Wet Wading Safety

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
Last night, I was researching boots that are suitable for hiking and wet wading. I came across numerous forum posts (in the USA), with people talking about wet wading being dangerous. There was horror stories about people getting scratches, getting bad infections and then ending up in hospital. Wet wading in NZ and Australia (my home country) is really common and I never heard of stuff like this before. Is this a legit concern, or just paranoia? How does one know where is safe/unsafe to wet wade?
 
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herkileez

WFF Supporter
I can see potential problems during a salmon spawn, where there are lots of dead, decaying carcasses and spawning activity.
 

MD

WFF Supporter
I can only guess it depends on where they were wading. I definitely wouldn’t wet wade the LA river where that happy guy was fishing for carp;)

Growing up in the mid west, there were a handful of flat land streams we dinked around in where we probably shouldn’t have. And the rivers flowed through countless communities with questionable water treatment and farm field run off before getting to where I lived.

I’ve been to Alabama a couple time and there are things down there that will kill you just cuz.

I’ve never worried about it in Montana or the northwest.....although maybe just downstream of Hanford might be bad ;)
 
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Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
I’ve been to Alabama a couple time and there are things down there that will kill you just cuz.
like tweakers? (edit: I know what you mean, I spent 12 years of my childhood in TX with many of the same critters)

that's probably an issue on the LA River too....

probably an issue on some of our urban cricks...
 

MD

WFF Supporter
Ha! Didn’t even think about the tweakers. Probably want to be wet wading if you’re gonna run into them. I’d hate to rip up a pair of nice waders busting through the blackberries trying to get away from a horde of them.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
I've been wet wading for 50 years and competitively swam for 15 in waters here in the northwest and I've never know anyone to get sick, from wading or swimming. Drinking the water is a different story, I know people who have gotten beaver fever from the clearest of mountain streams.
 

hookedonthefly

Active Member
On the Gulf of Mexico and lower East Coast (saltwater), there is a really pleasant phenomenon called “flesh eating bacteria”. As a bonus, it is really difficult to treat. Ask my buddy who had to make the choice to have AK (above knee amputation). Never worried about freshwater. Stay Safe Out There, Ed
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
Wet wading is the kind of thing reserved for cold, clean, running fresh water and warm/hot weather. Sewer? Swamp? Exotic bacteria? Wader up and hose off after for good measure or avoid completely. I find that has kept me safe since I started in my early teens. Don't discount that the Internet is full of highly vocal ding-dongs who should stay home for their own safety, much less purchase, use, and review wet-wading equipment.
 

mcswny

Active Member
Last night, I was researching boots that are suitable for hiking and wet wading. I came across numerous forum posts (in the USA), with people talking about wet wading being dangerous. There was horror stories about people getting scratches, getting bad infections and then ending up in hospital. Wet wading in NZ and Australia (my home country) is really common and I never heard of stuff like this before. Is this a legit concern, or just paranoia? How does one know where is safe/unsafe to wet wade?
Curious what youre finding in terms of boots that are suitable for hiking and wet wading.
Last summer I had the grand idea of hiking 5+ miles 2-3k down into a canyon with My Simms and Wading socks so it would make wet wading safer on a backcountry trip. It wasn't bad coming down, but coming back up, they were sopping wet, which made them heavvvvy which was a PIA.
 

Canuck from Kansas

WFF Supporter
I have a pair of Simms flyweight wet wading shoe (vibram on the outside rim/felt middle sole) - they are OK, but not enough ankle support, so I will likely be getting the Flyweight wading boot (I trust Simms with quality, fit, and comfort, unfortunately, I get no money from them).

 

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