No shoes - Barefoot hiking

fishfruit

Russell Coight
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
I haven't really gone walking barefoot in the bush since I became an adult, but I do like my huaraches style sandals similar to these: http://www.instructables.com/id/Minimalist-Running-Sandals-Huaraches/ . I went shares in a sheet of flexible shoe rubber with someone. They stay on the foot much better than thongs and I find that I walk pretty much like when I am barefoot. Thongs tend to change how you walk to keep them on. I also make good use of one of the more affordable minimalist shoes - the good old 'tennis shoe'. Flat, flexible and easy to find at anything upwards from $5 a pair. Because bought shoes invariably come with a narrower toe box than what I personally find comfortable, I buy them big and wear thick wool socks to prevent floppy shoe rub.
 

koalaboi

Mors Kochanski
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
Messages
399
Reaction score
40
Hi,

I lived in PNG for a couple of years and was keen to see feet that never wore shoes.

Let me tell you, they were completely adapted to barefoot walking compared to ours. Barefoot since birth with generations of evolution directly preceding each generation is not something we have. Our ancestors have been wearing footwear for so long I reckon that our feet are no longer a selection pressure.

My PNG mates had feet where the arches were basically invisible the layer of calloused padding from heel to toe was so thick it provided a flat platform to walk on.

Bushwalking in Australia means long distances in remote hard country and an injury to a foot makes getting out more than difficult. Good footwear not only protects the soles, it also provides support and protection to the rest of the foot, ankle etc.

I like the idea of being able to get around without shoes and every now and again harden my feet up if i have a trip away planned where i know I will need to go without shoes for some activities but even still, I'll use footwear when I can. A mate on one of these trips out west managed to get a solid mulga splinter in his foot and it was a really serious issue that took a lot of time to resolve.

KB
 
Last edited:

Jacko

Les Hiddins
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
220
Reaction score
8
Location
Sth East Queensland
Hate Shoes, every chance I get I am Barefoot.

My Foot is a size 10.5, sadly I am cursed with an unusually high Arch and due to my Barefoot habit they are so wide I must wear a Lace Up Size 12 E Work Boots just to get my Foot in them. I have Hammerhead Big Toes from the Steel Caps. For Hunting I Wear a Wide Fitting Size 12 and my Feet suffer being equivalent to a Size 10.5 long. Buying a correctly fitting off the Shelf Hiking Shoe is not possible. On good Trails I wear Leather Sandles.

Recently I made my first pair of Moccasins and plan on advancing my Shoe making Skills to accommodate my odd shaped Feet. I wish I had never worn Shoes, Modern Shoes have wrecked my Feet from Natures perspective

regards Jacko
 

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
526
Reaction score
16
Location
Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia
I'm a keen barefooter (although I wear shoes when I feel it's appropriate, or too cold to go barefoot, like the past few cold weeks).
I find it an enjoyable experience to feel the ground under my feet. Some people might not. I rarely find a time/place where shoes are necessary.
Admittedly I've never done long distance hiking barefoot (but I've done plenty of barefoot bushwalks, day hikes, and car camps) because the long hiking trips I've been on I needed to keep up with the group, and I can't walk as quickly barefoot as I do with shoes. (Gotta watch my step)

Part of the reason I go barefoot is because I overheat easily, and walking barefoot cools me down. That's a different story in winter though because I'm not about to walk around barefoot in near zero temperatures.
While my feet can typically handle the cold I still lose heat through my feet and that lowers my core temperature. It's impractical to try keep the core warm without covering up the feet to keep the heat in. So once I start feeling cold I have to cover up my feet even though they don't necessarily feel that cold.

One of the most important aspects of walking barefoot IMO is your stance and approach. You always need to keep your weight on your back foot so if your leading foot feels something sharp you can back off and take a different step. If you walk around barefoot the same way you do with shoes you're asking for trouble.
I think this is one issue most people have with the idea of going barefoot. They presume you're walking the same way as you would wearing shoes. You can't.... unless you want to be patching up your feet every day.
If you were to watch me walk around the bush barefoot you'd say I walk funny. Yes, I do. But that's because I've adapted my stance and approach to suit barefoot walking. I walk differently when I wear shoes.
I have noticed Cody Lundin and Matt Graham often have a similar walk. It's all about testing out the front foot placement with the ability to back off. Rather than just taking the step and expecting everything to go smoothly as people do while wearing shoes.

