Apr 21, 2017 at 12:09 pm #3464344Ben H.BPL Member
@bzhayesLocale: No. Alabama
This, however, would infuriate me. My association with any such group would end at the first water crossing.
I’ve seen groups take this philosophical position. I assume they make this clear in pre-group meetings (I assume if you are the type of person that takes a hard line on this, you would also be the type of person that would have thorough pre-planning/discussions). Its a bit nitpicky for me, but when you are in a group you take a certain responsibility for all group members, so perceived risky behavior by individuals does put the group at risk. I think it is designed to head off the person who goes to extreme lengths to not get there feet wet.Apr 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm #3464355Cole BBPL Member
@cole-bLocale: The Edge of the Linville Gorge
True. I’m sure such rules would be discussed in advance, and that’s when I would make my exit with no hard feelings. In reality, I probably would never be in that situation in the first place because the only group trips I’m interested in are with people that I already know and trust (and who trust me.)
I agree with the concept of not putting the group at risk through one’s individual actions, but a group leader dictating those actions is a non-starter for me. That’s where the trust comes in.
(Obviously, a guided expedition is different. You’re paying the guide for their knowledge and judgement, but even then, you still need to be able to think for yourself.)Apr 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm #3464358Tipi WalterBPL Member
I’m a fan of two things—Pics of tents (or my tent) in the snow. And pics of backpackers pulling creek crossings. For those also enamored check out the pertinent pics—
Here’s a pic of an idiot ULer (UltraLoader) hauling his load across the South Fork Citico creek.
Backpacking advice is relevant and dependent on location so what works in NC might not work in Calif.
One advantage to goretex boots (like Asolo Fugitives) is pulling 6 inch max deep crossings without getting my socks wet. Anything deeper and I go to crocs. And on many-crossing trails I just backpack in my crocs. If creek water doesn’t come over the cuffs of my gtx boots then my socks and feet stay dry.
I like to keep my boots and socks as dry as possible for as long as possible. Why? Because wet shoes/boots are heavier than dry, duh. In the summer it’s no big deal if you don’t mind carrying the extra weight. In the winter it’s a whole different story. I would never willingly get my boots/socks wet unless it’s unavoidable.
Once wet in the winter boots or trail runners freeze solid and add to foot discomfort. Think lightweight trail shoes are so great? Read this—Apr 21, 2017 at 2:38 pm #3464359Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
Yours is a good point, Ben, where a group of newbies or minimally experienced people are under the guidance of a group leader. And for a lot people it is better to learn sooner rather than later that wet feet won’t kill them. I don’t remember exactly where I learned it… probably somewhere in the Catskills, long ago.
Having a rigid rule does sound overbearing and onerous to people who have a lot of experience in demanding conditions and don’t require guidance. Like Cole, I don’t do online or club meet-up type stuff anyway, so it’s largely a non-issue.Apr 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm #3464370
Breakfast Creek in the Wild Dogs (Oz) is an interesting exercise. I think there are about 43 crossings in a couple of hours walking. The number is not definite: sometimes you cross into the middle of the creek, go up the middle of the creek and then back to the starting side.
The Upper Colo (or lower Capertee) on the other hand has only one ‘crossing’. You walk into the creek at the start, walk down the river for two days in the water, then exit onto the bank. You do have to flush the sand out of your shoes a few times.
CheersJun 29, 2017 at 1:13 pm #3476278
On my first BP trip to Yosemite with my wife I was considering crossing the river with our shoes/boots on. I had the boots and my wife had trail runners. The river was less than knee deep and moving slowly.
Another hiker started crossing from the other side toward us, so I waited until he crossed and asked his opinion. Afterall, he had just crossed it and had a MUCH better idea of how fast the current was and how slippery the rocks were. His advice was to not even consider crossing in bare/stocking feet. My wife’s shoes would dry very quickly and even my boots would dry quickly enough. We went without socks and am very glad we took his advice. I don’t consider crossing without shoes anymore. :^)Jun 29, 2017 at 3:55 pm #3476301
However, some rivers are very suitable for bare feet.
