Hillsound FreeSteps6

Wading out to my favorite fishing spots has always been a precarious operation, and the swift currents, slippery banks, and mossy rocks of Montana’s rivers have left me upended and soaked more times than I’d like to admit. With that in mind, I was eager to try the FreeSteps6 crampons from Hillsound Equipment. Originally designed for anti-slip traction in winter conditions, the durable elastomer harnesses with welded stainless-steel chains and spikes adapt remarkably well to river conditions. They are compact and fit into the pocket of my fishing pack, allowing me to hike to the water’s edge and easily stretch them onto my wading boots for added confidence during river crossings. A word of warning: remove them before getting into a boat, as 42 aggressive 1/4 inch spikes could wreak serious havoc on a raft or driftboat. $40; hillsound.com