Posted by Larry Catt on April 28, 2013 • tips
Boot care is an important aspect of self-reliance. In survival situations, there is nothing more important than the survival gear you wear on your feet. Proper boot care can mean the difference between life and death – literally.
Mobility over a variety of terrain and temperatures is an absolute must when you must survive a difficult situation, and a poorly maintained set of footwear can result in waterlogged, frozen or otherwise damaged feet. Damaged feet are a survivalist’s worst nightmare.
5 TIPS FOR PROPER BOOT CARE
No matter your level of bushcraft, or your skill with survival weapons or supplies, your self reliance willdisappear almost immediately without proper boot care. By following these five boot care tips, you can help ensure that your boots will function as intended, and greatly increase your odds of self sustainability in a survival situation.
Clean themBoot care begins with this simple tip. There is something about a great pair of boots that makes you want to see how much they can take. How dirty they can get, how much abuse they can handle. Unfortunately, dirt is very hard on your leather footwear and keeping them clean is the first step in boot care.
Dirt causes wear, and wear is the last thing you want. The integrity of your boot is directly related to how you care for the leather. Wipe off dirt, and use a brush and some water to clean your boots after each use. This will prevent unnecessary abrasion to the surface of your leather from whatever it is exposed to. This may seem simple, but it’s all part of boot care.
- Condition the leatherRemember in your boot care, that leather is skin, and it needs some tender loving care to remain supple, comfortable and strong. After you clean your boots, apply a leather conditioner to maintain the quality of the leather. Good leather can last an extremely long time with proper boot care. Make your boots last by conditioning them.
- Apply waterproofingBoot care is about preservation. Your self reliance out in the field will require waterproof footwear in the majority of situations. Keep your boots waterproofed by applying a high quality waterproofer, such as Fix’n Wax, to keep your feet dry. This will also ensure that your leather lasts as long as possible.
- Remove insoles to dryWet boots are a breeding ground for mold, mildew and bacteria. You do not want these on your feet, especially in piece of survival gear. Take out the insoles of your boots and turn the boots upside down to ensure that they dry completely. Boot care includes taking care of your boots footbed. Without a proper footbed your boots aren’t worth much.
Air dry only Do not make the mistake of attempting to use a heat source to dry your boots. This will ruin a pair of footwear faster than you think. The adhesives that bind your boots together, as well as whatever waterproofing they might possess, can be destroyed by excessive heat. No matter how much you want your boots to dry, do not heat them up in an oven, with a hair dryer or any other heat source. Boot care requires patience. Avoid the temptation to rush the drying process.
IMPLEMENTING BOOT CARE MEANS YOUR BOOTS CAN TAKE CARE OF YOU
A great pair of boots is a lifesaver, whether in a survival situation or just going to the grocery store in the rain. Take the time to apply these five boot care tips to ensure the best performance out of your footwear. You will not regret it.