Avoid Blisters By Using This Boot Tying Method

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Foot care is one of the biggest parts of hiking, bugging out and everything in between. Its also something that people rarely understand or care to consider. This of course becomes a very big problem at mile 10 of the 20 mile bugout trek. You are really going to want to have all or some …

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Cold Weather Boot Socks Are Not Enough

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Having good cold weather boot socks is important! However those socks won’t help much if the boots don’t fit right. The secret to keep feet and toes warm in your boots is largely about how your boots fit! Have you ever put on winter socks and then crammed your feet into boots only to discover that your feet and toes get cold? Doesn’t make sense right? You figure that those nice thick socks combined with your boots ought to keep your feet nice and warm! Here’s the secret: With winter boot socks it’s simple. It is imperative that your boots

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Want Long-Lasting Boots? These Are the Qualities You Should Look For

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I’ve written before about the kinds of characteristics preppers should look for in a pair of shoes or boots. There are definitely a lot of factors to consider, including what kind of situation you’re prepping for and the environment you’re living in. And there’s a good chance that whatever benefits your choice of shoe has, there are going to be drawbacks as well. There isn’t any kind of footwear that is perfect for all situations.

With that said, perhaps the most important quality a prepper can for in a pair of shoes is durability. That’s because no matter what kind of shoes you buy, they’re probably not going to be collecting dust in your closet. You’re going to want to get your money’s worth, and use them. And if you’re going to be using them on a semi-regular basis, they had better still be in good condition in the event of a serious disaster. So if you’re in the market for a really durable pair of boots, here’s what you should be looking for.

The Sole And Heel

There’s only one characteristic that practically guarantees that the sole of your boots won’t wear down quickly. Your soles need to be made out of high density rubber. It’s also surprisingly difficult to find shoes with this trait, because most people in our society don’t spend a lot of time on their feet. They’re not walking several miles a day on pavement and concrete.

They sit at work, they sit at home, and in-between they sit behind the wheel. So they’re more concerned with how comfortable their shoes are, rather than how durable they are. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find shoes that have both qualities. The more dense your sole is the less comfortable it will be, because it lacks flexibility. So if you decide to buy really durable boots, make sure you invest in a really comfortable pair of inserts

But I digress. If you’re willing to overlook that, and you still want really long-lasting boots, you’re going to want a really tough and dense rubber sole. When you’re picking out boots, try to bend the sole. If you feel a lot of resistance, then it’s probably very dense. Also try knocking on the rubber with your knuckles. If it’s really tough, then it’ll probably sound like you’re knocking on wood, and it’ll probably sting your knuckles a little.

Also, consider the tread. It should have a significant surface area. If there’s a lot of space between the treads, then it will wear down faster. And skip boots that have air cushions in the soles. As the tread wears down, you’ll wind up with deep gaping holes that rocks will get stuck in.

The Upper

The upper portion of your boots are the most important. While soles can be replaced, uppers are more difficult to fix. Once they wear out you’ll have to buy new boots, so choose your upper carefully.

The longest lasting material for boots is also the oldest material to be used for footwear. You want leather, and not just any kind. It should be made out of full grain leather. You’ll know its full grain when you feel it. It has texture. Most leather boots on the other hand, are smooth.

Skip boots with uppers that are mixed with other materials like canvas or nylon. Those fabrics will wear out faster than the leather. They may breathe well, which will also help your boots last longer, but they’re not necessary. Leather also breathes fairly well, especially if you take my next piece of advice.

Look for pull-on boots, rather than boots with laces. That’s because the upper portion of these boots is mostly just one piece, so there aren’t many weak points. Boots that consist of multiple pieces of leather and fabric stitched together, have many ways of unraveling. Every stitch and eyelet is a liability. And yes, leather boots that can be pulled on will breathe very well.

 

Aside from that, you should consider the cost. Not all expensive footwear is long-lasting, but long-lasting boots that are new will probably cost at least $150. And it should go without saying that you should buy American. There are good brands overseas, but if a shoe company has managed to avoid moving its operations to another country, it means that it has a good reputation. People are willing to pay top dollar for their products no matter what, and they love their shoes for very good reasons.

