Plastic Shoe Covers

Whether you are ordering shoe covers for a large industrial plant or to protect your own shoes while you paint your bedroom, it can be overwhelming to decide on what kind of shoe cover material is the right one for you. It probably doesn’t help any that they come in a bewildering variety of material.
Industrial shoe covers come in co-polymer, polypropylene and Tyvek, all various types of man made materials that help keep shoes and boots clean and free of contaminants. The best way to choose what kind of material you want a shoe cover to be, is to decide what you want them to do for you. Here are a few ideas on how to decide which type of shoe cover works best for your situation.
Waterproof Plastic Shoe Covers
Probably the first really important question is whether you need your plastic shoe covers to be waterproof or not. For areas where water is not a big question, this can then make it easier to simply get those plastic shoe covers that take care of dust and dirt, but aren’t waterproof. Many of the waterproof plastic shoe booties sit higher on the shoe and some even tie up. When considering which type of shoe cover you need, be sure to consider these options.
If you are looking at waterproof shoe covers, then do they need to be skid-proof? High traction waterproof reusable plastic shoe covers sounds a bit overwhelming, but in a dangerous area with constant hazards, they could be just the ticket. If you are buying for a whole crew, maybe some just need ordinary copolymer plastic shoe covers that are disposable for guests and the rest get the reusable ones. Just how wet is it in there?
When Polypropylene Shoe Covers Make Sense
If you need to protect shoes cheaply from dust and dirt, you just can’t beat basic polypropylene shoe covers. These are the ones you see everywhere in packs of several hundred that you use once and then toss. I know several real estate agents who always have a bunch in their glove compartment of their car in case a client decides to see an open house unexpectedly. These are also usually what you will see in places like home improvement crews (great for messy things like tile setting when you buy the non-skid bottoms) or car repair shops.
These are not great for wet environments, they are not waterproof. But if the area is messy and dirty, a pair of polypropylene shoe covers will really do the trick. If you are dealing with a crew of workers they are also a great choice because you can buy them cheaply in bulk. Work on a farm or ranch? Keep these guys handy for those really dirty chores so you don’t track that muck back to the house. Gardeners may want to keep these polypropylene shoe covers handy for the same reason.
Disposable versus Reusable Shoe Covers
Cost can be a big factor when it comes to choosing the kind of plastic shoe covers you need. But if you consider how a shoe cover is being used, sometimes it makes more sense to get the reusable plastic shoe covers. For an environment where they need to be worn all day, such as in construction, reusable shoe covers might be more cost effective.
But if you expect a wide variety of people to visit your location, such as would be the case with a homeowner going through various upgrades, disposables work fine. Just get your vendors to zip these disposable show covers on and you won’t have to worry about anyone tracking dirt or mess through your home during the entire upgrade.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for disposable shoe covers. Everything from plastic shoe covers to polypropylene shoe covers and more can be used in a wide variety of situations. Picking the right type of disposable shoe cover can make a job both easier to do and leave the environment cleaner when you are done. They are a handy tool for just about any messy job you can name.

