newbie questions - keeping dry

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Re: newbie questions - keeping dry

Postby JR-Orion » Aug 13, 2011 7:04 pm

Chads93GT wrote:
JR-Orion wrote:Depends on the conditions and your preferences, but here's some things that have worked for me-

If you just want to embrace the wetness, but still have warm feet, I've used neoprene dive / wetsuit socks (from inside my normal caving boots.

If I plan on walking in water all day- anke deep or deeper- I've gone with some dive boots. You can find some with really rugged soles. Like so- ... Water.html

Those boots look like aqua socks with high heels. no ankle support. they also look like ankle bashers, lol. Had a guy show up for a 5 mile river cave trip once with aqua socks. He thought by river cave it was literally a river and we would be swimming. WE said "Are you going to swim 5 miles?" He promptly put on a regular pair of boots and noprene socks. lol

Can't remember which exact boots I have from that link. WIll check at home. I know they're 7mm, and they keep me nice and warm.
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: newbie questions - keeping dry

Postby Biggimo1 » Aug 15, 2011 10:01 am

The only way I know to stay dry is at home out of the cave. To keep your feet warm though. Get some wet suit socks and boot that drain quickly. This is just what works for me.
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Re: newbie questions - keeping dry

Postby Caver John » Aug 17, 2011 8:29 am

I was in a fairly wet cave(underneath creek) this weekend and managed to stay very dry. I wore my military Ecwcs gortex shell pants, and a old waterproof rain shell. The rainjacket def got snagged a bunch of times but I managed.
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Re: newbie questions - keeping dry

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Sep 10, 2011 1:23 pm

Wellies, frankly, aren't that common in East Tennessee. Most folks just wear Joop-style low-cut rubber boots (which I dislike for the lack of comfort and/or ankle support) or hiking boots.

Caving in this area, I don't wear neoprene booties inside my hiking boots as often as I used to in the Ozarks. Most of the time, I just wear SmartWools. You will find some cavers have an uncanny ability to levitate above pools of water in dry caves, but in most cases your feet are just going to get wet. I wouldn't spend a bunch of money on fancy stuff, and I sure wouldn't wear Gore-Tex rain gear like the gentleman above. For caving, it's just not worth spending a fortune on high-end outdoor apparel, because you're just going to destroy it. Once you migrate to vertical caving you will find that all of the best deep caves in our area feature some level of water flow, ranging from "garden hose" to "tsunami apocalypse" depending on the time of year and recent rainfall.

What kind of discomfort are we talking about when you say you find it annoying and difficult to hike any distance with water in your boots? Cold feet? Blisters? Some boots (like cheap jungle knock-offs) have drain holes that allow the water to drain out, and that might help if you just don't like having cold, wet feet. If you have blister problems with wet feet, you can try wearing a polypro liner sock underneath the SmartWools. If wet feet just makes you feel cold in general, you're probably better off addressing that elsewhere; easy steps are to make sure you're not wearing any cotton and to try carrying a lightweight fleece hat and/or an additional warm layer you can put on during a trip as necessary.
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: newbie questions - keeping dry

Postby DeanWiseman » Sep 10, 2011 10:13 pm

Jeff Bartlett wrote: You will find some cavers have an uncanny ability to levitate above pools of water in dry caves, but in most cases your feet are just going to get wet.

I call this ability "Pixie Factor." It's a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being perpetually levitating, and 1 being equivalent to a Sherman Tank with the proverbial "China Shop" bull driving it)...

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