General Question

blakemasnor's avatar

In a humid climate (say Haiti), how do I dry out my hiking boots and running shoes?

Asked by blakemasnor (317points) June 9th, 2011

I am taking frequent, multi-day hikes and I’m concerned about foot rot and other problems from wet feet. What can I do to prevent this and help my shoes dry out quickly.

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8 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

What about stuffing them with newspaper to soak up any sweat? And hang them up in a dry place so they get aired?

syz's avatar

I used one of these when I worked outside in the wet weather all of the time. Just stick them on overnight, and they’re nice and dry in the morning (assuming you have electricity, that is).

Ah, oops, left the link out. One of these.

Plucky's avatar

@syz One of what?

Plucky's avatar

If you don’t want to pack something like a therma boot dryer above (which is pretty neat), you can do what @Bellatrix suggested (wadding up newspaper) – just make sure you replace the moist newspaper, if/when it soaks up the liquid, with dry newspaper. I’d loosen the laces as well.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Buy gear that can handle this type of wear to begin with.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Buy a product like Dryzone to put inside your shoes. Wear socks that wick the moisture away from your feet.

prioritymail's avatar

Bring lots of WOOL socks and change as needed. Use shoes that dry quickly – not goretex or thick hiking boots but thinner, more airy trail runners, e.g. Make fires and dry shoes over them.

AdamF's avatar

In addition to the other comments, lots of socks! If you get blisters, wear two thin rather than one thick pair. The double layer reduces the rubbing on your skin. The next day you can put a fresh pair on as the undersock and use the least dirty of the previous days socks as an outer.

Take you boots (covered footwear) off immediately you’re in camp, and put them on just before you go out. This maximises drying time and minimises the risk for foot infections. If you need some protection for your feet in camp, wear sandles and socks (the more open the better…or nothing at all if you have some semblance of civilisation at camp). That way your foot breaths in camp, but you still ahve some protection. Stay clean! Clean your feet. Clean your socks.

I got Cellulitis from too many cuts and abrasions and damp tropical conditions hiking for extended periods in boots. Keep an eye out for it.

As a side note. Bring lots of baby powder and don’t bother with the expensive hiking clothes (cheap 100% cotton throw away business shirts and pants are great…can usually buy for next to nothing in markets in developing countries).

If you get irritations around your crotch or between your but cheeks…I did, but only after extensive hiking in extremely humid conditions…then before you set out put the powder around your crotch and between your but cheeks. Works great and stops the irritation. Wear cotton does it. I lived for two years in Bolivia, much of it in a tent in the lowlands, and hiked sometimes 30kms in a day. The baby powder and cheap 100% cotton pants and tops (which take the moisture away from the skin, unlike some of those expensive synthetic “hiking” pants) made it all possible, and cost nada.

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