Cold weather stream crossings

12:16 p.m. on April 12, 2008 (EDT)
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153 forum posts

Got a trip coming up next weekend in the UP that will likely require me to do a several stream crossings. The water is unlikely to be much more than a foot deep, but it will be very cold as there's still 1+ feet of snow on the ground. I'm wondering if anyone has any good strategies for cold weather stream crossings. Trash bags around you're boots and rubber banded above the knees is about the best I can come up with that's relatively lightweight.

Of course I can always suck it up and pretend it's summer, but it would probably make the trip less fun after doing it repeatedly. I'm anticipating 6 or so crossings, but none more than knee deep.

12:44 p.m. on April 12, 2008 (EDT)
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I backpack in the winter and have to cross the Slickrock creek 12 times along its stretch and I also do the South and the North Fork of the Citico in Tennessee and cross repeatedly on these. In the beginning I used to deboot and go barefoot, too hard on the feet and out of balance here and there.

Then I went with just keeping on my boots and wringing out the socks at the end of the day but in the winter this doesn't work, especially at the beginning of a trip as the boots just stay wet and frozen the whole trip.

I bought a pair of Crocs a couple of years ago and use them now for all my winter creek crossings. On the Slickrock I just leave them on for the entire 6-7 miles of trail and the crossings, go thru snow and it doesn't bother me. Of course, the water's cold, painfully so, but once out the Crocs insulate well from the snow and though the feet seem frigid, a few yards hiking and there's no problem. In deep snow wearing somesort of neoprene sock with the Crocs wouldn't hurt.

1:06 a.m. on June 10, 2008 (EDT)
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Try some hip waders just hack them off around the knees. I have also seen fly fishing boots.

December 29, 2014
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