Getting your feet wet

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kpeter
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by kpeter » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:36 pm

I use logs and rocks less and less and wade more and more.

If you have ever fallen when crossing on rocks and logs--as I have--it teaches humility and caution. I've described my fall in another thread before. Falling, even in shallow water, is not trivial. Hit your head on the way down and you probably drown. And I have seen others fall on slippery rocks and logs--even on non slippery ones.

WD's description of the wading ritual parallels exactly with what I do. Boots off, socks in boots, pantlegs up, crocs on, tie boots to pack, cross, crocs off, dry with towel, socks on, boots on, clip crocs to outside of pack to dry, off I go. I have done this dozens of times on some trips. It no longer annoys me--I even look forward to cooling down my feet and having a bit of a break. I get fewer blisters than I used to, since I am washing and cooling and drying my feet regularly. But, yes, it is a pain when the mosquitoes are out.








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sekihiker
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by sekihiker » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:56 pm

I use faux Tevas for wading and for camp shoes. I love the cooling and cleaning that are a part of wet crossings. It troubles me when the water level starts getting toward my waist, especially now that I'm not as strong as in my youth.

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tie
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by tie » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:05 pm

I've faffed around a few times. I don't remember this in the Sierras, but going around Mt Hood. I was nearing the end, after all the day, and my feet were still dry. And it was so close. Almost dry-traversable. Not quite. Maybe over there! No. What about around the next corner? Not quite. Hmm…

(Repeat. It didn't help that the trail had petered out, so I had to slow down to improvise, anyway.)

If the water clearly can't be avoided, then I'll just cross, with shoes and socks, and keep going. My shoes drain and dry fast, and I don't get blisters.

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neil d
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by neil d » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:46 pm

Definitely a fan of wet-wading vs slippery logs or rocks, especially with a pack. Safety first!

When hiking, my feet generally enjoy a few moments in ice-cold water! Problem is, I have very tender feet...I can only cross barefoot on the gentlest of stream beds. Otherwise, I'll don sandals, or do like WD and remove socks and insoles and just use the boots.

This reminds me of a sobering moment I observed this spring hiking the Sinkyone section of the lost coast. Our large group (7) had descended a very steep and very long ravine into Bear Gulch, and had to cross a rather trivial stream at the bottom. We were all knackered from a long day of walking and making trail through the redwood forest. My pal arrived first, and took off his shoes to cross...I did same. Then, I sat there and watched as the rest of the party made very poor choices in stepping/jumping across on a wet log and several half-submerged rocks with full packs. Nobody took a tumble, but if they had, it would have been a very silly and avoidable injury.

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Jimr
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by Jimr » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:28 pm

I do it all depending on conditions. I'm good at balancing, so if logs are dry, I use them. If wet, I don't. I wade barefoot in smoother bottoms and remove socks/insoles and use Altras for anything else. I have pretty tough feet, but when the bottom is fairly rocky, you need protection. I've used Tevas in the past and actually hiked from Cottonwood pass, up the Kern to the headwaters, then down Shepherd pass all in Tevas. That was fun, especially the initial descent down Shepherd. I like hiking in Altras and they're lighter than Tevas, so I don't take the Tevas anymore. They dry out fairly quickly unless they get wet in the late afternoon.

Last year I went from Rancheria TH past the Tehipite turnoff about a mile. Ended crossing several streams just to chase the sun down in severe downfall. We turned back and camped in the grass next to an old cabin. Since the shoes were wet, I put on my extra dry socks, then slipped my feet into gallon size ziploc baggies with thick rubber bands around the ankles to keep the socks dry. Fun times.
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jmherrell
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by jmherrell » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:54 pm

Another approach to wet logs: one friend of mine told me that early season when he's carrying crampons he uses them to cross difficult wet logs.

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Jimr
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by Jimr » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:33 pm

Sometimes, I even approach full Monty
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“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

-John Adams

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rlown
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by rlown » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:35 pm

Still looks cold.

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kylekuzma
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by kylekuzma » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:54 pm

This was the main reason i switched to trail runners from boots. Dont even think twice I just walk right through. Never going back

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Lumbergh21
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Re: Getting your feet wet

Post by Lumbergh21 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:25 pm

The older I get the more likely I become to just wade across without stopping. Another good reason to wear quick drying trail runners. I generally only use very dry logs or when I can't find a reasonable place to wade within a few hundred yards upstream or downstream. No way will I take a chance on wet or otherwise iffy looking rocks.

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