Read More:

What Preppers Need most of All in Their Shoes

How To Retread Your Old Shoes With a Car Tire

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Boots That Incorporate Emergency Fire-Starting Kit

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Boots That Incorporate Emergency Fire-Starting Kit Built into the inside sole of each Substratum boot is a small storage cubby. Owners could theoretically store all kinds of small items inside this pouch, but Rocky S2V designed it specifically for fire-starting equipment. One boot holds an Ultimate Survival Technologies Sparkie flint firestarter and the other boot …

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Surviving Iceland: My #1 Survival Concern

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surviving iceland

When my family spent 2 weeks in Iceland this past fall, surviving cold weather was my top concern. Coming from Arizona and now Texas, I tend to go overboard when it comes to preparing for cold weather and packing for this trip was no exception. I knew that our first and most important prep was our bodies — packing the right type of shoes and clothing to keep us warm from the skin out.

Start with your skin

No matter what the temperature and weather conditions are, get ready at the skin, or base, layer. My favorite base layer is made of silk — my ancient “silkies” from REI. They’ve been in my dresser drawer for about 30 years and still get the job done. Silk is an excellent fabric for a base layer and when used as long underwear, they’re comfy. I like the fact that the next layer of clothing glides over the silk fabric. The one downside to silk is that it’s best for moderately cold temperatures, as I learned in Iceland. There, I layered my silkies with fleece lined tights and kept pretty warm.

If you opt for a different fabric, consider synthetic fibers or Merino wool. Of the 2, I greatly prefer wool. As I learned with my wool socks, you can wear them again and again and again without much worry about body odor, a feature you won’t find with synthetic fibers or silk. However, Merino wool can be very expensive. I bought my Merino base layer top on clearance at REI, and even then, it was about $50. If you tend to get and stay cold or spend a lot of time in cold weather, it would be a worthy purchase.

Caps, scarves, jackets, and longjohns!

One final consideration with this base layer, or layers, depending on the weather, is your own tendency to be cold or on the hot side. My poor daughter had a tougher time in the chilly Iceland outdoors than I did because she is pretty much permanently cold! In her case, a heavyweight base layer would be best. Just read the labels and look for the words “heavyweight” or a “midweight”, if you’d like something slightly lighter.

I mentioned fleece lined tights and these are a wonder! From the moment I put them on, I knew my world was permanently rocked. Not only did they feel great, but I could wear them under jeans, my silkies, ski pants, or anything else. They even look good worn with a skirt, and, if worn as leggings, they’re suitable for cool weather just about anywhere. No need to hoard them for Arctic blasts!

Not all brands are the same, so try one brand first before buying additional pairs. We started with an and actually prefer those to the Muk-luk brand we purchased later.

Your feet are next

If your base layers are keeping your body warm, socks and shoes are the next most important consideration. If you were to splurge on any one thing for cold weather survival, it would be socks and shoes. You can trudge an awful long way if your feet are warm and comfortable, and you can pick up good quality coats and jackets at second hand stores, but that isn’t nearly so easy when it comes to shoes.

surviving icelandI highly recommend getting waterproof boots, even if you aren’t anticipating being in wet weather. If you buy a great pair of boots or heavy walking shoes, they’ll last for years, if not decades. You never know what weather conditions you’ll encounter in that time, so you might as well plan for protection from wet weather.

When I bought my most recent pair of boots, I knew I was making an investment. I went to 2 different stores, tried on maybe half a dozen different pairs and settled on a pair of KEENs. I love them. Now that I’m back in civilization and far from fjords and glaciers, I still wear them every chance I get. I paid right around $165 for them and expect them to last until I die. Seriously. My daughter’s Vasque boots are as beloved to her.

Shopping for these boots, I asked the salesperson to point out which boots were waterproof and we based our decisions on those. You’ll also need to decide if you want low or high tops. I wanted a little more ankle support, so I went with high tops.

If you already have boots but they aren’t waterproof, pack a tube of multi-purpose Shoe Goo, or spray them with a waterproofing spray. I recommend keeping these in your emergency kit or glove box, since you’ll most likely encounter wet conditions away from home.

Add 2 or 3 pairs of wool blend socks, and you’re set. Personally, that’s my first and only choice. They are soft and cushy, incredibly comfortable, and I can wear them for days without them stinking. That’s pretty remarkable. Smartwool is an excellent brand, but on the expensive side, and as you’re shopping for them, you’ll find some pretty cute vintage designs. Wool blends usually include some spandex, a little nylon, but steer away from blends that include cotton.

