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All Wet
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Thomas Kight
(ningen) - F
All Wet on 06/06/2008 17:14:10 MDT Print View

Two "moisture management" questions:

1) On knee or thigh deep stream crossings, do most people just walk right in with their $150 trail shoes and dry out afterward. In my traditional days, I use to carry kayak water shoes when crossings were expected, but my sense is that would violate the UL commandments. Barefoot doesn't seem so wise. So ....?

2) What do most people actually do with their tarp/tent when it's wet from rain and you're packing up to start the next day's hike? Do you keep it on the outside of your pack? Stuff it into a sack and then into your bag waiting until you have a chance to dry it out? Or what?

Thanks for your help as always.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Subjective Answers on 06/06/2008 17:25:55 MDT Print View


(1) I've done both. If it's early on and I've got a long day and miles ahead and don't much like hiking in wet socks and shoes, then I may switch out and cross with my Crocs knockoffs. OTOH, if I know it's just a few crossings and camp isn't all that far away, oh heck, I just cross. Some people say they get blisters hiking in wet shoes and socks but I don't. YMMV.

(2) Again, personal preference. But to me, the two things that just belong outside your pack are: your rain gear and your tent/tarp.

Think about it: say it's raining hard...

(1) When you arrive at camp, you can access your tent/tarp without even opening up your pack and exposing the contents to the rain at all!

(2) When it's time to leave, you can pack up in the safety of your tent/tarp. Once the pack is nicely / safely closed up, you can then put on your rain jacket, take down your tent/tarp, attach it to the outside of your pack -- and be ready to go.

But if you insist on packing your tent inside your pack, then at some point, you will likely expose your pack to the rain -- not to mention how packing a wet and muddy tent/tarp just makes everything else damp inside (humidity) -- even if you physically isolate with stuff sacks and such. Makes no sense to me.

Some folks are concerned about getting their tent sack torn up if attached to the outside -- but I just haven't had any problems with that at all. OTOH, when shopping for a tent, I do look for compact-folding tent poles -- like my beloved Seedhouse 2 SL -- so things don't protrude out to the sides. Again, YMMV.

Edited by ben2world on 06/06/2008 17:35:36 MDT.

John Sixbey
(Wolfeye) - F
re: All Wet on 06/07/2008 22:55:52 MDT Print View

For the first, I've tried both ways... semi-permeable shoes (with gortex or whatnot) don't seem to ever dry out once they're soaked, so having a second set of footwear is a good idea in that case. I recently bought some low ankle socks with rubber soles from a place called Sprintaquatics and have been meaning to try them out; they're supposedly .3 oz each, but they seem heavier than that. A lot of people use Crocs.

I usually shake out & stuff my tent back in its stuffsack because it won't fit in my pack any other way, but newer packs seem to have a lot of large mesh pouches on the outside that would be well-suited for letting things dry out. On sunny, low-mileage days I'll take the opportunity to set up my tent & string up my sleeping bag to let them dry out.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: All Wet on 06/08/2008 04:10:53 MDT Print View

> do most people just walk right in with their $150 trail shoes and dry out afterward
Today we went walking in the rain. It happens sometimes. After the first 15 minutes our feet were soaked - the track was more like a creek. My feet dried out when I took my shoes off this evening. I don't think we really thought that much about it.
Mind you, my UL walking shoes cost only ~$30, but my wife's Salomon joggers fared just the same.

> What do most people actually do with their tarp/tent when it's wet from rain and you're packing up
Well, that's what the tent is for, isn't it?
We shake it (silnylon) and then roll it up. It goes in a silnylon cover and sits on top of my pack UNDER the lid (for safety). There is a waterproof throat under it as well. But ALL my gear in my pack is in plastic bags in proofed nylon bags, and it would all stay dry even if the pack was thrown in the river.
Paranoid? Yep - but 'wet' is still wet. (My gear doesn't get wet.)


Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
All wet on 06/08/2008 09:24:34 MDT Print View

Nothing wet EVER goes in my sack if i can help it. Tent, tarp, waterproofs etc are carried in outside mesh pockets.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: All Wet on 06/08/2008 13:43:41 MDT Print View

Good questions Thomas. I'm sure you will get many different answers as hiking styles vary but this should stimulate some good discussion to benefit all.

The first answer depends on the season. In summer, I hike in low cut, mesh trail runners with low cut, thin wool socks and I trudge right through the water without a second thought.

In cold weather, I wear mid-cut, gore-tex shoes with crew top, thick, wool socks. At stream crossings, I take off the shoes and socks, and switch to my crocs.

They also double as a camp shoe if the weather is dry, but not worth the weight for just that purpose.

As to the second question, I pack my tent inside my backpack. Mind you, I go out for only a night or two, so I can properly take care of my tent at home. An extended or thru hike might be different.

My reasoning for packing it inside is that my tent is one of the heavier items I'm carrying so, I want as much weight as possible located against my back, near my center of gravity. Also, I want to compress my load, both to accomplish the first reason and to make the load more stable.

