Crossing streams - how do you approach it?

Discussion in 'General Walking Discussions' started by Cartable, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Cartable

    Cartable Regular Member Staff Member

    Luckily I haven't had to do it yet, but whilst reading an article about walking on Dartmoor in winter, the walkers came across a few streams they needed to cross that didn't have bridges. The method they used to cross them was to remove boots and socks, slip on some old sandals, cross through the cold water with their gear, dry off, put socks and boots back on ... and off they go.

    I can see that they wouldn't want to be walking around in soaking socks and shoes or boots, but it seemed like quite a faff so I wondered if any of you take a different approach to crossing streams? Plastic bags inside your boots maybe?
  2. Rocky

    Rocky Regular Staff Member

    On the sofa
    I struggle with this as my balance when walking through fast flowing streams is not great. I dislike stepping stones as well - again a balance thing. There’s a section on the Pennine Way from Caldron Snout to High Cup Nick where you have to cross Maize Beck. Before the bridge was built you either crossed on stepping stones or took a detour a couple of miles to the north. If the beck was running high, I took the detour rather than get wet.
    Cartable likes this.
  3. classic33

    classic33 Regular Member

    Depends. Have a look for a better crossing point, if there is one. Is it safe to cross at the point you want to cross?
    If you have to cross through the water, find a strong stick and use that as a "third leg", as well as using it to test for underwater obstructions or drops. Walking sideways.
    If in a group use the stick, with the strongest person upstream, and cross in pairs or three's.
    Three people can use the huddle, with the strongest member upstream. Each supporting the other.

    Faster moving water, have you a rope with you?
    Stongest in the group crosses first, taking one end of the rope with them. In case they do slip they can then be pulled back in. Deeper water may well carry them further downstream. Second person crosses in a loop in the rope as does everyone bar the last person who has to cross the same way as the first person.

    Socks off and boots on, if no other footwear is available.
    Chest and waist straps/belts should be undone when crossing, in case you do slip.
  4. Daddy Pig

    Daddy Pig Regular Member

    They need to plan their route a bit better to avoid them! Northern Dartmoor is more bleak with less paths and few bridges, however with forward planning and a little knowledge you can avoid most streams up there.
    Cartable and classic33 like this.
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