I've had my fair share of thorns, bites, nettles, etc. and it still hasn't put me off walking around barefoot (although I've had a few bites which made me wonder if barefoot was such a good idea due to the pain).

I put together a small sewing kit for repairs, but also so I would have needles in my pack to dig out thorns and splinters. A needle is my go to splinter/thorn removal tool.
A downside to walking around barefoot a lot is that as your feet get more leathery they become far more difficult to dig splinters out of. Sometimes I revert to a knife to cut my way to a splinter or thorn, then go back to the needle to dig it out. That's not fun at all, especially as my knees and ankles start to ache while I bend my foot up to dig out the thorn.

When I was younger and wore shoes a bit more I noticed bindies were a real problem those times I took my shoes off.
This past year at some point I felt a bindie in my foot and when I looked I realised there were about 10 of them stuck in my foot. But only one of them went through the skin to the point I could feel it. The rest didn't manage to penetrate the skin far enough for me to notice it.
My feet are fairly leathery but the arches of my feet are still fairly vulnerable to thorns and bindies because they don't get conditioned the way the rest of my feet do.

IMO there are huge advantages and disadvantages to walking around barefoot. The potential disadvantages are to some extent obvious, but the advantages maybe not so much.
Watching a documentary recently it was suggested that if older people walked around barefoot more then their balance would be improved and therefore would result in less falls and injuries. The doctor/professor (can't remember his exact title) was barefoot in the documentary, practicing what he preached.

The comments about the top of your feet not toughening up are completely valid. While the base of my feet are like leather, the tops of my feet are completely soft. So I typically end up with my feet covered in scratches and cuts. They've never been a major problem, although stubbing my toe has had me curled up on the floor swearing a few times. (One of my toes is out of normal position, and I'm guessing it's cos I broke it, but I don't remember it so it probably happened when I was quite young. Unfortunately that seems to be the toe I stub most often).
One way I work around the risk of stubbing my toe is that when I walk around barefoot, particularly in the dark, I do so with my toes lifted slightly upwards. Then if I kick something it hits the bottom of my toes which is less painful.
I'm yet to experience an injury which makes me revert back to always wearing shoes though.

To me, stubbing my toe is probably the worse con of going barefoot. But I typically stub my toes worse at home because I'm being lazy and not watching my step. I don't ever recall seriously stubbing my toe while in the bush.

One point that I think is very worth considering is the issue of conditioning. If you've never walked around barefoot then it's a BAD idea to hike or walk around the bush barefoot.
But conditioning your feet isn't that difficult, and it's my view that most people can do it. Start by taking your shoes off at home if you can.

All my life I've had stretchy ligaments and soft stretchy skin (also known as "double joints" but medically known as Ehlers Danlos syndrome, or historically "joint hypermobility"). The collagen proteins in my skin and ligaments and more loose than that of most people, which makes it easier to scratch, tear, etc.
So you would think considering I have a (fairly common) genetic condition where my ligaments and skin are softer than normal that it would be a bad idea for me to walk around barefoot. But my experience is that even with inherently soft skin (it's rare that I don't have some kind of cut, scratch, or scar somewhere) having walked around barefoot probably 98% of the time over the past 10 years my feet have adapted to some extent. (It's typically only winter time I wear shoes often cos it's cold.)

One problem I see with people never going barefoot is the reliance on gear (ie. shoes). Gear can always fail and I've never had a pair of shoes which didn't fall apart eventually.
IMO becoming reliant on your gear is a problem. While I'm reliant on much of my gear (particularly shelter, fire starting, and my phone) I'm gradually trying to make myself less reliant. If any piece of gear fails I want a backup plan. If that means walking around barefoot because my shoes fell apart I'm typically quite comfortable with that. I'll probably even enjoy it.

Someone on this forum mentioned a term I find interesting a while ago (can't remember who it was). It was something like "spacesuit bushcraft". The idea of going into the bush in a way you're isolated from it by having loads of gear.
If that's your approach, when your space suit (your gear) fails you're screwed.
If you're used to walking around barefoot, with minimal gear, then you're in a much better position.
I did have someone (again can't remember who) dismiss my point about "what if your shoes fail?"... but I've seen it. First day of a 5 day intense hike one of the group had new shoes and they already started to fall apart.

