2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – December 2007

Make Your Gear Last Forever

Backpacker's Ultimate Fix-It Guide

by: Annette McGivney, Illustrations by Supercorn

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11



fix icon Save your leather (Online Bonus)
Caked-on mud works into the pores, drying it out and compromising durability. Warm water and a stiff vegetable brush will remove most dirt.

fix icon Air out insoles (Online Bonus)
Cobbler Dave Page says that sweat-soaked insoles will infect your boots with stink and mildew. When you take off your boots at the end of the day, remove the insoles, too, and let them air dry sticking out of your open, unlaced boots.

fix iconKeep away from heat
Never dry wet boots next to a campfire, stove, or space heater, or use a hair dryer. High heat will crack and shrink the leather and cause the soles to delaminate.

fix iconMinimize plastic bag time
Bagging muddy boots for a few hours is okay. But if you leave them wrapped in plastic for a few days–especially in warm temperatures–they might crawl away on their own. Use a paper or cloth bag for transporting muddy boots to avoid spawning mildew and other eager biotics.

Fact or Myth?
Q: Mink oil is bad for leather boots.
A: Fact! Most hiking boots made in the last 20 years should only be treated with wax or silicone-based waterproofing and leather conditioning products. Dave Page says oil-based treatments (including mink oil) over-soften chromium-tanned leather. Modern, glued-on boot soles can also delaminate when penetrated by certain oils.

fix iconRand splits apart
Repair a peeling, chipped, or cracked rand–the boot's rubberized front bumper–using McNett Freesole, a beefier version of Seam Grip. Do not substitute a "super glue" product like Liquid Nails that lacks Freesole's flexing ability.

  • Wipe away dirt with a damp cloth and brush; apply some rubbing alcohol to improve adhesion. Let the boot dry completely before proceeding. (1)
  • Apply Freesole using a brush or squeezing directly from tube. Wipe away excess. (2)
  • Wrap the front of the boot in Tenacious Tape or duct tape, inserting a pencil under the tape to apply direct pressure to the rand. (3) >>Leave the tape in place overnight.

fix iconbootsSole delaminates at the heel
Clean the heel of the boot with a damp cloth before brushing it with rubbing alcohol. Let the boot dry overnight. Peel back the sole and squeeze a quarter-sized dab of Freesole into the split. Press down firmly and wipe away any excess. Place a filled water bottle upright in the boot to keep constant pressure on the re-glued joint; dry overnight.

fix icon Worn-down heel (Online Bonus)
If your stride wears down one side faster than the other, restore a level surface by applying a foundation of Freesole.

  • Smooth the worn section with sandpaper. (1)
  • Buff with a rag dipped in rubbing alcohol. (2)
  • Apply duct tape to make a dam that is at least one-inch tall around the back of heel.
  • Holding the boot upside down and level, fill in the missing heel area with Freesole. (3)
  • Stabilize the upside-down boot and let dry.

fix icon Leaky boots (Online Bonus)
NOLS gear manager McGowan has found even waterproof/breathable boots can be enhanced by after-market sealants that keep rain or snow from saturating the exterior. The drawback: Extra waterproofing may reduce breathability. Products designed for waterproof/breathable boots can also be effective on boots without Gore-Tex or similar membranes. If you know you'll face deep snow or very wet trails, you may want to seal the exterior seams of your boots with Seam Grip. (See the "Products" sidebar for more options from Grangers, McNett, and Nickwax.)

fix icon Lost sole (Online Bonus)
All boot soles eventually wear out. If the uppers are still in decent condition, give your boots new life by sending them to a repair facility to be re-soled for $60. See "Resources" below.

fix icon Stinky boots
The drier your boots, the less odor they will produce. At home, get rid of moisture by stuffing them with newspaper. For odors that reach WMD status, spray the interior and the removed insoles with Lysol. If the smell persists, apply Mirazyme and place the insoles in the freezer overnight. This will chill-kill whatever biotics remain.

Boots/Make it

fix icon Build a toe cap
Upgrade your boot's toe protection with a strong, clear polyurethane shield.

