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  1. #1
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Default Who's left their gear out in the rain! (Or, Drying boots)

    You'd think I would learn after the first few times I left it outside with rain in the forcast. I can handle drying the coat, pants, gloves, helmet, and other articles of clothing. But how about boots. There has got to be a better way to dry leather boots than wedging them in front of a space heater in july. Anyone have any tricks of the trade for this?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.


  2. #2
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    Stuff with newspaper to wick the worst. Change often. When down to moist, place in front of fan--propping so the air blows in. (Your socks will turn black from the ink or you can use newsprint instead)

    I keep my muck boots on the shovel handles in the shed to keep the mice out of them. That'd work for rain also.

    earl (a country boy can survive)

  3. #3
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    If you are drying the inside of the boots try removing the insoles and stuffing loosely wadded up newspapers into the boots. It will wick up the bulk of the water. Or just flip them upside down on a couple of longer sticks driven into the ground. the water drains out, and the rain cant get in.

    Or you can just do what he said ^
    Last edited by Lewiston2Capt; 07-06-2006 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Started post before Greenacres, but he can type faster than me I guess.
    Shawn M. Cecula
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  4. #4
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    Default

    I'm not trying to be condescending, but you may want to consider replacing your gear. Leaving it sitting out in the rain often, may break down the Nomex material. I am assuming since you said that "you'd think I'd have learned by now to not leave my gear out when there is rain in the forecast" that this isn't the first time. You will want to inspect your gear carefully to ensure that there is no mildew, as this will prevent Nomex from doing it's job. I normally wouldn't have said anything because I don't want to come off as an *******, but I'd hate to read about you getting burned. In my younger years as a volunteer fireman, I would leave my gear in the back of my pickup in my "waterproof" gearbag. If it rained, I would dry my gear out in much the same way you probably do. I went into a very hot structure fire, and along all of the seams of my gear, I received minor to moderate burns. My Nomex threads failed because of the exposure to the elements, leaving small cracks in my outer lining. It's better to face your Chief, than the doctor. Just trying to help you avoid a painful mistake. Don't take it personal.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I agree with cowboymarine1 you really need to be careful. Read the instructions from the company you bought your gear from and follow it, it may save your life. I know of a firefighter that used a hair dryer to dry his rubber boots about 15yrs ago, he left for the store only to return to see a 2nd alarm assignment at his apartment complex. If you have a small fan use it. STAY SAFE!!!!!

  6. #6
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    The gear was removed from the elements rather quickly, but it only took about 10 minutes for them to get soaked. All other times of the day and night, it is stored dry in a bag, out of the sunlight. I've always taken it all apart and air dried it. It's never been out long enough to have the water or sun cause damage.

    Lets face it, it's not like it doesn't get wet from other means besides the rain. The stuff is going to get wet and have to be dried out at some point regardless of the source of water (hose, rain, etc). It is really easy to clean and dry the coat and pants. But cleaning and drying the inside of the boots isn't nearly as easy.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  7. #7
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    ???

    It's darn tough to develop mildew on Nomex; additionally Aramid synthetics aren't a "food" source for mildew like cotton or wool...and I kind of doubt mildew would exude enough acids or bases to affect Nomex.

    Exposure to UV is a known cause of failure of Nomex. And I'd suspect that, plus the fact that Nomex fails at 700 degrees, as more likely failure scenarios.

    I've seen the brand-new PBI gear that failed in a training burn when the instructors forgot about the FNGs who didn't know how hot was hot...no injuries, but ruined gear.

    The newspapers is the best trick I've used. Usually it's from fireground water...but a couple times I've gotten caught with gear in the bed of my pickup either airing out after a night-time call; or sometimes waiting for morning for the gear washer to be free. Wake up to hear a summer rain storm...grrr...

  8. #8
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    My Warrington Pro 5000's got saturated at a 4 alarm fire when we went in when the sprinklers were operating.. crawling in will do that!

    I took a wet dry vac and vacuumed out as much mositure as I could, then stuck my leaf blower in one of the boots and turned it on high. 20 minutes per boot, they were nice and dry!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  9. #9
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    ...then stuck my leaf blower in one of the boots and turned it on high. 20 minutes per boot, they were nice and dry!
    BRILLIANT!!
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    then stuck my leaf blower in one of the boots and turned it on high. 20 minutes per boot, they were nice and dry!
    But Gonz....my leaf blower is a 50" mower deck....

    earl

  11. #11
    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    NM, be careful of the newspaper drying trick; I've heard that it can cause them to dry too rapidly, and crack the leather and ruin your boots.
    Last edited by KEEPBACK200FEET; 07-06-2006 at 11:06 PM.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

  12. #12
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    After being thrown into a dumptank at training, I bought a $10 boot dryer at Tractor Supply Company. Worked great.

    Lammrover
    "Plan for the worst, hope for the best"

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