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TGP going the distance!

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On the wet feet thing: I've reached the point in experimentation where I accept that, within an appropriate temperature range, my feet are going to get wet. So then it's about wearing a lighter shoe and a smooth fitting sock to avoid squelching and blisters. Obviously if we're talking snow and ice this calculus is a little different. You would be amazed what you can accomplish with Freesole and Snoseal. The downside to any waterproof anything though is the sweat factor.

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lol.

I think its obsession

 

@deamonCorex

Fascinating!  I never even considered accepting that my feet will be wet; and striving to deal with the consequences...

 

but googling a tiny bit; I see this is a common thought in the thru-hiking community.

 

so the sock surface itself can lead to blisters?  do you know what kinds of frabric might be better?  have you heard of hydropel?  I ran into some kind of reference to THAT online.

 

I DID look up the waterproof sock idea too.  Interesting!

----

 

frankly as far as Wet socks go... I tempted to Cheat!  (let me explain)

 

the actual challenge is to walk 97 miles entirely unsupported.  meaning there can be no resupply or replacements.  HOWEVER I also know my hiking companion will have us checked on not once but THREE times!  miles 25,48 and 82 (as I recall)

 

now what if I were to sneak an entirely dry and clean pair of socks & shoes with the person checking in on us.

 

if we get wet then, we have nothing further than 25 miles(ish)- to go on any one pair of wetsocks/shoes.

 

I also think I could spair a little extra weight for a seperate pair of socks.

 

thus, the game plan- get wet feet?  change into dry socks until the shoes inevitably wets them. and THEN change into entirely dry stuff on one of the checkpoints.

so , so bad (I know)

 

.... but Ii'm warning you guys- I am now willing to do almost any gimmicky thing to fully walk the 97miles in 50hours!  the only thing I won't give away is my health.

 

 

and I think the pretty graph Shows it!  I've given up nearly every exercise now;  sometimes it seems that I do nothing but walk!  the only day I went on a walk-run Just for fun. just to mix it up!!ha

 

thanks for the advice on wet feet.

 

 

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chatting with my hiking partner at work (he works as a vendor in the place where I work). 

 

tonight's walk is now fully planned and its a heck of a hike!  at 32miles, that mkes it nearly exactly 50km.  that's a neat coincidence.

 

the weather will make it a pretty hardcore hike.  they are talking chilly rain transitioning to a little non-accumulating snow.  it will likely take all of 15-16hours to walk it

 

despite it being Almost May, then, this may make it the Coldest hike me and my hiking partner has done.  he's kind of perseverating on the mud; well.... can't blame him.

he fell 5 times on our last hike.  I'm pretty sure the trail will even be muddier tonight.

 

the upcoming hike is also the first time we have tried walking completely through the night with no sleep.

 

Tiredness/weariness should be a genuine factor on the upcoming hike!

 

it was with a smile and an inquisitive "are you sure you want to do this" - that me and my hiking partner made final plans for tonights walk.

------

all I've got to say about any of this, is that no matter HOW hardcore this hike appears to be.  the 100mile hike will be SO much more!  by the time you add no sleep, muddy trails, the possibility of being confused, drizzle that lasts for hours, a slow pace,etc.... you've got MORE than merely a big hike.

 

you've got issues that you Must get right- if you are to make to the end of the hiking challenge.

 

lets practice running into these issues NOW at more moderate distance and time BEFORE the A100.   it is very, very important to both of us now to make it.

 

 

anyways, regarding the A100- I'm sure to have more feelings as we slowly get close to the date.   I remember vividly how uncomfortable it gets once the mileage goes beyond the typical hike.  I'm both looking forward to it Very much, but at the same time.  I will be tired, cold, achy, uncomfortable, very tired, battered...  its a strange mix of feelings.

I have genuine thrill that I will make it to the end yet fear that I'll fall short.

 

anyways.  the 50km hike tonight!

