What Are Hunting Gaiters For?

hunting gaiters

Simply put, hunting gaiters are designed to be worn around the legs of a hunter, hiker, or angler, in order to protect their legs from any debris. Gaiters are often used to protect the actual leg and also to protect pants from getting dirty, tearing, or taking on any other damage.

While that is a brief overview of what they are, you might be wondering more about what people use them for, and why they need them. Luckily, there is a lot more information to share about hunting gaiters.

What are hunting gaiters for?


Depending on where you have spent time outdoors and where you live, you may have a different opinion about gaiters. In some places, hunters rely on them as much as they do their firearm.

In other places, hunters may not even have a pair. Typically, gaiters cover the area of your legs from your boots or shoes to the middle or top of your shin. Depending on what material you get them made out of, they can stop anything up to snake bites.

Hunters, anglers, and other outdoors enthusiasts wear gaiters to protect their pants from briars, water, mud, and dirt. They are also used to prevent briars and thorns from stabbing through your pant leg and tearing at your skin.

This benefit alone is one of the most common reasons that outdoor enthusiasts choose to wear them. While it is a very good reason, there are many others.


In addition to their role of protecting your legs and pants, gaiters perform another important task. What is more annoying than when a rock or a small piece of sediment gets in your shoe while you are trying to walk?

Hunting and hiking gaiters are built to keep rocks and other sediments out of your boots and shoes so that you can direct your effort to your hunt, hike, or fishing trip.


If you are an outdoorsman or outdoorswoman who spends a lot of time in snake country, special types of snake gaiters might be for you. Snake country is a dangerous place, especially if you get far enough away from civilization.

While it may seem easy to get medical attention quickly, what happens if you are miles from your vehicle and your phone won’t work? Wearing a good, tough, snake-proof pair of hunting gaiters will protect you in the most common areas where people are bitten, their ankles, and calves.

It is highly important to pay attention to the description of the material that the gaiters are made out of. Some materials allow snakes to bite right through. As you can see, wearing the proper pair of gaiters can even save your life.

Weather Protection

Going on outdoor adventures helps us, humans, to unwind. We relax and begin to focus on the good things in life, not all of the worries and stress we left behind. There are times when the weather likes to be unpredictable, and when it starts raining, it can leave your feet soaked.

Nothing is worse than spending all day with cold, wet feet. If you spend long enough in wet socks, it can even cause your feet to be more prone to certain medical ailments.

Gaiters do a great job of preventing rain and water from getting into your boots and preventing any splashing of puddles from getting into your boots as well.

As can be seen from all of these reasons, hunting gaiters are definitely an item that is worth considering. Whether you are a hunter, angler, or a general outdoor enthusiast, gaiters can save you from headaches and keep you warm, comfortable, and dry.

Do I really need gaiters?

Determining whether or not you should purchase gaiters is largely dependent on what you do when you go on an outdoor excursion. If you are someone who likes to hunt, fish or backpack out in the middle of nowhere, gaiters are essential.

Not only will they keep you clean and dry, but snake-proof gaiters could potentially save your life. That being said, if you are someone who normally hikes on paved or well-kept trails, there probably is no real need for gaiters, as you should not have too many problems with water, mud, or snakes.

That is really one of the most decisive factors about whether or not you need gaiters. Simply look at what type of environment you spend time in, and then decide from there.

The state in which you live may also be a determining factor about whether or not you need gaiters. In some states, venomous snakes are very prevalent, while in others, there are none.

If you live in a state where venomous snakes have been sighted, or are common, you should definitely consider investing in some gaiters made out of tough, snake-proof material, as they could potentially save your life.

This decision may also depend on what type of animals you like to hunt. If you hunt upland game, gaiters are almost non-negotiable. Upland hunting is often synonymous with thorns, briars, and other tearing brush, not to mention the potential for venomous snakes. 

However, if you hunt ducks or geese in a harvested cornfield, there is no real need for gaiters. Basically, just pay attention to whether or not the environments you will be in would be conducive to wearing gaiters.

How should I pick out my gaiters?

If you have made it this far, you must at least be considering buying a pair of gaiters. In my opinion, that is a great idea, as you won’t know when you need gaiters. Like most things, the minute you need them, you won’t have them, unless you have already purchased a pair.

When it comes to picking out the right gaiters for you, there are a couple of different factors to keep in mind. If you look up hunting gaiters and see the vast assortment of them, it can be dizzying. That is why it is important to determine what requirements you have and go from there.

Hunting Environment

One of the biggest decisions you can make is whether or not you want a snake-proof pair of gaiters. The best advice for this quandary is to just buy the snake-proof boots if you live in an area that is also inhabited by venomous snakes.

If you don’t live in one of these environments there is no need to buy them, unless you plan to take trips to places where there are known to be venomous snakes.

Walking in snake country while you are wearing snake-proof gaiters makes you feel much more comfortable, and there is no harm in buying and wearing the snake-proof variety.

Waterproof or Water-Resistant?

Another big decision you need to make is whether you want them to be water-resistant or waterproof. There is a subtle distinction there. Water-resistant means that they will simply repel water for a while, but will eventually start soaking through if exposed to water long enough.

Waterproof means that if the seal to your boots and pants is tight enough, no water will make it through the material. Waterproof is always a great option, as it is always better to be prepared, however it will cost you more money. That will come down to your personal preference.


One of the final considerations is how tall you want the gaiters to be. Some gaiters come up several inches. Some gaiters go close to your knees. Exactly what size you want is up to you entirely.

If you are in snake country, higher is always better, as you never know where a snake bite will land. This really comes down to personal preference as well.


Gaiters can be a valuable piece of kit depending on where you are hunting and what kind of protection you need. Spend a little bit of time and do a little research.

Make sure you get a pair that fits your needs and you will be set. You may be surprised at how much they improve your hunting experience.


Colby has been involved in the outdoors for over 30 years. Part of his problem is that instead of focusing on one specific outdoor hobby he spreads his time over a multitude of outdoor adventures. This has provided him the opportunity to have varied experiences across a broad spectrum of outdoor activities. Jack Outdoors has provided him an outlet to share the things he has learned as well as his successes and failures.

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