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iAmKrzys
11-22-2016, 23:14
How do you keep your boots from freezing overnight when backpacking / camping in winter?

MuddyWaters
11-22-2016, 23:31
A good place for things you dont want frozen is inside sleeping bag
Even if means putting in garbage bag or inside-out pack liner

Some buy extra length bag expressly for this purpose in cold weather

Water bottles and filter too, as well as fuel cannister and lighters

Tipi Walter
11-22-2016, 23:35
This one is right up my alley. Here is what I've learned---(I'm assuming you're talking about boots and not sneakers or trail runners etc)---

** First off, try to keep your boots dry as long as possible. Always take them off for creek crossings and even low water rock hops with possible dunkings.
** In deep wet snow wear gaiters and use goretex boots---this will help in keeping your all important hiking socks from getting wet.
** In a hard rain your boots and socks will eventually get soaked---and in the Southeast we have the Cold Rain---Rain Stops---Temps drop drastically Cycle. Once the boots are therefore wet they freeze solid like a rock during the night at 10F.

** Full leather boots are better when frozen solid than fabric/leather combos. They allow better foot entry when solid (of course you unlace and spread them apart the night before). Wet fabric shrinks up smaller when frozen than just leather.
** I have found Wide sizes to work much better than regular sizes when frozen.

** I don't adhere to the Keep Boots inside Sleeping Bag advice---you'll want just yourself inside a zipped up mummy bag at 0F---and not a pair of clunky boots disturbing your sleep.
** If you prepare your boots properly the night before you should have no problem getting your feet inside---and after 30 minutes of hiking your feet will start warming up and your boots will start to thaw.

I upgraded from crappy Asolo 520s to Zamberlan Vioz full leather boots and last winter they got wet but never did freeze up except once but only mildly. They have full leathers with a sort of hydrophobic surface causing no water to be absorbed.

Carbo
11-22-2016, 23:41
Put one boot under outer edge of your sleeping bag, near your lower back and one near your front, mid-body. If you're on a slight incline, they help you from rolling back or forward while sleeping plus it helps to avoid freezing boots. Carry two sets of wool socks and put in sleeping bag at night. Alternate sock use each day.

RangerZ
11-23-2016, 00:00
I have a friend who advocates hand or foot warmers in the sleeping bag on really cold nights. In the AM he puts them in his boots with whatever residual warmth. I haven't seen his results or tried it myself yet.

T.S.Kobzol
11-23-2016, 00:04
I put them under my head as a pillow with stuff bag with clothes on top. This help a little bit to give them some warmth but most importantly there is absolutely nothing wrong with your leather boots freezing over night. You put your feet in and they will soften quickly with the warmth off your feet.

nsherry61
11-23-2016, 00:37
Interestingly, this is not something I have spent much time thinking about. I've never really had a problem with it. I think most of the time I am either wearing well treated leather ski boots that don't get wet enough to freeze significantly - maybe some dampness freezing and getting them a bit stiff, but never sold, or light-weight trail runners that when wet and frozen, are light enough they flex even when frozen.

Maybe it's that my shoes or boots only get wet in relatively warmer weather where it doesn't freeze too hard at night?
I kinda like the chemical foot warmer idea. It would make cold starts a bit warmer for my feet for that cold first hour or so.

colorado_rob
11-23-2016, 01:01
Simple: Wear double boots with removable liners. But yeah, they are expensive. Warm up you liners in your sleeping bag in the morning, though a lot of boot liners are closed-cell foam that don't really absorb moisture anyway (google up "intuition boot liners"

mountaineers (including myself) have been doing this for decades, and it works great for simple winter hiking in deep snow.

Tipi Walter
11-23-2016, 01:22
Nobody on the AT or in the Southeast during the winter wears double boots with removable liners; you don't even see Sorels or Baffin pac boots out here during the winter. And yet we get some frigid days on occasion, like -10F. We suffer thru it cuz we know in a few days it'll warm up to 20F. And we like to hike unencumbered. Anyone who has backpacked in Sorel type rubber boots with felt inserts and leather uppers knows how terrible they are for backpacking---Clunky is the operative word.

Leo L.
11-23-2016, 02:42
When doing winter outdoor trips here in the Alps, it usually means snow and skiing. So it's obvious and easy to take out the inner from the skier boots and keep them in the sleepingbag.
What I tried a little bit during my last trip and will try more during more cold trips to come is, to fill two small drinking bottle with hot water in the evening and put them in the wet boots.
This is leather boots and includes gaiters, can't imagine to use trailrunners in the winter conditiones here.

Engine
11-23-2016, 06:16
Lots of good advice already, but there's one VERY IMPORTANT thing I haven't seen mentioned yet. If your boots are leather and do get soaked, NEVER dry them near a fire! Two things can happen, they shrink and the leather gets pretty well destroyed. I hiked for two days in boots which had turned into a BDSM torture device after leaving them near the fire to dry...

russb
11-23-2016, 07:14
I also do not recommend putting wet things inside your sleeping bag. A trick I use is to put wet boots inside a plastic bag, then that inside the stuff sack for my sleeping bag. This gets placed under my knees so my legs are not totally flat. More comfortable for me, and it keeps the boots from freezing. If they are dry, I don't bother and just use other stuff under my knees.

egilbe
11-23-2016, 08:47
Hot water bottles in your boots will dry them out. If they are dry, they won't freeze.

cmoulder
11-23-2016, 08:53
Treat the outside of leather boots with SnoSeal, using a hair dryer to heat it up so it really soaks in. Or for other boots use some DWR spray such as Techtron, etc.