Another benefit of going barefoot is the sensitivity to the ground underneath you. It's fairly common in my experience to step on a loose rock, but if you're wearing shoes it'll take longer for your brain to register it. If you're barefoot it'll register almost immediately because you have direct contact with the rock. It's like feeling the ground with your hands.
If I'm faced with the choice between risking a cut foot, and risking a fall where I could break a leg..... I'll go the cut foot any day. I've been there, patched it up, and continued on without an issue. A broken leg is not something you bounce back from quickly.

If you trip over something with shoes on it'll take longer for your brain to realise, and therefore increases the risk. You trip over something barefoot and you'll register far more quickly and you'll adapt more quickly.
I recall crossing a river wearing shoes with my pack on my head (to keep it dry cos I was up to my chest in water) and I slipped, fell over, and my entire pack got soaked. If I was barefoot there would have been risks of stepping on something under the water, but I also likely would have noticed the slippery or loose rock earlier and avoided the fall and wet gear. (This was back before I learned the value of having everything in waterproof stuff sacks or zip lock bags.)
What's worse? A cut foot or hypothermia? I'm sure it all depends on the situation.
I was fine at the time. Reasonable weather. Everything dried out by the fire. There was a group of people, and if I was in trouble I knew they'd look after me. Different story now I typically go bush solo though.

I guess the big question is, which approach has less risk?
Most people would presume wearing shoes has less risk. In some ways I might agree, but in some ways I'm not sure it's that clear cut.
If you step on something sharp wearing shoes you won't feel it, you'll put your weight on it, and it'll bust through your shoes straight into your foot. (I've stepped on a rusty nail wearing shoes and I didn't even realise until I wondered why this piece of wood was stuck to my foot, luckily it had missed my foot my millimetres, and as I pulled the nail out of my shoe I felt it against my foot. That was just luck.... my shoes did absolutely nothing to protect my feet)
Walking barefoot I would have felt that nail before I put my weight on that foot, and I would have backed off. So maybe going barefoot can be safer sometimes. I'm still not sure.

All I know for certain is it's a good idea to have some kind of footwear if you need it, in your pack. As well as some first aid gear. Also best to condition your feet by walking around barefoot as much as you can.
Beyond that I think it's just personal preference. If you like it do it. If you like wearing shoes then wear shoes. The psychology of feeling comfortable is far more important than the physical issues of walking around barefoot.
The risk of not going out into the bush and getting some exercise is far worse than the risk of going out into the bush and getting some cuts and bruises. From my limited knowledge the biggest killer in the western world is heart disease. And the best cure for that is exercise.

IMO you're at a far greater risk sitting behind a computer than you are walking around the bush barefoot. But if you like wearing shoes that's ok, just as long as you get out there and enjoy the wilderness. While I like to encourage barefoot wandering (maybe not hiking, but at least when you get to camp it's nice to go barefoot), all that matters is you get out there. Wearing shoes or not wearing them, that's just detail really.

But yeah, if you like it.... definitely go barefoot when it's feasible cos it's enjoyable haha.

Edit: That was a long post. Someone needs to tell me when to shut up :p
 
Last edited:

bear foot bowhunter

Les Stroud
Joined
Mar 19, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
i stopped walking barefoot when on one of my lamping walks for rats mice and cane toads that I usually did barefoot I for some unknown reason pout my riggers boots on 5 minuets later I had a tiger snake striking at my legs the only thing stopping them was the boots.
have worn boots nearly every day since :_risata:
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
5,137
Reaction score
127
Location
Melbourne, Victoria
i stopped walking barefoot when on one of my lamping walks for rats mice and cane toads that I usually did barefoot I for some unknown reason pout my riggers boots on 5 minuets later I had a tiger snake striking at my legs the only thing stopping them was the boots.
have worn boots nearly every day since :_risata:
So "bear foot bowhunter" ... do I need to work out how to change screen names ? :88_:
 

Arwon

Malcolm Douglas
Joined
Jul 3, 2015
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
Location
Brunei
Neighbour went to check chicken coop one evening in thongs, brown snake bit him on the toe, he went into a coma in 8 minutes, he didn't recover. Boots and gaters for me in the bush. Bare feet and snakes, no thanks.
 

Shazam

Les Hiddins
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
221
Reaction score
0
What Auscraft and Arson said.

I copped a bull ant bite on the back of my foot (one of those inch size ants) could a been worse but not fun ...
 

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
526
Reaction score
16
Location
Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia
i stopped walking barefoot when on one of my lamping walks for rats mice and cane toads that I usually did barefoot I for some unknown reason pout my riggers boots on 5 minuets later I had a tiger snake striking at my legs the only thing stopping them was the boots.
have worn boots nearly every day since
I consider that a very valid reason to switch back to always wearing shoes.
Last time I encountered a snake though it was at head height. It blended so well into the lantana I almost walked into it.
Shoes wouldn't have helped there.

