Jul 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm #1238059
@burntclothLocale: The West
During my recent three-day trek, I was constantly in soggy wet areas and stream crossings that couldn't always be jumped.
I used to change into my camp shoes and wade across, then dry off & change back on the other side. Now that I'm on the UL bandwagon, I didn't bring camp shoes, and was left with the compromise of either going barefoot, and risking injury, or wearing the shoes (and hiking in wet shoes).
What do you do?Jul 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm #1516367
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
Wearing one pair of shoes is a classic ultralight technique:
1) Chose well-draining shoes made from non-absorbent materials.
2) Wear thin socks (preferably wool).
3) If you're prone to blisters, pre-treat your feet with Hydropel.
4) March right on through streams and keep going — the shoes won't be squishy for long.
5) Keep 1 pair of dry socks for sleeping.
6) If you must wear your dry socks with your wet shoes in camp, carry some bread bags to keep the socks dry inside the shoes. (Not for hiking.)
7) Don't try this in the winter.
-MikeJul 24, 2009 at 11:18 pm #1516376
@romanlaLocale: Southwest Louisiana
I'm going through my JMT list right now…keep wanting to put my comfortable off road crocs that I bought for river crossings back on the list…16.8 ounces. lol
p.s. My normally sub 8 pack is currently 15…not happy!Jul 25, 2009 at 12:03 am #1516380
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
There is a recent thread that went into this in "great" detail. Mike, however, has pretty much sumarized it for you. For most people in most of the conditions we are likely to encounter as hikers this approach works well. Even when I wore big boots and gaiters I could never keep my feet dry all the time.Jul 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm #1517435
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
I hate squishy socks. Another option would be take off the socks, put the shoes back on, squish through the creek and a little beyond (until the water's mostly out of the shoes) and stop, dry feet, put socks back on. That way the socks don't get appreciably damp for very long and the feet don't say soaking wet, and the shoes will be dry by the time you get where you're going.Jul 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm #1517438
I had your same concerns. On my first trekking trip with one pair of shoes, it was pretty warm so I intentionally walking through streams and puddles wearing my Inov-8 Roclite 295s. It was fine. I would recommend taking off your socks first, as Lori recommended. I was wearing fairly thin Smartwool Adrenaline PhD mini crews, and they got a little squishy for my taste, so I had to stop and ring them out. I didn't time how long it took my shoes/socks to dry out, but it was never uncomfortable. My feet get sweaty anyways, so my feet are damp wading or no. so what's the difference?Jul 31, 2009 at 7:54 pm #1518048
Wading through streams in trail runners is something that some ultralighters profess but it's certainly not for me, plus I like to get out of my sneakers at camp. Crocs and Tevas are way too heavy and bulky. The SprintAquatics Nylon Mesh shoes are nice and light but have two major issues; the mesh upper allows dirt to collect in the shoe (when at camp) and the sole is so thin that sticks and pinecones have poked through into my feet. Ouch.
I've done extensive searching on the web for a better solution and I've come across the Vincere Grip/Boat Sock. My men's size large weighs 3.2 oz for the pair. I think they were originally designed to protect the feet when playing beach volleyball but this version is for watersports. The upper is thin breathable lycra that doesn't allow dirt in, and the sole is a thick, textured no-slip neoprene that protects the bottom of your feet from hot/cold and sharp pokey things. They have minimal bulk as they can be rolled up. Good for crossing streams and for use as a camp shoe. I've walked through the woods in these and no sticks or rocks have jabbed through. I also contacted SandSkins and Sockwas, which make similar products, to ask how much their products weigh but they didn't respond to my emails. These are certainly the best solution I've found for stream crossing/camp shoes. Now if they just weighed 1 oz…
I paid $19 for them at their website
http://www.sandsocks.net/product.cfm?action=show_product&product_id=38Jul 31, 2009 at 9:26 pm #1518057
If I can rock-hop on top of flat rocks that have water flowing over them, I will go barefoot. That is the only circumstance I'll walk through a stream without foot protection. In every other case, I will either wear Crocs or I'll just walk through in my hiking shoes (New Balance 907's).
