensive than non-waterproof boots, so it’s a personal decision.
Can I Wear My Winter-Insulated Hiking Boots In Summer?
Yes, you can, but your feet will be very sweaty.
How Do I Store My Hiking Boots When I’M Not Using Them?
It would help if you stored your hiking boots in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or a humid environment, as this can damage the shoes. Store your boots in a mesh bag to allow them to breathe.