Author Topic: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?  (Read 809 times)

photonut

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Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« on: 18:23:42, 04/12/17 »
Hello all,


Whilst reading Adalards TR:  http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=35612.0 and chuckling to myself at his leg being covered in peat bog/ mud I started to wonder how others here cover this type of ground??


I'm quite new to hill walking and to be honest when I get to the peaty moorland/ peat hag type terrain I get a bit phased as how best to deal with it.  Do you just bite the bullet and wade through it, hoping it doesn't get too deep?  Or, do you try to jump across the visible soggy areas (my chosen method - but occasionally I fall a little short :( ) or last but not least, do you try to find another route around it completely?


I'd be really interested to discover what others do here.  Perhaps I'm not wearing the right attire and the first option is more palatable with the right kit?


Oh yes.....I shall add that I wasn't laughing at Adalards misfortune, more a case of I was empathizing with his situation because it is usually me that possesses the ability to find the very boggy ground and end up soaked and covered in the stuff.  Last weekend being no exception as I managed to end up knee deep whilst negotiating Great and Little Whernside :)


Cheers
Lee


Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #1 on: 18:48:11, 04/12/17 »
Walking in the Rhinogs on Saturday afternoon, it was impossible to avoid the saturated ground, and no amount of leg protection would have prevented soggy feet.
I was wearing my favourite boots, and they were totally soaked.
Sometimes its impossible to avoid saturated ground, you have  just got to make the most of the wet conditions.
Wear gaiters, and the right clothing, but there are instances, where because of the ground conditions, your going to get wet.

My walk to the summit of Yr Llethr, was wet to say the least, but thankfully its very close to home, so i was able to get my wet clothing and footwear off quickly.

Skip

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #2 on: 19:02:21, 04/12/17 »
... how others here cover this type of ground?

In a word, light-footedly.

Obviously, walk round any dodgy looking bits where possible rather than plough through them.

Gaitors help a bit.

Don't get too hung up about getting your feet wet - sometimes it's inevitable.
Skip

barewirewalker

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #3 on: 19:16:20, 04/12/17 »
The water table is level, but the ground is not. There will also be an outfall, otherwise the water table would build up and there would be deeper water.


These are two rules of land drainage it is worth bearing in mind, when looking across waterlogged ground. Also much hill ground has been drained at some time or other, either by open ditches or land drainage tiles, as the hill subsidies shrink and the conservationist win over upland, these once drained grazing areas fall in disrepair, so it is possible to read the signs and pick a route through. With practice this is a skill, which I believe walkers can develop. Doesn't always work but it does help to keep out of the worst places.


It is also worth while looking at a map a imagining where the subsoil structure might be. Old rights of way, and footpaths may well follow the geology. So old routes may have been allowed to 'go back to nature' often helped by some idiot on a quad bike spinning his wheels through several millennia of history.


A technique I have passed on to Mrs BWW and my daughter is to develop a sideways sweeping step when there are tufts of rushes and coarse grasses so that your foot lays down a platform of stems over wet spongy ground. Using poles to take some of the weight off your feet, by placing them in tufts of reed as well.
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Dovegirl

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #4 on: 20:08:08, 04/12/17 »
If possible I edge past soggy patches. I find gaiters and waterproof boots effective.

Owen

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #5 on: 21:44:08, 04/12/17 »
You could use waterproof boots and gaiters or even better supergaiters - I've always found these hold the wet in if your boots do get soaked. Or you could try fell/trail shoes and bare legs, your skin is waterproof.


That's of course if your expecting boggy going all day if you just come across boggy ground mid walk all you can do is try and avoid the worst of it.

Mel

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #6 on: 21:56:17, 04/12/17 »
Do you just bite the bullet and wade through it, hoping it doesn't get too deep? 


Definitely not!!  Never.


[/size]Or, do you try to jump across the visible soggy areas


Sometimes I will tuft-hop.  Only sometimes....If the boggy ground has obvious bits of "solid" ground (usually those tall green stalks that look like chives)... then I'll stand on those.  I'm always mindful that I might have to retrace my steps to get to an easier/safer route though.[/size]

[/size]
[/size]do you try to find another route around it completely?