  • Clean the rand and wipe it down with rubbing alcohol; let dry. (1)
  • Sand the leather on the toe with extra-fine (600-grit) sandpaper. (2)
  • Apply masking tape across the front of the boot to mark off the area for the cap. (3)
  • Buff the sanded area twice with a rag dipped in rubbing alcohol, air-drying in between.
  • Paint the toe surface completely with Freesole using a 0.5-inch paintbrush. (3)
  • Remove the tape after 45 minutes; let dry overnight. (4)

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: Star Star Star Star Star


Star Star Star Star Star
Sep 30, 2013女性媚薬.html 媚薬精力剤.html 精力剤絶對高潮.html 絶對高潮花之欲.html 花之欲蒼蝿水5.html 蒼蝿水 VigRx SEX DROPS 終極痩身 九鞭粒―3.html 超級脂肪燃焼弾 SUPER FAT BURNING Wenickman SEX DROPS セックスドロップ 小情人 男根増長素 三鞭粒 九鞭粒 V26 Sex Slave procomil spray プロコミルスプレー WENICKMAN 終極痩身―3.html 超級脂肪燃焼弾魔根金中草.html 魔根威哥王.html 威哥王巨人倍増.html 巨人倍増 蟻王 SUPER FAT BURNING FAT BURNING蟻力神1.html イーリーシン蔵八宝.html 蔵八宝 ビグレックス SPANISCHE FLIEGE VVK蔵八宝.html くらはちほう福源春2.html 福源春カプセル男宝5箱.html 男宝男宝.html ナンパオ狼1号.html 狼1号狼1号.html 狼一号新一粒神.html しんいちつぶしん 壮三天 奇勝カプセリ威哥王.html 威哥王巨人倍増.html 巨人倍増

Star Star Star Star Star
Sep 30, 2013

http://巨人倍増 巨人倍増
http://紅蜘蛛 紅蜘蛛 巨人倍増 紅蜘蛛
http://紅蜘蛛 紅蜘蛛
http://巨人倍増 巨人倍増
http://三便宝 三便宝威哥王.html 威哥王威哥王.html 威哥王巨人倍増.html 巨人倍増 RU486 D10 媚薬三便宝.html 三便宝 妖姫 妖姫 媚薬 淫インモラル インモラル 媚薬 淫インモラル 媚薬 インモラル花痴.html 花痴狼1号.html 狼1号威哥王.html 威哥王天天素.html 天天素紅蜘蛛.html 紅蜘蛛蟻力神1.html 蟻力神福源春2.html 福源春三体牛鞭.html 三体牛鞭韓国痩身一号.html 痩身1号花痴.html 花痴威哥王.html 威哥王狼1号.html 狼1号天天素.html 天天素紅蜘蛛.html 紅蜘蛛蟻力神1.html 蟻力神 RU486 RU486 D10 媚薬 D10 催情剤福源春2.html 福源春三体牛鞭.html 三体牛鞭三体牛鞭.html 三體牛鞭巨人倍増.html 巨人倍増韓国痩身一号.html 痩身1号韓国痩身一号.html 韓国痩身一号韓国痩身一号.html 韓国痩身1号絶對高潮.html 絶對高潮蒼蝿水5.html FLY D5蒼蝿水.html D5 原液新一粒神.html 新一粒神威哥王.html 威哥王巨人倍増.html 巨人倍増花痴.html 花痴五便宝.html 五便宝蒼蝿粉.html 蒼蝿粉霸.html Xing霸避妊中絶.html 中絶薬

Star Star Star Star Star
Aug 09, 2013

hello guys, really cool summer sale, let's welcome to our new shopping sites: acgac, / <a href="" ><strong>Balenciaga Bag, City Bags of Balenciaga Sale Free Shipping</strong></a> norgrg, ulnfgf, / <a href="" ><strong>Balenciaga Bag Outlet, Balenciaga City Bags Hot Sale Now</strong></a> ,dberg other site: vdvrg / <a href="" ><strong>Gucci Outlet Online Store - Gucci founded in Italy in 1921</strong></a> sgsvsd, / <a href="" ><strong>Gucci Bags Cheap For Sale, Gucci Handbags Sale Free Shipping!</strong></a> svfwdf, / <a href="" ><strong>Gucci Outlet Online UK Store - Gucci Founded in Italy in 1921</strong></a> svfwdf, nsfv, / <a href="" ><strong>Gucci store - cheap gucci bags & belts & shoes hot sale!</strong></a> sgsd, / <a href="" ><strong>Gucci outlet online, cheap gucci belts & shoes & bags for sale now</strong></a> czafwf. dhccc.

Star Star Star Star Star
Mar 25, 2013 coach factory outlet online coach outlet online coach factory online coach factory outlet coach purses outlet online coach outlet coach store online coach outlet coach outlet online usa monster beats outlet beats by dre custom gucci shoes outlet michael kors purses michael kors outlet online michael kors outlet north face jacket outlet north face outlet

Star Star Star Star Star
sale jersey
Mar 11, 2013

our jerseys shop Nike San Francisco 49ers jerseys,Nike Baltimore Ravens Jerseys and best servise. Nike NFL Jerseys l cool base mlb jerseys Revolution 30 nba jerseys l wholesale NFL T-Shirt,

Aug 28, 2012

DO NOT listen to the recommendation from John regarding putting the footprint INSIDE the tent. His reasoning, that a regular footprint will create a bathtub, makes no sense, and if you put the FP inside, then puncture a hole in the actual tent, water will still seep inside causing the very problem he discusses (bathtub). If you are going to take one, listen to everyone else and use it as intended, outside and beneath the tent. I'm like most others, depending on the situation I may or may not take one.

