U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Periodically you’ve heard me say that I am the eternal tightwad. I am always trying to scrimp. But over time I’ve learned that for our outdoor activities you don’t want cheap gear. It’s stupid to buy a cheap rifle that will malfunction, isn’t it? You spend a lot of money, effort, vacation time, and work so hard to get in a position to get that one shot, and then if it misfires or is inaccurate all that hard work is in vain.
When I first started hunting in the mountains, I had cheap boots and socks. I have long since changed that stance. Now I wear good hiking socks like Browning Socks. If your feet are aching, you’re sunk and can’t hunt hard.
I remember years ago hearing about wearing good hiking socks but never gave it much mind. Then I tested some. Wow! I was sold. I don’t want to exaggerate and say that it is like walking on carpet when you have good hiking socks but it almost is.
I remember one elk/deer hunt decades ago in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area that was a tough one. By the time I made it out, I could hardly walk due to all of the blisters. Two horses and a mule had rolled down the mountain into the river so I had to walk more than was planned.
I don’t like super heavyweight socks, usually just medium wt. Super heavy wt. socks make my boots fit too tight. But I do like heavier wt. socks like last week when we were duck hunting with Knives of Alaska and the High Road With Keith Warren crew. My wading boots are a little more bulky fitting than my hiking boots and I’m wading in cold water. Same with fly-fishing. So for these situations, I wear heavyweight socks to keep warmer and so my boots don’t fit so sloppy. But for hiking, I like medium-weight socks.
So why is it so important to wear good hiking socks when hiking in the mountains like Browning Socks? A couple of reasons:
- You want socks that will wick away moisture so you don’t get blisters.
- It pads your feet somewhat and are more comfortable.
This is just me but I favor wool blend or Merino Wool socks instead of totally synthetic ones.
Another trick that will help. If you’re going to be hiking in the mountains all day throw an extra pair of socks in your backpack. When you stop to eat lunch slip them on. You won’t believe how that will refresh you. It’ll feel like you took a break and a shower.
When backpacking I keep a clean pair in my tent to sleep in at night. Usually, even in the summer, it gets a little chilly at 4:00 a.m. so wearing a pair of XGO base layers and a pair of Browning socks helps take the edge off of the cold.
You may erroneously think hold on, why worry about moisture-wicking socks? My boots are waterproof. While you’re correct that your boots won’t leak water, where you err in your thinking is that your feet are going to be sweating and making themselves wet. So, you want to wear Browning Socks to wick away the moisture so you don’t get blisters.
So, if you’re of the same mindset that I was 30-40 years ago, change your thinking and break down and buy a good pair of Browning Socks. I guarantee you that you will love them and next time you see me that you’ll thank me for twisting your arm. The MSRP on Browning socks seems to run from $11.99-$14.99, depending on whether they’re made of Merino Wool, partial wool etc.
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”