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Thread: Taking care of your feet during a sheep hunt

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    Member BIG 27's Avatar
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    Default Taking care of your feet during a sheep hunt

    Just curious on the different techniques you guys/gals do to manage and care for your feet .Particulary interested on keeping boots dry techniques .Last year I tried wiggys lightweight waders and after one stream crossing they ripped and I walked around with wet feet for a week.I wanted to quit but I just kept going we logged 34 miles last year in those conditions water level was high or woukd have just took my boots off.My partner Steve faired a little better using gortex socks and gaitors.

    Best of luck to all,Tim
    “A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him,and leaving something of himself upon it -- Sir Martin Conway

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    Default luxurious bath every night

    I'll treat my feet every evening to a bath using a wet one (diaper wipe). And dry socks (not always new/clean, but rotated) and dry shoes each morning, even if I need a big campfire at night to dry the shoes.

    If your feet go bad during a hunt, you're done.

  3. #3
    Member BIG 27's Avatar
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    I agree feet are the most important thing? I usually dont take extra clothes but like to start off with 3 pair of socks.
    “A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him,and leaving something of himself upon it -- Sir Martin Conway

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    Member RCBOWHUNTER's Avatar
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    I usually bring a set of water sandals (teva type) to cross big water. I know it takes a little more time but I feel it is worth it to keep the feet somewhat dry. I find that no matter what, boots are going to get wet but if I can minimize it I will. I always treat my boots with Nikwax prior to my hunts which helps as well. I have considered getting a pair of the NEOS hippers with Vibram sole but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

    That must have been frustrating ripping your waders so early in the hunt. Hopefully this year fairs a bit better in that department for you. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I also go the Teva route, or alternately will sometimes carry neoprene dive booties with a hard sole. They weight less than most backcountry waders, and while it takes a bit of time and is chilly, it fully protects my boots.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    I bring a old pair of tennis shoes for stream crossings, If I know I am going return to the same spot I leave them there. You can stack some rocks on them so they stay put.

    Blisters are hunt killers, I use bring some sports tape for the back of the ankles and put that on early unless I have had time to condition my feet to the boot (need better boots!).
    Also Mole skin is good to have. Dont wait until its too late, if you start to feel heat, stop and take care of it. Some type of a wool sock is best, hang them up at night or change out. I will vacuum pack a extra pair so dry when needed.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  7. #7
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    In the alpine, a break, usually includes stripping off the boots and letting things air out and circulate. Laugh, but I've had two partners now bring foot powder to facilitate drying durring the evening.

    Foot care also included foot conditioning. The foot is a very dynamic joint and needs plenty of strength and flexibilty. Proper pre hunt training helps alot.

    Also, folks that have hunted for many years and managed their weight fare much better.

    Blisters, well in IMHO thats just improper preperation. The only blisters I find acceptable are those that develope on the plantar surface from hauling 100 pound loads long and hard.

    Good insoles, good water protection, good boots all go towards happy feet.

  8. #8
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I start by doing as much walking in my sheep boots before the season starts as I can, I spray my feet with antiperspirant for a week or so to help keep down the sweating before I leave. I keep some tape, moleskin and second skin with me or at base camp. I try to soak me feet in cold water at the end of the day to both sooth and prevent swelling.
    As mentioned quality insoles are a must.

    I always bring a camp shoe to let my feet dry and air out. Have always used crocs in the past, however they will not stay on your feet in swift current and are not very good for crossings. Going to take my 5 fingers with vibram soles this year, they weight 10 ozs the same as my crocs.

    No matter what my boots always end up wet, treat them before I leave but still after days of wet brush and water crossing they get wet. Once wet I use a pair of Rocky goretex socks to keep my feet dry in the wet boots. I tried sealskins, but they are too thick and hot for me. Also found that gaiters work extremely well at preventing water from getting in my boots and I can often cross streams quickly and still stay dry up the almost knee deep.