Now for the rest of you

If your feed are solidly shod in wool socks and comfortable, waterproof boots, you are well on your way to comfortably endurng chilly, winter weather. Now it’s time for layers of clothing.

Around my house, jeans are #1 for every single season. Right now as I type this, I’m wearing jeans and without looking, I’ll be at least one other family member is, too. For cold weather, though, we had to change our tune. My husband and daughter packed one pair of jeans and wore them with base layers, Propper longjohns for him, but most of the time was spent wearing lighter, quick-dry pants.

surviving icelandThose lightweight pants over our base layers did very well for this particular autumn trip, and on the coldest days and nights, we wore 2 base layers each! The lighter weight pants allowed for freer movement. Since we weren’t in full winter weather yet, we didn’t need anything heavier, but if we did, I’d opt for wool pants and a pair of waterproof pants. Iceland has thousands of waterfalls around the entire island and hiking to them can be a wet adventure. Another popular activity is glacier hiking which, again, brings the opportunity to be cold and wet!

Those wool pants should be maybe one size bigger to allow for some shrinkage as well as the layers you may wear underneath. Here’s some more excellent advice for choosing cold-weather pants.

Surviving Iceland from the waist up!

Looking back, it’s funny that I never tired of gearing up every morning for cold weather. I naturally like chilly days, but growing up in the Southwest and most days wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops, you might think all the layering would grow tiresome, but it didn’t. It was just a part of our day, getting ready to enjoy something new in the gorgeous Iceland countryside.

surviving icelandPrior to our trip, my final investment piece was a water-resistant softshell jacket lined with a very thin fleece. Made by Marmot, it has numerous features that helped me adapt to wet weather and super chilly nights. It even has an inner band that snaps around my hips to prevent cold air from traveling up through the bottom of the jacket. Bright raspberry red insured that I couldn’t get lost from my family, at least not easily!

A softshell jacket is breathable, wick sweat away from your skin, and are comfortable in all kinds of temperatures. My son’s Marmot jacket was pricey but it built to last, even with growth spurts. The fact that it was a bright tomato red helped identify his location on so many occasions. He was entranced with being outside in a gorgeous environment and tended to wander away, down the sides of cliffs, up mountainsides, enjoying some solitude.

surviving iceland

As far as other layers went, we wore combinations of t-shirts (both long sleeve and short sleeve), wool tops, and anything else we happened to have. I knew that our base layers, socks, boots, and jackets would do most of the work in keeping us warm, so we were more casual with our shirts.

Finishing off our daily ensembles were warm gloves, knitted caps and scarves. As a souvenir, I purchased an Icelandic wool scarf and wore it constantly. I was amazed by how warm it kept my neck. This is that exact scarf! Caps kept our heads warm — a necessity, and was the final piece of clothing I put on every day. Since we were sleeping in a camper van, I often went to sleep at night with it on my head! Here’s a pick of the inside of that van. GoCampers was the company we selected, and they were terrific to work with.

surviving iceland

If you can stay warm in Iceland…

…you can stay warm anywhere! If we ever really want a cold weather challenge, we’ll head over there during the winter where icy winds are powerful enough to knock cars off the roads! In fact, on our first night in our camper van, the winds howled so loudly that I was convinced we were in the middle of a hurricane.

surviving icelandThe payoff for all this cold weather preparation? Incomparable beauty. Again and again and again we commented to each other how no photograph could ever capture the beauty that we discovered every mile along the way. On 3 special occasions, we were treated to the indescribable experience of the Northern Lights, once from our airplane flying in to Keflavik. Yes, we got to see endless miles of the lights. What a great memory.

surviving iceland

Life is about making memories with the people you love, and what made this trip so special was not only the beauty and being with family, but the fact that we were equipped and prepared to fully ENJOY the experience and not huddled in front of a tiny space heater!

On to the next adventure…

Tactical Life, Part 1: Boots, Gloves, and Packs

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Tactical Life, Part 1: Boots, Gloves, and Packs What you wear and the gear you use can be much more than just a preference on how you look. Using quality gear has been a hallmark of the military and law enforcement for a long time. It is easy to see why, since gear reliability can be …

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Allegiance Footwear Making America Great Again

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Allegiance Footwear

I have discussed them here before, however I still love Allegiance Footwear. They are making America great again and have been at it for a while now. Just look at the logo below and you can see the pride and statement jump out!

