NATO Socks

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This is required equipment for all NATO Participants.


All attendees are required to bring along a minimum of 4 pairs of non-cotton or cotton blend socks.

  • Keep in mind that it may rain and rain and rain. Fresh socks are very important not only from a comfort perspective but also from a personal health perspective.
    • Failing to take proper care of your feet in a wet environment can lead to trench foot.
    • Failing to keep your feet warm and dry in very cold weather can lead to frostbite.

Selecting socks

  • Be mindful of how sock thickness can change the fit of your boots. If you usually wear thin socks with your boots, you do not want to buy all thick socks and come to East Wind as your boots will now fit tighter than before. Conversely, moving to a thinner sock can leave you with loose fitting boots and painful heel blisters in very short order.
  • There are many makers of Merino wool socks such as Smartwool that are highly regarded by attendees.
  • Other attendees swear by Thor-lo socks.
  • Whichever socks you choose make certain that have no cotton content at all. The saying among outdoors enthusiasts for years has been cotton kills. Do not learn about this the hard way.