Episode 51 S2-16
Your Survival Depends on Your Boots
Without Land Ch 16
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."