Muddy Buddies: On Dry Feet and Big Boots
In the past couple days, I have ascended some fantastic balds such as Wayah, Wesser and Standing Indian, which offer incredible views of the southern Nantahala mountains in North Carolina. Of course, when I passed them, it was pissing down rain and the fog was as thick and sticky as a white shower curtain. But some information bulletins I passed assured me the views were spectacular, so I’ll be sure to image search that shit later.
However, no rainy day can get me down! Not even one after another after another (though it is getting old)! Why?Because my feet stay dry.
Common consensus, especially among those who rock trail runners, seems to say that good hikers are inured to wet feet. They are simply tougher and, instead of tip toeing around a massive mud puddle only to crash ass into it, stomp through it defiantly, committing themselves to wet and muddy socks and shoes.
When I first purchased my big ole shit kickin’ boots, friends and family looked at me nervously. “Those things look heavy,” they said. I agreed, and I too was apprehensive. However, they are the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever put on my foot, so I thought I’d give them a shot.
The other concern I had was the supposed benefit of 100% waterproofing. It’s often noted that that means they are waterproof inside and out, so if they get wet, they stay wet. This occurred to me just a couple days before Ieft, so I went to an outfitter in a last minute rush and bought some pretty hardcore waterproof gaiters.
The result: dry and dainty feet. Those who have hiked with me will be surprised to learn that I have not yet fallen once! Indeed, I’ve been mud skiing down the trail. I stomp on mud piles without fear as the brown water and what is probably some kind of animal poop splashes up my legs, onto my gaiters, but not into my boots. The next day, I am one of few not bracing myself for putting on cold wet socks and boots.
This system has worked for me and I thought I’d share it. There are so many advocates for wet, ventilated trail runners, which do dry out – when the weather does. In this case, it’s been almost a week of wetness. My boots and gaiters have made for dry, happy feet and quick, shit stompin’ hiking!
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