Contributors to this thread:
First Elk hunt looking into getting a pair of gaiters what are everyones thoughts? Something you can live with out, or wouldn't head to the elk woods without them? Recommendation on good pair would be helpful as well, Thanks!!
I always have them with me. Keeps the dew, rain soaked grass/trees/brush, and snow out of my boots and socks and good for crossing creeks. I don't wear them all the time but they are lights out when conditions warrant wearing them.
If I know we will be in a wet area, I wear them. They are nice in the morning for dew as well. I got mine on sale. Not sure I can't live without them either. If you have other things you need, I would prioritize them pretty low on the list but that is just me.
Have several sets. Great for snow and late hunts but too noisy for stalking in early seasons.
September in Colorado I bring them but have never really needed them. They are great for the dew covered grass in the morning and crossing creeks if you need to. I've put them on more times to keep my legs warm in the morning than I have for rain or whatever. Any hunt past September they are 100% crucial in my opinion
Agree with Adam. If you like wet feet no gaiters. I will not leave home with out them!! Game changer..
My gaiters always come along for the ride when elk hunting. Conditions will dictate whether or not I wear them once I get where I'm going. Typically wear them more often than not.
South of I-40 you can live without them. North of that I won’t again. ;) It rains too often with a lot of vegetation in CO to go without. I’m looking at the OR brand on Cabela’s for I think $35-$40. Not trying to hi jack the thread but those of you that recommend them give your recommendations for brand too please.
I wear mine most mornings, even when there’s no rain in the forecast. Whether it’s the grass being wet from the melting frost, or creek crossings, I hate wet/damp feet! I wouldn’t be without them.
LINK, I have the Kenetrek’s, but if and when they wear out, they’ll probably be replaced with KUIU’s.
Have Kenetreks and KUIU. Both are good.
I always wear my gaitors elk hunting.
Outdoor Research Crocs. Not only do they keep you dry but they definitely prolong the life of a pricey pair of Sitka Mountain Pants.
Mandatory in the mornings and any wet day.
Kuiu better than Kenni's, at least for me.
Love em. Saved me a lot of time with wet in MT in '17 with snow everyday. I use mine for pheasant hunting cattails in December and I may like them even more for that.
I do believe gaiters are a necessity. I don't use rain pants and use gaiters instead. As far as what brand to get.. I've had kenetreks, cabelas brand, Outdoor Research and now I wear a pair made by black diamond. I like the black diamond because they are somewhat tapered. I have a problem with some gaiters fitting properly b/c of my sasquatch calves. But you don't need to spend a fortune if you're only going to be using for one hunt.. check out REI outlet or cabelas for sales
LOVE them....KUIU. Dry feet on wet mornings and crossing creeks.
100% yes on my Sept archery elk hunts!
I use gaiters by Gamegear!
OR gaiters when it’s wet or snow. Tough as nails and very noisy. Kuiu low gaiters (Scree?) whenever I’m not wearing the OR’s. But a buddy has the new Sitka’s which are quite quiet and very nice fitting with no sag. They are on my “to buy” list. No sales on them yet but lots on the last generation.
Definitely. I've used several and have had the best results with Mountain Hardware, but I don't like their new ones that are slick and IMO, weak.
Always in the pack. Don't even own rain pants anymore. Rain jacket and gaiters do all I need for where and when we hunt. If you're fast they even work on stream crossings.
Kuiu are my favorite for hunting. And, I wear them a lot.
I wear mine quite often, even in August in the AZ Mountains! They keep my boots and pants dry and warmer on those cool/ wet mornings! I suffer from cold feet unfortunately, but the gaiters help in huge way! I would not be without them!
In 10 trips at 10 days each in September I have used gaiters maybe 8 days. I do bring them each trip thou.
Haven’t used KUIU.
Kenetreks for hunting. OR when snowshoeing. As previously mentioned, the OR are noisy.
Gaiters all the way.....Keeps your legs and feet dry.....I wear OR’s... Tough as nails..
I live in Az. also. After 50+yrs. of shredding my legs and leaving my legs all scarred up I finally have my first pair,Look out Javelina here I come!
Where we hunt it seems we are always going through tall grass - and it sucks getting wet feet/legs first thing every morning. The past 10 years - don't leave morning camp without them. Afternoon --- very, very seldom wear them.
Can't remember the brand - did extensive search and finally found something that wasn't too noisy and didn't break the bank. 10 years and still the same pair working great.
I've never brought gaiters to Colorado ... until last year. It wasn't a matter of rain or wetness. We were hunting a new area and thankfully I was able to get out and scout it. The deadfall was crazy, and after one day my shins were tore up terribly. Bought gaiters and had no problems at all. Headed back to the same area this year and the gaiters are coming!
