Jun 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm #1290667
It's a weird question, but here me out.
There is a nice peak overlooking my town that I love to hike up to. The approach to a flat grassy area we hang out at is at a sudden and very steep incline with 2-3 foot tall grass. From the wind and people rolling down the hill (lots of fun!), the grass sometimes get pushed over onto the ground. In the summer it can get super slippery. It's kind of hilarious to walk up. This got me thinking, what if I put on my microspikes? It would dig in really well and it's just dirt below the grass.
Here is another example… There have been a few times where I have walked (off trail) down some steep slopes that were completely blanketed with fallen leaves. I have slipped more that once that way. The only way to counter it is to jog downhill in a way that my foot hits the ground hard enough to dig in to the dirt or butt slide. This mostly happens in the summer or fall when the ground is too hard for my shoes to dig in to the dirt.
So here is the question… do you think microspikes would be useful for some bushwacking situations where traction is a concern? Keep in mind that I mostly hike in cheap canvas sneakers which have no traction compared to trail shoes, so that might be partially my problem.Jun 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm #1883737
itll work … just watch out for enviro weenies complaining about you destroying trails ;)Jun 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm #1885063
bump…. just wondering if anyone has done this.Jun 8, 2012 at 6:25 am #1885178
@jlistLocale: Cape Cod
microspikes are heavy, so any advantage is usually lost.
I've had good luck in steep/wet/grass conditions wearing a shoe with a very agressive tread, for example the Inov-8 "Mudclaw."Oct 12, 2012 at 2:02 am #1920514
@northwesternerLocale: Pacific Northwest
I've used Microspikes in some non-snow situations. Also, on the way back from Big Cragggy in the Pasayten wilderness, I used crampons for a stream crossing on a wet piece of wood that was part of an old bridge that was in the process of getting destroyed. On Goat Mountain in the North Cascades in Washington state, I spent an hour going about a quarter mile in a steep grassy area (more or less dry, even) where I was really uncomfortable about possibly falling in a place where the runout would not have been good. That was before I owned either crampons or Microspikes. I later read in the book "Don't Die on the Mountain" that the author suggested using crampons on steep, grassy slopes. Using Microspikes might make sense in those places as well.Oct 12, 2012 at 8:03 am #1920552
Yeah, what Andres said. An ice axe is sometimes used on a dirty hillside for the same reason. In the gully of a moraine, it can be really difficult to get up the last few feet to the ridge. Rocks are embedded into the dirt, but if you push on them, they tend to slip down. Since the hillside is often vertical at that point (for a few feet) an ice axe can be handy. Microspikes (or crampons) might help, but not as much as an ice axe.Oct 12, 2012 at 8:15 am #1920555
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Don't use Yaktrax off snow (on rocks)
The rubber pieces on the bottom get cut and break
Don't walk on rocks you say?
But where I go, where there are icy places that need traction, there are also occasionally rocks, and it's inconvenient to be taking them off and putting them back onOct 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm #1920612
I think that is the one advantage of Yaktraks. Microspikes provide better traction, but Yaktraks are a bit easier to slip on and off.Oct 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm #1920627
Thanks for the input.
I tried some microspikes with my vivobarefoot aquas (very minimal and flexible shoes). They worked great. A little uncomfortable and the very front tended to slip off ever once and a while. But very effective.
They are heavy and one of those things that you are reluctant to carry.
What do you mean by "rocks"? Do you mean small rocks embedded in the soil or big exposed rocks and boulders? If there are a lot of rocks on the surface, that would give me plenty of surface to push off of.Oct 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm #1920689
Haha you'd be surprised. A _lot_ of hikers use these in Hawaii lately.Oct 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm #1920708
*Oct 12, 2012 at 11:41 pm #1920762
Yes, I've seen people use them for very steep, slippery dirt or mud slopes. May be hard on the trail, but usually it's in spots already being eroded due to the steepness.Oct 13, 2012 at 6:08 am #1920774
Please, please don't do this. Please. Spikes/crampons/etc are for snow and ice, not for destroying mountainsides.Oct 13, 2012 at 6:22 am #1920778
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Purchase an appropriate pair of shoes for a wide range of conditions. It sounds like an aggressive outsole like that of the La Sportiva Crosslite would benefit you. Microspikes are really hard on the trail and unnecessarily damaging. Walk lightly, move quickly, and choose your footing wisely.Oct 13, 2012 at 6:25 am #1920780
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
Clayton, what do you do in the paramo in Ecuador?
As far as erosion, sliding down a saturated hill causes far more damage and erosion than holes from spikes. There are places where it would be inappropriate, but in general (with feet, tires, etc), sufficient traction is always better when it comes to preventing erosion.
edit: I do agree with Eugene that proper footwear in the first place is a better solution.Oct 13, 2012 at 7:27 am #1920795
*Oct 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm #1920886
Eugene, I never once mentioned anything about a trail.Oct 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm #1920914
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
Just realized my question was poorly worded and was possibly (?) misunderstood. I'd send you a PM but looks like don't have a address set up. I meant to ask if you work/live in Ecuador and spend a lot of time in the paramo. I spent a little bit of time down there a few years ago and it blew my mind. One of the coolest ecosystems I've been in. Would love to get back.
Anyway, carry on…Oct 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm #1920937
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
"Eugene, I never once mentioned anything about a trail."
Off trail, on trail, whatever…
If there isn't a compacted layer of snow or ice, Microspikes are heavy handed for the task. Do what you're going to do Justin, it seems you've made up your mind already.Oct 14, 2012 at 12:18 am #1921001
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
If used mainly off-trail and ON GRASS I can see using Microspikes as a safety item. Just try to descend on a different area to minimize the wear and tear on the grass.
AS a former professional trail builder I hate to see "foot made trails" as much as anyone but safety is safety and my advice above stands.
On trail they should be unnecesary.Oct 14, 2012 at 9:59 am #1921070
@klagsLocale: Northeast US
That's the link for the right shoes for what you guys are talking about. Mud trail runners. Use those. Much less damaging than crampons and almost as effective in the mud. The treads are insane. I use these, only specifically for very muddy outings. They are amazing for traction in the mud.Oct 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm #1921162
Yeah, I am definitley going to get some shoes with aggressive traction for when I need it. The thing is, I wear very minimal and flexible shoes, so that limits my options. But the vivobarefoot trails look pretty good for that. I wasn't trying to argue that microspikes are good options, I was just curious if they could be used in other ways.
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