Whether I bring the Crocs depends on how much sun I expect to see on the trail and how dry the air will be. A summer hike through the Cascades… any wetness my shoes experience will evaporate in about 30 minutes so I just walk right through the streams. On the other hand, a hike back east that will have me under a thick canopy of oak and wading through several big streams per day… I'll bring my Crocs so I won't have wet feet all day long.Aug 1, 2009 at 6:23 am #1518092
For stream crossings I now take off my smartwool adrenalin socks and cross in my salomon xt wings. Then I walk a little more getting most of the water out. Then I put on my socks then the rocky mountain gortex socks go over the socks. The salomon's come off an on easily and on most hikes I only have one or two crossings where I cannot rock hop. I remove the gortex socks once the shoes have become pretty dry.Aug 1, 2009 at 6:41 am #1518094
If I am only doing a couple of crossings during the day I go barefoot. There are usually very few sharp rocks in rivers… banging a toe against a large rock is more likely. Usually it's just a case of cold toes.
On the other side I'm pretty happy to be putting dry shoes and socks on though =-)
(If I'm walking through streams all day obviously I just wade on through with my shoes on.)Aug 1, 2009 at 7:36 am #1518101
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I do exactly what Mike M. recommends. In the summer, here at least, its nice to have cool, wet feet for a little while. Sometimes the humidity is high enough that my "hiking socks" aren't dry in the morning. If putting on wet socks in the morning is not your idea of fun, bring a second pair of "hiking socks." Another pair of Smartwools adds hardly any weight and then you can put your other wet pair on the outside of your pack to let them dry all day.
And instead of bread bags, I bring some small doggy bags (the one's for picking up after your 4-legged friend). I find the smaller size is easier to deal with and they seem slightly more durable.
AdamAug 1, 2009 at 8:28 am #1518106
I recently did my first trip. I'm hardly UL, but I was trying to go as light as I could at this time. I had always thought wet feet were bad but many knowledgeable folks here have insisted that's not the case so I decided to test that out. I just walked through many of the crossings (GSMNP) even if I could hop them. Yes, my feet stayed moist pretty much all day. No, I didn't have any problems because of it. They were pruny but dried out quickly. Put damp socks and shoes on the next morning. Hiked 101 miles over 11 days in cheap Walmart Athletic Works "Sammy" shoes (they appeared they would drain the best). I like Injini Performance socks.
I will say I would like to take a cheap pair of flip-flops next time to wander around camp if I don't go barefoot. Crocs are too heavy and don't compress. I would not waste my time using them for crossings though (unless it's cold out).
I imagine it's not for everyone though. HYOH I guess. I also used the no TP method for my first trip and had no problems. Not willing to go without the trowel though.Aug 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm #1518164
Michael – DITCH THE TROWEL!
Use a stick or a rock, you'll do great!Aug 1, 2009 at 4:37 pm #1518169
No camp shoes, no river crossing shoes!
C'mon, this is a UL site! (unless you're gonna use something made out of a butchered Thinlite and spectra…)
Long trail running has taught me not to worry about the wet feet…On one of my last mountain marathons I fell in a stream and soaked both feet at mile 4. Finished no problem, no foot issues.
I'm a big fan of synthetic Injinji's and lightweight, drainable trail runners (I've started experimenting with cutting out the tongues to speed drying/air flow).
Carry one spare pair of socks, some Leukotape, and some T of Benzoin just in case.
Cheers!Aug 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm #1518177
@iwillchopyouhotmail-comLocale: Lake Tahoe
Craig–what have your experiences been with cutting the tongues out of your shoes? Any increased lace pressure or pain on the top of your foot? I'd be inclined to try this, but my feet are very narrow and any loss of volume in the shoe would probably result in a ridiculous fit.
Oh, yeah–if you add up all the time some people spend taking off and putting on shoes and/or socks for stream crossings, on some trails it could add up to a couple lost miles at day's end.Aug 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm #1518186
I have a pair of Adidas Supernova Riots without the tongue. I wear a 13 so loss of volume isn't an issue.
