Crossing rivers and streams in the Backcountry

dayhunt85

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Mar 19, 2017
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I will preface this question by saying although this may seem like a silly question to westerners, this question comes from a midwest guy.

In my woods I wear knee high rubber boots on most hunts. If I'm going in the river I have chest waders on. Either way my feet (should be) dry after traversing a stream or river.

All the video footage I see of guys in the Backcountry it looks like they are in hiking boots with nothing over their pants. Are they just slopping around with wet feet all day?
 

xziang

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Oct 8, 2014
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Nebraska
I haven't had to cross anything to deep but with the use of a decent pair of gators that will assist with eliminating water getting into your boots. I personally have only been in water about 10" before and that was just a couple of steps.

Sometimes it is just safer to walk through the water then tip toe on slippery rocks and end up on your a$$.

If it was a LONG river crossing I might be more apt to take boots off and just get wet with some flip flops/crocs on. (using walking sticks to keep my footing)

Someone else will have more experience with it than myself.
 

oldgoat

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Arvada, CO
I've only been one place that I couldn't find a shallow spot to wade across and keep the water out of my boots and fell off the log was using and did walk all with soaked feet. Just depends the spot, other choice is take shoes and socks off and cross, exhilarating it is early the morning, most streams are pretty low by that time of year.
 

ozyclint

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Queensland, Downunder
had to swim across once. myself and a buddy tied our packs together, he decided to swim across first with paracord attached. when he was across i tied the packs on and he hauled them across then i swam over.


 

Ridge Ghost

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Missoula, MT
If the creek is shallow enough, boots and gators will work well. For deeper creeks you could look into carrying a pair of Wiggy's Waders. They aren't super durable- you don't want to use them wading all day for fishing, etc. However, the lack of durability is due to them being light weight and easy to carry in your pack. For just crossing a stream and then taking them off they work great.

In either case, crossings can be slippery and it's always good to use a trekking pole or two to keep you from falling.
 

Gunnersdad49

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Feb 21, 2017
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Colorado
However you do it, please either take your pack off, or loosen the straps so that if you are swept downstream, you can get out of it.
 

84jeep

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Feb 26, 2015
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South Louisiana
How bought a southern creek crossing in Louisiana? This past year I had to walk across a thigh deep creek while tracking a deer and it was 29deg. I took my boots and socks off and cut myself some walking sticks and sucked it up and crossed. My feet were numb by the time I got to the opposite bank. Quickly put socks and boots back on and starting walking to get the blood flowing again. Having wet feet would have ended it for me and I would have been walking back to the truck. Just day hunting btw.
 

Poser

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Durango CO
If you have to get wet, take off your socks and insoles to cross. The boots themselves will dry relatively quickly. A flask of whiskey helps


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SLDMTN

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Palmer, AK
Personally, I pack Crocs for bigger creeks and rivers that I can't pick my way across. Wet feet isn't my favorite so I carry waterproof socks in case they get saturated walking through wet brush.
 

Lockster

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Sydney, Australia
had to swim across once. myself and a buddy tied our packs together, he decided to swim across first with paracord attached. when he was across i tied the packs on and he hauled them across then i swam over.


wow Clint that's a decent river to cross, where bouts was that mate?
 

hodgeman

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Delta Junction, AK
With a decent pair of boots and gaiters you can slop around in quite a bit of water before you get wet. Just stomping across a stream is generally no big deal.

For deeper or longer crossings, I've went across in skivvies and crocs- it was freezing but better than slogging around in wet boots all day.

My partner and I have a spot we hunt every year that has a pretty deep crossing about 1.5mi in- we take a pair of chest waders and a dry sack...one guy crosses while the other holds a line, waders go in the sack, sack gets pulled back across, next guy wades across and we leave the whole mess right by the stream and repeat on the way out.
 

Jauwater

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I wanna say I seen Steve Rinella cross a stream, by removing his boots, maybe pants too. Crossed the stream wearing a pair of his wool socks. Says wool will grip the slick algae covered rocks, better then your boots or bare feet. I have not tried this yet. Of course this would work best in a several day outing where you'd have more then one pair of socks.

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ozyclint

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lockster- it was in the westland region of the south island of new zealand. we had been tahr hunting and it had been raining as it does alot there and the forecast was for days of rain. if we didn't get back across the river when we did we would have been stuck there for a couple of days and most likely missed our return flights back to australia.
 

Tony Trietch

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Waterproof boots/gaitor combination work if the H2O is not deep or wide and if you are quick.
I have used contractor bags/crocs together when I knew ahead of time that I would be crossing. I stashed them once across and they were still there when I returned days later. If its warm enough, the crocs alone with pants and socks removed seems to be the most logical.
If you are talking river depths....you are going to get wet.
 

Lockster

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Sydney, Australia
lockster- it was in the westland region of the south island of new zealand. we had been tahr hunting and it had been raining as it does alot there and the forecast was for days of rain. if we didn't get back across the river when we did we would have been stuck there for a couple of days and most likely missed our return flights back to australia.
Respect! :)
 

Lastcar

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Mar 27, 2014
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British Columbia
If it is above the knees, I just hike the pants up and wear the socks I have on.

If using liners I take those off and put main socks back on. Socks are amazing for grip on the rocks. Like felt on the bottom of wading boots.

I have my extra socks ready to go in my lid in a ziplock in case I go swimming. Once across swap em out for the dry ones.

This year's goat hunt, it was actually extremely refreshing. Feet were not super happy and felt like a million bucks once on dry land and bundled back up.

Dry socks in the shelter that night with wood stove going. Or if the time of year where they have a good chance to dry out in the sun and wind then that'll work too.

Just may mean wearing the same pair for a few days. Which I do anyway. I'm bad for rotating my socks.

Edit: saw Jauwater's post after I had posted this. That'll teach me for not scrolling up.
 
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