 

then hopefully one of my better week with lotss of shorter walks.  My planned walks will exceed 60miles (100km).  that will be very good.  the next week's weekend is a work weekend so after this weekend- the walks get sparse.

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That sounds intense! Probably a bit late for this hike, but has your hiking partner looked into different shoes? I know shoes make such a difference. My old ones had no traction in the mud, but my new ones are fantastic. We almost always have mud on our hikes, so shoes that don't slip are a requirement.

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ty....but

 

I think it is Late for him to change shoes.

he switched several weeks ago when during one of our first long hikes, he lost the souls of an old pair of boots he was really fond of.

 

it will be an interesting experiment; this 30miler, to see if he continues to struggle with mud.

 

if he slips a lot; I have to agree with you that he needs to reavaluate his shoes.  but.

we've really not got a lot of time left. it hard to make changes.

 

shoes and socks dictate to an incredible extent one's likeliness for blisters.  falling in mud is bad; but with his hiking sticks in hand-- its prolly far worse to get blisters.

 

I think he hopes to make due with the current footware- as he has Not had problems with blisters.

--

 

if he falls a bunch of times; I promise to bring up the idea of switching shoes.

currently, he is walking with trail running shoes; basically sneakers.

 

its become vogue within the A100 community to use them- and there's an undeniable advantage to have something lightweight on the feet.

 

But I use boots!  I will either Get there in boots and I won't get there.  myself I NEED the ankle support.  perhaps he needs the tread of a hiking boot, too. idk.  I wonder that the lowly sneaker got so popular among the hiking community.  when I was a kid; the FIRST rule for any scout doing first hikes was "Bring Real boots NOT sneakers!".  nobody in those days dared hike in sneakers. now its popular... hmmm

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8 minutes ago, Elastigirl said:

That sounds intense! Probably a bit late for this hike, but has your hiking partner looked into different shoes? I know shoes make such a difference. My old ones had no traction in the mud, but my new ones are fantastic. We almost always have mud on our hikes, so shoes that don't slip are a requirement.

 

just out of curiousity; you're in the wet part of Washington, right?

 

how do they control erosion of the trail?  do you commonly wear gaiters??  and lastly how often do you walk in wet feet???

 

I read somewhere on the net; that some people deliberately walk with wet feet hoping to get protective calluses on their toes to prevent blisters.

that sounds.... hardcore

 

but maybe in very wet places??

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Ok let the sock and shoe nerding commence:

Salomon trail runners: there are a wide variety of aggressively lugged models that are terrifyingly good in mud. The side note is that in clay or red mud they will load up a bit.

Socks: back when I hiked in work boots, I would use a thin bike sock as a liner sock and then wear wool hiking socks. Wool or otherwise, the least blister prone socks are those that fit snugly enough not to move against your foot. This way your shoe, if it moves, slides on the sock and the sock protects your foot from abrasion. I no longer wear 2 pairs of socks because I don’t hike in boots anymore. Shifting to lighter, softer shoes has seemed more forgiving to my feet.

Also, carrying extra socks is a must. And some thin moleskin. If your skin gets truly saturated (and this can happen from sweat too, which is why "waterproof" isn't always a good thing), your skin will straight up fall off. I would carry several pairs of close fitting thin dry socks.
 

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FWIW I trained for and backpacked the Grand Canyon in these:

 

 

The trail runner vs boot debate has been around for a while. For me, I really prefer the ability to feel what surfaced I'm on. I bang my toes less and prevent blisters more in a trail runner. As I've spent more time on rocky stuff of late, I've switched to approach shoes, which have much less lug on the sole and are made with stucky rubber, like a climbing shoe. To date I've done 3 14ers and uncountable miles of approach hikes (think 60 lb packs of beer and climbing gear) in a pair of Scarpa Cruxes. I know Ahnu makes some nice middle ground hiking boots that a few of my acquiantances like. These days you'll only catch me in a boot when I'm (1) in the garden with a shovel or (2) it's damn cold out. And even then, I don't hike in boots really unless there's serious snow (and then I'm on snowshoes, skis, or crampons so "boot" takes on a broad definition. You'd be amazed how strong your ankles are when they aren't swinging around the pendulum of a heavy boot.

