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Good Hunting Gear: Kenetrek Gaiters

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June 20, 2011

Good Hunting Gear: Kenetrek Gaiters

By David E. Petzal

See You Later, Kene-Gaiter*

My eyes are not as blue as Paul Newman’s were (in fact, they’re not blue at all) nor am I narrow at the hip like Robert Redford. I don’t give a damn about the eyes, but being wide in the waist at my height (5’9”) gives me problems with hunting clothes, and in particular rain pants. If I buy them big enough to fit over heavy wool trousers, I end up with XXL, which means they’re cut for someone who is 6’8”, and that they flop around on my boots, collecting mud and tripping me up.

The elegant solution, which had been staring me in the face for years without me seeing it, is gaiters, and in particular those made by Kenetrek, maker of terrific hunting boots. They come in two camo patterns, plus black, in sizes to fit anyone. There’s a hook to anchor them to the laces, plus a strap that goes under your boot, plus lots of Velcro. They go on quickly, stay in place, are quiet, and you tuck your damn rain pants into them and they stay out of your way.

I bought my gaiters from Kenetrek deep in the bowels of the SHOT Show this January (I believe near the descending colon). You can get yours by going to kenetrek.com. They’re just under $60. A side note. I got to the South Island of New Zealand wearing Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots and Kenetrek gaiters and found my guide wearing the exact same thing. Word is getting around.

*It should be Kenetrek-Gaiter, but that doesn’t scan, does it? And by the way, Kenetrek is a combination of two words: the Greek kene, meaning difficult, and the Afrikaans, trek, for long journey. This is a little artsy for my taste, but they are nice people, and make great stuff.

Comments (20)

Top Rated
All Comments
from jay wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

I'll second the props given to kenetrek. After hunting with two outfitting groups whom every guide in camp was wearing them I broke down and bought a pair of their hardscrabble hiking boots (I don't care for tall boots). I couldn't be more pleased with my choice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

We had a pair of Kenetrek gaiters at our recent RMEF banquet in the silent auction, but the bidding went way up and I could not circle back in time to place a higher bid. Nice looking gaiters. I have a pair of Gamehide waterproof snow camo gaitors that work fine, but don't seem to be the equal of the Kenetrek ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

DEP: Are they holding up well, that strap at the bottom looks a little weak.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Also, are they snake proof.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

To Alphabet: They're holding up fine. The strap shows no sign of wear, and I suspect they'd stay in place even without it. They are not snakeproof. I don't believe in snakeproof gaiters; I believe in snakeproof chaps. Gaiters will not help you when you tread on a serpent that's long enough to bite you on the ass.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

David: So glad you went with ass.

Best regards,

Amflyer

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

If the gaiters are as well made and functional as my Mountain Extreme boots perhaps I should look into buying a pair. For years I have used gaiters that were made by a local craftsman which work well but probably are a bit heavier than the Kenetreks due to insulation which is really not necessary given the boots, socks, and clothing normally worn in the artic like conditions often encountered in a late season elk hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

As an afterthought the Kenetrek boots are so comfortable that one tends to wear them even when not hunting. One day I was holding a horse for my farrier while wearing the Kenetreks since I knew I would be standing still for several hours until all the horses were shoed. The farrier commented that I must be crazy to wear expensive boots when I had no intention of going to the mountains. I just smiled and so did my feet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

"every morning at the office you could see him arrive,
he stood 5'9" and weighed 245,
kind of narrow at the shoulder and broad at the hip,
everyone knew you didn't give any lip to Big Dave."

"no one knows where Dave called home,
he just drifted into New York and stayed all alone,
he never said much, kind of quiet and shy,
if you said anything you just said "hi" to Big Dave"

My apologies to Mr. Petzal and Jimmy Dean.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony C. wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I solved the problem of hunting in the rain years ago. I don't do it or I sit in a covered shooting house. I hunt to have fun and slopping around in the wet just ain't fun to me.

I will sometimes hunt in a misting rain with a tree umbrella over my stand. But if it's pouring down, I don't go. I used to hunt rain or shine when I was young and dumb, but it finally dawned on me that I seldom see game when it's coming a flood.

