Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Where do you put your boots at night?

Since I've been backpacking in the forests of southern Ohio, I've been waking up to some tiny beast trying to live in my boots. I don't mind giving them a shake in the morning but then I worry if I did a good enough job as I'm continuing my hike the next day. 

I was told to leave my boots outside of the tent at night so I'm not bringing anything in that may want to eat me, so I treated them with Sawyer repellent and now I park them in the vestibule but that only does so much to keep spiders out. 

Anyone have any tips on what to do with your boots while you get some sleep in your tent at night?



Labels (2)
10 Replies

Pretty everyone puts them in the tent vestibule or some equvilent. That protects them from the weather while keeping dirt out of your living area. If knocking out the shoe or boot before putting them back on is not enought for you, you could put them in a mesh bag. That will still let them air out. Even mesh with larger holes will keep anything you care about out except maybe ants but they are generally easy to knock out.

I put them wherever convenient, usually vestibule or tent (when I have a tent).  Sometimes I put them inside my sleeping bag, so they won't freeze solid.  Dealing with frozen boots is a real chore....

Your sleeping plans should be as flexible as your boots....

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I leave mine in the tent vestibule except in scorpion country.  Then they come in.  We were also advised on Isle Royale to bring our boots into the tent as the foxes on the island seem to like running off with footless boots.

Found Myself Outside

I second bringing them into the tent on Isle Royale...mischievous little foxes. 

My trail runners are ALWAYS inside my tent with me. I don't want any creepy crawlers in my shoes when I wake up. I just set them in the corner of my tent. Even if they are caked in mud. I just bang them out as best as possible before I get in the tent and then I just shake out the tent in the morning.

"The mountains whisper for me to wander; my soul hikes to the call." - Angie Weiland-Crosby

Inside the tent since a coyote ran off with one of mine in Death Valley.  [The rangers assured me that's what happened to it.]


Did they find it attached to a Rube Goldberg device that said ACME KICKER on a Road runner trail? Definitely coyote then.


What, no one hangs them with their food bag? 🤣

I've kept mine inside the tent to avoid dealing with all creatures great and small. But I don't like to knowingly bring dirt inside the tent, so I thought about a lightweight Dyneema bag to put my footwear in and then bring inside the tent. But once I realized that the $40 bag weighs about the same as a 5¢ 13 gallon trash bag, I decided to toss one into my pack for my next trip.

Side note - In my head, I played out the conversation with my wife after I tell her about the trash bag instead. Basically (in my head) I imagine her being so thrilled with the solution that she tells me to go ahead and spend that $40 on something else I want. I'll let you know how it goes...

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

1 vestibule 

2 tent

3 tent inside plastic bag

REI Member Since 1979