I do often ask myself how far I need to go to prevent certain risks. There's no real answer to that just hopefully using educated judgment to decide.
At what point between going into the bush naked, and going into the bush without ever leaving a vehicle, do we choose?
There's a line somewhere in there but I'm not entirely sure where it is.
I think the line is down to preference and logical risk management.

One of the most interesting things I've heard (I don't know how accurate it is, as I never know how accurate any information is regardless of the source) is that only 1 in 20 snake bites need medical attention.
(Oh that's handy I just found a reference for that with a quick 'ask google' http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/anaesthesia/resources/venom/snakebite.html).

Even if you do get a wet (venomous) bite the WORST thing you can do is panic or run to help. (But if you can remain still and call for help then DEFINITELY do it.)
Most of the time in the bush (even when I lived in a house surrounded by bush) it was at least half an hour to hospital. More likely about 45 mins to an hour. So I guess I kinda grew up recognizing that risk was always there and so I've always kinda accepted it.
We even had an incident with a snake being found in clothing in a cupboard. It was a baby red belly, so no biggy, but just shows that risk was there. (I actually found that incident somewhat hilarious because my sister found the snake and freaked out.... baby red bellies are unlikely to do serious harm to a healthy human unless they're a baby, an elderly person, or someone with a heart problem, from my limited knowledge).

The best thing IMO you can do is understand the snake bite procedure, carry a load of bandages with you (I have 3 in my kit, and considering I go solo a lot it might even be worth having one or 2 more just being cautious, because you're likely to need at least 3 for a proper snake bite response due the the fact a single bandage typically isn't long enough to cover an entire leg), and be prepared to follow a combination of both western medicinal approach and aboriginal approach.
The western approach you can google, or you probably already know it. Bandage up the limb to reduce but not stop blood flow, and demobilize the limb, and STOP MOVING.
Then follow aboriginal approach which is STOP MOVING. I've heard that the aboriginal approach was basically to freeze for 3 days.... and let the body process the venom slowly. (It's just what I've heard, I don't know how accurate that is.)

The key in my view is STOP MOVING. Movement increases blood flow and increases the speed at which venom reaches vital organs. Slow that down so your body can metabolize the venom slowly and odds are you'll survive (if done right).
If I get a bite where I can't be rescued my approach in my head is to follow standard snake bite first aid procedure and then just try and accept I'm going to have to remain still for potentially up to 3 days or more, and potentially get incredibly sick over those days.
So I run through a procedure in my head both relating to snake bites, as well as relating to what I call the "drop test".

My view of the drop test is.... "can you drop on the ground, with your pack, and survive for a few days with minimal movement?" Minimal movement can potentially include getting water out of your pack for a drink, or some clothing to ensure you can survive the night, or even a tarp to keep the rain off you. Although with a snake bite I'd probably try to wait at least 6 or more hours before I do any of that, in case it was a wet bite.

Part of the reason I developed this idea of the drop test is because it's quite easy for me to sprain my ankle or throw my back out (back to the stretchy ligaments issue). But I'm fairly used to that and I know that all I need to do is stop moving for between a few hours and a few days and my body sorts itself out and I'm back to being completely mobile again.
That drop test seems very useful for snake bite response too... so I go through it in my head just in case. I won't be thinking clearly if it happens..... so I need to have it planned in my head before it does.
In crisis we act on instinct.... and our brain cannot think clearly.

I've been struck once (might have been a brown snake, which are really dangerous, but not sure if that's what it was).
I've never actually been bitten (ie. it didn't manage to sink its fangs in but I felt a 'thud' on the back of my leg so it must have hit)..... odds are that if I do get bitten it's likely not going to be fatal. Even from a highly venomous snake their venom is so valuable to them most bites are dry.