 

If your buddy's shoes are super comfy but traction remains a problem, some lightweight yaktrax of the half-sole running variety might fill the gap.

 

Yet another note: I HAVE used gaiters in the woods if there's a lot of brush and ticks, but not always.

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This is what I live in now unless it's hot and I'm not scrambling anything technical (if those two things apply, I wear Chacos.) :

 

I've climbed Snowmass (once backpacking in to 11k) twice and Missouri once (again backpacking in to about 11k) in these. Used them to aid Lunar Ecstasy and climbed 5.9 in Devil's head. They're a bit warm. They stick to everything, even wet rock. Wet leaves and mud are not what they're designed for, but they weirdly stick to ice better than my Keen snow boots. They are soft and malleable, which is why I like them so much.

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OH MAN. Do I ever have thoughts on wet feet & hiking footwear. :) Feel free to ignore me if any of this doesn't resonate with you.

 

Best socks: Wool, with silk or synthetic liners. Followed closely by just straight up wool if you don't like liners. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES! And YES, bodyglide/solid lubricants can be super useful to avoid blisters between toes mostly. If there's a spot on the outside of my foot (eg. ankle/heel, side of ball of foot) that I know will be prone to blistering, I prefer plain 'ol duct tape to reduce friction from your sock (moleskin rubs against the sock fabric in my experience, adding extra wear to the sock and can cause the moleskin to move your skin around - but that's just me).

 

ALSO - USE LACING TECHNIQUES TO PREVENT FRICTION/SLIPPAGE IN YOUR SHOE. You can often limit/eliminate blisters with the right lacing pattern.

 

RE: Shoes - heavier duty boots with ankle support become more appropriate if you are carrying proportionally bigger loads in your back. And, obviously, personal preference.

Pro for lighter shoes though - they're more likely to dry out properly overnight! I would only ever choose a 'water resistant' or GTX shoe if I was working in almostly exclusively sub 10C conditions, otherwise the sweat thing just....makes things icky. Give me a pair of boots that can dry out at least 75% within 4hrs of being hung up and taking the insoles out to dry (charcoal inserts can also help them dry out faster, so long as you unlace the shoe as much as possible to ensure air circulation).

 

IMO, I'd rather bring enough socks to be able to swap out for a fresh pair every 25km - socks dry faster than shoes, and you can wash them as soon as you take them off (assuming a longer thru-hike), and pin them to your pack to dry as you walk (assuming it's not raining). If your trip is less than 4 days, you can just bring enough socks to swap out without washing. Personal solution: pack intelligently to reduce as much weight as possible, wear the lightest shoes appropriate for the trek. Bring extra socks - they are ALWAYS worth the weight. For the ~160km you're aiming for, that's realistically only carrying 6 pairs of socks; at the absolute most, assuming you use lightweight wool hikers, it shouldn't a more than a pound of weight to your pack - well worth it for dry feet, IMO.

 

In terms of changing shoes at this point in the season - honestly, while no-one will ever RECOMMEND it, IMO your partner may better off with new shoes that fit their feet & trek terrain appropriately rather than 'broken in' shoes that are making days more difficult. Especially for thru-hiking and longer-distance stuff where you won't have immediate access to medical care. Twisting your ankle on hour 20 of 50 would suuuuuuck. :/ For personal preference, vibram soles are da bomb. Yaktrax are a great idea too! (just not on rocks ;))

 

From what I recall when hitting long distances without support, I preferred to go for ~25km with either a 1hr break or a 2hr nap break (which typically means ~90min of sleep), and a minimum of a 5hr break/4hrs of sleep every 100km. That gives you a chance to recharge without getting too cooled down, and at least one full REM cycle to recharge (plus drying out your shoes :P). But again, that's just me. And that also depends on your time limits as well as terrain - hitting 5-6km/hr on flat easy terrain is very different than dealing with tough ascents, which might only be 2-3km/hr.

