footwear and river fording
hi ive not done much hiking in NZ and was wondering what type of footwear you would wear if you were to go on a hike that required river crossings compared to what you would normally bring i usually wear a a mid-boot preferably leather with gortex lining but i dont like the idea of crossing a river in a boot like that especially in winter so options i can think of is lightweight trail runners- porus but quick drying secondary small light shoes like plimsols just for river crossings non gtx boot?
" just ive never needed to wade into deep rivers" When the icy water is past your shorts the boots will leak. By the time it gets to your nipples they will probably stop (full)
My partner, Frank, did barefoot hiking for a while e.g. to Black Hill Hut in the Puketerakis. He also went barefoot in snow. One time we went up to Binser Saddle in snow and when we came back some guys had seen his footprints and thought it was a prank with fake feet! They were surprised to see it was real. He gave up the practice because he had insufficient time during the week to maintain the toughness for the weekends that he could go out and tramp barefoot. I had a go too but just short trips. I did a 4 hour circuit over Mt Herbert and the worst bit was walking along the road for a few kms afterwards. Another time we had a bike ride in bare feet to get back to the car. That wasn't nice. It didn't take long to develop tough feet surprisingly. An American went over Rabbit Pass in bare feet and did OK but I don't think he enjoyed it too much.
“I believe I may now assert that I have overcome the two greatest difficulties to be met with by bushmen in New Zealand, viz., the capability of walking barefoot, and subsisting on fernroot. The first, the want of shoes, had been a dread to me for some time, often fearing I should be left a barefooted cripple in some desolate black-birch forest on this deserted coast; but now I can trudge along barefoot, or with a pair of native sandals, called paraerae, made of leaves of flax, and what is more durable, the leaves of the ti or flax-tree (cabbagetree). I can make a sure footing in crossing rivers, ascending or descending precipices; in fact I feel I am just commencing to make exploring easy work. A good pair of sandals will last about two days’ hard work. They take about twenty minutes to make.” Thomas Brunner Oct 21st, 1847 http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Gov08_05Rail-t1-body-d12.html Can delete if this is too much diversion ?.
John Bennett had this to say on another forum re gear. (we both worked & recreated in the bush in Westland) "boy this brings back memories- including the framed back packs - either swinging a chainsaw or carrying a rifle, no mobile phones, no idea (or care) about the weather (it always rained anyway)-used to drill or shoot holes in bottom of boots to let water out as crossing swamps / rivers was never ending" Yep it was just too time consuming trying to keep your feet dry if there were going to be lots of river/creek crossings or swampy going. Beansprout used to get around South Westland in barefeet and perhaps still does? I used to often go barefoot until about 12 years old then my feet got accustomed to shoes & boots and got too soft for going barefoot.
I suppose our designer didnt envisage a requirement for footwear. Its only become common in the last 300 or so years.
just get wet feet. its one of the things that happen when tramping
Yeah, I'd agree with Gaiters post, if there's chance feet are likely to stay dry I'd use my Crocs for the crossing, like I did with the estuary crossing at Awaroa on the Abel Tasman last month, where the remainder of the track being a great walk and a virtual pavement. Otherwise I'd walk through in my running/walking trainers (which I use instead of boots in any case), more important is changing into a dry pair of socks and cheap Crocs in the evening, and dryish pair of socks in the morning.
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