Get a Grip

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Toes are wonderful things.

In another of the Dual Survivor episodes with Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury, we get another of those statements that show the producers are just not familiar with going barefooted, or are trying to (falsely) create more drama.

In “Out of Air” they start out in a cave, and head upstream to find the place that the water is entering from. This is their escape route. Where the water is coming in, there is a waterfall that they have to climb up next to. The narrator says, “The fast moving current of the waterfall makes the rocks more slippery than anywhere in the cave, and put Cody’s bare feet to the test.”

Well, that may be the case, but the same conditions also put Dave’s shod feet to quite a test, too. In fact, Cody was probably in less danger. For one thing, with his toes he could feel how good a grip he was getting, and if he didn’t like the feel, he could re-adjust it until he did like the feel. You don’t have that option wearing boots like Dave was. Furthermore, toes can be used like fingers. You really can use them to grab hold of pieces of rock (or whatever) to increase your stability.

This point was completely missed by the show.

The other day I was hiking again at Great Seal State Park and decided to go off-trail to ascend to the top of Bunker Hill (this is no great feat—the trail runs about 400 feet below the “peak”). As I was climbing through the leaf detritus, my toes were the thing that made it really easy. I was constantly using them to test my toehold and my grip. That made it a real joy.

Toes are wonderful things.

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