CheersJun 29, 2017 at 3:58 pm #3476302
That’s just a walk on the beach. ;^)Jun 29, 2017 at 4:04 pm #3476305
Fresh water though …
CheersJun 29, 2017 at 5:27 pm #3476325AnonymousInactive
“You walk into the creek at the start, walk down the river for two days in the water, then exit onto the bank”
Uh….where do you sleep?Jun 29, 2017 at 5:41 pm #3476332
where do you sleep?
CheersJun 29, 2017 at 7:52 pm #3476354AnonymousInactive
I sort of figured you might step out of the water briefly during those 2 days. ;0)Jul 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm #3478049Steven ThompsonBPL Member
“Just get you friggin’ shoes wet”…when I started my Northville-Placid Trail through hike last October I had a mental block to just letting my feet get wet. I was prepared for wet feet, but spent the first couple days doing everything possible to avoid getting them wet. And on this muddy/slick trail often found myself ass bound as a result.
Eventually I got the rhythm and let my feet get wet and muddy, and everytime I crossed a creek I waded and let them rinse clean. In the end I walked comfortably with wet feet for 5 days.
Keys to success…1) mesh trail runners. Boots or waterproof trail runners would have been like wearing fishbowls on my feet. As it was with the mesh, 4 or 5 steps after a good soaking, my feet were only damp; 2) injinji coolmax liner socks. they fit snugly, hold little water, and keep the toes from rubbing each other; 3) barefeet or dry socks once in camp. let the feet dry after a day of wet/damp hiking. And once in camp with dry feet if I needed my trail runners for anything i slipped my feet into plastic bags before putting my shoes on to keep them dry.
So yes, just get the friggin’ shoes wet.Jul 15, 2018 at 4:05 am #3546817Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
I came back to this thread after another year of leaning more and more towards getting wet, staying wet, and being okay with it. I still will keep my feet dry on mostly alpine hikes where it’s not a big deal to de-boot for a couple of creeks in a day, and I don’t like walking through miles of snow with soaked feet. But down low where I may have to walk in a river for miles to avoid brush, or weaving around swampy areas just adds too much faffing, I march right into the water and have found it liberating.
I have been on a quest to find the right hiking boots I can get soaked and they don’t feel like leg irons. I don’t feel good about wearing “light mesh trail runners” for my cross-island trips here in Kodiak. I spend a lot of time ‘swimming’ through dense coastal Alaskan brush where I can’t see my feet for hours at a time and sometimes step into deep holes or between sharp, ankle-eating rocks. And when I do climb into the alpine I just don’t like the loose fit of anything wimpier than normal mid-height hiking boots, and even then I sometimes wish I were in light alpine boots on steep side hills or difficult rocky terrain. I recently did a 90-mile, cross-island hike using Vasque Breeze III boots (the non-goretex versions) and they worked fine. I am currently trying out some Garmont Trail Beasts (again, non-goretex) and they seem to hold a little less water. In the past I did my packrafting using Asolo Drifter boots (non-gore) and they were good especially in steeper terrain, but sort of heavy when wet. If anyone has found reasonably supportive, over-the-ankle boots that are really good in the wet, I’d be interesting in hearing about them.
The notion of having my footwear dry out for more than a few hours here and there during a weeklong trip remains a distant dream. Letting your feet dry out in camp and at night, Injinji coolmax liner socks under light synthetic hiking socks, and selecting properly fitting boots will keep foot destruction at bay seemingly indefinitely.
And here is the obligatory creek-wading shot:Jul 15, 2018 at 4:15 am #3546820
“He’s fallen in the water!”
