|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on August 9, 2019 at 12:20 PM|
For you Rural folks.....
This is a dude I use to go out to the wilds with. He thought trash bags would protect his feet.. he was very wrong..Dont be the trash bag dude..
.One thing I can say about my feet is they are pretty tough. Ive had one real foot problem in my 11 years in the wilderness here and that was from the boots i chose that particular day and not my normal SOP regarding my feet. They can get wet and nasty and be fine. I don't suffer from disintegration if i go a day or more without changing my socks and Ive never used foot powder in my life. Going three days with wet feet can be typical for me. They're also pretty resilient in the cold as well, however this post is about summer. I donate my feet being how they are from growing up country and going around barefoot most of my young years, and later endless treks in local mountains that prepared and conditioned my hooves for use in later life. Ive had healthy calluses on my feet so thick i could hold a lighter to them and not feel the fire right away. Calluses are your friend if you use your feet a lot like I do. I don't know for sure what makes my feet so bomb proof but I know I'm grateful they are so resilient and never give me issues save the occasional heel blister now and again..Some people have thier feet fall to pieces with the least amount of moister.
Zombie Feet.....The one time AK ate my feet..
As an E&E Survivalist these are pretty much mandatory for the day the hammer drops and I'm out the door. If you too plan to bounce out the door for safer pastures when the hammer drops you will need leg gaiters. These will save a lot of wear and tear of your trousers and boots. plus help protect your feet and legs from the elements. Its simply a given. I started in Alaska with a set of surplus ones from Norway. However those wore out after years of reliable use. They were simple waterproof coated nylon gaiters. They kept mud, snow and debris from my lower legs and also saved my hems from rips and snags but like all kit they evetually reaches its servicable limit.. Sadly finding another set to fit my short stature has been a chore and as time wore on Ive pretty much forgotten and gave up hope that id find an appropriate set for E&E and a set that i could afford and that were decent quality. I never really completely stopped looking but I never made it a priority as time passed. Making a set myself crossed my plans a time or two but it just never happened. The last set I had were surplus German issue. I retired them to the kit bin over a year ago and there they remain until a trade comes along. They were super too long for me, but they sure kept my lower extremities dry and ptotected. However they were unbelievably uncomfortable becuase they just didnt fit. They caused chaffing and blisters in the crook of my legs. Asking a vebdor for an actual size was like asking for free kit over email. Ive also used the British DPM version in the past to a great extent, but alas those too were ill fitting and reduculously unconfortable. They did however proform excellent. So I can recommend the British version. They do come in sizes and a vendor should know this. They are very very durable.
Norwegian on the left, and British DPM version on the right.
The above picture is of Gortext gaiters being used with gortex trousers and a decent set of boots during late spring time here. If you can manage to score a quality set of boots that will last, a quality set of gaiters and are able to use them in combination with a quality set of gortext trousers you have a suit of armor on your lower half that can defend you from the elements in some pretty nasty weather. Do not sell yourself short in this area. For me here in Alaska Gortex trousers and gaiters can translate into year round nasty weather use with just the changing of the foot wear, the obvious layering required to cope with the hard winters of South Central AK. If you are in a similar climate and wish to follow my example do not forget to account for winter layering by getting a larger size trouser and gaiters that will fit over both summer and winter boots. Take note not to get such a larger size gaiter or trouser that you swim in them in the summer causing a hazard and liability with their use. This should be a 4 season application and transition you can carry in your Rucksack. But this is not for the inexperienced. This takes practice to get the flow right and deals with kit maintenance and application to carry what you need all the time to cope with the changing season that requires kit transition. In the end its about taking care of what you have and YOURSELF. Saving kit from unnecessary wear and tear is saved time later and saves you from problems when you can least afford them.. The point is you need gaiters. There will be enough to do, don't make problems for yourself.
Recently I acquired a (new to me) set of old school leg gaiters. A friend at the local Army Surplus store hooked me up with a set on a trade. They are even made here in Alaska by "Apocalypse Alaska ". I dont know if they are still in business.. They're a very simple design. Made of waterproofed nylon and secured with a heavy YKK zipper and snaps. The fit is perfect in height and bagginess to suit both summer and winter boots. One down side i see right from the start is that they suffer from shiny silver snaps, a shiny front hook and other glittering harware herer and there. Im hoping in time they dull and maybe corrode a bit giving them a subdued finish that wont betray my CAMCON (Camo and concelament). So far Im pleased with these gaiters but only time will tell if they will be a perminent addition to my kit lay out.
