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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?



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53 Replies

Like everyone else my shoes go inside the tent...just kidding, they go in the vestibule 


I hammock camp, so I hang them from a line under my rain tarp! Helps keep them dry in case of rain and also useful to keep the critters out


I keep mine in the tent. No issues with critters.


I have a 2 person Big Agnes.  I take up 1.5 worth of space.  My pack and shoes take the remaining.  I started leaving them in the vestibule but found them better the next day if they came inside.  I may follow SevernHarrier and bring a WP bag for them next time....


I've done both inside the tent and vestibule and have decided that I prefer to just keep them in the tent. I'll usually get up once in the night to relieve myself and I don't want to be bothered with looking for insects, snakes or mice when I'm half asleep. Inside also helps a bit with moisture and the potential for a critter to run off with them. I just shake off as much dirt as possible before I place the boots in the tent. As far as dirt, I'm usually breaking down the tent every night on backpacking trips, so I'm shaking out the tent anyway.


I always bring a black durable trash bag for long trips just in case I need to line my pack with it due to rain, and I place it in the bottom of my pack to keep my sleeping bag from getting wet whenever I set my pack down. But I end up using it in which to place my dirty, smelly boots. I just put them in and twist the bag opening and put the that part under the weight of the boots to keep it from opening again. No bugs or critters in the boots, no frozen laces or feet, and no smell or dirt in the tent!


Inside the vestibule. 


Up on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia is a shelter called "The Priest".  In its logbook, hikers confess their "sins" to the Priest.  My favorite was from a young female hiker named Pop Tart: "Bless me Father for I have sinned.  The other night I stealth camped on top of a mountain, pitching my tent in an exposed area.  A major thunderstorm blew in.  Lightning bolts came firing down through the rain, lighting up the whole mountaintop.  I was SO scared... and I had to pee.  Rather than going out into the rain and lightning, I unzipped the tent flap, and just stuck my naked butt into the vestibule.  In the morning I discovered that I had peed on my boots."

@Jackalope55that is hilarious!

And btw, that area also happens to be my local "hiking' stomping grounds, as I live in VA.

My fav spots are Cole (AKA "Cold") mountain, and graysons highlands areas.


REI Member Since 1979

If you can’t find sticks or something of that sort to hang them upside down inside the vestibule; several brands make mesh stuff sacks of varying sizes you can stick them in so they can dry overnight and still be protected from pests