Of course I'm just a whitetail hunter and an occasional elk hunter, not a world hunter who has to take whatever weather comes his way when he's way off on an exotic trip.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I detest deer hunting in the rain, too. I will do it on the annual elk hunt because it's then or never, but it seldom rains where we hunt usually snow. Waterfowl is a different matter. I can wear chest waders and raingear and not walk or hike very far, but it will be a short hunt if it is pouring rain.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

To Duck Creek Dick: Oddly, I heard that on the radio last week. Anyway, I forgive you, but the ghost of Jimmy Dean tells me you are dead meat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal, you should consider having some kind of contest with a pair of Kenetreks as the prize.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

He's 5'9 and weighs 245, but he sure as hell ain't quiet or shy. Only if he would be! LOL

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KenetrekGirl wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Hi CHKILCHII.....
The gaiters are not snake proof but the boots are! This is a comment that I took off the Kenetrek facebook page. Just posted yesterday!

"I wanted to thank you guys again for a great pair of boots. A pair of mountain extremes kept me from being bitten by a rattler I stepped on two years ago in central WY while I was bowhunting for mule deer. It never made it through the boot and hit it numerous times before I got it off my leg."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I also live in rattlesnake country, KenetrekGirl, and have had my birddogs bit on a couple occasions. Watch where you put your feet always. Snakes blend into the background but their patterns give them away. You get good at detecting them after awhile. If you see one, watch your step because there might be a mate nearby. Don't rely on their rattles to give you warning. Be very vigilant on warm overcast days and carry a flashlight if you go outside on summer nights. Stay safe!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Sounds like a great product with merit. We have copper headed rattle moccasins to deal with here in the south, they ain't chaps, but they might be nice to have in the spring woods if they were snake proof.
Dave was talking about getting bit on the ass and that is the reason the cushion on my turkey vest stays down when I'm moving. I must admit it is unnerving when the fangs get hung and the critter starts thrashing about your legs and ass, but it beats the alternative,,,

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Egg wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I have worn the 10" Kenetrek Northern Pac boots for three seasons and have used the white camo gaiters for the same amount of time. No complaints except that my son keeps taking my boots!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from letmgo wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

What's the difference between Kenetrek and Schnee's boots. They look the same to me, the last Kenetrek catalog I saw looked a lot like Schnee's and they are both in Bozeman, MT. Several years ago I was in the Schnee's store and the clerk, when asked, said that he thought that Kenetrek was started by a former Schnee employee.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hi_tail wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I've had three pairs of these. You just can't beat them in durability, functionality and in customer service. I had 2 pairs rip at the lace hooks so I sent them back. Kenetrek sent me brand new pairs and after the 2nd pair back, they sent me a check for shipping reimbursements [without asking]. You can't beat customer service like that. To CHKILCHII, I use these gaiters literally 4 days a week ALL YEAR ROUND and the bottom strap is the strongest part, no problems with this whatsoever. DO NOT HESITATE PAYING THE PRICE FOR THESE. THERE ARE NO BETTER. PERIOD.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

"every morning at the office you could see him arrive,
he stood 5'9" and weighed 245,
kind of narrow at the shoulder and broad at the hip,
everyone knew you didn't give any lip to Big Dave."

"no one knows where Dave called home,
he just drifted into New York and stayed all alone,
he never said much, kind of quiet and shy,
if you said anything you just said "hi" to Big Dave"

My apologies to Mr. Petzal and Jimmy Dean.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

David: So glad you went with ass.

Best regards,

Amflyer

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

To Duck Creek Dick: Oddly, I heard that on the radio last week. Anyway, I forgive you, but the ghost of Jimmy Dean tells me you are dead meat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

To Alphabet: They're holding up fine. The strap shows no sign of wear, and I suspect they'd stay in place even without it. They are not snakeproof. I don't believe in snakeproof gaiters; I believe in snakeproof chaps. Gaiters will not help you when you tread on a serpent that's long enough to bite you on the ass.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

