Essential Gear: Part 2

February 26, 2015

In the next action packed blog entry on my Essential Gear…

Micro Crampons (aka trail crampons, aka, micro spikes)

Let me be blunt, I Iove my Micro Crampons, and the ones I use are Kahtoola Micro Spikes. There are other brands and if you are interested in a pair, do a little research and find the one that best meet your needs.

I keep my Micros Spikes in a small dry sack and they are with me when I am taking photos. I carry them in my bag, or have them in the car. What is nice about these, they are small enough to keep on hand and easy to pull out and slip over your shoes or boots when you need them.

When and where:

Where micro spikes really shine and the most obvious, is winter. If you like taking winter photos they are a must. While I am out in winter looking for a frozen waterfall or a snow scene to photograph, these keep me on my feet walking over the slick ground. Not only for ice but walking up and down snow covered slopes.

  • Sometimes ice is right where you need to be. When I was shooting Alum Cave at Audra State, I was on a small winter hike and came across the following scene. The ice was a foot of more thick on the boardwalk that I had to cross.

Alumn Cave Trail 2Alumn Cave Trail 2Audra State Park, WV

  • To get this shot of Elakala Falls at Blackwater Falls State Park in winter I had to walk down a snow covered steep bank then stand on snow and ice covered rocks. With micros spike on I had the sure footing I needed.

Elakala Falls Spring Snow 3Elakala Falls Spring Snow 3Elakala Falls on Shays Run, Blackwater Falls State Park, WV

 

Not so obvious is other season. I wear them in summer, yes summer. If I have a steep slope I need to walk on, being a very dry day with loose soil or a raining day with slick mud, they give me the extra traction I need.

I take a lot of waterfall photos as you can tell.  I Trout fish also and many a time I went down in the water because of slick rocks, trust me a winter dunk in a WV mountain stream is cold. Felt bottom wading boots are great for this but some states have outlawed them because they might spread invasive species. That is when micros spikes can help, slip them on and you get a good grip on wet rocks. Any wet or slick surface is a great place to use micros spikes. I hit my head hard one time while walking on a wet surface while taking photos,  that was no fun.

  • To get this shot of Falls at Falls Gap I had to wade in the water up to my waste over  some slick rocks.

  Falls at Falls Gap 1Falls at Falls Gap 1Falls Gap, WV

My micro spikes make me the Billy Goat of the photography world.

Tune in next time, same blog time, same blog channel….


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