Page 1 2 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Greasing Your Mocs
 Login/Join
 
Booshway
Picture of Night Owl
posted
Hi guys,

I was wondering what some of the rest of you do when greasing up your mocs either before, during or after a trek?

If you're like me, your mocs come back from a trek covered in dirt and mud. I obviously knock off all of the big hunks of dirt and debris, but just can't bring myself to start greasing them again without also rinsing them with a little soap & water, then letting them air dry before applying the grease.

This is easy to do at home after a trek, but while out on the trail I rarely if ever grease them due to all the dirt and crud they collect.

I would think putting a fresh coat of tallow and bees wax over all the ground in dirt would only accelerate the wear and tear on the mocs.

Anyone do anything different?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Night Owl,
 
Posts: 265 | Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan | Registered: 03 June 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
I use a lot of bear grease mixed with bees wax. If it's cold they won't usually get wet or muddy but if it's slushy, eventually they'll be wet. In that case the multiple layers of wool blanket liners will usually keep my feet warm, but I carry extras. And extra moccasins to sleep in. You are right about getting the dirt off before re-greasing as grease and dirt will make a greasy abrasive compound. I carry a little can of grease and I'll dry and re-do them if I have to, but I try to clean them up. If you know of a way to keep buckskin moccasins from soaking in slush I'd like to hear it. I recently read an article about an annual primitive winter rendezvous in Michigan.
 
Posts: 507 | Registered: 14 August 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
posted Hide Post
Yeah, if you're a moc wearing person you really need several pairs ready to go to keep them from premature wearing out, and to keep your feet in good shape.

I think this is a 21st century thing...I think in really crappy weather some folks simply went barefoot...or that they naturally had much tougher feet than we do today...or both...

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3644 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Night Owl
posted Hide Post
Yeah, while sitting around the campfire with a buddy on a few over night treks, I've contemplated putting a fresh coat of grease on the mocs to assist with a little leather conditioning and some water resistance.

After seeing how scuzzy they looked, I've told myself every time to wait until I get home to wash the things with soap and water before re-greasing.

I think the re-greasing on the trail business is only an option if you have access to water for cleaning and time to let them dry first.
 
Posts: 265 | Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan | Registered: 03 June 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
You're lucky you can wear your mocs for a day or two. I used to wear mine at rendezvous but anymore, if I wear them for over an hour or two, my legs hurt like h--l. Starting back when I turned 55, I started only wearing them while putting on presentations. The hour is about all I can take. I have nice mocs but I can't get my orthotics in them so an hour is all I can take.

Load fast and aim slow.
 
Posts: 1723 | Location: Pacific Northwest | Registered: 08 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<mtnmike>
posted
unless it is cold ground,mine stays in the pack,grew up going barefoot so it's old hat to me.Just had a dear friend make me a new pair,so with luck,they will last as long as I do.
I was always told NOT to grease.
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
Going barefoot is all right some places but it ain't much good at any winter camp I ever been to. I never go barefoot out in the brush but I do around home just to keep my feet toughened up. Couple years ago we had an over population of yellow jackets and stepping on one those barefooted will sure get your attention.
 
Posts: 507 | Registered: 14 August 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
Used ta go barefoot when I was a young'un,but got in the habit of wearing protective footwear when on the farm....Now my feet are so tender,I have to wear protection....just acquired a nice set of western-style mocs.Good tough soles,to deal with sharp volcanic type rocks and cactus spines you don't see(Larry,ref "prickly pear")....Larry knows what I'm talking about,prolly Fin too.those stealth spines are nasty.Kinda pricey,so they're gonna be my only for awhile,but well made...They resemble those "chukka boots" that were popular during the '70s.Breaking 'em in right now....


