I’ll start off by saying that I yearn for a solid campsite after a long day of hiking. This is probably one of the main drivers for me to go on extended backpacking trips….getting to experience a variety of really cool set ups with my gear along with stunning atmospheres the trail can provide.
I do tend to be weight conscious when on the trail, and I can achieve a 10-12 pound base weight —depending on the weather conditions- without food and water. With this said, I tend to make some weight sacrifices for luxury items while I am at camp. One of these sacrifices is my hummingbird hammock. Although it is only 7 ounces, it does not contribute to my sleep system and only used for relaxation purposes after a long day. Another item I am looking to sacrifice some weight for is an ultralight pair of camp shoes. I do enjoy getting out of my grimy trail runners and letting my feet breath, but I haven’t found a pair of camp shoes that I am completely sold on. Below are my top 3 contenders:
Originally, I loved the idea of the Xero Genesis because of they are sum 10 ounces and their packability (they can roll up). However, I recently discovered the HeyDude shoes. Their website claims the total weight is FIVE OUNCES, but I find that hard to believe….5 ounces each is more realistic in my opinion. Although HeyDude is not an outdoors company, these are close toed shoes that I can wear socks with vs. the Xero Genesis sandal.
I am interested what other folks have to say on this topic. Do you sacrifice weight for a camp shoe? If so, what do you use and what do you wish you had? ON another topic, do you also sacrifice weight for a camp chair? I have the 7 ounce hummingbird hammock, but I have been in situations where I cannot hang it and wish I had a chair…
Love this post!! I just had what was referred to as a "Jimmy Buffett oncident" this weekend and blee puy my flip flop, so I'm nin the market for camp shoes. Would love to get camp shoes that would also work for water crossing shoes. I'll absolutely sacrifice weight for comfort.
I also have a Chair One that's always on my pack. Absolutely a necessity for me to have a back so that, with a log, I can have a campfire recliner 😉
For water crossings and camp shoes I use Merrell Hydro Mocs, which are on the heavier side at 15 oz. for a men's size 9. They fit oversized so I suggest 1-1.5 sizes smaller if you want something that fits more securely for water crossings. I went 1.5 sizes smaller and they are snug for water crossings but not uncomfortable even with a pair of socks around camp.
Many consider a camp chair a luxury...at the half-century plus a few years mark I consider it closer to the essential side. I've got both the Chair One (2.13 lbs) and the Chair Zero (1.13 lbs.). The Chair Zero sits lower to the ground and some find it to be less comfortable, but for me it is just fine and worth the weight savings on longer trips.
I love my pair of astral loyak ac shoes. Weighing about 7oz being a little heavy for camp shoes but are totally worth it. The great features that make me love them they pack down really flat, drain water from the front drainage holes so no squishy feet. I was back packing in down poor rain put these on since it was constant river crossing. It was not good in mud at all but my feet felt fine after 8 miles and was so thankful for having dry boots to relax in once the rain stopped and we set up camp. Which was not the case for the other travelers.
For water crossings that can work as camp shoes, I like Vibram 5-Fingers Aqua shoes. 3.95 oz. They're nicely grippy; however, the sole has lots of tiny holes that sand can get in if you happen to be on the beach. They roll up nicely too.
yeah, great timing, I literally, and I do mean literally, just finished bagging meals, and stuffing my pack into a 'roll on' bag for a flight this Wednesday for 6 nights in the Gila Wilderness (America's first wilderness, btw)
before water and camera stuff I'm at 26lbs, 17 base weight.
the temp fluctuations is what's really killing my weight, forecasts of 90's to low 40's. Jeez, that basically means an almost winter set up, except my bag is a 30 quilt.
I carry a chair, I just about have to, to rest my back, but it's been a part of my kit for about 8yrs, so I'm pretty comfortable with it (pun intended).
I can really empathize with the 'campsite' statement, I tell folks that the hiking is just what's necessary to get to camp, lol!!!
the camp shoe/water crossing shoe dilemma is real.
when I was still in boots, and experimenting, for years with a water crossing shoe/camp shoe, I found crocs worked best, for me, for dependable crossing shoes, they hold tight and support in really sketch crossings. and are not bad for camp.
but then I switched to trail runners, and haven't looked back, but I was still experimenting with crossing footwear.
2 yrs ago, I just started crossing in the trail runners and dealing with it. and you know what happened, they worked out fantastic, no wet feet issues, they dry up, or at least warm up and I no longer notice it, and depending on the last crossing, even dry up, before reaching camp. I know this is obviously weather dependent, not doing this in the colder months. no more 'shoe on/shoe off, shoe on/shoe off (karate kid ref).
so what happens in camp, sometimes I put on a waterproof sock so I wear the wet shoes around camp, or just wear them without socks, this trip, I'm taking a pair of generic flip flops, the kind that's been around for 50yrs and cost about $2. only for around camp, not for looking for water, firewood, etc.
but this trip, in addition to the 30 quilt, I have a beanie, down sweater, thermal bottoms and a sweater, 1 pair of nylon running type shorts and 1 longsleeve nylon shirt and 1 pair of extra socks, and 1 pair of waterproof socks. I'm still thinking of ditching the sweater, but 40 is super cold in the mornings at breakfast.
and 6 sets of meals, about 8lbs. the fuel canister I pick up in NM will add another .5lbs. So I think I'll be at around 32 with 1 liter of water carry. That will jump up considerably when on the day we have to haul about 4-5 liters due to no intel on water status at one site.
I looked at the heydude wallysox, 5.5oz?!, hard to believe, but looks viable, not sure about water crossing, but they look pretty sweet
@Philreedshikes The HeyDudes definitely look sweet. I’m super interested in them. I’m not concerned about water crossings though, I typically just walk through in my trail runners and have them air dry on the hike
@Philreedshikes definitely agree with crossing streams in trail runners. This definitely tops setting your pack down, taking off shoes and socks, putting on your other shoes, and then repeating at the other end.
Great timing - going on a shakeout trip tomorrow morning and just finished getting everything packed (except for my food)
I almost bought the REI Air Flex chair yesterday when I was at the store getting a new canister but decided against it. I would happily carry that extra pound to have a chair at the campsite. But this trip will have my 1 ounce sit pad (there's a designated camp area and it is supposed to have picnic tables... here's hoping they're still there).
For shoes, it depends. I'm not taking anything special tomorrow but I like those Hey Dude shoes - nice and light. When I car camp, I do bring other just a pair of runners or something comfy after a day of doing things.