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Thread: Rain gators?

  1. #1
    Registered User Crossup's Avatar
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    Default Rain gators?

    Before searching I figured there would be a ton available. Now I see 90% say "water resistant" and pretty much water proof is only mentioned on winter/snow gaiters.
    Worse I see cutting off Frogg Tog legs, kilts or no pants being the norm...I cant imagine just letting your shoes turn into sunken boats. THat goes double when the temps are below 60. My shoes(water proof Merrils)fit so well I can spend several hours in them wet(bushwhacking wet undergrowth soaked them via my socks) without blisters but that just seems dumb as they wont dry easily over night which is fine for day hikes from a base camp with spares but a show stopper for LD hikes.
    I'm cancelling tomorrows planned 5 day outing due to low temps, unproven rain gear(Frogg tog UL2) and lack of gaiter given a very wet forecast.
    What am I missing and not understanding?

  2. #2

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    In the fall I use Gore Tex socks. My trail runners are not waterproof. The GT socks prevent contact of my skin with cold water that flows in and out of the shoe. They don't stay completely dry as perspiration transfer is incomplete. But they don't get cold.

    Most waterproof shoes/boots still get wet on the outside.

    I used to use gators all the time but will only bring them when the snow or slush can get in over the top.
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  3. #3

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    I wear gators in the spring just to keep my pants legs clean. While not waterproof, they do help keep water out of the boot and they do help keep your lower legs warm in cold rain.

    In the winter I have a pair of long, high end OR Gortex gators (which are really old now, so no longer available). I also took my rain pants and cut them off just below the knee and hemmed them. That gives me better freedom of movement and don't have three or four layers on my lower legs.
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  4. #4
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post
    Before searching I figured there would be a ton available. Now I see 90% say "water resistant" and pretty much water proof is only mentioned on winter/snow gaiters.
    Worse I see cutting off Frogg Tog legs, kilts or no pants being the norm...I cant imagine just letting your shoes turn into sunken boats. THat goes double when the temps are below 60. My shoes(water proof Merrils)fit so well I can spend several hours in them wet(bushwhacking wet undergrowth soaked them via my socks) without blisters but that just seems dumb as they wont dry easily over night which is fine for day hikes from a base camp with spares but a show stopper for LD hikes.
    I'm cancelling tomorrows planned 5 day outing due to low temps, unproven rain gear(Frogg tog UL2) and lack of gaiter given a very wet forecast.
    What am I missing and not understanding?
    The non-drying overnight is why most people advocate non-waterproof shoes, your feet will get wet on the AT. You hike in wet socks and put on dry in camp, put back on wet socks if they didn't dry and the same with the shoes.

    If my shoes get soaked, I pull the insole out and usually they are mostly dry by morning.
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  5. #5

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    I wear gaiters just to keep brush and grit out of my shoes. Feet will get wet on a distance hike on the AT, either from sweat in a non breathable shoe, or from water in a breathable shoe. Maybe because I'm a bit fat, but I get warm hiking. Splashing through cold puddles is refreshing for me. I stomp right through the middle of puddles, where the ground is level. Trying to get to the edge, just invites stepping on slippery sloped ground and falling. It also might widen the trail in a section where it shouldn't be widened.

    That said, I take steps to keep my feet dry in camp and overnight.

    On "dry days" I hike with two pairs of wool hiking socks, and rotate them at lunch time, when I sit for an hour and air out my feet from the sweat. I safety pin the spare socks onto a loop on the back of my pack.

    On wet days, I can't stop and air out my feet, or dry all my socks on my pack. Instead I start the day with some Glide balm on my feet, pick my driest pair of hiking socks and get going. In camp, I hang my socks, pull the insoles out of my Altra shoes and drop them in the vestibule. I use an alcohol pad to clean the Glide remnants and dry my feet, and then switched over to dedicated camp socks.

    I spent probably way to much time on my feet, but I never got blisters or any kind of fungal infection, and the rain and even snow never adversely affected my hike.

  6. #6
    Registered User Crossup's Avatar
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    Default

    Maybe its terminology or variation in sweat glands...I have two sets of Merrill hiking shoes, pretty similar models, one waterproof and one not. Sweat wise, I cant tell the difference.
    My observations:
    I'm one of those idiots who wore cotton socks on his AT hike but did have a set of decent 'system' socks for wicking/cooling. The cotton sets got pretty soggy without being particularly noticeable that way and although not bulky(summer weight tennis shoe low cut)my foot never moved in my shoes. When I put on the combo system socks, they felt very nice and did keep my feet a bit drier feeling. But despite being much bulkier and filling my shoe more my feet slide around in my shoe like they were greased pigs. Downhills felt like my feet were trying to go thru the front of the shoe. Other observations were the cotton allowed a lot more debris in to the shoe and stunk like death warmed over the next day. The combo set were new but took 3 days to develop some odor and stayed a lot cleaner as far as debris.

    As to terminology, at their worst I would not say my feet were never wet from sweat. The non water proof ones however were sopping wet from merely walking thru sparse light vegetation in minutes, mostly via the cotton socks worn at that time.
    So when every one says you're going to have wet feet regardless, are they referring to sweat as well?


    My combo socks were FoxRiver X-static liners with REI ultra light Coolmax Hiking socks

  7. #7
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    Edit: never wet should have been "ever" wet

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