Feb 27, 2017 at 7:38 pm #3453291AnonymousInactive
” We lost one well-known walker when her foot jammed between two rocks in a river (she slipped on the rock) and she could not get her foot unjammed. She drowned. With shoes you could at least cut the laces.”
This guy is still around after going on 60 years of such antics, so he must be doing something right. Of course there is always the possibility he’s been just plain lucky. Either way, I wish I could do what he does and get away with it.
“I want to see him do that in snow melt. Your feet are instantly numb, you lose all proprioception, and you can easily damage your feet. Bruising or ripping skin off. Now walk like that.”
I said he was tough and/or lucky, not stupid. ;0)
CheersFeb 27, 2017 at 9:16 pm #3453309
Tough and lucky is hard to beat.
CheersFeb 27, 2017 at 9:43 pm #3453315Jim ColtenBPL Member
I’d like to try the shoes you guys wear. I find even my minimal trail runners stay very wet and uncomfortable for a long time, they seem to never dry out, it’s too humid here.
Climate does make a difference. Drying time at 70F and low humidity is very different than 40F and foggy.
With OK drying conditions and shoes that drain well I remove socks, remove insoles from the shoe and put the shoes back on before crossing. After crossing I shake as much water out of the shoes as possible before replacing the insoles and socks. Feet won’t be dry but they won’t be squishy wet either.Feb 27, 2017 at 10:35 pm #3453322
I remove socks, remove insoles from the shoe and put the shoes back on before crossing.
Also works with XC ski boots, although standing on the snow to deal with socks is a bit chilly! We stand on our gaiters.
CheersFeb 27, 2017 at 10:58 pm #3453326David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
This all reminds me of hiking a day into the Brooks Range with Manfred & Sons and then back out again to return to my car (I was the shuttle service). It was a summer with lots of rain and the rivers were all running above average. Most of the day was in a river canyon in which the river kept bouncing off opposite sides of the canyon – sheer walls of rock ending in 5 feet of deep fast water. So you HAD to cross the river between each bend. Of course you looked for the widest, shallowest stretch each time, but quickly got to point of “F it, I’m crossing here!”.
We must of crossed that 38F river 40 times going in and therefore I crossed it another 40 times going out. The trail runners and wool socks were absolutely the way to go and it wasn’t a question of them drying out (they didn’t), just of sometimes warming up. With crossings every few minutes they wouldn’t warm up. If we had a 30-minute stretch of continuous river bank or heading up lands for a bit, my feet would warm up (and make the next immersion that much ruder.
Minimal shoes and great socks.
I have very soft skin on my feet and am a total wooz while walking barefoot on sharp rocks. But I never get blisters with wet or dry feet, perhaps because I’m frantic about properly-fitting shoes (I used to work in a BP shop) and wouldn’t leave a store with a pair that didn’t fit me perfectly.Feb 28, 2017 at 3:15 am #3453342Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I disagree with the statement that mesh trail runners dry out quickly. I suppose it depends how you define quickly. On a typical early season trip in the high sierras with lots of creek crossings, my shoes usually do not dry out between creek crossings. Having shoes that drain really well helps. They typically go from soaking to damp quickly but stay damp for a long time. This is in warm, windy, and dry weather.
The times I have gotten blisters with wet feet were mostly due to getting sand and grit in my shoes. When your shoes are wet, you can’t knock sand/dust out of shoes because it sticks. It will get your socks very gritty. This mostly happens in dry weather with dry dirt but lots of creek crossings, in rainy weather you don’t kick up dirt/dust very much with the ground being wet. The solution is to wear gaiters and to wash your shoes/socks regularly in the same streams you are crossing. If the creek crossings are few and far between I may be more likely to cross barefoot because if I get sand/grit in my shoes, the opportunity to wash my shoes might be far away.
And always carry an extensive blister kit. Leuko tape, moleskin, and glacier gel. Keep it easily accessible so you don’t procrastinate taping.Feb 28, 2017 at 6:50 am #3453354JCHBPL Member
The times I have gotten blisters with wet feet were mostly due to getting sand and grit in my shoes. When your shoes are wet, you can’t knock sand/dust out of shoes because it sticks. It will get your socks very gritty.
I think this is one of the main benefits with the advice to remove socks and insoles before crossing. When on the other side, remove the wet shoes, rinse off any mud/dirt/sand, shake “dry” and put everything back on.
My shoes generally stay wet, or at least damp, until I have a full 24 hrs of drying…however those final 8 hrs or so are darn near dry. Clean, dry wool socks are key.Feb 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm #3453478
But I never get blisters with wet or dry feet, perhaps because I’m frantic about properly-fitting shoes
Just so. JUST SO!