Disposable Booties are Handy for Variety of Industries

While it is true that many of us think of the medical industry when someone mentions disposable shoe covers, there are plenty of other industries that depend on them to keep their workers safe, clean and in compliance. Everyone from your local realtor showing off their open house to the contractor replacing your plumbing uses disposable shoe covers for a wide variety of reasons. Here are just three industries: food preparation, heavy metals extraction and building construction that find using disposable shoe covers or booties to be a vital part of their work.
The Food Prep Industry Loves its Shoe Covers
As anyone will tell you who works in food preparation, keeping everything clean is a big part of the work. But food preparation is far more than that local barista at your favorite coffee shop. Just about anything you can name that is edible has probably been through the hands of a food preparation specialist at some point. Disposable shoe covers are part of worker safety and help to keep anyone involved in food preparation. From the person sorting lettuce at a commercial plant to the food prep person at your favorite restaurant, the right shoe covers are part of the solution to controlling cross contamination and improving health and safety.
Disposable Shoe Covers Make Hazardous Work Safer
While food prep workers may be wearing shoe covers in order to keep the consumer of the end product happy, it is the workers themselves that benefit from using them in hazardous industrial sites. Places like industrial labs with toxic materials use all kinds of protection for their workers, and that certainly includes disposable shoe covers. In fact, the biggest reason for wearing them is that they are disposable at the end of the work shift.
Dangerous chemicals, toxic metals and bio-hazards are all something you don’t want migrating out of the work environment at the end of that person’s shift. By using a disposable shoe cover that is simply tossed into the “hot box” at the end of the day, these kinds of materials are handled properly. The consequences of having dangerous materials getting into our water supplies are high enough that many localities legally require them.
For Dusty Work Nothing Beats Polypropylene Shoe Covers
While hazardous material work and food prep might seem the obvious choice for shoe covers, there are sometimes situations where using polypropylene shoe covers work even better. These are generally cloth with a special protective coating and are among the more comfortable shoe covers because of their ability to breathe. You will see polypropylene shoe covers in all kinds of places including automotive repair shops, cleaning crews and even on construction sites. Their soft surface and non-skid bottom make them perfect for that personal tour around a newly finished home.
Disposable Shoe Covers for Every Industry
As you can see, there are a multitude of uses for disposable shoe covers in as many industries as you can imagine. That may be because of their immense versatility. With today’s modern plastics to add safety and mass production that brings down the price to within everyone’s reach, disposable polypropylene shoe covers and all types of plastic shoe covers are gaining popularity.
The disposable nature of them makes them easy to manage and their ability to keep dust and dirt out of the work environment has made many industries that much easier to maintain. When it comes to short-term solutions to dirty or messy environments, you just can’t beat disposable shoe covers as a quick and easy answer.

Where Plastic Shoe Covers Work Well

Inexpensive, disposable and easy to store, plastic shoe covers have become the go-to shoe covering for many businesses. Their versatility and inexpensive price makes them the perfect disposable shoe cover for a wide variety of uses and in just about every industry or business you can name. Whether it is used in child care, by workers in construction or agents showing homes in real estate, these plastic shoe covers are ubiquitous. There is a good reason too.
On Construction Sites
There are few places as filled with mud, mess and dirt as a construction site. The best way to ensure that the mess stays on the construction site and not in the new home or building is to use plastic shoe covers. Workers don these handy covers when entering to help maintain clean floors and protect carpets. Whether it is for a large construction site with hundreds of workers or a simple room addition to your home, make sure that plenty of both waterproof shoe covers and regular plastic shoe covers are available for those messy worker boots.
Great Plumber’s Helper
When it comes to helping out in a wet and often toxic environment, plumbers have seen it all. That may well be why so many of them make waterproof shoe covers a part of their basic equipment. For a plumber on the job, encountering unknown substances is just part of the job, so protecting their shoes and feet from it with plastic shoe covers is vital. With their disposable nature, a plumber can come into a home, put on their plastic shoe covers before a job, and toss them and the mess they are covered in at the end of the job. Truly, waterproof shoe covers are the best helper a plumber could ask for.

Floor Protection for Real Estate Agents
Selling real estate is a non-stop job where you only get to make that great first impression once. Homes with polished floors and warm wood tones need protection from the dirt and mess our shoes track in. That is why so many real estate agents have gotten into the habit of not only providing non-slip plastic shoe covers at the door of the homes they show, they often have a box of one size fits all shoe covers in the car. Fast and easy to hand off, quick and simple to remove, these little shoe covers protect the floors and show the prospective clients that this agent cares about the homes they show.
Protecting Children with Shoe Covers
Whether in a child care facility or around the home you want to protect small children. Plastic shoe covers are a simple way to keep dirt and infections from outside from getting inside. We all know how much small kids love to put everything in their mouths, and that includes hands that have been on the floor. Many child care centers require parents dropping off or picking up kids to use shoe covers when they enter the facility. In the home, you can protect your small children by insisting that visitors either take off their shoes or put plastic shoe covers on if they enter your home. It’s a fast and simple solution to the need to keep small children as toxin and germ-free as possible.
Plastic and Waterproof Shoe Covers Protect
Whether you are wearing shoe covers to protect yourself from contamination in a plumbing emergency or to protect the floor area from dirt in an open house, these disposable booties are a great help. Waterproof shoe covers can be made from a variety of materials and will cover a large part of the shoe to keep moisture and water that may be toxic from your shoes.
Keep in mind that shoe covers can only protect you if worn correctly and disposed of immediately when you are done using them. Trying to save a few pennies by wearing them repeatedly can only invite the very contamination you are trying to prevent. Find the right size, wear them wherever they are called for and dispose of them properly and you will find that plastic and waterproof shoe covers will keep you protected no matter what your working environment.

