What’s a Gaiter?

It’s not gator, it’s gaiter.

When you’re talking about gaiters in the context of outdoor gear or outdoor recreation, you’re talking about an article of clothing rather than a large swamp-dwelling reptile. That is unless someone says, “Watch out for that gator!”

So what’s a gaiter? Here’s what people mean when they’re talking about gaiters.

What’s a gaiter?

There are two different articles of clothing that are referred to as gaiters. There are leg gaiters and neck gaiters. Typically when someone talks about a gaiter in terms of outdoor gear, they are referring to leg gaiters.

  • If someone is going to talk about a neck gaiter, they will usually specify neck gaiter.
  • If someone is going to talk about leg gaiters, they won’t necessarily feel the need to specify leg gaiters, and they’ll just use the term “gaiters”.

Leg gaiter

Leg gaiters are worn over your footwear, and cover the top of your foot, ankle, and shin or lower leg. Gaiters vary in length – covering just above the ankle, or just below the knee – and can be made from a range of materials including leather, cloth, polyester, and nylon.

Leg gaiters are designed for different purposes.

  • Some keep dust, dirt, and debris out of your shoes or boots while hiking.
  • Others are intended to provide protection from brush.
  • Some can help protect you from snake bites.
  • Waterproof leg gaiters help keep moisture out of your boots.

Neck gaiter

The other type of outdoor gaiter is a neck gaiter. Neck gaiters provides protection or insulation for your neck. Think of a neck gaiter as a low-profile, technical scarf.

Neck gaiters are usually much more versatile than your average scarf. They can be made of natural fibers like merino wool or cotton as well as synthetic fibers such as polyester. Neck gaiters are great for adding extra insulation without extra bulk, and they can also provide protection from the wind or the sun.

Brands like BUFF and Outdoor Research make high quality neck gaiters that can double as a hat, mask, head covering, filter, handkerchief, hot mitt, and much more. Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters in Fayetteville, Arkansas to check out our selection of neck gaiters and leg gaiters!


One Comment

  1. […] a designated pair of warm wool socks for sleeping, and throw on a cap and a neck gaiter. It can be especially hard to keep your feet warm on a really cold night, so consider doubling down […]

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