SOCKS- Wigwam Husky Socks
Okay socks but…. Feel like an athletic sock but are wool. Soft, dry, warm. Didn’t lose their loft. My feet didn’t get too sweaty or get a real “feety” smell like I got with my generic wool loop knit socks. They DO lose the stretch at the top quickly leaving you to pull them up after a few days of use.

$7 at Campmor

SOCKS- REI Merino Wool Hikers

Much better than the Wigwam socks. I feel you’d be better off spending your money on these, especially if you are an REI member (dividend and all). I wore the same pair for a 20 mile loop and my feet stayed dry and blister free.

$8 at REI

LIGHT DUTY BOOTS- Hi-Tec Trail Runners- Badwater (W’s)

I like these. A lot. A lot a lot a lot. Anyway. I was at Dunham’s looking for running shoes and saw these. They were marked down from $60 and looked like they might work for jogging. I tried them on and they hugged my feet perfectly, feeling like they were broken in already. I parted with my $20 and haven’t been sorry since. They are a discontinued model but I think any of the A.R.S. models would do just as well. They are constructed on a women’s specific last and it sure makes a difference for my big feet (usually a men’s 8.5 minimium). I’m often forced to get larger, slightly uncomfortable, men’s boots. Light, comfy and don’t really hold any water. Only thing I ask is that they did a little better on icy/snowy surfaces, but I suppose that’s not what they’re made for so I shouldn’t complain.

$20 at Dunham’s

MEDIUM/LIGHT DUTY BOOTS- Northwest Territory

Don’t laugh! I’ve done many miles in K-Mart boots and ‘name’ boots and have yet to wear out the K-Mart boots. I usually just rotate them to yard duty when I’m ready for a new pair. The ‘name’ boots tend to have the soles worn off them with less than a hundred miles on them. Save your money. These have good heel cups, laces and ankle support (a MUST for me). If you go at just the right time you can get them for next to nothing (I got one pair for $6 that I put well over three hundred miles on before burning due to my swamp feet and puppy teeth). They’re probably best for families with growing kids who need boots every year or more, or if you trash boots easily. Would also make good, cheap work boots.

$20 at K-Mart

SNOWSHOES- Hand Made Swiss Army

Not the lightest things in the world, but they are small, compact, cheap to make and- most importantly- useful. My Dad and I built these in an afternoon. Very easy, especially with Power Tools. These were my first snowshoes, so I was totally new to the experience- never even been on a pair before. It took about five minutes to figure out what I was doing on them. They don’t sink into the snow very far, only about two inches. In comparison, I stepped off the snow shoes and sunk up to my waist. Using poles of some sort would be useful.

You can probably make them from scrap materials around the garage/house for next to nothing. Plans and further details are in the hand made gear section.

< $5 Hand Made.