CheersFeb 28, 2017 at 3:08 pm #3453493Window walkerBPL Member
I like to take my socks off and insoles out as well. But rather than putting them back in after crossing I hike for a couple miles first to let the majority of the shoes dry out. Then put dry insoles in and dry socks on and the bottoms of your feet stay dry and the tops only get damp. But all-day crossings…. “JUST GET YOUR FRIGGIN’ SHOES WET.”Feb 28, 2017 at 3:35 pm #3453500Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
I think fast drying means compared to traditional leather boots.Feb 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm #3453537James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I agree with Todd Stough and others here in the NE. In the ADK’s, even while climbing the peaks, my feet are often wet and never seem to dry out. Trail runners get wet in the morning dew and stay that way until afternoon…later if there is any rain. Sometimes, they are still wet overnight, with liners removed. The many stream crossings can be annoyingly cold (<45F,) but the only sensible choice is to just wade in if there is no easy way across. Soo, often feet stay wet all day from the intermittent dunking. Good fishing, though…Feb 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm #3453545KatttBPL Member
I get my shoes wet no problem but on our last trip to the Trinities we had a wide creek crossing right at the beginning of the hike and then got into snow and cold weather. I was glad I crossed barefoot. On the way back I walked right in with my shoes. I knew this would be the only water we crossed so it was worth the little extra effort. I forgot who, but someone else wished they had done the same.Feb 28, 2017 at 6:38 pm #3453549Kathryn LBPL Member
I’m a trail runner and when running, I always go through. And I love the incredulous looks from people doing anything to keep their feet dry. When I’m out for a multi day hike, I admit I do try keep my feet dry. Here in Virginia, my shoes will not likely dry for a day or more. If I know I’ll have wet crossings, I may bring light sandals that can be camp shoes and use them for the crossing. Sometimes I do just get wet feet, though. I’m just slightly sad when I pull on cold damp shoes then next morning.Feb 28, 2017 at 6:44 pm #3453553KatttBPL Member
Trail running this winter I have gotten soaking wet almost every time .
I keep a “Peet Dryer” in my shop and the moment I come back from running I put both socks and shoes on it. It emits a very small amount of warm air but dries them beautifully overnight. I even dry my work gloves on it.
$30 and widely available.Feb 28, 2017 at 7:57 pm #3453572
I’m just slightly sad when I pull on cold damp shoes then next morning.
Now try that with frozen ski boots at -10 C.
My solution, incidentally, is moderately dry and warm socks from a plas bag at the foot of my quilt.
CheersMar 14, 2017 at 10:45 am #3456585Alexander SBPL Member
Here in the North, having wet boots can easily mean hypothermic feet x 2 days. A little too refreshing for most.Mar 14, 2017 at 11:23 am #3456593rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
“I forgot who, but someone else wished they had done the same.”
Me!Mar 14, 2017 at 11:34 am #3456596Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
With some boots, if you tighten top laces and quickly walk through, little water will get into boots.
Then, loosen laces so it will dry offApr 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm #3464016brian HBPL Member
@b14Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
from the O_P…
as i c it there’s kind of a “virginity” aspect to the shoes-on stream crossing thang. before losing that virginity, it is a “dilemma”; afterward, its ez and drama-free. and yea, heavy leather boots vs runners adds a dilemma-layer.
o and some of us oregonians have webbed toes, right jerry?Apr 19, 2017 at 4:26 pm #3464028Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
On a recent trip we were able to find spots to rock-hop over some streams. But farther down the drainage the main streams got wider and wider as the small side streams added to the volume and it became pointless to try to keep feet dry… yes, in the photo that’s BPLer Mark Cashmere crossing a stream in snow/sleet that fell all day long and it stayed right at freezing, after much rain the day before. Thankfully we had spare dry base layers and socks, and it was dry the next day!Apr 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm #3464033
I have to admit that poles are useful for stream crossings, IF you are solo.
Sue and I cross together, either holding hands firmly or with locked arms. Rather than splash like that we usually glide our feet across the bottom of the creek, seeking stable places. Being a bit stronger, I go upstream.
CheersApr 19, 2017 at 7:38 pm #3464092Dondo .BPL Member
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
just getting my friggin’ shoes wetApr 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm #3464247Paul WagnerBPL Member
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
Or you could HYOH….
I’ve seen hiking groups that never let any one member rock-hop. Everybody has to wade. I’ve seen people slip and fall off logs. I’ve seen people wearing shoes and using poles get swept downstream. And I am not about to tell other people how to cross a stream.
Like Katharina, I generally play it by ear. We usually carry water sandals and use them. I rock-hop, jump, or walk a log way more than my wife does. She prefers wading, sometime barefoot, sometimes with shoes.
Somehow, I can’t get worked up about how other people do it.Apr 20, 2017 at 6:25 pm #3464251Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
Good point, Paul. A single photo is a slice in time.
The area where we were hiking (Black Forest Trail, PA) had a lot of shale… in fact, the drainage we first went down was called Shale Run and the rocks on the stream bottoms in this region are almost all flat. In some areas where the water was deeper and running swiftly we did indeed shuffle across and take a bit more time. This spot was an easy dash—it is only shin deep.
Gotta apply good judgment and experience as conditions dictate. I also have a severe distaste for the my-way-or-the-highway approach.Apr 21, 2017 at 11:43 am #3464341Cole BBPL Member
@cole-bLocale: The Edge of the Linville Gorge
The title of the thread notwithstanding, I didn’t take it as telling other people how to hike. Just that getting your shoes wet is not the end of the world (or the end of your hike), and a discussion of ways to deal with wet feet.
I’ve seen hiking groups that never let any one member rock-hop.
This, however, would infuriate me. My association with any such group would end at the first water crossing.
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