(for those who can remember The Goon Show)
CheersJul 15, 2018 at 12:18 pm #3546843JCHBPL Member
That’s not wading mate, that’s full-on swimming :)Dec 5, 2018 at 9:50 pm #3567663Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
How do you not float away so deep in the water? If the water gets above my hips it picks me up and carries me away. Maybe that’s the difference between men and women?Dec 5, 2018 at 10:18 pm #3567669
Different for different people. I can lay on the bottom of a pool without floating to the top, so…Dec 5, 2018 at 10:24 pm #3567672
There is a serious art to the selection of a crossing place.
Rock hopping is nice, but if there is a risk of slipping into foaming water between the rocks, maybe not so smart.
Deep still pools are ‘safe’, but you get very wet. Deep fast pools are to be avoided!
We favour the shallow but fast water at the end of a pool just before the boulders. We cross together with locked arms and each carrying a found pole (=dead stick). Quite often we will be moving in a coordinated wave: I move one pole, I move one leg, then Sue moves one pole and then one leg, then I move other leg, and then Sue moves other leg. Each time we move a leg, we wiggle the foot on the bottom to make sure we have a firm footing. One of us can stumble, but the other braces for recovery. Slow – yes, but it works.
Do not try this among the boulders. One girls did, jammed her boot, got knocked over, and drowned.
CheersDec 5, 2018 at 11:12 pm #3567687Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
That pic was taken at the moment I moved my pack from where it had been perched above my head to laying it in the water. As soon as I lost that extra ballast, I was forced to start swimming.Dec 23, 2018 at 5:44 am #3569838Jay SBPL Member
Personal preference for sure. Wet squishy shoes are a psychological drain for me, doable, but would rather not. I can score the A+ in suffering, but would rather score it in enjoyment of my trip. Here in the upper Midwest(northern MN) stuff does not dry well unless the sun is out and it’s warmer – forget about your shoes drying in the spring and fall unless conditions are just right and you can stop for 30-40 minutes to remove your insoles and put the shoes in direct warm sunlight.
I prefer to cross water in my light camp sandals or hounds camp shoes – it’s a little prissy, agreed, but works better for my state of mind and trip enjoyment !Dec 23, 2018 at 6:01 am #3569840
heh heh heh
Of course, too much walking in the river can have side effects:
like slightly shredded clothing. (Colo Gorge, Oz)
Um – walking on the bank (if you could) would have taken >4 times as long and seen even more shredding…
Eh, it has a sandy bottom. Pity about the quicksand though.
CheersDec 25, 2018 at 4:57 pm #3570049Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Further support of wading streams with shoes on.
(1) I’ve done it for decades. No problem.
(2) Synthetic running shoes do well wet. I periodically run the shoes through the washer. No problem.
(3) Wading is safer than walking on slippery logs or rocks.
(4) Cold feet? Wear neoprene socks with perforations. Otherwise thin nylon socks work well.
Have not had a blister problem but some of you have. Don’t have an answer to this problem. I buy large shoes and wear them loose. May be a factor but I don’t know.Feb 1, 2019 at 3:24 am #3576164AaronBPL Member
Trail runners don’t take long to mostly dry out. Cold water on the feet helps em feel better.
I love rock hopping – I’ll do it for fun at running pace even when there is no water (not with a heavy pack tho). But still, sometimes you gotta get your feet wet. What other option, turn around?
I just did a Corcovado hike and we got to the waist deep river and the guide says I can take my shoes off if I want. It’s murky, I can’t see more than 6″ into the water, and there are crocodiles. I’ll keep the shoes on lol! Still, dry shoes are nice and I’ll rock hop every chance I get.Feb 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm #3576183Duane HallBPL Member
@pkhLocale: Nova Scotia
I do much of my hiking, on and off trail, in Bedrock sandals. I easily and safely cross most streams very quickly, and then have to wait for 5 to 10 minutes while hiking partners change their shoes, boots, and socks, or even their clothes when they fall in after hopping around trying to keep their feet dry. My feet dry out nicely between crossings of course.
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