Use my Kenetreks almost every year. Don't really need rain pants with gaiters. The Kenetreks are pretty quiet, make sure you get quiet ones which ever brand.
For those of you using Kuiu, is it the Scree or Yukons?
They really help to keep the boots dry longer. If I'm hunting more than a couple days or know there will be rain or snow, I bring the Kuiu Yukon.
The KUIU Yukons @ 12oz/pair aren't really going to add any noticeable weight...but they're worth their weight in dry socks/boots!
Your "foot" is still exposed even if you wear a gaiter.....so how does it keep "your feet from getting wet". Not sure keeping your feet dry is the purpose of a gaiter. If you have crappy boots your feet are getting wet regardless if you have gaiters on or not.
Very simple. If your pant leg gets wet, your sock acts as a wick right down into your boot. Gaiters prevent that from happening. You are correct about one thing...if you have crappy boots, then your feet probably aren’t a consideration anyway.
This is spot on. I wear gaiters to keep my lower leg dry and therefore the insides of my boots. I also wear them for creek crossing, if you go fast you’ll stay dry. At least once a trip I’ll walk through a bog and sink to my ankle. The added bonus is keeping out dirt and debris.
Based on advice here, I picked up some kenetreks today at Scheels. $59. I checked REI but they all seemed too noisy and no camo.
Kuiu Yukons are what I use now. I wore a pair of OR crocs before. Still do for work. The OR pair is a hard gaitor to beat but I think kuiu yukons do so for hunting. I wear them wet or dry to keep my pant legs clean. Because I usually walk a long ways to hunt. Through creeks, mud, bogs, etc.... They are the bomb even when treestand hunting. I now favor the yukons for hunting due to how quiet they are. The crocs are lighter though. Whatever brand you choose, as long as they are tall enough, there is simply no con to wearing them unless it is really hot.
I have 5 seasons on the OR and they look brand new. They’re tough as nails. No issues with noise but I don’t stalk mule deer.
I put them on every day rain or shine. (Kennetreks). The Velcro might make a little noise until it "settles in". They help keep my feet warm and dry. Also keeps my lower legs warm. Great for the dealing with wet grass every morning. How many times are you chasing and then have to pause because the thermals are shifting? They add that extra comfort because your legs and feet are dry and I don't get "antsy". I take them off usually around lunch time.
Those of you guys that are fretting over the ounces a pair of gators weighs would hate to see the contents of my pack. I hunt in the same safety toe keen boots I wear every day to work. Ounces are not my concern. Lol I do get it if it’s yours though.
Sometimes and they're usually the Sitka Ascent's...
Yes, absolutely love mine! Even on dry mornings the dew can be just as bad or worse that rain. I wear Kennetreks.
I use Under Armour, and have had good luck with them.
I'm in the camp of, I bring them, but only end up using them 30-40% of the time. When there's wet grass or snow they're nice. A lot of days they sit in the pack unused. I know a lot of guys like the Kene's, but I personally prefer the non-gortex that I have. Seems the Kene's get wet like a sponge. The Under Armours are pretty much water proof and single layered, so they dry out super fast. Just my thoughts.....
I use Kuiu Yukon’s. There’s also something about them that’s like a warm hug for your leg when you’re away from your wife. Yup, I’m just gonna leave that right there.
I wear OR debris gators the short black ones just about every time I go out in the field to scout , set stands put in plots etc. they keep stuff from getting in my boots and keep ticks from going inside the pants legs.
Hunting I use Kuiu Yukons.
Not really for wading, more like run like hell!
No way. Won’t even wear my Kennetreks. TOO NOIST against brush.
I really see no use for gaiters for early season hunting in semi-dry areas like Wyo, Utah, Colo, and NM. In fact, I haven't ever worn gators even in super wet areas in Alaska. I usually have raingear...and not sure why I'd want to haul gators plus rainpants? Sometimes I treat my gortex boots prior to Alaska trips but never worry about it in the lower 48. I can't say I have ever gotten wet feet from walking in wet grass and if my lower pant legs get wet they are usually dry in an hour or so! It helps wearing pants that dry quickly and somewhat repel water.
I don't use them either. Just extra weight for where we hunt.
They are great for keeping stuff out including snow but try to get some cloth ones (cloth on the outside, waterproof material inside, if you can find such a thing) that don't make a lot of noise when getting whacked by sticks, weeds, and brush, even crusty snow. They can be noisy if made of the wrong exterior material.
This may be a stupid question. I'm thinking about gaiters, but I only wear muck boots up to my knees. I usually tuck my pants into my boots, but I freaking hate how tight the boots get...I was thinking about getting gaiters to use so I don't have to tuck my pants into my boots. Would they fit or should I just suck it up?
Mucks are terribly tight at the top, cut off that rand
What do you mean? Cut off the top portion?
