Why?

So why Barefoot Backpacking?  I would like to break this down into two Parts. The first and most adventurous part is actually the last word.





Taking in the views - looking across to Mt. Anderson's Eel Glacier





Backpacking
  What person doesn't feel the call to put there belongings on there back and travel across beautiful country.  Choosing any route and terrain you wish to travel on.  There is nothing that could match that feeling of being free.

  Perfect time to dwell on your thoughts as well.  Some of my best 'ideas' and personal thoughts are when I'm hiking alone.  However sharing your experience with friends and loved ones I feel is equally important.

  There is something magical about putting physical effort toward your goal.  Arriving at your destination, putting up camp, gathering water and possible other supplies.  Sleeping out in the fresh air where I find true peace.  Staying up late or waking up in the middle of the night.  To look up at the stars that seem twice as bright than when you are in a city.  The good life.





Elwha River




Barefoot
  The first part is what I feel the spiritual part.  Being able to feel your environment at all times.  If its hot or cold your body adapts to the conditions based on the sense of feel.  Also walking at night is improved because you can feel your route and feel more confident with each step.  Others have expressed this heightened sense with me as well.

 Other proven improvements in posture, balance and over all foot health.
 
  Finding the appropriate Minimal Foot Protection is super important why still providing ground feel and breathability.

  You should find whats right for you without losing the ability for your toes to fully splay.

  All the while keeping a 'Natural' Heal to Toe stance aka 'Zero Drop'. (meaning your heal isn't elevated in your footwear).

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What about you?  
Why do you go Backpacking?  What can you do to shave weight out of your Pack and on your Feet?

3 comments:

  1. I am amazed by the barefoot thing. My heavy duty boots still don't protect my feet from rocks, roots or whatever is on the trail. My my feet are just too weak. I am impressed though. Are you afraid of frostbite or have you had to deal with that?

    -- Jamie B.

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    1. You actually don't need foot protection 99% of the time after regaining your sense of Proprioception. If you constantly know where your feet are and constantly aware of your surroundings. You should not trip or knock lose rocks onto yourself.

      My comfort zone is 20 degrees in the winter. Any lower than that I chose to put old socks over my feet and footwear. Train your feet to be cold? Make sure that they are never overly warm everyday; such as wearing socks. Through the winter I purposely make sure they get cold to acclimate my body for walking on snow in the spring.

      Sorry for getting back to you so late. I've been in the Mountains and mistakenly overlooked then when I returned. Cheers - Jake

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  2. We go backpacking because we like to get outdoors, backpacking also (generally) gets us away from all the noisy, littering, inconsiderate people there are in the world.

    I tried five fingers, but I hated how hot (and smelly) my feet got. I also didn't like having my feet enclosed. I had a lot of trouble with the five fingers and cold once it got frosty. Since then I've been making my own hiking huaraches, and they are really great. I too find around 20 degrees is my switch over point to toe socks. The soles of my huaraches provide good cold insulation on the ground.

    @jamie B. My experience is that going barefoot strengthens your feet, and ankles. Using a traditional hiking boot with supported ankle almost guarantees you'll get hurt if you step awkwardly, as the boot holds your foot straight onto you leg. Barefoot your foot is free to roll and you have instant 'feel' of the ground allowing you to adjust your step.

    Yes, every now and then I stub a toe, or a rock rolls on my foot, or the worst one - I'll kick a stick, but to date, it's never been more than a minor 'ouch'.

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