My thinking is that the best way to avoid a bite is to avoid startling the snake. A good idea I've heard of is to always carry a stick and to whack it on the ground as you walk. Then snakes know you're coming and they'll run (er... slither) or hide. It's typically when you surprise them that they'll bite out of fear. If someone startles me I might do the same.... so that's fair enough.
I've encountered plenty of snakes and it's actually fairly rare that they strike from my experience. Just don't be an idiot like I was an jump over a log without checking the other side. (Yeah.... rookie move... but I was about 12 or something at the time)

I copped a bull ant bite on the back of my foot (one of those inch size ants) could a been worse but not fun ...
Oh they are extremely painful. I've been bitten on my crooked pinky toe and about 3 toes ended up so swollen I couldn't bend them. Same happened with my fingers from a bee sting.
But unless you're allergic the biggest issue is crippling pain and swelling. They're typically not fatal.
If you are allergic then you MUST have an epi pen (epinephrine, which I believe is similar to adrenaline) if you need it. I've considered trying to get one of those for my kit just in case I get a bunch of bee/ant stings on the neck or face or something, which might hinder breathing.... even though I'm not allergic. You don't need to be allergic to have a reaction if stung in sensitive areas.

I had another bite more recently that I wondered if it was a bullant. It was so painful I thought it was but the pain went away in about an hour so it can't have been. Either that or I somehow developed a resistance. (I suspect it was another type of ant.)
I swore my head off (luckily no-one around) and remember saying out loud "I might have to reconsider walking around around barefoot" between some fairly explicit words.

Well... I still haven't yet learned my lesson.... so I might just be foolish haha.
 
Last edited:

barefoot dave

Mors Kochanski
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
397
Reaction score
27
What a refreshing perspective, Lifecaft. Thanks.
Your experience and views mirror my own.
Grew up in FNQ always barefoot and in the bush. Stepped on a death adder and twigged after a couple of steps that something felt odd. Looked back and started running ;)
Spent many years traipsing the Gulf Savannah, mostly at night and never an issue. Had a brown come through the middle of the OP once, instant non-tac for the boys on their guts. ROFL!
Now work as an outdoor leader and my biggest issue is ticks. Have seen 4 snakes in 6 yrs; 2 whips, a green tree and a carpet python.
As with you, going barefoot forces me to go slowly and take more notice of my surroundings, which is how I like it.
I also carry many comp/immob bandages and, since hearing the story of the Stinson bomber crash and Jim Westray , also have a 'Drop' plan. http://www.oreillys.com.au/about-us/the-stinson-rescue

I also teach heavy foot/ stick falls to ensure any joe blakes are sufficiently warned of our movement.
Cheers, Dave.
 

Ticklebellly

Lofty Wiseman
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
133
Reaction score
2
Although with a snake bite I'd probably try to wait at least 6 or more hours before I do any of that, in case it was a wet bite.
.
A thought provoking post, especially the bit about thinking about what to do before possibly needing to put the ideas into practice. One point, I am reminded of several stories that tell that several victims have appeared to throw off the effects of the venom only to relapse and die soon after that apparent recovery. Something to do with the effects over time of neurotoxic venom on the body.

A related story - A heavily pregnant woman in SA, some years ago, was bitten by a known venomous snake. Broad bandages and immobilization were applied pretty well immediately. Medical staff were worried about the effects of anti-venom on the pregnancy so decided to watch and wait, without disturbing the first aid. It is known that most Australian snake's venom is metabolized relatively quickly in the human body and the treatment relied on that knowledge. After a full 18 hours of watch and wait, the bandages were removed and the woman left hospital several hours later with no apparent ill effects. Proper wet bit? Not know for sure but I always carry broad bandages and intend to concentrate on getting them on quickly should I ever need to do so.

I always hike in boots and mostly wear gaiters. I saw my brother take a snake bite on the foot, many years ago. The treatment of the day included tourniquet and cutting of the bite site. Watching that treatment applied to a 7 year old by the several adult men, put me right off the possibility of taking a snake bite.

TB
 
Last edited:

bear foot bowhunter

Les Stroud
Joined
Mar 19, 2013
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
So "bear foot bowhunter" ... do I need to work out how to change screen names ? :88_:
he he its still the quietest foot ware for stalking :non sono stato io: in resent times i have also been using thin sand shoos/ moccasins it takes a few weeks to harden your feet up and wearing work boots softens your feet up something shocking . most of the walking tracks up at the bunyas are quite doable bare foot , only way to harden them is to walk bear foot . using some rubbing alcohol , or soak your feet in black tee can help harden them up faster
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
1,673
Reaction score
206
Location
Perth, Western Australia
I have come face to face with loads of snakes in my years of bushwalking and have never had an issue. They generally just look at me I look back and they very quickly leave.
 