    Have used Noes in the past, but they weight 5lbs and are a little heavy for backpack hunts, but work great.








    Steve
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    Member ramhunter's Avatar
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    We bring crocs...they are very lightweight, work good for stream crossings, they dry fast, and are very nice in camp getting your boots off and wearing them around, took them on the last three sheep hunts and wouldn't go with out them !


  10. #10
    Member ramhunter's Avatar
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    For swift current crossings, a little strip/strap of duck tape works good to keep crocs on your feet.....should always have a little duck tape with ya too....as a side note!....grin

  11. #11

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    I generally take a small empty lip balm container of body glide. It is a paste that reduces friction. I take cheap croc knockoffs for stream crossings. Superfeet insoles help and then my wife knits some wool blend ankle socks that I use as liners. They create some kind of grid pattern that also reduce friction kind of like a very protective ventilated layer that I can dry out at night.
    Finally understanding how to tighten and loosen your laces right reduces problems. I take two pairs of smart wool expedition socks and the handmade wool liners and I rotate the outer socks.
    Best
    Thomas

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    I agree with previous post that crocks not ideal. I bought a pair of plastic slip on shoes at BJ's a few years ago, and they go on the outside of the pack and available for every stream crossing and they are great camp shoes. Unlike Bighorse, I'm a mere mortal and despite great preparation I still get blisters on mountain hunts. Take care of them early and I always take super glue with me along with moleskin and some athletic tape.

    I'm going with the darn tough sock this year. Also giving my meindels a much needed break and going with the lowa civetta boot.

    5 weeks and 2 days until mountain time.
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    I just bought a pair of the AK hunters by meindels, would you guys switch the insoles or are the one it came with good enouf?

  14. #14

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    switch to superfeet.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I'm with Ramhunter on this one. I also bring a pair of Crocs and a pair of waterproof Gortex socks. Not only for stream crossing, but I use them around camp with the Gortex socks and there a nice break from my mountaineering boots.

  16. #16
    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Waterproof boots are mostly waterproof from water escaping or evaporating. You know you will have wet feet with waterproof boots.

    Hunt in non-waterproof boots/shoes and they will become nearly dry again overnight. Non-waterproof shoes/boots expel water faster.


    Change socks.

    Use wipeys or alcohol-based wipes on feet nightly. Sleep without socks on.

    Tip your boots/shoes up nightly to allow the water to run to the back of the ankle.

    I learned as a Marine that my feet were waterproof and that taking care of boots was futile. Taking care of your 'dogs' are necessity.

    I currently utilize Merrell Sawtooth and love them.

    Taylor

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    This recent thread has alot of info on the subject http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...light=footwear .

  18. #18
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    There is some dude on the boob tube who walks everywhere in bare feet, it's part of his "survival" skills I guess <grin>.

    All kidding aside though, I have been consistently amazed at how many hunter friends we've had here over the years who could not walk/run from the the sauna barefoot to the river to jump in, three quarters of that is dirt trail and rest is gravel bar, the rocks usually do them in.

    Taylor is right as usual, gotta care for your feet, can't do too much with the boots, but seeing the term "wipeys" in a Taylor post is kind of disturbing <grin jk Marc>.

    We do a lot of things to train our bodies, we do little to really train our feet other than wear in the boots we are gonna wear. It's funny in a way, men are sometimes judged by the toughness of their hands, you can tell who does outside work and who doesn't. In a way we train our hands to be tougher. We do just the opposite with our feet, we coddle them in socks and shoes all the time.

    Maybe that long-haired hippie dude on the boob tube has something going for him <grin>. I need to get out barefoot more!

  19. #19

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    A decent pair of tennis shoe for hunting in and a good pair of Jungle Boots for packing in have been my final choice...
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  20. #20
    Thewolfwatching
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    myboots.jpgI dont remember what they're called but served me right the past few years ;-)... dang untill I melted the toe on one.. Ride, walk, or climb - they did the trick.. new suggestions are welcome.. haha...

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