This method works for me because I keep everything that should be dry in dry sacks. Therefore, there is no migration of water.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: All Wet on 06/08/2008 21:18:43 MDT Print View

You can carry a super-absorbent rag / cloth to help dry down your tent as you're packing it up (assuming it's just condensation and you're not still being rained on!). That way your tent will be much drier and you're not carrying excess water weight. In fact, you are still carrying the weight because it has been transferred to the rag (although if it's really wet you can wring it out), but you can hang the rag on the outside of your pack and it will dry much faster than a folded tent will. Then when you unpack your tent again at the end of the day it won't feel so damp inside either.

Edited by ashleyb on 06/08/2008 21:21:17 MDT.

Derek Goffin

Locale: North of England
Re: Re: All Wet on 06/09/2008 09:49:40 MDT Print View

I'm with Michael in summer but in winter I wear inov8 and goretex socks. If the stream is going to over top the socks I take off my gortex socks and all undersocks, vapour barriers whatever, put my inov8s back on ford the stream and put all my socks on again at the other side.

a b
river crossing on 06/09/2008 12:04:32 MDT Print View

Hi, Thomas, we have used our hiking socks for river crossings as we had two pairs with us on long distance hikes. The socks prevent injury, keep your feet warm in cold water, and they help my wife to wade through the water mentally (weeds, fish, animals of any kind ...). Take off the shoes, cross the river, and wash your socks at the same time. At the other side of the river squeeze out the water and hang the socks at the outside of your pack for drying. Continue with spare pair of socks.

By the way. A second pair of hiking socks usually should be lighter than most neopren socks, sandals or other second shoe alternatives. And a fresh pair of socks can help on long distance hikes when you choose to stay in a hostel (we often do long distance hikes that include both completely remote and civilized areas).

However, we have also had serious river crossings in heavy rain. Our feet were wet already. So I didn´t spend a sinlge thought on taking off my shoes. The current of the river (which used to be little stream before the heavy rain) was rather strong - so good shoes that are well tied with good grip are very appropriate to use for the crossing. Although it continued to rain, my feet dried off after the crossing - well, not completely of course, but at least to a degreed that didn´t recall the soaking experience of the crossing.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Strapping a Tent to the Outside on 06/11/2008 12:25:17 MDT Print View

I strap my tent to the outside of my Mountainsmith Ghost backpack -- using the two bottom compression straps:

Intuitively, we all know that we should keep the heavier stuff closer to our back. This would be true if it's hanging a gallon jug of water or perhaps an 8 lbs tent. But in my own experience in comparing the difference in comfort between packing the tent in versus attaching it outside -- I honestly can't tell much difference at all. A few friends of mine who tried also said the same -- and switched to hanging their tents outside as well. YMMV -- but folks might wish to experiment for themselves.

Edited by ben2world on 06/11/2008 12:26:04 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: All Wet on 06/12/2008 20:32:00 MDT Print View

In this part of the world you can spot the 'tourists' by watching who takes their shoes off to cross a creek. That is until maybe the 10th or 20th crossing when they will finally realise the act is both futile and wasting a huge amount of time. Of course if you hike where it's dry most of the time then it's lot less of an issue.

As for tent, we shake and wipe down as much moisture as possible (both inside and out) before rolling it up into it's waterproof stuff sack. It then usually goes IN the pack to prevent bush-whacking damage and snagging. I try to keep as little as possible on the outside of the pack that might get caught up in thick scrub. I think this is why I appreciate large simple packs like the Gust as it doesn't have all those extranious straps hanging of it to get caught, but again that is specific to the terrain I most frequently encounter. YMMV

Michael Gardner
(ekim765) - F

Locale: Southeast
A bit off topic.... on 06/12/2008 21:51:43 MDT Print View

I know this a bit off topic and I feel like a bit of an idiot for asking, but since I've seen it here a few times...

What does "YMMV" stand for?

This site has really the only forums that I ever post to, so I'm kinda outta the loop.

I've also seen "OT", whatta 'bout that one? Huh..

...sorry ;)

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: A bit off topic.... on 06/12/2008 22:00:00 MDT Print View

Common acronyms...

YMMV = your mileage may vary
OT = off topic
LOL = laugh out loud
IMHO = in my humble opinion

Cheers, Ashley

Edited by ashleyb on 06/12/2008 22:00:45 MDT.

Michael Gardner
(ekim765) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: A bit off topic.... on 06/12/2008 22:09:19 MDT Print View

Ok, got it. So, IMHO my post was a little OT, but I a had feeling that some kind soul would politly answer my OT question and I'd be a better person for it.

Thanks Ashley!


I have nothing for YMMV ;)

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: A bit off topic.... on 06/12/2008 23:53:44 MDT Print View

You're welcome. Another common one I forgot is

FWIW = for what it's worth

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
internet acronyms list on 06/13/2008 05:40:11 MDT Print View

huge list of them here.