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1449 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of andy*
posted Hide Post
I use a mixture of coconut oil and beeswax on my arrow moccasins.
I know my arrow lace boot mocs ain't pre-1840 but I do wear them almost every day. To work, at play, hunting etc... and the coconut and beeswax mix really seems to work,even out here in the Pacfic North Wet.... LOL
Andy


Follow me I am the Infantry
 
Posts: 664 | Location: Everson, Washington | Registered: 27 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
posted Hide Post
Silicone spray is not greasy or sticky.


"I don't know where we're goin', but there's no sense bein' late." Quigley
 
Posts: 104 | Location: The Beehive State | Registered: 12 April 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
I like SnoSeal. Contains bees wax and does a pretty good job. As far as tender feet go, I tried a pair of elk hide center seams I made from a kit. I had to buy a pair of Arrow Ft. Ligioner mocs.They have a hard sole. My home made mocs caused me to yelp too much. I made so much noise in them I couldn't sneak up on a rock.
 
Posts: 269 | Location: Pocono Mts. in PA | Registered: 12 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of MountainRanger
posted Hide Post
I discovered a product called Bear Leather Dressing. Supposedly a product from Finland. It comes in a 3.5 oz tin and looks like heavy grease. It works in easily and it works well for mornings with a heavy dew walking through grass and leaves in the woods. I've used SnoSeal too and have had very good results with it.


Sua Sponte
 
Posts: 460 | Location: SW Virginia (New River Valley) | Registered: 13 August 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Notchy Bob
posted Hide Post
Lots of good suggestions.

However, in speculating about what the old timers did, I don't recall seeing anything in the literature about waterproofing moccasins. I have seen a lot of references to wet feet, though.

I wonder if some of the workaday moccasins on the plains might have been made of "old tipi top." I think tipis tended to wear out from the bottom up, due to contact with the ground and getting chewed and urinated on by dogs. The upper part of the lodge skin, on the other hand, was permeated with smoke and could be cut up and recycled into smaller articles. I know old tipi top was used a lot as a base for beaded legging strips, probably because it was very stable, and not so prone to shrink or stretch. I seem to recall hearing of it being used for other items that would be exposed to wetting. It would only make sense to use it for moccasins.

I believe people back then tended to keep several pairs of moccasins on hand, and making and repairing them was a constant chore.

I ran across this in Saskatchewan and the Rocky Mountains, by the Earl of Southesk: "The men were busy to-day in mending their moccasins. These soft shoes [soft leather socks one might call them] are very comfortable in dry, hot weather, but moisture soaks through them in an instant, and, though they do admirably for level ground, I find them slippery on the hill, and no protection against stones and thorns. When the weather is cold they are bad wear for horseback, as one's feet get chilled in the stirrups. But for a pair of nailed shooting-boots, I could not have got along at all in the mountains, which are more covered with sharp stones than any I have seen in Scotland. Even my men, accustomed to nothing but moccasins, are constantly cutting and bruising their feet; they sometimes wear out a new pair of soles in a few hours."

"The best moccasins are made of moose leather; red-deer (wapiti) is very soft but too thin; buffalo is exceedingly poor both in look and in quality..." (page 232).

In the preface to John Palliser's book, Solitary Rambles and Adventures of a Hunter (1847), the author gave advice to travelers about what to bring for a prolonged hunting trip on the plains and in the mountains. In the closing remarks of his preface, he added, "Before leaving the settlements, provide yourselves with lead, tobacco, coffee, sugar, salt, needles, awls, strong thread, and shoemaker's wax, and also one or two dressed skins, for making and mending moccasins..."

Palliser evidently considered moccasin repair an essential activity.

Notchy Bob


"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us. Should have rode horses. Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife
 
Posts: 309 | Location: Florida | Registered: 24 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
posted Hide Post
Great info Bob!


"I don't know where we're goin', but there's no sense bein' late." Quigley
 
Posts: 104 | Location: The Beehive State | Registered: 12 April 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
Picture of TurkeyCreek
posted Hide Post
I too have not seen any references (that I can recall)in original writings referring to waterproofing moccasins. Thanks Bob for the interesting quotes.


