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Old 04-26-2005   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
Barefoot or Booties ???

I am wondering why boaters chose to do either one. What are the reasons to go barefoot? Doesn't it make sense to wear booties in case of self rescue or to help others? Not condeming just wondering?

Don't do anything, just stand there.
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Old 04-26-2005   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 41
uh - booties - wouldn't want to portage anything barefoot. Not to mention a swim with barefeet scraping over rocks. Oww.

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Old 04-26-2005   #3
Ed Hansen's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 331
Re: Barefoot or Booties ???

Originally Posted by rasdoggy
I am wondering why boaters chose to do either one. What are the reasons to go barefoot? Doesn't it make sense to wear booties in case of self rescue or to help others? Not condeming just wondering?
booties all the way, preferably ones with a sole, river socks don't count in my book, unless park-n-play in a manmade park.

I've seen a guy go barefoot on Gore Canyon. He said that his feet couldn't fit into his playboat as well with booties, or even socks. At the put-in he said that if he swims he is too busy or cold to feel any rocks that he hits his feet on. He also said that he can slip on his Tevas (clipped in the back of the boat) in just a few seconds if he needed to rescue someone.

Well.... Later that day the same guy swam Kirshbahm Rapid... All of it. And his boat was pulled out 1/2 mile or so below. Not only did he bang and cut his feet, he had to walk all the way to his boat. There is no trail here, just rocks. I forget if his tevas were still there, clipped in or not.

So much for machismo. He was a humble puppy.

He wasn't in my group. Just a group that we leapfrogged throughout the day. I try not to boat with irresponsible people like this. If I had been pinned that day and needed to be rescued, I would want my buddies to respond ASAP, not having to stop and put on tevas for 5 or 10 or 30 seconds while I am holding my breath, getting cold and losing energy or by now already drowned and needing CPR because I ran out of time 5 seconds ago... 5 seconds that would have been enough if they had on booties. I know that thought would haunt me if a buddy died because the responders were boating barefoot.

I feel pretty strong about this subject as you can tell from my post.
"So in two seconds, away we went, a sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river and nobody to bother us." -Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
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Old 04-26-2005   #4
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Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
Ditto that. The same should be said about throw ropes, pin kits and the knowledge of how to properly use them.

It's a real jackass move to not bring the right gear when your buddies do. It's akin to skiing with a transmit-only avy beacon .
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Old 04-26-2005   #5
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 58
That's two votes for booties and none for boating barefoot.

I also vote for sensible footwear.
johnny portage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005   #6
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2
I feel the pain of those who go barefoot because they have a hard time fitting their feet into a playboat. I discovered split toed surfer booties a while back, though, so I don't feel sorry for them anymore. They are a great solution because they fit like socks but have toughened skin to deal with rocks.
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Old 04-26-2005   #7
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 51
I do wear booties though often they are rodeo socks. Portages and scouting in the socks is a real pain. I have gone barefooted too. Why - I've got size 13 feet and it's hard to fit the suckers into the boat if I have booties on. I've even thought about buying a bigger boat so that I can fit my feet and wear nice rugged booties with vibram soles so I can carry the occasional boat of some damsel in distress over the jagged rocks!
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Old 04-27-2005   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
I strongly agree with Ed. Booties all the time.

Like it or not, all of us are the result of a sexual act.
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