Allegiance Footwear LogoI am still very happy with my boots and they are the best purchase that I have made for work boots. I expect them to continue to last and will buy a new pair from this USA based company.

Once again I was having to buy new shoes as the boy continues to grow up. Now that he is getting older he needs more options like when he has grown up work to do. If he is going to learn the value of hard work and how to accomplish things with his hands he needed more than tennis shoes.

Picture of Allegiance Boots Made in USA in natural leatherI decided to see what the fine folks at Allegiance Footwear had for a growing boy. They checked the table and gave me some options for factory seconds. While they were purchased at a discount we could not tell why there were considered a factory second. The picture above is after several months.

A growing boy can be rough on any clothing. Camping trips and time spent working in constructions type environments can be detrimental to any boots. Allegiance Footwear offers a great boot at a great price. They continue to hold up and look good.

I asked my son if he likes his boots and of course he said they were very comfortable and his go to choice. In this day and age it is hard to find something made in the USA. These boots are a perfect example of Americans getting it done.

They did not ask for this article and they have not compensated me in any way. I am just glad to have companies like Allegiance Footwear and encourage anyone that is looking for quality and comfort in a pair boots to order from http://www.afboots.com.

The Best Waterproof Boots

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Yesterday, after putting on my waterproof boots, I hopped on the ATV and rode down to our spring to clear out some brush, branches, and limbs along the first hundred feet or so of the babbling brook resulting from its runoff. As I trudged through the water and muck, making my way down the brook […]

The Best Footwear For TEOTWAWKI

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Footwear For TEOTWAWKII have wanted to write an article on boots and shoes for some time now, but I see and hear so many different opinions that I have not been sure of exactly what to say. After thinking about it for a while, I have come to the conclusion that there is no one brand or type of boot that I can recommend over every other. There are many good shoes and boots for TEOTWAWKI, so I am going to give you some general guidelines.

Because of where I live, I have good military style boots, but also snow boots and several pairs of running/hiking shoes. My wife has a good selection of boots, snow boots and running/hiking shoes.

boots for TEOTWAWKI

The pair of boots on the left are the only one that I paid full price for.

In addition, we both have our everyday shoes.

When it comes to boots, I look for several things:

  • Good ankle support. I like at least an 8-inch boot that will keep me from twisting an ankle when in the mountains.
  • Comfort. A boot needs to fit you well; they should not cause blisters or hot spots. They need to be well broken in. Put some miles on them and learn what type of socks work best for you in different types of weather. Generally, wool socks will be best, although nowadays, even athletic socks are hi-tech, with breathability and wicking technology. Smartwool is one brand that is highly recommended.
  • Warm and dry. You should have boots that are suitable for the weather and terrain in which you live. I have not yet found one pair of boots that will work for winter and summer in the mountains. The best compromise that I have found is a good pair of insulated leather boots similar to my Danners. They are comfortable most of the year, although in the middle of summer they can be a bit warm and in the deep snow not as warm as I’d like. When shopping for boots, buying a waterproof pair is generally the best way to go, regardless of the season.
  • Long lasting.  First, buy good quality leather boots, and avoid boots from China and the cheaper discount houses. Second, you have to take care of them. Here is a link to a post I wrote on Preserving your Leather Boots.

I keep several pairs of boots for different weather, terrain, and comfort. I have four pairs of leather boots and a couple of pairs of snow boots. Three pairs of my leather boots came from garage sales, which are a great source for finding prepping treasures.

The only ones I bought new were the Danners. The other three pair cost a couple of bucks each.  One is a pair of Wellco lightweight boots, a second pair came from a returning serviceman and are good, well-insulated boots that were brand new when I got them. The third pair is older non-insulated military issue boots. This lets me wear boots that are appropriate to the weather and to rotate them.

If you live in snow country, get boots that are suitable for where you live and travel. I always take a good pair of snow boots when going up into the mountains in the winter.

Beyond boots, you should have several pairs of good serviceable running/hiking shoes, what we used to call “tennis shoes”. For everyday use around your home, these are comfortable. If you have to travel cross county you can carry a lightweight pair of these for extra shoes. These are good for sneaking around in the brush; they make less noise than heavy leather boots.