"They do not live their lives 'by your leave'! They hack it out of the wilderness with their own two hands, bearing their children along the way!" - Cora Monroe - "Last Of The Mohicans"
 
Posts: 186 | Location: Turkey Creek on Cimarron Drainage | Registered: 10 September 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Night Owl
posted Hide Post
Been a good year and half since I posted this question, and since then have had several more treks for the history books! Also made myself two new pairs of brain tan center seam pucker toe mocs this past winter.

My last trek was a three day solo trip earlier this month. Temps were in the low to mid 50s during the day, and low 30s/high 20s at night. Everything in the woods right now is pretty moist...lots of wet leaves and dirt. I spent most of my time in a pair of Fugawee 18th Century shoes. They did me just fine in the canoe and around camp, but I wouldn't want to do a lot of cross country travel in them. For that endeavor I would much prefer my mocs for the woods travel on foot. One morning I got up and put on one of the new pairs of mocs, (freshly greased with a mix of bear fat and bees wax). Within about about a half hour of walking around camp collecting wood and doing chores, the moisture was already creeping through my mocs and into my wool socks.

The thing that has perplexed me the most is how anyone back then with just mocs kept their feet healthy and functional, (especially the natives). I can think of about ten different modern day ways to cheat and keep my feet dry under those mocs, but I've just never been able to understand how people back then could have done it. Sunny/hot summer days with mocs = no problem. Cold winter days with shoe pack mocs with wool liners on snow shoes = no problem. Cold wet weather typically found during the early spring thaw and late fall while wearing mocs = good luck at having comfortable feet.

I acknowledge their feet were probably much tougher than ours, but that only goes so far when your feet/mocs are soaked through and through and the temperature outside is in the mid 40s. Even if they could deal with it twice as long as we can, there is still going to be a breaking point. Sure, you can carry an extra pair or two of mocs to change out at night, but what about the 8 hours during the day when they were having to move? Gathering, hunting, war and the many other daily events still had to go on during a cold wet fall day.

Any one have any new ideas or information about how they did it?
 
Posts: 265 | Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan | Registered: 03 June 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
posted Hide Post
I cannot add much to the knowledge presented here but can only say that the ancestor's were a lot tougher folk than I.

Last fall I was out roaming the hills around my home in the early morning hours.
Fresh dew on the downed leaves and pine needles made for a slippery slope for me in my mocs.

As I was descending the hill leading to my back yard I slipped and fell, landing pretty hard on my lower back.

Took a good week to get over the pain and realizing that a 60 yr old man needs good traction soles if he wants to remain upright in the woods!
 
Posts: 164 | Registered: 15 January 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
posted Hide Post
While I have a pair of moccasins I made they are only for wear around my place. The woods around here are way too rocky and steep. I usually wear modern boots when out hunting but I just bought a pair of Fugawee Hi-low trekkers. I need to get some hobnails and a heel plate on them to wear in the mountains. I believe that a similar boot is what is being talked about in the above quote about a " nailed boot". Remember that the list of supplies going to rendezvous included a large number of shoes and boots. I think that mocs were a last resort for when your real shoes wore out. As for being cold when wet, remember too that the vast majority of socks back then were wool, which can still insulate even when wet.
 
Posts: 213 | Location: Big Arm Montana | Registered: 17 September 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
posted Hide Post
Another thing to consider is this: They didn't have modern schedules to keep. We go out into inclimate weather hunting, camping etc. because it's the only time off we get. I'm willing to bet many of those on the frontier looked at the pouring rain and said" Nope! I'm staying in camp today. The old flint lock ain't going off out in that muck anyway!"
 
Posts: 213 | Location: Big Arm Montana | Registered: 17 September 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
posted Hide Post
Excellent point,Larry....I know I sure ain't going out in that,if'n I don't have to....


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1449 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2  
 


2014 Historical Enterprises, LLC