Disposable Shoe Covers Come in All Sizes

Do you need disposable shoe covers that could fit on a gorilla? Do you have dainty little feet that need shoe covers that won’t slide off your feet? For anyone outside of the average shoe size, finding the right size of booties can be difficult. But having the right size is just as important as the fact you have them. Because if they don’t fit, they don’t work right for you no matter what the situation and your shoe size.
Find the Right Size Disposable Shoe Covers
One thing to be aware of is that throwaway shoe covers are sized as if they are going to fit over an ordinary shoe. In many professions where you see these worn frequently, people will wear sneakers because they give good support when you are on your feet all the time. These kinds of shoes are perfect for grabbing your own shoe covers from the box and quickly popping them on.
But what happens if you wear boots? That is when it is a good idea to check out the next size up. Luckily most industrial booties don’t come in numerical sizes, but in the traditional Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and even XX-Large for those gorilla-sized feet we mentioned before. This makes it easy to find a size that works for your shoes no matter what you are wearing that day.
Shoe Covers in Industry
Of course, industrial booties can be worn for a wide variety of reasons, the most important one being to protect the users from dangerous fluids. In many industries this is of particular importance. When you stop and consider that protection is the primary use for most shoe covers or booties, it only makes sense that you want to be sure the ones you use are the right size and fit properly.
Shoe covers that are too large will not sit correctly and could trip you. Too small a fit can mean leaving you exposed. If you spend a fair amount of time in dangerous areas or any situation where these kinds of precautions are needed, be sure your shoe covers fit snugly and do the job right. Especially since many of these disposable shoe covers come with non-slip bottoms to give you better purchase on slippery floors, but only if they fit correctly.
Other Uses for Disposable Shoe Covers
Since not everyone who needs shoe covers works in dangerous industrial buildings, there are many other good reasons to use the right sized booties on your shoes. If you work in any kind of day care facility, sell real estate or even just for those messy jobs around the home these can be a handy way to keep the area clean. If using the right size to cover your shoe correctly, your disposable booties will easily help to contain any kind of situation.
So whether you are someone who needs simple booties to protect you from dangerous or toxic fluids in an industrial location or just want disposable shoe covers for that next open house, getting the right size counts. If you are a supplier for your center or office, making sure you have plenty of shoe covers in all four sizes will help to make sure everyone has the size they need.

Nitrile Gloves Benefits

Nitrile gloves protect beyond the capabilities of other synthetic or natural rubber gloves. Whether in a lab with volatile liquids, surrounded by petrochemicals or as a janitorial tool, these gloves are the superior solution. Here are just a few of the leading reasons so many institutions, businesses and individuals choose powder free nitrile gloves as their first option when they have an unsafe or dirty situation to control.
Puncture Control
For workers in a lab or hospital, eliminating punctures is why nitrile gloves have become the top choice. With a thickness that is 20% greater than the old traditional work gloves, controlling accidents including punctures is less of a worry for workers when wearing these gloves. With nitrile gloves, lab and hospital workers have a safer environment because they can pay attention to the work and not the glove.
Nitrile Disposable Gloves are Powder-Free and Non-Allergenic
Allergies to latex have long plagued their use. With nitrile disposable gloves, this is eliminated. The material is so inert that allergy problems are close to non-existent. Plus, since these are powder free nitrile gloves, workers also no longer have to be concerned with contaminating anything they touch.
In the automotive trade, where gloves are used for car finishing as well as the repair bay, this can be a big plus. Powder residue can leave fingerprints on a freshly completed paint job. With the powder free nitrile gloves that will never be a concern. In addition nitrile disposable gloves eliminate concerns of contamination and make clean up quick and easy.
Greater Tactile Sensitivity
In situations where having as much tactile input as possible is needed, it can be limited while wearing gloves. Lab work is a good example of this, as well as working in the food service industry. The comfortable but snug fit of nitrile disposable gloves give greater flexibility while keeping hands safe from volatile chemicals in industry, broken glass in janitorial and a vast range of possibilities in a hospital setting.
Whatever the reason for needing gloves while at work, if you need to keep your hands fully protected with a range of feeling and motion you can’t beat nitrile disposable gloves. Whether you need gloves for the sensitive work of a medical lab or the demanding work of an automotive repair shop, powder free nitrile gloves give true value. A smart sensible solution, the disposable nature, non-powdered surface and dark colors to disguise the worst makes these the ideal solution to any work glove need.

