Episode 51 S2-16

Your Survival Depends on Your Boots


Without Land Ch 16

Special Guest:

Massimo Marino

Erika is fitted into her new uniform in this chapter of Without Land. It has been nine years since she had a new pair of boots. Given our disposable society and access to affordable shoes it is not a product that most people give much thought. When you wear out one pair, you just go buy another but in a survival situation this might not be possible. Here to discuss the importance of our boots and feet and how we can extend the life of both is Massimo Marino, scientist and author of the Daimones Trilogy.

We often take our boots for granted and underestimate their necessity. Life in a time where your boots can easily be replaced if they develop a hole has taught us to be careless with their treatment. If the leather on your boots doesn't stay hydrated it can wrinkle and crack. This allows for moisture and dirt build-up, which quickens the disintegration process. Leather dehydration will also change the shape of your boot and the soles will begin to detach from the leather.

There are many things you can do to maintain the integrity of your boots. Clean them with mild temperature water. Remove the laces often and clean them. Allow the laces to dry and clean the areas of the boots where the laces run through. When your boots are wet let them dry in the air. Never allow your boots to dry by the fire. The rapid change in moisture level and temperature does horrible things to the leather. 


When you are in a survival situation, take your boots off whenever you can and allow your boots and feet to air dry. This time in the air will prevent fungus and bacteria buildup in your boots and on your feet. You have to take care of your feet. Without your feet in premium condition and a pair of boots or quality foot coverings in optimal condition your chances of survival diminish rapidly. One of your number one priorities in a survival situation should be foot and foot wear care. 


To help your boots survive longer you can use mink oil or animal fat as a treatment for them. Treating them with the oil will increase their waterproofing and keep the leather soft and smooth. Keeping the leather soft will also help maintain the shape of the boot. 


If your boot gets a hole in the sole it can be a major problem. Most people are aware that duct tape can be applied to the exterior of the boot. The problem with an exterior duct tape application is it can make it difficult to get the boot on and off and more importantly it can decrease the traction of the boot. A broken leg or twisted ankle could be a life or death event in a survival situation. Instead of applying the patch to the exterior you should patch your boot from the interior. You can use paper and asphalt if available or the hide of an animal. In a long term survival situation you should always be on the lookout for a new pair of boots to scavenge even if you hold them in reserve for future use. 


When you are on the lookout for a new pair of boots now-a-days, with a survival purpose in mind you should consider a few factors. Your feet need to breath. Leather is always best. You should be buying the boots for functionality not fashion. Lots of companies, for example: Timberline or Wolverine, offer affordable options that look great too. Remember comfort is always king! Whatever brand and style make your feet comfortable is the brand and style you should be wearing. If your feet are sore you are done!

Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:

"The old scars...were a constant reminder of what she had survived and what this new, wonderful government had done to all those people in California."

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Character Origins


Massimo Marino

I wrote fantastic stories and science fiction since I was a kid, short stories and novellas, but never had anyone read them. It was a personal thing: My father and my older brother received “Astounding Stories” and other Sci-Fi ‘zines, but I was too little to be allowed to read them, so I looked at the covers…and imagined things for myself. Then, work and life took their toll and I stopped writing those tales.




A few years ago, in 2011, for various reasons, I started again with some burning inside that needed to come out. On the first weekend I got over 15000 words, then subscribed to critters.org for peer review, lurked a year keeping on writing and getting feedback, and last September my debut novel, “Daimones“, saw the light. It received the 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award in Science Fiction. A debut novel among so many established authors in the competition.




In September 2013, “Daimones” won the 2013 Hall of Fame – Best Science Fiction from Quality Reads UK Book Club in collaboration with OrangeBerry Book Tours, shortlisted among thousands of other great candidates. I’m writing now Vol.3 of the Daimones Trilogy,  published the Vol.2 “Once Humans (Daimones Trilogy)” – 2014 Awarded in the Best Science Fiction category at the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, and a small collection of short horrid stories, “Stranded Love. Vol.3 The Rise of the Phoenix (Daimones Trilogy) is available in digital and printed edition since May 2014.




So, what about me now… I’m Italian, and because even in Italy that means everything and nothing at all, I should say, I am Sicilian, and I was born in Palermo. As it happened with countless Sicilians before me, I left the region for good in 1986. I spent more years abroad than in my home country, and I have changed in many and different ways than my old friends there. It is always a pleasure to go back, but it is now 6 long years since my last visit. Saudade? Maybe, a little. I lived in Switzerland, France, and the United States.




I am a scientist, and have spent over 17 years in fundamental research. Most of my writing are then academic stuff, and I always wonder at how much Google is able to find about everyone. I am sure one has to Google oneself so not to forget too much…I worked for many years at CERN—an international lab for particle physics research near Geneva, Switzerland—then in the US at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Fantastic moments and memories from those years. In 2005 I moved to the private sector, worked with Apple Inc., and then for the World Economic Forum. I’m glad for your visit today, explore the various areas with book reviews and authors interviews, the blog, and my writing, too, if there’s time.  I hope we can become friends over the lines…

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