> could you describe the process you use to cross various streams. The problem as
> i see it is that the above setups are fine for ankle high areas, etc, but what
> about knee high?
Three season - depends a bit on where we are and where we are going.
* If there is one sandy steam crossing and lots of distance afterwards, we take our gaiters, shoes, socks and trousers off and cross. Then we dress.
* If the bottom is rocky we usually put just our shoes back on to protect our toes. Wet UL joggers dry very quickly.
* If there are several creek crossings (eg walking down the Coxs River) then we just keep walking without stopping. Our trousers, socks and (NON-GTX!) shoes dry quickly enough.
* If it's very deep, we strip, repack packs with garbage bag liner, and swim. Etc.
. One of many crossings on the Coxs River.
Winter - again, depends. I'll give the worst case: you can fill in the rest from the above.
* Snow season, up to knee deep. Take GTX gaiters (very good in the snow), shoes, socks and trousers off. Put clothing safely under pack lid, tie shoes to top of pack. Tuck gaiters under lid straps (important). Hold hands with each other for stability and cross as fast as possible. Putting shoes back on is optional, but we try not to.
On the far bank we grab for the gaiters and throw them down onto the snow and stand on them. This bit is crucial: get out of the water and off the snow, fast. It makes a huge difference. Usually we aim for a pre-planned landing spot where we can sit down.
Then we drop packs, sit on one GTX gaiter with feet on the other, access clothing and dry legs and feet with socks. Put socks back on, put trousers back on, put shoes back on, put gaiters back on. Start walking! We warm up very quickly.
. Actually, a snow bridge had given away and I sort of
. slid in to my knees. But no problems. In this case
. I was standing on 'dry' warm snow grass.
Sounds a bit desperate in winter, but in practice it is OK. What we do not normally do in winter is to go so deep we get our underwear wet. Not because of some silly ideas, but because of heat-loss risks.
> I don't really like drying my socks in my sleeping bag
I did not say we dried our shoes in our sleeping bags. We put them into large plastic bags to confine the water and just keep them warm. They go on wet in the morning - wet, but not frozen. If conditions are bad they will get wet again soon so why bother drying them? If conditions are good they will dry out soon anyhow.
Other comments about gaining experience in the mountains and the snow obviously apply. What we do is the result of many years of experiment, plus good knowledge of our own capabilities. The novice should start VERY carefully.