If you are thinking about picking up inexpensive shoes in garage sales for future trade stock, concentrate on women’s shoes. Most men have at least one pair of boots and tennis shoes. When I look in a women’s closet all I see are high heels and little light shoes that would wear out very fast.

Buy the best shoes and boots for TEOTWAWKI that you can afford and wear them enough to know that they are comfortable and are well broken in. A few extra accessories to have on hand are Shoe-Goo, inserts to help with arch support and overall comfort, extra shoelaces in the necessary lengths, and, always, a few extra pairs of good quality socks.

Howard

UPDATED July 28, 2016

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What Are The Best Work Boots?

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It is absolutely essential that you have at least a pair of good work boots or ‘hiking’ boots as part of your overall preparedness. Why? Because the best boots are those which will hold up under the stress of hard use and will stand the test of time. It’s important. I cannot emphasize enough the […]

How To Make A Hybrid Buckskin Moccasin Boot

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How To Make A Hybrid Moccasin Boot For those of you that are interested in making your own DIY boots that will stand up to a beating, this is the article for you. This is not an easy as pie tutorial for the weekend preppers, but it would be a invaluable skill if S actually HTF. These …

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A Good Pair of Timberland Hiking Boots

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Timberland hiking bootsRecently I received a pair of Timberland Whiteledge hiking boots from James Menta of SoleLabz.com who asked me to do a review of these Timberland hiking boots.  When I got the boots several weeks ago, I decided to wear them for a couple of days to see how they felt.  Well I found them to be so comfortable that I am still wearing them every day.  I like them.

First a bit of information on Timberland

Timberland is an American company that is headquartered in Stratham, New Hampshire, but they have offices all around the world. While they are an American company, the boots that they sent me were manufactured in China.

The term “Timberland” was firstly introduced in 1973 as a name of a specific innovative model. It featured their revolutionary (at the time) injection-molding tech, allowing for a stitching-free sole upper. This made the boot completely waterproof and left room for changes depending on the designated climate.

Here’s what Timberland had to say about these waterproof boots

Timberland recommends this boot for occasional hikers.

The body of the boot is full-leather, meaning it’ll provide optimal water-resistance. It’ll take some time to break in, and the flexibility won’t be its main asset.  On the other hand, leather offers sturdier construction and increased durability as well as high abrasion-resistance.

Since the major part of the upper is one big piece of leather, there’s no need for side seams, which increases performance in the water-resistance department. They’re lightweight considering the chosen material.

As Timberland boasts, the feature that defines Timberland White Ledge is the thick padding around the ankles provided by the upper tongue and collar.  It is supposed to provide better ankle stability, which is especially important for beginner hikers.

This level of cushioning also adds to the overall comfort of the boot.  The sole is made of rubber and connected to the upper without any stitching.

They feature a well-known Timberland’s signature mark, there oiled leather, so don’t be alarmed by sporadic scuff marks on this boot.

OK, so that’s what Timberland claims, now here is what I think.

The boots are very comfortable and with all the rainy weather, we are having they have proved to be waterproof. Because I pronate rather badly I am really hard on shoes and boots.  I will destroy cheap tennis shoes in several weeks.  So far these boots are showing no signs of damage and I think they will hold up well.

With all the rain and leaves on the ground, many of the surfaces around here are slippery.  The tread on these boots seems to grip well.  These are comfortable boots that look good, so I can wear them most of time.  In an emergency in which I had to walk a considerable distance to get home, I think these boots would do the job. Even thought they are made in China as almost everything else is these days, I would recommend the Timberland hiking boots.

Howard

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Footwear, Keeping You Alive, 1 Step at a Time by Watcher

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Our feet get us from point A to point B every day.  They are infinitely more important to us when we’re in the woods and have no alternative way to get around.  Unfortunately, we often take our feet for granted and neglect them.  This leads to issues such as blisters, …

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#AskPaulKirtley Episode 13: Boots, EDC Kit, Bow-Drill Positions, Tracking, Bushcraft During Hunting Season, Powerless Refrigeration

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In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions about boots, EDC kit, preparing your equipment for outings, getting started with animal tracking, bushcraft during the hunting season, alternative bow-drill positions and alternatives to refrigeration while camping. What Is #AskPaulKirtley? #AskPaulKirtley is my Q&A video and podcast series that aims to answer your questions about bushcraft, […]

This first appeared on Paul Kirtley’s Blog. If you like my content, CLICK HERE to get 20 free videos today.