Yes.  [/size]

[/size]
Avoid standing on the bright green (and sometimes red tinged) sphagnum moss as the ground underneath is not always as solid as you would be led to believe  :-[
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fernman

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #7 on: 22:29:55, 04/12/17 »
My technique is to step on the bases of the tussocks of grass, and go from one to another. They provide a bit more support under the foot. The same with rushes, aim for the bases of the stems. And I'll second what Mel says about avoiding bright green patches of moss.

From time to time, though, I've had situations in not particularly boggy ground where, as I'm walking, my foot has unexpectedly shot into a wet and muddy hole up to knee depth, and this has always brought me crashing down. Imagine it if you haven't experienced it: you find yourself laying full length on soggy ground, shocked and partially winded, your heavy pack is making it difficult for you to get into the right position to ease yourself up, and when you get your leg out it is covered with brown mire and your boot is full of water.

Ridge

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #8 on: 22:43:27, 04/12/17 »
From time to time I use all of the above methods, hopping from tuft to tuft, leaping across, and occasionally ploughing on regardless. I also frequently try to walk quickly and lightly while waving my arms like a demented duck I am sure it doesn't actually help at all but it amuses anyone I am with.
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adalard

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #9 on: 05:59:20, 05/12/17 »
My encounter with the bog monster on Margery Hill took me by surprise. I'd actually managed to avoid getting wet as I crossed the boggy ground approaching the summit and was caught out by a sneaky, leg-shaped hole beneath the heather on otherwise solid terrain by the Margery Stones. So my mishap was similar to those Fernman has encountered, although I didn't fall over completely.


I did fall over several times and go thigh-deep with both legs several times in some marshy ground in the Southern Lakes a month or so ago. The tufts of grass just kept collapsing under me and, though there was a R.O.W. on the map, there was nothing but this waterlogged meadow under my feet. Took me an hour to cross a barely half-mile stretch and I nearly lost the will to live - but it was too late in the day to reascend and find an alternative route (which could, I reasoned, still have crossed similar terrain).


Otherwise, I've not had many soakings (or peat-ings). Like Ridge, I usually use a mixture of the above methods. Mel's advice to avoid the bright green is  sound, and reeds can be a great help on wet ground.

Lee in Doncaster

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #10 on: 08:24:59, 05/12/17 »
I find that actually stepping where the water is lying is usually the safest ground - there is most likely solid rock a few inches below the surface.
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dinger

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #11 on: 09:42:23, 05/12/17 »
I was on a navigation course in Buckden Yorkshire, and one elderly chap had a bit of a fright when he stepped onto floating sphagnum moss roughly 1 metre across, he stepped into it and basically sank just above waist height, if he was solo more serious consequences because he could not get out on hes own we had to pull him , theres lots around that area off the beaten track.

sussamb

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #12 on: 10:16:02, 05/12/17 »
I find that actually stepping where the water is lying is usually the safest ground - there is most likely solid rock a few inches below the surface.


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ninthace

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #13 on: 10:33:32, 05/12/17 »
Look ahead, often you can see bad ground coming so sheering off course can avoid the worst areas. Look for the outflow, often this is the narrowest bit to cross, failing that skirt uphill.
Tussock hopping and walking slightly off track on the vegetation often works. Plan your moves and think ahead. Poles are invaluable not only for added balance but also for testing the ground. As has been said, standing water on the path often indicates a firm base, poles can check this out too. Donít be afraid to backtrack to try alternative lines.
I would regard gaiters and good waxed boots as essential if you are going into this kind of terrain and you want to emerge with dry feet.
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April

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Re: Boggy soggy ground - what to do?
« Reply #14 on: 12:37:18, 05/12/17 »
What everyone else has said

but especially this  :)

I also frequently try to walk quickly and lightly while waving my arms like a demented duck

This technique can be perfected if you make intermittent sqeaks and use of the word bogger
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