Rain Boots for gorilla trekking?


Sep 22nd, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Rain Boots for gorilla trekking?

Ive been browsing some pics of people gorilla trekking on flickr and i notice that most of the guides seem to be wearing those black rubber rain boots, at least i think thats what they are? If this is the case, would it be a good idea just to buy some cheap rain boots from target or something (assuming i have enough room in my luggage), or would the traction not be good enough for the hiking? I figure i can just leave em behind once im done. Im going in February which i believe is a dry time, but from what ive read, even the dry season isnt so dry. Any advice is appreciated. Thank youu!
jenbertoni is offline  
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 05:12 PM
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Oh, and Ill be in Rwanda...I dunno if that makes a difference since i think the hike is generally shorter there.
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 06:31 PM
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I went treking this past July and no one besides the guides were in boots--most people were in tennis shoes, a few in hiking boots. My husband and I wore "hiking" trail sneakers. That was completely find. I think it's more important just to have comfortable shoes.
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:13 PM
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Good comfortable walking shoes or boots is fine. However, if they are waterproof or at least water resistent you will be much happier. Even if it doesn't rain, the ground will be wet and its no fun walking around in damp socks.
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:27 PM
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Thanks roomoo and gshah. I was planning on just wearing some comfy walking shoes, but from some stuff i read it made it sound like i would be ankle deep in mud!
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 08:30 PM
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The right equipment can make all the difference. I recommend hiking boots/shoes of some kind, with some form of ankle support.

I have been once and I'm going again in December. As I remember it, the hiking was not the hardest I have ever done. But it is difficult and you will be walking over plants and roots and through mud a lot of the time. All it takes is one twisted ankle to ruin your day.

The cost of a decent pair of hiking boots or shoes is comparable to and not much more than a decent pair of tennis shoes. Given the amount of money you are paying to do this in the first place, invest a few more dollars to make sure you get to the gorillas in good shape. I really recommend that you not balk at another $20-30 for the right equipment for the job.
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Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:04 AM
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I was in Rwanda gorilla trekking this January. It was very muddy even though it didn't rain. At times we were ankle deep if we couldn't find a way around the mud. Some of our group had walking boots, some had trainers. Gaitors were a good idea as it kept the mud out of the trainers or boots.
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Sep 23rd, 2007, 11:06 AM
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I would also advise to wear some type of sturdy hiking boot. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it does need to have solid traction.

I've seen people wear everything from tennis/athletic shoes to moccasins, to sandals thinking it's a walk in the zoo, only to regret it about 1/3 of the way in because they don't realize the ground can be muddy, and covered with plants and vines which can make for a little bit of a challenge

The guides and trackers who live there and wear the wellington boots, do this every day, 365 days of the year so they are used to the boots and the boots protect their feet from the damp rainforest on a daily basis which the typical tourist doesn't need.

They are used to wearing the boots and used to walking up and down the volcanoes in them without the necessary traction we would need. I have seen one or two of the guys slip in them, so even though they are cat-like in their abilities to scale the volcanoes, they also lose their footing from time to time.
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Sep 23rd, 2007, 02:25 PM
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HI, Just got back from spending 6 days in Rwand and will go again in a heart beat when time and money allow. I wore Columbia waterproof hiking boots and was VERY gald I did. conditions varied depending on the trek from slippery vines to actual mud. It rained off and on. Also the stinging nettle were everywhere so it helped to have ankle coverage for support with footing and against tose invasive weeds!! Also, I wore cargo pants(twill) and was glad for the extra strength coverage against the thorns and nettles. My regualr safari nylon pants would not have fared well. Enjoy! You are about to experience the thrill and wonder of a lifetime.
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Oct 16th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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We just got back a couple of weeks ago and even though it did not rain while we were there it was definitely muddy so I would suggest waterproof hiking boots. I agree no one but the guides had the black rubber boots. The one thing I would not go without is leather gloves - we had to pull ourselves up the trail grabbing onto thistles and stinging nettles and without the gloves it would have been very difficult. Have a great trip.
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Oct 16th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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I've never seen a tourist in rain boots, only the guides. I would not have felt as comfortable with my footing in rain boots. I agree with the waterproof hiking boots. I also wear Seal Skinz, which are waterproof socks.
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Oct 16th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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If you are not used to wearing wellies, you'll end up with HUGE blisters.

I haven't been gorilla trekking but have been on many rainforest hikes and low profile goretex hiking boots or goretex trail sneakers work the best for me. Make sure you break them in or you'll be miserable.
hills27 is offline  
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Oct 16th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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Hi jenbertoni

Protecting your feet from getting wet is very important
here are some solutions:

1. GoreTex ® is a waterproof patented membrane used by different shoe/boot makers e.g. Columbia, Northface, Salomon and many others

2. There are WaterProof lightweight hiking boots:
example is New Balance 963 which is waterproof and very comfortable & light
with a reasonable sole for hiking

there's also some heavier boots made from one piece of leather which you can wax before going on a hike (i have such a professional pair for higher mountains / glacier-country "jobs"; but i prefer the lightness of the NB waterproof models for most hikes)

Anyhow - as others have noted - Do not use the rubber boots !

good luck


PS a good sole would be "Vibram" used by most of the hiking-boots makers
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