Here are our Top Five Nitrile Gloves in Review

1.Safety Zone Blue Nitrile Powder Free Gloves
These powder free nitrile gloves are a great fit and work like a charm. They are comfortable to use, durable and versatile enough for a number of industrial uses. Plus, I didn’t have an allergic reaction to them the way I do with latex gloves. The special pricing that allows me to order these handy gloves by the case means I always have a good supply in our warehouse.
The weight makes them a good choice for jobs that require good dexterity and yet need some safety protection. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a medium weight industrial glove, especially when you want a disposable glove that can take on messy situations.

2. GlovePlus 6 Mil Black Nitrile Powder Free Gloves
I found its textured fingertips and elastic fit make it a great glove for a variety of industrial uses. Plus, the textured finish extends beyond the fingers to the palm, making this the perfect glove in situations where you need to handle tools, feel for small pieces or pick up errant equipment and parts. The perfect glove for such hand-intensive work as automotive repair or support trades within the food industry, especially in situations where there will be wet conditions.
These are also a good choice for restaurant work, with their light-weight easy to wear comfort. In addition, they are made from material that complies with FDA regulations for food touch. I also like the fact they are powder-free so I never have to worry about leaving a nasty-looking fingerprint. These nitrile gloves allow wearers to have greater flexibility with food handling while keeping everything completely protected.

3.Ultragard 8 Mil High Risk Nitrile Powder Free Gloves
I find these highly rated powder free gloves are the perfect choice for any kind of environment where extra protection is absolutely needed. The gloves are designed to be ambidextrous, so each glove can be worn on either hand. They are made from Nitrile, a compound that is a highly puncture-resistant material. I love that that these industrial use gloves have none of the side effects that latex allergies can create and make a great general use work glove. At 12 inches in length they can easily cover even the longest hand, and keep wrists as well as hands protected.
The material is both strong yet flexible, making these the ideal gloves for work situations where prolonged use might be needed. In addition, the beaded cuff makes them easy to take on and off and the textured fingers make them a good fit for wet or dry environments.

4.Gloveworks Blue Nitrile Powder Free Glove
A high-quality glove at a very good price, these were an easy fit and sturdy enough to be versatile in use. If you work in a situation where punctures or cuts are a problem, these are strong gloves with 30% more the puncture resistance of latex gloves. Because they are powder-free and lightly textured for good grip and comply with the FDA regulations for food contact, these are the perfect glove for food industry work.
For anyone with latex allergies, nitrile gloves are the ideal solution as they are non-allergenic. Service industries such as janitorial, hair salons and plumbers have all found these gloves to be the right weight and comfort to allow them to wear them for longer periods of time. It also means that you can order them for everyone in your staff, because they are versatile, non-allergenic and tear resistant for every type of use.

5.GlovePlus HD 8 Mil Nitrile Powder Free Gloves
For anyone who needs an extra amount of protection, this is a great choice. The special thickness makes them especially useful for heavy-duty work that calls for that additional degree of caution. Plus, with the extra length you will find your wrists are covered as well as your hands.
The powder free feature makes them ideal for any situation where you don’t want to leave white residual powder. For long term use in heavy industrial applications, these gloves will protect and be comfortable enough to wear all day.

