Hi ~ after paddling, drying gear is mostly easy with the exception of drying boots. I sent searching for boot dryer ideas recently and came across this web page: https://housegrail.com/diy-boot-dryers/ . Several good ideas and I like the second one best (I happen to have a hair dryer in my tool collection). Maybe this will help someone out there.
Good ideas. I seldom need to dry my water shoes or boots but when I do the first thing I do is stuff them with newspaper. It will absorb quickly and give you a head start on drying after you remove it.
Why make one when Amazon sells 100s of different brands for under 50 bucks. The one we have works great and will do 4 boots or 2 boots and 2 gloves.
You can make one with about $20 worth of PVC pipe and parts. Some of us enjoy DIY projects, which we can easily customize for our needs and that utilize items we already own (in this case, a fan or hair dryer), rather than buying more single-purpose stuff. Some of us like to make our own paddles and build boats, too.
Don’t get me wrong I’m the king of recycle, repurpose, and DIY. If someone wants to DIY a boot drier I’m 100% behind them.
The store bought one we have is designed to run non stop for days if you want it to. The air flow is really slow and quiet. Things like hair dryers do not have that kind of duty cycle and are designed for free air movement not to blow into a closed off space. I worry some about some DIY projects causing a safety issue with overheating etc.
One funny thing I learned about boot driers the cheap store bought ones is if you have one for sale at your garage sale 9 out of 10 times here it will be bought by the Amish. When I asked them how they use them without electric they say they cut the cord off and they work just fine. I think maybe all you really need is to get the boots upside down and off the floor and they dry out. A couple sticks and a board would work and if you have a floor heater vent even better.
Sometimes DIY saves money and sometimes it works better than store-bought. Then again, sometimes DIY costs more and doesn’t do the job quite as well.
But it’s always more fun than waiting for the Amazon box to arrive or a soul-sucking trip to the big box store.
You could also just use a piece of plywood and a couple of dowels. Drill holes for the dowels at an angle, you don’t even have to glue them in if you want to take it apart for storage.
Keep things simple is my usual strategy. For short neo booties, I just put something hollow in the ankle so it stays open and air dries. For my hip boots, I hang them upside down with a bit of rope.
But I tend to only use my boots every few days, so they have plenty of time to dry out. If I was using my boots daily, I would probably get a boot drier.
I made a multiple water shoe and boot dryer using a piece of 2 x 12 board and ¾" dowels for the uprights, but even using urethane on the dowels had a problem with mold and mildew on the dowels. I switched to ¾" PVC pipe which seemed to eliminate the problem. I topped the pipe with PVC caps to provide a smooth surface and keep water out. I also urethaned the wooden base. The uprights keep the shoes in the proper position to drain. All made with scraps on hand.
We usually put it out in the sun or someplace with good air circulation. @bud16415’s idea of putting it near a floor vent, if available, is a good suggestion.
I bought a MaxxDry XL dryer more than 11 years ago. It worked so well that my husband later bought another one. Both of them are still going strong.
Each one has a pair of tall vented stacks with removable angled boot retainers and a pair of shorter stacks. I can dry a pair of mukluk-tall boots and a pair of mitts, gloves, or hat and Buff (or a
pair of low shoes) on one dryer. Dryer can be set for various times up to 3 hrs, using either heated or unheated air. Usually drying takes less than 2 hrs. Time needed depends how thick and how wet the material is.
In this sunny climate, I try to dry gear outside. When weather doesn’t allow fully drying outside, the boot dryers finish the job.
I have a Peet dryer - one of the best purchases I ever made. My Dad gave me a cheap one before that, that lasted a month, tops. The Peet is fantastic. I liked it so well I got a portable one (looks like a couple of potatoes with wires coming out of them) for traveling. Great for paddling shoes. Great for ski boots (which otherwise never dry, even sitting on our heated floor). Great for soggy running shoes, bike shoes, gloves, you name it. Mine gets a daily workout.
My only complaint is the lack of a switch. Dad installed his own on the one I got him for Christmas. But there is no blower or anything, no noise, no moving parts, and doesn’t heat up.