 

Also, would a better/brighter/wider headlamp make night hiking easier?

 

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wow guys.

 

ty!  lots of wisdom and experience in these posts.

 

about sleep; I will probably break those guidelines.  the hiking challenge is 156km long and deserves serious study/calculation of both sleep and breaks BUT

 

i think I'm/we're a little slow.  that steals time from what I could sleep if I were faster.

 

the way it looks; we NEED to skip the first night and go strait without sleep for about 30hours.  I told my hiking companion it would be best to try to alter sleep patterns the day before to make that a little easier.  the events starts at 6pm, so if you can take that friday and nap; you can be fresh and ready for the long hike.

 

Given what I suspect will be our average pace (4.0kmph). I think we can spare only about 3-5 hours or so, in the two day challenge.  I intend to stop late in the second night and get a 3-5 hour Nap.  I saw a lot of people doing that last year.

 

so sleep deprivation is part of the challenge.

 

anyways, ty everyone. very informative.  

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2 hours ago, Defining said:

Wool, with silk or synthetic liners. Followed closely by just straight up wool if you don't like liners.

 

This is totally tried and true. The wool + liner is especially magical with big boots.

 

2 hours ago, Defining said:

Pro for lighter shoes though - they're more likely to dry out properly overnight!

 

They're more likely to dry out period!

 

So yeah. Bring. All. The. Socks.

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5 hours ago, TGP said:

 

just out of curiousity; you're in the wet part of Washington, right?

 

how do they control erosion of the trail?  do you commonly wear gaiters??  and lastly how often do you walk in wet feet???

 

I read somewhere on the net; that some people deliberately walk with wet feet hoping to get protective calluses on their toes to prevent blisters.

that sounds.... hardcore

 

but maybe in very wet places??

Yep,  lots of rain, and thus mad. I have never worn gaiter. I always thought that your only options were hip high ones. But I looked on Amazon, and they have ankle high ones! They look magic. I wear hiking shoes. Since we are laid back hikers, I don't carry heavy packs or go super far. I like the way I can tell where my feet are in shoes. My first instinct was to say very rarely do I walk in wet feet. That is the wet feet, where you've stepped in a stream or puddle, and it soaks through your shoes and socks, and you slosh as you walk. I spray rain guard on my shoes, and wear wool socks , so that keeps out most of the water. But then I step in deep mud (why I'm loving the gaiter idea) or  the water goes through the shoelace holes, and I do get somewhat wet. During spring, it's not uncommon for my socks to get wet, and my feet to be damp, but as a native Washingtonian, a small bit of water doesn't even register with me.

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well hello guys!

 

it went well... but I will not give the normal hike report.  this was not the normal "stop and smell the flowers" kind of hike.  instead, to my mind, it was a test of my gear, stamina and readiness to do the A100 hiking challenge.

 

and.. as such, I made a pretty BAD error that made things hard.  being so cold I thought I might need to pack alot of extra clothes.  this was a really, really bad idea!  the extra clothes Not only added weight but they unbalanced my pack.  I've been doing beautifully in the smaller walk with a minimal 20 pound pack- but bulked up the pack became a monster that really hurt my back.

 

I also CLEARLY need to address the waterproofing of my shoes.  it was VERY, very muddy.  like Washington-state muddy and my shoes clearly allow too much water to see in the socks.

 

so damp feet became by the end of the walk really pruned up soaked feet.  by the grace of god; I didn't get blisters.  I think my bulked up socks generally do not allow much friction.

 

altogether I give myself a B-.  I'm making preventable mistakes and I NEED to not do that to my A100.  OTOH; stamina and strength is good!  clearly my program has toughened me.  Only the pack became a raging demon I could barely endure.

