I'm writing this while wearing warm, toasty boots … even though I'm on the edge of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada at chukar camp.
This seemingly-minor creature comfort is thanks to a propane-fueled Peet shoe dryer. One of a growing family of dryers from this venerable company, this version might be the handiest of the lot. No voltage required with this model, just one of those ubiquitous green propane canisters.
Simply attach the cylinder, light the pilot, and a small flame wafts warm (not hot) air up and into each boot from top to toe. Not too hot, and no fan needed – warm air rises, right?
And learn this the easy way, unlike yours truly: don't dry your boots at the edge of a campfire unless you want crumbling, brittle boots in the morning that fall off when you tighten the laces. Pungle up a few bucks ($49-$69 depending on where you buy) and get a Peet dryer and protect your footwear investment.
Peet makes dryers for gloves, waders and even motorcycle helmets but for me, it's all about the feet. They sweat a glassful of water per day, and most of that is trapped in your boots, eagerly awaiting your feets' return in the morning.
If you're lucky, your tootsies only encounter cold, cruel moisture. On a bad day, your boots froze. Or the sweat cultures up a primordial soup of bacteria and mold … the principal ingredients of toe jam and funky foot smell. Yuk.
Practice first, as lighting the dryer requires a little familiarity. The package is a bit bulky, what with a base, tubes and the patented "Dry Ports" that support each boot, but it all bundles neatly in a padded soft nylon travel case. Pack carefully, as the tubes can become detached from the base if they're bumped at the right angle. The metal parts in the base where the flame is generated are a little delicate; with rough treatment the mounting wire can jiggle apart, so handle with some care to ensure years of dry boots and happy feet.
The Peet dryer comes with a one-year warranty, and it works on all materials, from leather to neoprene. One propane canister should last 60 hours.
World peace, economic parity, a Republican president … all mere dreams, possibly attainable. Dry, warm boots? Eminently accessible with a Peet dryer.