I've always run with my shoes pretty loose. Not having a tongue isn't noticeable (in a bad way).
They certainly drain faster.
They also get debris in them faster.
Ultimately I think it's a good shoe for water heavy trips/canyoneering sort of stuff- maybe not a lot of mixed terrain.
I remember the first long trip I did in which I was afraid get my feet wet. I found it INCREDIBLY annoying to have to stop and change socks and footwear at every crossing.
Soak your shoes and you're liberated! Then you WANT to jump in. WAY more fun.
It's funny to me to see people avoiding/precariously navigating a 3 inch deep stream crossing like it's lava or something (usually always the folks with the "waterproof" boots).
To each their own I guess.Aug 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm #1518187
"No camp shoes, no river crossing shoes! C'mon, this is a UL site!"
Right ON for you. You are stating the obvious – This is a forum for lightweight camping! (I was gunna say pretty much the same thing, you beat me to it)Aug 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm #1518193
@iwillchopyouhotmail-comLocale: Lake Tahoe
I also use Supernova's and have been since 2004–roughly 5000 miles hiked since then. I love them, though the current version is a step in the wrong direction for my narrow foot. And don't worry about mixed terrain with them–they handle anything and everything just fine.
My wife and I call getting your feet wet "freedom", because from then on you just charge through any water on the trail without a second thought. It's just water, afterall.Aug 1, 2009 at 7:51 pm #1518196
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Zinetic pocket slippers had been mentioned some time ago– a year? The are simple mesh and rubber-sole slippers that roll up. My size 11's weigh 8.8oz with the stuff sack.Aug 1, 2009 at 9:09 pm #1518206
Sorry, Mike. No TP is fine with me but a trowel stays. It was hard enough to dig a hole with a tool MEANT for the job. I couldn't imagine what a PITA it would be with just a stick, rock or heel. You must have soft, root-free ground where you go.Aug 1, 2009 at 10:21 pm #1518214
You can always just use a tent stake.
The fewer "tools" and "items" I take into the mountains, the happier I am.Aug 2, 2009 at 12:16 am #1518232
Even in my heavy backpacking days I never brought a trowel….I was too lazy to pack one. It's very easy to create a cathole without one. Just roll a rotting log over, do your thing and roll it back…..or you could lift up some moss…..or just lift up a rock that is half buried, do your thing and then set the rock back on top etc…..I usually don't dig at all but rather find something 'pre-dug'.Aug 2, 2009 at 5:21 am #1518244
@figsterLocale: Central Arkansas
Sharp rocks in streams and creeks in the Ouachitas, which are my tromping grounds, are a concern. I use whatever pair of handy socks, and some old soles from boots or trail runners or whatever has not completely disintegrated. Works great most of the time!
The socks dry on my pack.Aug 3, 2009 at 3:21 pm #1518490
@scottbentzLocale: Southern California
What I like to do is approach a stream crossing, then sit down on a nice boulder and remove my leather hiking boots, wool socks and sock liners. I then put on a new pair of socks and my stream crossing shoes. When I get to the other side, let's say about 15 feet, I sit down again and take off my stream crossing shoes and socks and dry my feet with a nice terry cloth. I then put my sock liners on again, then my wool socks and then the boots. When I get to the next crossing I do the same again and again.
When I arrive in camp, after midnight, I take my boots off, hang my river crossing shoes out to dry and put on my night time shoes just in case I have to take a potty break (and for Mike C I always to use an army surplus shovel and 4 ply tissue). Wake up again the next day and do it again! That's how my feet stay dry.Aug 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm #1519227
@drdystopiaLocale: Upstate NY
I just spent a week in wet NH. After 6 days of walking through mud and streams my shoes and socks were full of grit. I did everything I could to rinse out my shoes and socks when I could but the trails being stagnate pools of black water and mud did not help much.
By the end of the trip the area where the lip of my trail runner meets my ankle was sanded to a nice mess. Duct tape solved this problem for the most part but how to you guys get around this.
I don't think a gaiter would help because most of the grit is coming in through the mesh of the shoe.
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