BWCA Portage boots, but what if you have to take swim? Boundary Waters Group Forum: Wilderness survival/first aid
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      Portage boots, but what if you have to take swim?     
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senior member (76)senior membersenior member
05/01/2018 12:48AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Last few years I've had nice pair of low cut Keens for portaging as my wet shoe. This has worked OK. Reading BWJ, Stu advocates for a Schnee 9" uninsulated boot...

Given that I'll be out with the Wabakimi Project in a few weeks, and WCPP in August, I've been thinking about bringing my Keen hiking boots which are more substantial than my other Keens. (they have great sticky soles and I don't slip much--unlike my old Asolo boots with worn down Vibran soles),

My concern is (besides the weight of a hiking boot), is if one dumps and has to go for a swim. Some of the big lake crossings can get a bit hairy, and it's possible (shit does happen--see Tragedy on Alton Lake--BWJ Fall 2013). News Story I've been thinking about taking my PFD and boots for a swim, to see how functional I'd be, swimming along with my overturned canoe.

I've never dumped on open water, and when on big lakes carefully stick close enough to shore that I can visualize making my way there, swimming if I have to. I have overturned in streams a couple times, enough to make me wary of eddies & obstructions you can ride up on.

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distinguished member (103)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/01/2018 01:26AM  
I've never actually dumped with them, but I've practice dumped with jungle boots in a PFD. Seemed to be fine.
distinguished member(4990)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
05/02/2018 04:05PM  
Swimming in boots is not that difficult. Stick to an easier stroke though like a Frog kick like you would do with a breast stroke as opposed to a Flutter kick.
distinguished member(2517)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/07/2018 11:32PM  
When i was a kid the red cross use to make you wear your clothes for one swimming class so you could feel what it was like to swim in pants, shoes and sweaters. I wish theys still did this. Anyway, it isn't to hard to swim with these things once you learn how. And with a pdf you should be fine
distinguished member(1362)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/03/2019 08:53PM  
I was a camper and counselor at YMCA Camp Menogyn. Everything we did from practice canoe swamp/rescue to swimming off our campsites had us doing it wearing our hiking boots. We always wore lifejackets as well. I have swum raging rapids, windy lakes, and everything in between with boots on. Side stroke or breast stroke is my favorite method of swimming when wearing boots. Just practice ahead of an emergency.
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