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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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....

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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. 

I put them inside after knocking off the dust.  I have tent camped for over 25 years and never had a problem.  Having them inside prevent them from getting wet from overnight rain and the moisture in the air 

Agreed. The fox on Isle Royale keep you on your toes. They’re entertaining, though. 


Agree. Hiking/camping near Joshua Tree in high desert of California - scorpions were initially unwelcomed guests in my boots - it only had to happen once and afterwards they were always inside the tent. The weather was hot/dry so I sealed them in my "Willie Pete" (water proof) bag! Snakes, especially baby copperheads had also found their way into my boots along the Carolina Coastline - so again, inside my WP bag, inside the tent! Stay safe and remember the five P's - an old military axiom!

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.

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.]