---

now if I was doing ok but making mistakes.  my Companion was Fantastic!  he had the strongest best walk I have ever seen him do.  iN other walks I've seen him struggle some with the pace and last time he fell 5 times.  not only was He STABLE; he was feeling particularly fast!  and despite lots of mud that made going fast along the walk problematic.  we put out a 2.5mile pace IN the NIGHT!

 

thats fantastic! and I think he still could have hiked faster.  

 

he really did well!  He earned the A+ (IMHO).

---

I had a moment I wanted to share.  a rare accomplishment (of sorts) that could have been bad.  imagine it is Early morning; we were at the bottom of a boggy hill and creeping along trying not to get soaked as the trail fell into mud and little woodland ponds every few feet.  we walked a little further and lost the trail.  this happens. you stop and try to figure it out.

 

it was particularly tough and my partner got out his GPS.   he said the trail seemed to climb a hill northwards.  it was an odd direction.  as directed we walked to the visible trail which crossed a road.  as the look grew it was getting clear there was NOT trail there.

it seems that his GPS had these odd random paths outlined in red and white.  NO idea what they are.  There were NOT the trail.  as I pointed out to my partner they do Not connect to the waypoints (on the trail) he entered the other day. ( if you going to use a gps- KNOW your gps!!  a tool you don't understand is dangerous. )

 

we were clearly about 0.75miles from the trail's waypoint.  worse yet, battery charge was minimal (and he admitted he didn't pack extra batteries).  I asked if I could use his GPS and proposed bushwacking through the brush to the nearest way point.   it went well; it was kind of like Geocaching with a big trail heading to the waypoint.  I walked directly to it and found the missing trail! -an hour later the GPS was dead.

that would have been a bad situation...  again we deserve a small deduction for not quite being prepared enough.  both battery and a rough paper map are very light.  as I explained to partner even a very rough map would show major dirt road intersections that could be used- even if we completely lose the trail.

 

...so we don't lack for stamina, strength or hiking conditioning.  we need to be a little better prepared.  shoes that generally stay dry;  a well packed backpack that doesn't hurt me.  (the 22# load on many other hikes WAS set up perfectly). 

 

I'm probly looking like a terrible Noob to some of your experienced hikers. but. we all make mistakes, right?  I JUST need to make sure I Don't make these mistakes on the big hike.  THIS is exactly why people fail to walk the whole 100 miles.
 

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Congratulations! Especially on finding your way in spite of hinky technology :)

And watch out for those prune feet - that gets really really bad.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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On 4/24/2019 at 1:58 PM, TGP said:

there is all kinds of up and coming beauty.  this has been a good year for Dogwood!  do you know that flowering tree?

cornus-florida-cloud-nine-flowering-tree

 

 

OH!!  Hey, this is what I have in my yard!!!!  I didn't know the name of it, but I'm looking at one half-bloomed out my window right now~

 

Glad your feet are SAFE and that you saved the day with your direction sense!!  You sure don't sound like a newbie to me, that all sounds terribly difficult with the chance for things to go really south at any point (weather, gps, etc.)  CONGRATS!!!

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Wow, I missed out on a lot this last week and a bit extra. But now I'm here and will hopefully stay tuned the whole time :D

You are doing great TGP. I don't think there are any hikers/backpackers who get everything right all of the time.

Thanks for all the descriptions and beautiful photos. Stay strong! You've got this :loyal:

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We've learned the hard way to always carry extra GPS batteries. We don't  go as far from civilization as you  do, but it's a real bummer when you are geocaching and your gps dies. Our phones sort of work, but not near as well.

 

Funny, all my talk about mud, and  our walk was perfectly dry. Granted most of the walk was a gravel path, but even when we went off road,  it wasn't muddy.

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On 4/26/2019 at 12:27 PM, DaemonCorax said:

Salomon trail runners:

These are my go to running/hiking shoes!!!  I'm on my third pair...  However I don't hike as much as TGP

 

You want to make the mistakes on your training hikes...

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