One last piece of information on legg protection: The above picture is a guy with his trousers tucked into his boots. I recommend never tucking your trousers into your boots. You'll negate much of the support a boot offers by doing this because the boot will not evenly constrict around your lower leg, ankle and foot. You'll create a dead space where your lower leg, ankle and foot meet. This is caused because you have all that fabric under the top portion of your boot and that section will tighten first. The bottom will remain less secure no matter how hard you pull your laces.. You'll create a dead space where its all meets in that multi jointed area that can cause a twisted or turned ankle because the support simply is not there. Every little bit helps especially when carrying a loaded rucksack. If you don't have gaiters I recommend adding elastic to the bottom of your trousers to pull the hem in. This will reduce catches and snags that will slow the disintegration of your trouser legs and hems .. You can also armor up the hem of your trousers with Gortex like I have done in the past. The second hand store is a great place to get used camo surplus gortex suited for cutting up.
Gortex Armor Video:
Ive never spoken about socks but these socks have well and truly earned a mention. Since May i have been using these socks in daily life, PT and in the wilds, but mostly in the wilds and for PT. I really like these socks. So much I want to mention them and let others decide for themselves. As for most kit i talk about this is not a recommendation but merely a heads up of sorts . I generally give kit 1-2 years before I sound off with a recommendation of use. Im not sure these will last two years but they are off to a great start. That would be great because a good set of socks that will last, and that will be comfortable on my feet would be most advantagous when the Hammer Drops. However so far they really are some of the best socks Ive ever used. I found a 4 pack still in the bag at the second hand store. They are the "Omni-Wool" Brand. Amazon carries a wide variety of this brands. Have a look. Im not sure of this exact model, you'll have to compare and search. I tried to destroy a test set by wearing one set for nearly 2 weeks strait in the wilderness, around town and during PT without washing them. The stood fast and kept their fluff and constrictivness. Not one time did they get saggy at the mouth and fall down or lose thier over all shape with repetative use. Every time i took the test set off my foot and reused it later they were constricted comfortably around my foot. To a great extent this constant ability to stay constricted helps my feet function longer and has reduced fatigue. I have also noticed 0 wear in the heel, toes or at the bottom of the front of the foot where friction is greatest.
The old school, Lugged Jungle Boot... A staple summer footwear for me for a very very long time. Sadly the surplus has dried up over the years. These can run over 100$ now, with the Altima Made In The USA quality reproduction running 75-90$.
From the mess on the internet I'm gathering my boots are Rocky Brand. Bellville makes a similar brand as well but from what I'm seeing these are made by Rocky and made in the USA. Regardless of being either brand both will cost nearly 100$ or more new. I got these new at the second hand store for $12 with the tag still on them connected by a string with a care booklet attached. All that found it was to the trash bin somehow so I wasnt sure what I bought later when i questioned myself....
Like their old school OD and lugged sole counterpart- once they soften up and break in they're super conformable to wear. I did add two double thick Dr Schools inserts for added comfort. This raised my foot inside the boots and cause a biting blister that soon started to turn to a callous. Ive had these since May and worn them around town, Rucksack PT and in the ass kicking mountains and forests up here. I even wore them at my wedding. (True Story) They definitely get a thumbs up and ill be using these until the freeze comes. The are double vented just like the old school version as well. The lacing is a bit different than the old school round eyelets in that it employs a speed lace line up for an easier more uniformed overall fit for the whole foot, and they lace really easy when one is in a hurry. One liability i have noticed with my boots is after about 20 minutes of motion, whether on black top, on a trail or with a rucksack in the wilds, they tend to stretch to the point that every time I go out I must stop and tighten the laces to pull in the slack or risk a turned ankle. For me these really must be secure on my foot. They stretch to such an extent that when I put them on I can double wrap the laces around the top of my boot because they just wont make three wraps and tie, and i have to tighten them causing a triple wrap that I can tie with laces to spare. Its quite a stretch and seems to happen whether they are wet or dry when I take them off between uses.
Though I prefer the old school lugs I could just be bias because I know them so well. Ive never used a tread that grips the earth like the old school "no clogging" lugs did. The new tread works nearly just as good. The user should always have faith in their tread and be confident enough to let them do their job without thinking about it. Ive seen guys diddle around like little girls because they have mediocre boots with mediocre tread that just are not suited to the task at hand. You cut corners on boots and you will pay. Worst of all if you're in a groups the entire group will pay and have to pick up the slack and problems that come with a failed set of boots. Doesn't matter if its from the boot coming apart or a mechanical failure of the foot do to mediocre footwear... Dont be that "Trash Bag Dude".... In the end I think if you like the old school Lugged version you will probably like these boots too. However they are no Punji Stake armored like the old ones use to be.We will see how they have done when the end of the warm season arrives and the freeze comes..
Some Spec from Amazon
Categories: Kit Posts