View Full Version : PA Section in Sandals

03-16-2009, 01:29
I've been happily section hiking for several years in my Chaco sandals. This year I'm looking at the PA section from DWG southbound. Am I nuts to do it in my sandals? I've been fine in the other sections I've done and have over 300 section miles on them. Just getting worried about all those "millions of rocks all pointing straight up" stories about PA. Anybody here done PA in sandals, or have stories?

03-16-2009, 07:42
I did this section in 2005 and there were boulder fields and rock hopping between Lehigh Furnace Gap and New Tripoli Campsite. Bake Oven Knob was so bad that I had a pair if glasses fall out of my pants pocket somewhere along that stretch. I didn't realize it until after I crossed PA309. But it was such a bad stretch that I didn't go back for them. I'd say wear trail shoes.
Here's my trip log:


03-16-2009, 08:44
If it was me, I'd take the sandals (for in-camp), but wear trail runners or boots. You COULD do it in sandals, but I thought that the whole idea behind backpacking was to ENJOY nature, not to be miserable in it! :D

03-16-2009, 08:55
Not a problem at all. In fact, if you are heading southbound from DWG, you're even better off. North of Wind Gap can be pretty harsh, but beyond that, there is nothing really about the rocks that you can't do it in sandals. I've hiked PA three times in Chaco's no problem. The only impact the rocks have is on the bottoms of your feet and that is no difference from any shoe or boot.

You will regret not going in Chacos. After Port Clinton, the rocks diminish to a large extent. The southern 100 miles are some of the easiest on the trail.

03-16-2009, 09:09
My SO hiked Pennsy. in Tevas. He did fine and walked from Duncannon to DWG, NJ in 7 days. If you really like to walk in sandals you'll be fine. I see that you are from NJ. If you can hike over North Jersey's rocks in sandals you should be fine in Pennsy.

03-16-2009, 09:10
Also, Chacos have a really hard sole, so they in fact might protect the soles of your feet more than trail runners will. Good luck.

03-17-2009, 23:33
I've seen some pretty bloody toes on the trail. Can you? Of course, many do. But I don't recommend.....

The Mechanical Man
03-18-2009, 01:33
You can always bail out after 25 miles here at Smith Gap, or just stop in for a visit. :-?