For a long trip where weight is an issue I leave it, but for shorter hikes I prefer to have it. When there are two or more in our party we split up the gear (like fire starters, water purification and food stores) and one takes the footprint while the other packs the tent, that way if there's a separation the second person can make a quick shelter if need be. It's also great on protracted afternoon showers to create a quick retreat where we can fix lunch and enjoy the surroundings.

Apr 03, 2012

the idea of using a tent footprint under your tent is asking to make your tent into bath tub. water driving by a little wind or where part of the footprint is exposed causes water to fill the space between the the footprint and the bottom of the tent. no tent bottom is of totally water proof for long.(micro holes caused by sand) A better and cheaper idea is to cut a piece of plastic to fit the inside of the tent. This layer can be replaced as needed. so you will a thicker replaceable water proof layer between you and the ground

Apr 03, 2012

You do not need the grommets in your plastic sheet footprint to help protect the bottom fabric from wearing out sooner, just cut it so it matches the bottom. If you want to use the above idea keep in mind that most footprints use nylon straps so the only the strap goes to the pole. This helps keep it from collecting water. If you want to use the above idea with plastic sheet you should consider trimming only a thin width of plastic out to the pole and reinforcing this area with either clear packing tape or duct tape before installing the grommet.

Brian Preston
Apr 03, 2012

I am disappointed at the print option for these wonderful tips. There's way too much white space and pointless icons (I get that you have to sell ads to stay in business) so the print-outs are about twice as long as needed--wasting the trees I want to see when I hike. Your online print options need to be reconsidered and streamlined.

Eliza Winters
Jan 09, 2012

Thanks for all the great tips on how to care for outdoor adventure products. Getting all of the gear can be a huge investment and it is a shame that people do not care for it well enough and end up buying new equipment every year. I would rather invest in lasting equipment than spend more, in the end, repurchasing cheaper products.

Aug 01, 2011

As an added step to the hydration bladder hanging tip, instead of wrapping the rough edges with duct tape, use a open flame to melt the rough edges to create a smooth tip.

Apr 15, 2011

I've found that washing my sack, sleeping bags, mats etc by hand with no or light detergent like organic soaps with out caustic chemicals then I hang dry my items until bone dry then put away. Sometimes with dryer sheets or ceder blocks sandwiched in. But this is not required for neutral smelling gear.

Mar 01, 2011

@ Joe Jul 20, 2010 MiraZym helps really well against mold/mildew on sleeping bags/tents/pads

Jul 20, 2010

Anyone know how to get rid of mold/mildew on sleeping bags/tents/pads?? I had some mold start growing in my basement, and of course it was where my equipment was. Any ideas on cleaning my equipment without destroying my equipment? Thanks!

ryan b.
Apr 29, 2009

When cleaning a hydration system, pull out the hose from the balader, with a pair of pailers, so you can clean the whole hose,

Apr 27, 2009

Contemporary fabric softeners tend to be based on quaternary ammonium salts with one or two long alkyl chains, a typical compound being dipalmitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate.[2] Other cationic compounds can be derived from imidazolium, substituted amine salts, or quaternary alkoxy ammonium salts. One of the most common compounds of the early formulations was dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride (DHTDMAC). I looked it up. see Wikipedia cut n paste. no animal fat here.

Mar 03, 2009

Under "Pole problems (Online Bonus" it should read "splint the broken pole," not "split the broken pole."

Feb 04, 2009

no, eric's right - the first posting says mentions washing in a top-loading washer. the second posting specifically says to never do this. (the second is the right one; never wash a sleeping bag in a top-loading washer)

Sean Columbus OH
Jan 19, 2009

A point about dryer sheets, the main ingredient in them is rendered animal fat (look it up people) so you may smell pretty good to a bear. In areas with uber predators, keep smell to a minimum, in camp and on your person.

Dec 14, 2008

Uhm, not really Eric. It just says to wash them.. sparingly. And then it tells you how. :B

And no, Anon, I don't think dryer sheets would attract bears. They smell more chemically than delicious or even edible.

Anyway, this article is great! Wow, so many tips. I suppose it's okay to store bags and pads rolled/stuffed if they're clean and dry and in a dry indoor closet, right? Plus my Thermorest doesn't have foam.

View all comments


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Health and Fitness
2014 fitness updates
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: RebeccaD
Rocky Mountains
Who Has Plans in the Winds This Year?
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: OldBill

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions