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Everything posted by Shiraz-mataz

  1. And here are some more! Geez... I didn't realize there were that many photos of my barefoot caching adventures until I went looking! It was a nice stroll down memory lane.
  2. I'm glad this thread popped back up. LOVE being barefoot and LOVE caching while barefoot! I've got a few photos in my gallery that highlight my adventures... In the end, do what you enjoy and hike your own hike. Barefootin' isn't for everyone but it's fun for me. It adds a whole new level to the hunt!
  3. My caching adventures took me to New York City this weekend! Well, I guess it's actually New Jersey - but you can SEE the city from there!
  4. I wish I had an "outfit," like some kind of caching uniform. But truth be known, I ain't all that fancy. I've found some caches while dressed to the nines - usually urban, near restaurants I may be going to. If it's warm, my outfit is whatever I have on at the time which is usually shorts. Like hippietwinkie above, I prefer to tromp around barefoot, especially in the woods.
  5. Sorry I noticed this thread so late! To the O.P., I am an avid barefooter and have completed nearly half of my cache finds without shoes. This includes urban outings, to grassy parks, to rocky crags in the mountains. The key, as others have pointed out, is to keep your eyes open and watch where you step. The "true" hazards of barefooting are few and overblown - in all my time barefooting I have never suffered a puncture wound or gash. If you peruse my photo gallery you'll come across a shot or two of me barefoot. All I can say is, everyone should hike their own hike, be careful in whatever you do, and don't dismiss anything that at first seems too offbeat or difficult.
  6. I was once looking for a cache in the parking lot of a shopping center when I caught the attention of a maintenance worker. He'd been eyeballing me and I decided to just approach him and let him know what I was doing. After explaining geocaching in intricate detail he looked at me like I had two heads! As I walked away I overheard him use his walkie-talkie to have someone bring him a pen. He jotted down my license tag number as I drove off...
  7. In the summer it's cargo shorts, a ratty t-shirt, and barefoot on the trail. In the winter I might throw on a pair of jeans, sneakers and a sweatshirt (I'm pretty low-maintenance).
  8. I have never geocached in the nude but do routinely cache barefoot. (Feel free to peruse my profile gallery for some examples.) I've never had any trouble with terrain but have received some interesting reactions from people - one grounds worker at a mall once wrote down my tag number even after explaining what I was doing! He couldn't get his head around the idea that a grown man would go barefoot so I have to wonder what a stranger would think if they came across someone in the buff. I would have to know with 100% certainty that no one else is on the trail before I'd even think of stripping because the potential for frightening someone or receiving unwanted attention from law enforcement officers is too high.
  9. "Tsk, tsk, Dr. Scott, you naughty, naughty boy! The cache page CLEARLY states that it is NOT wheelchair accessible!"
  10. I'd like to continue section hiking the Appalachian Trail, probably picking up where I left off in southern Shenandoah and going to "The Priest" in the Blue Ridge Parkway. My hiking buddy has shied away from hiking in favor of canoeing lately so I don't know how this is going to pan out. I might end up solo hiking.
  11. Hey jsargent, I cache and hike barefoot quite often! (check out some of my pictures...) I also bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers a few months ago and used them on a 25 mile backpacking trip along the AT. I have tried to do the AT barefoot but honestly, the terrain is so varied with rocky sections outnumbering the smooth dirt and grass sections, that going fully barefoot is difficult - even for a "pro" like me. But I did find that the VFF's added just enough protection that no other shoe was necessary. If you keep at it you WILL build up your tolerance to the pain experienced when first starting out but again, know your limits. I love to hike barefoot but there is nothing wrong with carrying backup footwear. Personally, I prefer Teva Terra-Fi's over the VFF's because the Tevas are a lot easier to take on and off as the trail conditions change. If you have any questions feel free to PM me! I look forward to hearing about your progress.
  12. I was exaggerating a little! "Nekkid as the law allows..." is what I said. Basically we just stripped down to our hiking shorts and Vibram Five Fingers. FWIW, New York and a couple other locales have top-free parity for men and women so, women can legally hike top-free should they so desire. Just sayin...
  13. Over the summer we had to hike through a pretty nice rain shower (not a thunderstorm!). We just covered our packs and stripped down nekkid as the law allows and hiked on! It was over 80 degrees and the rain felt awesome. Of course be mindful of the temperature and be on the lookout for signs of hypothermia (even in warm weather), dry off as soon as you can, etc. Who needs all thay heavy rain gear anyway???
  14. Now that you mention it, my Vario did get clogged in the "long-life" setting during its first use on a recent hike. In that setting, water flow is routed through a ceramic pre-filter. I opened the filter and used some fresh water to wash off the ceramic filter and then resumed pumping on the "faster flow" setting which just routes water only through the filter cartridge. In the Vario's defense, I was pumping from a small puddle of water; it was about a half-inch deep and heavilly silted. Just bobbing the uptake tube in the water stirred up a bunch of junk. BUT - the water was crystal clear going into my bottle!
  15. I've been using the Katadyn Vario (http://www.rei.com/product/750927) for a few years and absolutely love it! The positives are that it has a dual-action pump so water flows when the handle is moved up AND down. It also has a selectable filtration mode - faster flow or longer life. It would be perfectly suited for shared use like you mentioned doing since it can fill a lot of water bottles very quickly. The only downside is that it may be slightly heavy for backpacking where you are trying to minimize weight. There are lighter models out there but it's not that bad... FWIW, I always filter and never sterilize. Never been sick so it must do the trick!
  16. I'll be in Reno, NV from July 12-16 for a conference but plan to hit some caches while there. I'm looking at a couple up on Mount Rose and am hoping to hike up the steep and less-travelled Southeast Trail. If anyone is familiar with that trail, I'd appreciate any information. I'm also seeking recommendations for other caches in the area that require some hiking. Thanks!
  17. After thinking about VFF's for over a year I finally came off the bucks and bought a pair of KSO's last month as my primary shoe for backpacking. I just got back from a 25 mile section of the AT and have to report that they performed flawlessly! As someone who likes to hike barefoot, VFF's are not really all that minimal. Their sole is substantially thicker than I'd hoped and they do feel somewhat confining. But they are flexible and you can feel the earth without the fear of puncture wounds. Since I hardly ever wear shoes to begin with there was no period of getting used to them as others have reported - no soreness. I would say they are well worth the money but please watch out for the glut of fakes hitting the market! If you see any VFF's "discounted" below the full price then they are not real Vibrams and will not have the quality you want.
  18. Thanks for the links! Every summer our family spends about a week with the in-laws in Land O' Lakes just north of Tampa. I have a blast exploring the area and love the SWFWMD caches.
  19. mtbikernate, Congratulations on getting a hammock! I have an ENO singlenest and absolutely love it. I've used it on my last three section hikes of the Appalachian Trail and it has never let me down (pun intended!). You can ask ten people and get ten opinions on all the accessories so here are MY opinions... From the pictures on ENO's web site and from online reviews, their tarps seem a little small to protect against an all out downpour so I bought a 9'x9' tarp from Campmore. And when it comes to actually hanging the hammock, ENO sells their "Slap Strap" system but again, reviews indicate that the adjustment loops aren't always spaced so you can get that sweet spot with the right amount of tension. I just went and bought some line at the hardware store and tie it up however I like. I also don't have the bug net. Seems like extra weight I don't want to carry in my backpack, plus being wrapped up in a blanket at night keeps the skeeters off my body and insect repellent keeps the rest off. Hope that helps!
  20. This year we continue our section hikes of the Appalachian Trail. We're planning one for April when we hope to complete the last 30 miles of Shenandoah National Park. Maybe later in the summer or early fall we'll jump back and finish the Roller Coaster section.
  21. I passed a fellow local cacher in the woods one day. We'd never met before but he recognized me by the fact I was hiking barefoot! Apparently I have a reputation for that around here...
  22. Here are three very good reviews of the VFF Flow. They look intriquing but, man... 85 bucks!
  23. My scariest moment happened in the early days of my caching career. I was tromping through the woods, my eyes focused on the find ahead, when a shape on the ground caught my eye - a pair of boots. The boots were at the ends of camo-clad legs which belonged to the rest of a body laid out flat in the leaves, a shotgun in its grasp! My heart skipped more than one beat by the discovery... I stood there for about 15 seconds looking at the body and noticed - it was breathing! Relieved that the guy wasn't dead, I figured he must just be injured so I called out to him, "Hey!" He didn't move. I repeated my call, a little louder, "HEY!" At this the body moved a little. His head lifted out of the leaves and looked around as though trying to get his bearings. Seeing me standing about ten feet away, he sat up and rubbed his face and asked, "What time is it?" I told him that it was about 4:00. He pulled himself to his feet and said, "Oh man! I fell asleep!" He gathered up his hunting gear and made his way up the trail to the parking area.
  24. Nope - they won't melt. Get the good ones though, like Glad Freezer Bags. As a matter-of-fact I have made instant grits (or oatmeal if you prefer) by pouring hot water right into the paper pouch they come in! Be careful because, well... you can burn your fingers! These are just tricks used by people who are into ultralite backpacking.
  25. I meant that when walking barefoot it is natural to land on your forefoot instead of your heel. If you're not used to rough terrain then this will of course lead to wear and blisters quicker than usual. The vast majority of people land on their HEELS while wearing SHOES. What barefoot hikers end up doing is landing on their TOES. It's okay! It's not that you're "supposed" to do it this way, it's just what you will naturally do. The blisters will heal, callous will develop, and your body will adapt. I think it's kind of interesting that modern appliances like shoes can change the way we're wired to do things - and often in a bad way. Keep at it but just make a conscious mental note to pay attention to your gait. If you try to force yourself to walk heel-to-toe your brain will override you! And like I mentioned in my previous post this gait is even more noticeable if you try RUNNING barefoot.
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