As an afterthought the Kenetrek boots are so comfortable that one tends to wear them even when not hunting. One day I was holding a horse for my farrier while wearing the Kenetreks since I knew I would be standing still for several hours until all the horses were shoed. The farrier commented that I must be crazy to wear expensive boots when I had no intention of going to the mountains. I just smiled and so did my feet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I detest deer hunting in the rain, too. I will do it on the annual elk hunt because it's then or never, but it seldom rains where we hunt usually snow. Waterfowl is a different matter. I can wear chest waders and raingear and not walk or hike very far, but it will be a short hunt if it is pouring rain.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hi_tail wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I've had three pairs of these. You just can't beat them in durability, functionality and in customer service. I had 2 pairs rip at the lace hooks so I sent them back. Kenetrek sent me brand new pairs and after the 2nd pair back, they sent me a check for shipping reimbursements [without asking]. You can't beat customer service like that. To CHKILCHII, I use these gaiters literally 4 days a week ALL YEAR ROUND and the bottom strap is the strongest part, no problems with this whatsoever. DO NOT HESITATE PAYING THE PRICE FOR THESE. THERE ARE NO BETTER. PERIOD.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

I'll second the props given to kenetrek. After hunting with two outfitting groups whom every guide in camp was wearing them I broke down and bought a pair of their hardscrabble hiking boots (I don't care for tall boots). I couldn't be more pleased with my choice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

We had a pair of Kenetrek gaiters at our recent RMEF banquet in the silent auction, but the bidding went way up and I could not circle back in time to place a higher bid. Nice looking gaiters. I have a pair of Gamehide waterproof snow camo gaitors that work fine, but don't seem to be the equal of the Kenetrek ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

DEP: Are they holding up well, that strap at the bottom looks a little weak.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Also, are they snake proof.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

If the gaiters are as well made and functional as my Mountain Extreme boots perhaps I should look into buying a pair. For years I have used gaiters that were made by a local craftsman which work well but probably are a bit heavier than the Kenetreks due to insulation which is really not necessary given the boots, socks, and clothing normally worn in the artic like conditions often encountered in a late season elk hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony C. wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I solved the problem of hunting in the rain years ago. I don't do it or I sit in a covered shooting house. I hunt to have fun and slopping around in the wet just ain't fun to me.

I will sometimes hunt in a misting rain with a tree umbrella over my stand. But if it's pouring down, I don't go. I used to hunt rain or shine when I was young and dumb, but it finally dawned on me that I seldom see game when it's coming a flood.

Of course I'm just a whitetail hunter and an occasional elk hunter, not a world hunter who has to take whatever weather comes his way when he's way off on an exotic trip.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal, you should consider having some kind of contest with a pair of Kenetreks as the prize.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

He's 5'9 and weighs 245, but he sure as hell ain't quiet or shy. Only if he would be! LOL

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KenetrekGirl wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Hi CHKILCHII.....
The gaiters are not snake proof but the boots are! This is a comment that I took off the Kenetrek facebook page. Just posted yesterday!

"I wanted to thank you guys again for a great pair of boots. A pair of mountain extremes kept me from being bitten by a rattler I stepped on two years ago in central WY while I was bowhunting for mule deer. It never made it through the boot and hit it numerous times before I got it off my leg."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I also live in rattlesnake country, KenetrekGirl, and have had my birddogs bit on a couple occasions. Watch where you put your feet always. Snakes blend into the background but their patterns give them away. You get good at detecting them after awhile. If you see one, watch your step because there might be a mate nearby. Don't rely on their rattles to give you warning. Be very vigilant on warm overcast days and carry a flashlight if you go outside on summer nights. Stay safe!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Sounds like a great product with merit. We have copper headed rattle moccasins to deal with here in the south, they ain't chaps, but they might be nice to have in the spring woods if they were snake proof.
Dave was talking about getting bit on the ass and that is the reason the cushion on my turkey vest stays down when I'm moving. I must admit it is unnerving when the fangs get hung and the critter starts thrashing about your legs and ass, but it beats the alternative,,,

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Egg wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I have worn the 10" Kenetrek Northern Pac boots for three seasons and have used the white camo gaiters for the same amount of time. No complaints except that my son keeps taking my boots!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from letmgo wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

What's the difference between Kenetrek and Schnee's boots. They look the same to me, the last Kenetrek catalog I saw looked a lot like Schnee's and they are both in Bozeman, MT. Several years ago I was in the Schnee's store and the clerk, when asked, said that he thought that Kenetrek was started by a former Schnee employee.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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