4

I've the annoying problem that I slip and fall very often on the trail of my local 3D field archery parcours recently. That mostly comes from the trail's surface: a muddy, loamy layer above the forest floor. I wear a pair of hiking boots, which grip very well normally.

Is there any piece of equipment or a special walking technique to deal with such undergrounds?

Just two additional facts:

  • It's a pretty thin layer of mud above the "common" ground (what makes it so surprisingly slippery in the first place)
  • The trail is oblique - you've to walk alongside the slope (slippery slope =))
4

I would suggest walking with flat feet rather than the usual rolling foot technique most people walk with. This means that rather than landing with your heel 1st and rolling onto the ball of your foot, you should walk in such a way that your whole foot contacts the ground at the same time. This should keep you upright on flat ground. You will also notice that walking this way you will start to use your hamstrings and glutes to walk rather than your calves.

If you're walking uphill, I would suggest step kicking, like that used by mountaineers walking uphill in snow or ice. From your description I get the impression that the ground has thick mud rather than a thin layer of mud / moss over slippery rocks. To walk with step kicks, on every step you should kick the ground with the toecap on your boots. This will push your foot through the soft mud and essentially create a small flat 'step' which you can then use to walk on rather than walking on an incline.

Walking poles might also help you with stability as you can drive these into the ground and use these to take some of your weight, so you put less weight through your feet.

Amalgamating the alast 3 paragraphs from the answer from @JamesJenkins into this as per the request of the OP.

You need to increase your traction, and you probably want to do it without changing your boots. > Strap on traction devices.

There is a huge selection of Ice Cleats these tend to be very short to about a half inch. Longer spikes are available in Lawn Aerator Sandals. The longer the cleats/spikes and the further they are spread apart the more difficult it will be for them to fill with mud. Allowing you to get consistent traction. But at the same time the harder it will be to balance on them while walking. Which is the lessor of two evils, the mud or the spikes?

In reality you should probably just spread crushed gravel (like 3/4 minus) along the path. Have a load of gravel delivered at the start of the trail, take a wheelbarrow and shovel, spread gravel ahead of you along the path as you walk up it.

  • 1
    This flat feet technique looks quite interesting. I've to test this next time. However, there are two additional facts to know: it's really not a thick mud. It's just a thin, loamy layer (what makes it so extremely slippery) above the forest ground. That's why the step kicks won't work, I'm afraid. Also, the trails is often obliquely. You don't really walk uphill but alongside the slope. – OddDeer Nov 23 '15 at 14:06
2

There is an existing answer about walking technique, this answer focuses on a "piece of equipment" to do the job.

Unless your mud is different than the mud I am used to walking in, the reason your boots slip is the traction surfaces fill with mud, and thin layer builds up across the bottom of the boot. Traction is similar to rubbing two ice cubes together.

You need to increase your traction, and you probably want to do it without changing your boots. > Strap on traction devices.

There is a huge selection of Ice Cleats these tend to be very short to about a half inch. Longer spikes are available in Lawn Aerator Sandals. The longer the cleats/spikes and the further they are spread apart the more difficult it will be for them to fill with mud. Allowing you to get consistent traction. But at the same time the harder it will be to balance on them while walking. Which is the lessor of two evils, the mud or the spikes?

In reality you should probably just spread crushed gravel (like 3/4 minus) along the path. Have a load of gravel delivered at the start of the trail, take a wheelbarrow and shovel, spread gravel ahead of you along the path as you walk up it.

  • Thank you :) You might want to add the last three paragraphs of your answer to Dan_h_b's? – OddDeer Nov 24 '15 at 6:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.