Nitrile Gloves Vs Latex Gloves

Nitrile Gloves Vs Latex Gloves
Nitrile gloves have in many industries replaced latex gloves. Although latex gloves have been around longer as a substitute for rubber gloves, there are many reasons nitrile gloves have become the top choice for a given situation. The distinct properties of each have created specific areas where either latex or nitrile gloves make the most sense.
Nitrile Gloves and Latex Gloves in the Lab
Although latex gloves began as the glove of choice in medical labs, nitrile powder free gloves have proven to be a smarter choice for the modern lab environment. With nitrile gloves 30% superiority when it comes to resisting punctures, they have shown themselves to be a safer choice over all for many types of lab work, particularly blood work. In addition, in any lab where absolutely clean conditions are a must to avoid contamination, nitrile powder free gloves are simply a more practical choice over latex gloves with their trademark while powder residue.
Emerging in the Medical World
Although latex remain top dog in the operating room, in medical labs and exam rooms as well as emergency centers around the world nitrile powder free gloves are often preferred as a first line of defense. With three times the puncture resistance they are more effective against the spread of disease and infection. In addition, nitrile powder free gloves are non-allergenic because they do not contain the proteins that cause most latex allergies. This makes them a favorite amongst staff.
Changes in the Auto Repair Bay
One of the areas where nitrile gloves are growing in popularity is the repair bay in a mechanics shop. While it was once common for a mechanic to be covered in grease from head to foot, these days the proliferation of computerized technology for diagnosing automobiles requires a clean shop and an even cleaner mechanic.
Latex gloves, with their propensity for melting in reaction to many petrochemicals, are completely ineffective in this environment. However, not only are nitrile gloves impervious to the destructive capabilities of petrochemicals, they have another great advantage. In the final cleaning process, especially for paint jobs, latex gloves would leave a messy powdery signature on the surface. The nitrile powder free gloves are the perfect solution for any part of the process in a modern auto repair bay.
As you can see, whether it is in the medical lab, the doctor’s office or the mechanics bay, nitrile gloves have proven to be the best solution over latex gloves for today’s work environment.

Nitrile Industrial Gloves Many Uses

Nitrile industrial gloves have become a staple in many environments, replacing other synthetic rubber gloves. But why would this particular glove be a more effective product, when so many others are available? The reasons generally have to do with nitrile gloves special properties: resistance to punctures and hydrocarbons along with their stable inert nature.
Nitrile Industrial Gloves in the Cleanroom
Today’s technology requires antiseptic environments when developing electronics or nanotechnology and working with semiconductors. Called cleanrooms, these environments require the ability to control static electricity. Electrical charges, if they were to be discharged near or on these devices could damage or even destroy them. Thus control of static electricity through the use of static dissipative material such as nitrile industrial gloves becomes critical. Because natural rubber will inherently insulate static and latex gloves are prone to contamination, nitrile is the best choice for a cleanroom environment.
Keep Clean in the Automotive Industry
A new area where nitrile industrial gloves are becoming more popular is the automotive repair shop. Yesterday’s picture of a mechanic with grease under his nails is fast being replaced by a clean well-organized shop filled with computerized diagnostic technology. Greasy mechanic bays are viewed as unreliable.
Latex is a problem in this environment, because it will dissolve from prolonged exposure to grease and other petrochemicals. Nitrile industrial gloves are formulated to withstand most chemicals present in automobiles as well as the high temperatures that many mechanics are exposed to on a daily basis.
Cleaning Up in Janitorial and Hair Salons
Two service areas that have seen an increased use of nitrile industrial gloves are janitorial services and hair salons. The reasons are obvious, increased safety for the wearer. The puncture resistance of nitrile gloves makes them a smart and safe option for janitorial services where sharp objects from questionable sources can put workers at risk.
In the hair salon, the variety of chemical solutions has made the stable material of nitrile gloves the go-to solution for any size salon. From color specialists to the shampoo girl, every aspect of hair salon work needs protection for busy hands. Nitrile gloves provide them without concerns about interactions between chemicals and the glove material.
As you can see, when it comes to nitrile industrial gloves, they have become the perfect answer to the need for protection from volatile liquids or absolute control in the lab. Whether you need protection in a medical lab, auto repair shop, or hair salon, nitrile industrial gloves are fast becoming the ideal solution.