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
526
Reaction score
16
Location
Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia
The treatment of the day included tourniquet and cutting of the bite site. Watching that treatment applied to a 7 year old by the several adult men, put me right off the possibility of taking a snake bite.
I would suspect (but don't know for sure) that cutting the wound is the opposite of what you want to do. By doing that you traumatize the body. Any trauma increases heart rate and blood flow, meaning the venom will move to the heart more quickly.
Maybe if you had leaches available you could use them, because they inject an anesthetic so you barely feel it. But I doubt that would do anything anyway.

Not sure about the tourniquet idea. Maybe if you have nothing else. But really, you should be wearing clothing you can use as a bandage if necessary.

I have come face to face with loads of snakes in my years of bushwalking and have never had an issue. They generally just look at me I look back and they very quickly leave.
Same here. I've had plenty of snakes come within striking distance and they didn't strike. Only that one time when I stupidly startled the snake my jumping over a log while running through the bush. That was my fault, not the snake's.
One time I was sitting on a log that had been felled for a house site clearing. A snake slithered along the long close enough I could have reached out and touched it. My flight response kicked in and I jumped up and out of the way within a split second. It's hard to control those reflexes even though I know I probably should have stayed still. But if I did stay still I would have had the snake slither over me. When I jumped it didn't flinch. It just kept slowly slithering along the log back to the bush.
As long as you don't startle it then you should be fine. Most snakes we encounter in the aussie bush aren't particularly aggressive (at least the ones I've encountered) and aren't likely to bite unless they feel threatened.
 

Ticklebellly

Lofty Wiseman
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
133
Reaction score
2
Recently saw one of those made-for-Tv shows on Prepers. Relevant to this thread. A minimalist approach was being put forward, including shoes not necessary. Within one K of setting off to the BOL (I hope most understand that contraction), the leader of the small group tore the webbing between big and second toe on a sharp rock. Things went downhill from there.

I am also reminded of an incident where I reminded a work mate of the need for eye protection during some operations. His response was "never had an issue and I have been doing this for years. I just look the other way when the sparks start to fly". This bloke lost an eye a week later and had his compo claim halved because of his contribution to the injury.

I don't remember wearing shoes much as a kid. Soles were thick enough to walk on hot roads without jumping up and down.

TB
 

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
526
Reaction score
16
Location
Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia
Recently saw one of those made-for-Tv shows on Prepers. Relevant to this thread. A minimalist approach was being put forward, including shoes not necessary. Within one K of setting off to the BOL (I hope most understand that contraction), the leader of the small group tore the webbing between big and second toe on a sharp rock. Things went downhill from there.
Do you have a link? Or a name of the show? Curious to see how they handled it, even though the "prepper" type shows I tend to find quite over dramatised and somewhat annoying, even when they're interesting.

One thing people need to accept when walking around barefoot is that a foot injury could mean you can't walk easily for a few days, even longer.
I don't recall an injury to my feet that caused me to be completely unable to walk but I recognize it's a possibility, and I try to plan for it.
Unless you plan for the possibility of having a foot injury and having to stay in one place for a while you probably shouldn't go barefoot beyond the signal range of your mobile phone (so you can call for help if you need to).

I am also reminded of an incident where I reminded a work mate of the need for eye protection during some operations. His response was "never had an issue and I have been doing this for years. I just look the other way when the sparks start to fly". This bloke lost an eye a week later and had his compo claim halved because of his contribution to the injury.
Very big difference between risking damage to your feet vs damage to your eyes. Feet will generally heal pretty easily given some time, even when it's fairly major. But minor damage to the eyes can leave you blind with no chance to heal.
If I had to choose between taking shoes and taking sunnies into the bush.... I'd choose sunnies. (Really you should take both obviously.)
Having said that... I did cut some iron with a grinder the other day without sunnies (I forgot to bring them to where the iron was, and so I continued anyway).
My decision to continue doing it was stupid, and I'll say the same of anyone who risks damage to their eyes by not wearing eye protection.

The risk of foot injury though is far more manageable, and that's why I think it's not necessarily stupid to go bush barefoot (if you analyse and manage the risks).
 

Ttom

Russell Coight
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
I like walking without shoes - but only ever do it for short walks, few kms max out with the dog - never with a full pack, never coming down steep hills where impacts can be harder - I had plantar fasciitis pretty badly once, took about a year to go away - it was a major pain in the ass to deal with - pretty sure I got it from wearing volleys and bare feet everywhere for a year while I didn't have a car and walked everywhere - not fun - foot injuries are bad news, very hard to stay off them...
 
Top