Hey dirtbags, we’re back for Round 2 of Hack Your Gear, a semi-regular column featuring DIY ways to get the most out of your gear. Read the first installment, the good ol’ skin re-glue, here.
With on-foot approaches getting longer as the snow line creeps higher, it’s officially gaiter season above the Equatorial Divide. But instead of dropping 80 bucks to keep volcanic scree and other trail debris out of your trail boots, look to your exes collection of stretchy pants to get the job done for a fraction of the cost. While you may call it fancy scissor work, we spirit-conscious folk think Yoga Pant Upcycling rings a better tune.
Wildsnow.com’s Louie Dawson discovered this trick while backpacking as a youngster, and continues to employ the yoga pant hack when the wallet feels light or equipment gets left back at home. “They were a fraction of the weight, for one, and did an excellent job of keeping pant legs out of the way of stray crampon spikes.”
Yes, the pants obviously sacrifice water resistance, but on the right day and the right hike, the lycra solution might have you worshipping your Lululemons in a whole new light. Here’s how to make it happen.
Tools: Yoga pants (preferably not your significant other’s), scissors, weather resistant cord or rope, paperclip (optional)
1. Cut off the bottom portion of the yoga pant (about 12- to 16 inches-worth, depending on boot height). Make sure to mark your cut before using scissors or the gaiter will come out jagged and wonky.
2. One inch from the cut end of your pant, cut two small holes (this will actually be the bottom of your gaiter). Tie and knot the cord through both holes to create the under-foot strap found on traditional gaiters and “Voila”!
3. Louie’s optional tip: Loop wire or paperclip through the bottom center part of the yoga pant to form a hook for your boot laces.
That’s it for this installment of Hack Your Gear—short and simple. Have more gear hack improvement ideas? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our site.