When planning your next hunting trip, one of the first things you need to do is start a gear checklist. We build them, check them repeatedly, and usually still miss something. The top of the gear list almost always starts the same - your weapon of choice, clothing, binoculars, license, etc. One thing that we want to ensure does not get missed on the list is your feet! If you aren't taking care of your feet, the best gear list in the world won't help you get to your game.
No one wants to be hobbling around the trail with blistered, sore feet, or worse yet, stuck back at camp eating tag soup due to a foot issue. Adding simple steps to your checklist can make all the difference for a successful hunting trip.
Long before you place the first item in your hunting pack, you need to inspect your boots. Are they serviceable? Were they tossed in the closet with a pound of last year's mud on them? Do they need replaced after many years of carrying you on the trails? If your boots are needing to be replaced, it's vital to pick the right boot for your upcoming trip. Start by asking yourself a few questions: where am I going, what terrain will I encounter, and what is the range of expected weather that time of the year? Meindl boots are built for specific purposes and all types of terrain. Pick the boot that is going to give you the most support for the terrain in that region. When in doubt, it's always better to have too much boot than not enough.
Once you have the best boot in hand and have determined the size and fit are perfect it's time to properly break in your new hunting boots. Don't skip this step, it is important, you don't want your first steps in your new boots to be on the first day of the season. Give yourself and your new boots the time they need for a proper break-in process. If your new boots don't feel right in the house, they won't be comfortable in the field. Visit our blog to see our guidance on how to properly break in your new Meindl hunting boots.Step 2 - Proper Maintenance For Your Boots
If you have had your boots for a while or maybe they have been sitting in storage for years (something we do not recommend, boots are made to be worn) it's time to get them ready for the hunt. For boots that have been in storage, give them a visual inspection. Is the lace frayed? Is the sole worn down too much to provide the traction needed? Make sure to take a test hike and check the integrity of that boot. The last thing you want is failure at the top of the mountain.
When you have determined the boots are fit for travel, it is time to treat and condition the leather. Start by cleaning your boots with warm water and a soft brush. A mild soap can help get some of the stubborn areas cleaned up. The next step is a quick spray down using our Meindl Wet Proof Spray. Once the Wet Proof spray is dry, the final step is a healthy layer of our Meindl Sport Wax. Proper maintenance allows the leather to withstand the elements, improve breathability and extend the life of the boots. If you have any questions on how to properly care for your boots from beginning to end we got you covered. Note that we have our boot care products specifically designed for use on our boot. We do not recommend the use of "off brand" care products.
Socks, Socks, Socks, the importance can't be stressed enough! No matter what or where you are hunting, socks are the link between you and your boots. Socks play a key role in keeping your feet comfortable and blister-free throughout the trip. When looking for a quality pair of socks you should start with three key factors - cushioning and protection from friction, moisture wicking, and temperature regulation. Trust us, your cotton gym socks will not cut it when going to the top of the mountain. A high percentage merino wool sock is the best and most popular sock out there and what our boots highly recommend. The merino wool helps naturally regulate your temperature to help reduce sweating and allow for quick drying if/when they do get wet.
Just as those old reliable gym socks won't cut it when chasing that dream bull, bringing one pair of good socks is not advised. When breaking in your boots before the hunt, you should always wear a fresh pair of dry socks, that same strategy applies when you are out on the trail. While our Meindl Merino Wool Socks help prevent blisters and wick moisture, there is nothing that will stop your feet from sweating. Once that happens it can create friction and cause hotspots on your feet. Keeping a couple fresh pairs in your pack, will allow you to rotate pairs and always have a dry sock on. In addition, it allows your wet pairs to dry naturally while you continue to hunt. This is why we recommend having several pairs on your trip-and why we always offer a discount when you buy our socks 3 pairs at a time.Step 4 - Pack The Proper Boot Accessories
A lot that can happen when you are out on your hunt and while you can't prevent everything from happening, packing a few extra items for your hunting boots can be key to making your trip go that much smoother.
There is a lot to get excited about and plan for as you prepare for that next hunt, and it's easy to see why boots and footsore often get overlooked. Pack these few extra items for your trip to reduce the chances for problems with your feet or your boots - you will be sure to thank us later.
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