Trekking in Snow and Woods

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Hillsound Amadillo XT Gaiters (file photo) Mike Crane

An indispensable item for outdoor trekking is a set of gaiters. Designed to wrap around the lower leg, gaiters keep snow and trail debris from saturating pants and out of boots.

Hillsound Armadillo LT (file photo) Mike Crane

That means you can wear cotton jeans or light pants (layering is recommended) without concern that pant legs will get soaked and become uncomfortable to stay outside taking pictures, without having to put on and take off bulky snow pants. Gaiters are also a smart addition to golden-hour photography or when photographing near streams, lakes or in woods where it’s moist.

Of course, they’re best known as gear used by snowshoers and backwoods XC skiers. So, with a major winter storm now dropping from seven to eight feet of fresh snow in the Sierra Nevada, ideal conditions were available to test Hillsound’s new Armadillo LT Gaiters.

Easy to put on and so comfortable that you’d hardly know you’re wearing them, the Armadillo LT Gaiters were so water resistant that legs and socks stayed bone-dry and warm, even in deep powder. Imagine how much more comfortable you’d be when photographing fall color at sunrise or sunset.

Hillsound makes its gaiters of 1000 denier nylon on the bottom half and breathable Flexia, a three-layer fabric, on the upper half. The 1000D lowers resist punctures (useful when wearing crampons), while the Flexia uppers provide four-way stretch and protection from the elements. Though designed for wet conditions, the Armadillo LT’s breathable fabric makes these gaiters  comfortable to wear, year-round.

There’s no wardrobe malfunction that ruins a day of winter photography more than discovering a gaiter has come loose or slipped down. On the Armadillo LT, a waterproof YKK zipper gives a contour fit that won’t fall down or need to be readjusted during outdoor activity, and a sturdy boot-lace hook adds stability and ensures the gaiter won’t shift off boot or shoe. The Armadillo LT’s durable instep strap also won’t wear out or fall off, no matter how long you stay out.

The Hillsound Armadillo LT fits men and women in all sizes, is priced affordably at $49 and comes with a lifetime warranty. They’re sold online at Hillsound.com and at top outdoor retailers.

The Armadillo LT is an indispensable item of outdoor gear that should be in every camera bag.

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