[Cdt-l] Wet foot = Cold foot

Andrew West mountain739 at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 7 15:46:12 CST 2010

Happy new year all
I have enjoyed two fantastic long hikes over the past two years but there is one problem that I have really struggled with. Cold feet on cold water crossings and when wearing wet trail runners and walking through nearly frozen trailside scrub. You know when you start hiking early, putting on wet and near frozen shoes then walk for hours with a constant flow of freezing water going over your feet. On the final legs of the PCT I had serious foot problems due to wet feet but luckily the weather cleared up and I was able to finish the hike. If the wet weather continued I think I may have had to bail. It got to the point where I had about 20 plasters on my feet and it was pretty uncomfortable.
On the CDT I had mild hypothermia in the Gila canyon doing the multiple river crossings with ice along the banks of the river. My solution was to build a quick fire to dry and warm the feet.
I have heard rumours that canoe enthusiasts use either 'vapour barrier socks' ? or tights and wonder has anyone tried this? Does anyone have any other ideas on the subject?
I tried thin neoprene socks in the Sierra which worked ok...although I struggled on one early morning crossing.....running up the far side to try and warm up!
I hope to hike in Canada later this year and am even considering going back to boots after the constant wet runners experience. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Dryfoot (should really be called coldfoot I guess!)


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