Nitrile Gloves in History

Nitrile gloves may seem new to the industry, but nitrile is not a new material. Nitrile compounds, a form of synthetic rubber, have been around for several hundred years. It wasn’t until natural rubber became scarcer during the two World Wars that the production of nitrile gloves was considered. Even then, it wasn’t until the 60s when the medical industry needed an alternative to latex that the development of a commercial blend of nitrile that leant itself to mass production was developed.
Medical Uses for Nitrile Gloves
Rubber glove use began when pouring carbolic acid on nurse’s hands, with the introduction of germ theory, caused rashes. When rubber became scarce, latex gloves were developed. But growing allergies to latex caused manufacturers to look for a material with similar properties, but without the allergy problems latex caused.
A search began for a synthetic rubber without the allergy causing antigen proteins in latex. This led to nitrile, a material in use for products including industrial gloves since the 1930s. In addition, since nitrile gloves don’t produce the powdery by-product common in other synthetic gloves they were perfect for labs that must be antiseptically clean.
A Search for Superior Industrial Gloves
Latex gloves had been around for years by the 1960s. However, when dealing with abrasive materials or chemicals there were problems. Gloves were thin and often didn’t protect the wearer completely. Early nitrite gloves were thick and heavy, which gave great protection.
They were also resistant to petro-chemicals and hydrocarbons, making them particularly useful for heavy industry. Initially somewhat clumsy to use, this changed with the development of vulcanization and polymerization. Nitrite gloves became more malleable and even used in such areas as chemical laboratory work.
Increased Need for Puncture Protection
Puncture resistance has made nitrile gloves a top choice for medical and dental work. They are three times more resistant to punctures than traditional latex plus they have a tendency to tear when they are punctured. This makes it obvious to the wearer that their safety has been compromised. Latex gloves don’t tear, so the wearer may be unaware of a critical puncture.
With the advance of blood-borne disease, this became a critical difference. Once nitrile gloves had been further refined to give them added tactile sensitivity and elasticity they became the de facto glove of choice across the entire dental profession and still are today.
As you can see, the development of nitrile gloves for industry and medical/dental has proven to be critical. While the patented properties may make them incrementally more expensive, they are easily worth every penny for the protection they give.

TrueTip Gloves – Review 1

Gear Review by Ray Rippel, Author of “Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail

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February 8th, 2013

I’m on record as a huge fan of trekking poles. I can’t count how many stumbles I’ve avoided on the John Muir Trail because of them. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have certain disadvantages.
One of those disadvantages is that they take a toll on your hands, particularly if you use them properly (i.e., if you slip your hands up through the loops so that the pressure applied to the poles is transferred to the meaty part of your hands and your wrists, not your fingers). The straps can rub against bare skin, the fore-and-aft swing of the poles can irritate the inside of your palm, and your hands will be horizontal—thus exposing them to sunburn.

The solution to all of those problems is a pair of gloves. For years, I used a pair lightweight, fingerless, cloth gloves. They did the job fairly well, although the parts of my fingers that were exposed would still get too much sun from time to time and my hands would get dirty. They also didn’t do a very good job of protecting my skin from abrasions when I moved through vegetation.
Enter PalmFlex TrueTip hiking gloves. These gloves are my new constant hiking companions, stored with my hiking gear, to be slipped on whenever I intend to use the poles.


I have to admit: this was not love at first sight. When I first opened the package I was afraid I’d received the wrong pair. They looked more like something a SCUBA diver might wear! The backs are a very light weight, breathable fabric, but the inside of the palm and fingers appear to be black rubber. Who wants that on a hot hike?

It turns out that they are not rubber, but nitrile—the same material they use to make latex-free gloves for hospitals. The material is durable (for protection), breathable (to keep your hands from overheating), and have a natural stickiness (which means you don’t have to take them off to manipulate small objects).

After a few months of using them, I really can’t imagine being without them. Here’s why: They cover the wrist up to the point where my long-sleeved sun shirt covers the gloves. That’s a very nice feature, since sun-protection is one of the reasons I wear gloves.

They prevent the trekking poles handles and straps from irritating my hands.

One of my favorite trails near my home is a steep one, with loose dirt and small pebbles on rock. In other words, I rarely hike it without slipping once or twice. When I put my hand out onto a dusty, dirty rock, the glove holds up fine: no rips, no tears, and the dirt can be brushed off quickly. Also, my hand doesn’t get dirty. (Not insignificant, in my book.)

On my day hikes, I often carry an iPod so that I can listen to podcasts; the missing fingertips work exactly as intended.

I do my “local” hiking in Hawaii, where the days are frequently warm. If I’m perspiring heavily, the feel of the dark part of the fabric can be a little different, but I’ll gladly trade that for clean, protected hands. I guess that means there’s a trade-off, but that concept is hardly new to hikers.

Good hiking, Ray

© 2013 Ray Rippel