I don't understand the purpose to wearing gators with rubber boots?
Still don't understand why you'd wear rubber boots and gators. I'd way rather wear hikers and gators, or just rubbers. If you don't want to get your pants wet, and think gators would suffice obviously you're not wading through water, in which case hikers are a better choice for ankle support, breathability, weight etc. If you think you are wading through water and need waterpoof high up, then gators are not going to keep your pants dry anyways (over top of rubbers)
Hope that answers your question Newhunter. Gators go from about the calf, to the top of your shoes/hikers.
I wonder how many boots are blamed for "leaking" when in fact it's the wet pants and socks wicking moisture down into them?
I've got a pair of Day-One fleece gaiters that are very quiet. And keep you pretty dry. Hardly use them though, they pick up hitch hikers a good bit and when they get wet they are pretty heavy.... and take forever to dry if you don't have a cabin or wood stove to dry them every night.
I like the KUIU Yukons. Don't pick up hitchhikers much. Not terrible noisy once they are "broken in" and keep you pretty dry with just a bit of breathability. Not so much that you'd notice though.... they are the ones that live in my pack.
Yeah, not for wading. But if you can skitter across they do pretty good on small crossings.
I've worn the muck boots the last ten years and lacrosse boots before that for 6 years. 16 years of hunting with these boots and now it bothers me to tuck the pants legs in. I don't have a problem untucking the pants, but I do walk through water---shin high and vegetation that gets my pants wet and then it travels up my pants. I just haven't bought a pair of boots that were hiking boots. My muck boots do keep my feet warm and dry with zero issues...other than the pants making the boots around my calfs to tight. It was a thought and that's why I asked.
Didn’t care for them at first but now I’m a big YES. Two days I didn’t wear them this year on a moose hunt. First day I tore a hole in my chugach pants at the cuff, and on the second I tore the same hole, like identical, on my attacks. SMH. I wore them for the remainder of the hunt
I don’t see gainers replacing rain pants. I agree with keeping debris out of my low cut boots.
I definitely recommend having some! I have kennetrek gaiters and like them. I had a pair of Sitka gaiters that fell apart after very little use.
I've hunted August-September in mostly dry areas in NM, CO, AZ, NV, ID, and WY. I have a pair of Cabela's gaiters that are 5-6 years old. I haven't worn them hunting yet - except for maybe 2 days when there was an early snow. I used to carry them around but quit even bringing them now. My feet sweat a lot and I want my pant legs to ventilate my boot tops.
If I was pushing through dew covered bushes every morning of a hunt I would think about using them.
I'll be trying them this fall, APauls talked me into them!
I wear snake gaitors huntin in So Cal July thru Nov. They do make your legs sweat in the afternoon but I wouldn't hunt without them. Plants out here are out to hurt you. Almost like AZ.
Maybe my imagination but I hunt elk a lot in thick sage brush and gaiters seem to keep my laces from getting hung up and untied.
I've put some old Kenetrek gaiters over my old Muck boots when deer hunting because I've almost destroyed the upper neoprene from green briars, blackberries and barb wire fences. The gaiters stay on the mucks permanently although the sole strap is long gone.
I've got an old pair of Cabela's gaiters that have a soft fleece outer and Goretex lining. They're very soft and quiet and work well. I use them a lot for elk hunting when the grass is wet. Last year in WY I never used them once. In fact, last year in WY was the first year I did not wear rain gear or a merino base layer even one day on an elk hunt.
I agree that gaiters keep your socks dry and keep moisture from wicking down into your boots.
I just picked up a pair of Sitka Thunderhead gaiters off of Camofire a few months ago and will be trying them out this year.
BTW, Camofire has some Sitka gaiters today.
We wear snake gaiters all the time at 8000 ft in new mexico. Seen 2 rattlers so far, stepped over one and walked past the other in the dark till he rattled
camo gaiters.......LMAO! black work great. Orange prolly would as well frankly unless you are after turkey. chuckle.
Check out Sitka Thunderhead Gaiter: waterproof and silent. That said, in NM it's typically dry enough I don't wear gaiters. If it's raining or wet it's rain pants.
I keep them with me, but don't wear them unless the situation warrants them. I have the firstlite brambler gaiters and love em
I am very surprised by how many people feel they are a necessity. I have hunted deer and elk in Wyo every year but 1 since 1997, I've hunted MT, CO, ID, UT and NM for deer and elk over a dozen times and I've been to AK and NWT on sheep, moose and caribou hunts 4 times and I have never worn a pair of gaiters while hunting. I wear them when snowshoeing in the winter but never hunting. I can only recall and issue with wet feet once in all those years and that was 100% crappy boots. I guess I must just be lucky. To each his own I suppose.