Hiking boots are very important for hikers because they provide protection from the elements and allow you to walk comfortably in any terrain you want to trail, be it a dry terrain or a wet one.
It is very important to know how long they take to dry in case you are trailing on wet terrain. This is because if you are not able to dry your boots before you start hiking, you might end up with blisters or even worse.
Most hiking boots are made of leather, and they are very hard to dry or clean. There are some types of boots that come with waterproofing features.
This article will answer all your questions on how long it takes hiking boots to dry and how to dry them.
Let’s dig in.
How Long Do Hiking Boots Take To Dry?
We all know by default, that wet boots take time to dry especially if they happen to be leather boots. Leather boots are made mostly from animal skins or in some cases synthetic materials. Most of the time, your boots will get wet even if you are not trailing in wet or marshy terrain. The sweat from the ankles and feet is enough to make the inside of your hiking boots moist. Mind you, it even takes a longer amount of time to dry the insides of a hiking boot.
The longevity of your boots drying off majorly depends on the materials it was produced from and also where you place them to dry.
When boots get soaked, especially leather ones, it stays on the material and if they are dried the wrong way the leather gets dry and starts cracking.
Hiking boots take about 5 to 6 hours to dry off depending on the materials used in making them.
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How Can I Dry My Hiking Boots?
When your hiking boots become wet, the most natural approach to dry them is to place them near a fire or heater or sometimes under the sunlight. Although this speeds up the drying process, it is incredibly damaging to your boots. Especially leathers, placing them under sunlight or a heat source draws out the moisture and the leathers get dry and start cracking, hiking boots should never be left in direct sunlight.
Drying your boots in heat not only destroys the materials but also destroys the bonding and stitching.
There are different ways to dry your hiking boots that will not spoil or destroy their integrity of the boots.
– Use Uncooked Grains
We are all familiar with the uncooked grains method, especially when it comes to our smartphones or devices. Uncooked grains draw out moisture and keep air out. This same method can be used for your boots.
To Use this method, firstly you will fill two socks with grains, making sure the socks are not too big. Then put the socks filled with grains inside the boots. Afterwards, find a container that is big enough to accommodate your boots.
Put your boots inside and fill them with grains and also cover the container. This process takes about 3 to 4 hours before drying off completely. But if the boots are very wet, then it is going to be an overnight process.
This method not only removes moisture from the outward material, it also gets rid of the smell and moisture that is inside the boot.
– Use the Old Newspaper and Paper Towels
Start by removing the insoles of your boots then start filling the boots with paper towels. Make sure the paper towels are being moulded into balls before you put them inside the boots and also make sure they are not too big as they will get big while soaking out the water.
If you are using newspaper, make sure you tear out a few holes in them before stuffing them in, so that they will be more flexible. If you’re caught in the rain for a whole day. Using this process, your boots should get dry within 3 hours or more.
– Use a Fan
This method is basically a DIY type. Make sure you remove the boots’ laces and their insoles before using this method. Remove the front cage of the fan and place it aside, then you’ll need a wire or you can also use the boot’s laces to hook the boot to the fan’s back cage.
Make sure it is firmly attached so it does not fling off. Put a bowl or a towel underneath it to catch the dripping. Put on the fan and this process is very fast.
– Use Old Towels and Rags
This method is similar to the paper towel procedure. Start by stuffing the towel inside the boots until it reaches the boot’s toe. Then the part that is remaining, wrap it around the boot. Make sure, the towel is big enough to fill the insides and outsides.
But if it is not big enough, you can use another towel. Leave it for an hour, then remove it and use another towel to repeat the same procedure. This process can take from one to eight hours, depending on how wet the boots are. Use your Instinct in deciding when to change the towel.
– Use Boots Dryer
This is the most precise method to dry your boots, after all, that is what they are made for. They come with manuals on how to use them. They are safe to keep your boots in overnight and they do not get hotter than 105 Fahrenheit. Unless you dip your boots in water, a boots dryer only needs about three hours to completely dry your boots.
There are certain situations whereby you might not have the luxury to use all these materials, especially if you are on a 3-day hike and your boots are already wet. There’s no way you have these materials with you while training. But do panic yet, there are ways to dry your boots off even while on the trail.
If you’re on the trail and your boots get wet, here’s how to dry them overnight. Firstly, remove the insoles and laces, then turn the boots over and hang them up. You can also stuff them up with either dry leaves or wool socks.
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How to Dry Hiking Boots Overnight?
As mentioned earlier, there are different methods you can use to dry your boots. It depends on the materials that you have in your possession.
As mentioned earlier, there are about five methods you can use. You can use the uncooked grains which happen to be great at drawing moisture and smell out. You can also fill them up with paper towels or old newspapers.
You can also use old rags or old towels. But the fastest method or way you can use to dry your boots is with a boot dryer. In fact, they take less than 6 hours to dry your boots completely. It is also important to know that all the methods mentioned will dry your boots overnight but some of them are faster in doing so than others.
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Wearing wet boots can cause bliss as well as cause infections to your feet. It is very important to dry your shoes as soon as possible once you find out It is wet. And always make sure you do not use heat to dry your boots as they will spoil them and destroy the material.
The best way to dry your boots is by using a boot dryer. They are very fast and much more reliable than other methods.