When it comes to desert camping and backpacking gear, gaiters are sometimes overlooked. These protective ankle and lower leg coverings can really make a difference when hiking across sand dunes in the hot desert sun, as they offer an extra layer of protection against debris, scorching sand, and snake bites. You will want to opt for sturdier, high gaiters if you are going on a desert expedition with lots of hiking, whereas a more lightweight, breathable low gaiters choice is best for desert running – such as if you are taking part in the Marathon des Sables or a similar event.

Best Desert Gaiters

Trekking & Hiking

High gaiters (which are longer and cover the whole lower part of your leg, almost up to the knee) are ideal for extreme and rough conditions as they are a bit harder and offer protection from rocks, debris and nasty animal bites (depending on where you go – be wary of snakes and scorpions!)

Best gaiters for desert hiking

TurtleSkin SnakeArmor Gaiters – especially designed to protect against snake bite, a must for hiking in the Sonoran desert. Relatively comfortable and lightweight. [Check Price]

Outdoor Research Bugout Gaiters – versatile gaiter, 100% nylon, designed to protect against insects and bugs. Somewhat lightweight, better suited for short hikes and backpacking trips rather than adventurous expeditions. [Check Price]

Running & Backpacking

Low gaiters are better suited for casual backpacking and trail running in the desert. These are ankle height, more lightweight and breathable, offering less protection but without sacrificing speed of movement.

Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Low – a great pair of low gaiters meant to fit your shoes and keep dirt and dust out while on a trail run. They are available in different colors, too. [Check Price]

Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters – another durable pair of gaiters from Outdoor Research. 100% nylon, lightweight, and ideal for backpacking trips and trail running. [Check Price]

Gifts for desert hiking and backpacking

If you or someone you know are about to go on a desert expedition, you might find our especially curated selection of gifts for desert explorers an interesting read.

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