Wear a pair of thin liner socks, a VBL sock for mid layer, and a thick wool sock, and the boots don't get wet in the first place.

Lyle
11-23-2016, 09:18
I agree with the "no wet gear in or under my sleeping bag" crowd, also, a too large sleeping bag (so you have room for gear) is much less efficient at keeping you warm than a properly sized bag.

To keep my winter boots from freezing, as well as keeping water bottles mostly in liquid state this method has worked well for me on nights as low as 13 below zero Fahrenheit.

Just before bed:
1) Heat water to boiling or very close.
2) Have a cup of hot chocolate (the warm liquid and extra calories will help warm you, which in turn warms your sleeping bag). Some high fat food will fuel your furnace longer.
3) Fill two water bottles with the Hot/boiling water (Old nalgene bottles handle the hot water well - experiment with others)
4) Place these water bottles inside a pair of heavy wool socks.
5) Loosen the boot laces, and spread the ankle open.
6) Place the water bottles/socks lid down into the boots. and place them inside your tent, on your sit pad.

In the AM the boots will still be supple, and most of the water will still be liquid. The first part of the bottle to freeze will be the upper most part, thus inverting the bottles the night before - the neck and lid of the bottle will not be frozen, so you can open and use it in the AM.

Sarcasm the elf
11-23-2016, 09:32
Before going to bed I loosen every section of my boot laces and push out the tongue as if I were about to put them on. They stay like this overnight and can be easily put on in the morning even if mildly frozen.

rocketsocks
11-23-2016, 09:40
For extreme frozen boots. Heat water for breakfast, pour in Nalgene bottle, place bottle in boot for 10 min. and place under sleeping bag...repeat.

colorado_rob
11-23-2016, 09:42
Nobody on the AT or in the Southeast during the winter wears double boots with removable liners; you don't even see Sorels or Baffin pac boots out here during the winter. And yet we get some frigid days on occasion, like -10F. We suffer thru it cuz we know in a few days it'll warm up to 20F. And we like to hike unencumbered. Anyone who has backpacked in Sorel type rubber boots with felt inserts and leather uppers knows how terrible they are for backpacking---Clunky is the operative word.I wasn't talking about Sorels, for goodness sakes, and these days double-boots (AKA: boots with removable liners) are no longer clunky. But I'm not doubting folks back in those parts never wear them, but I wasn't aware we're strictly talking SE USA, but sure, this is an AT oriented site. Just throwing out my own type of winter hiking Modus Operandi.

This is an example of a removable liner boot, not at all clunky nor too expensive:

http://www.campsaver.com/bora2-mid-gtx-hiking-boot-men-s

Lynnette
11-23-2016, 09:49
My footwear comes off the feet - shaken, dried some if sunny, goes in a Reynolds clear plastic turkey bag - then into the bag my sleeping bag came from. Always. My standard practice. Goes outside the s bag, beside my thigh in tent or by my shoulder if shelter. Socks, phone, camera, water filter/hoses everybody else way down in foot bed. You can make this work even if you put headlamps, earrings and eyeglasses in the shoes.

Tipi Walter
11-23-2016, 10:32
I wasn't talking about Sorels, for goodness sakes, and these days double-boots (AKA: boots with removable liners) are no longer clunky. But I'm not doubting folks back in those parts never wear them, but I wasn't aware we're strictly talking SE USA, but sure, this is an AT oriented site. Just throwing out my own type of winter hiking Modus Operandi.

This is an example of a removable liner boot, not at all clunky nor too expensive:

http://www.campsaver.com/bora2-mid-gtx-hiking-boot-men-s

http://cdn.campsaver.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/65x65/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/o/bora2-mid-hiking-boot-black-cajun-boot-liner.jpg
Hey Rob, just wondering about these kind of boots. When buying and sizing, does the liner affect normal sizing, as in: If I wear a size 10, will the inner liner affect boot size so I'd have to get a larger size to fit like size 11 etc??

Also: In a cold rain I believe the liner (along with your socks) would end up getting soaked---along with the boot. Then you end up with soaked boots, soaked liner and soaked socks---all freezing solid overnight. Who wants to wear a soaked liner in your sleeping bag all night just to dry out? Hmmm . . . . .

colorado_rob
11-23-2016, 10:42
http://cdn.campsaver.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/65x65/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/o/bora2-mid-hiking-boot-black-cajun-boot-liner.jpg
Hey Rob, just wondering about these kind of boots. When buying and sizing, does the liner affect normal sizing, as in: If I wear a size 10, will the inner liner affect boot size so I'd have to get a larger size to fit like size 11 etc??

Also: In a cold rain I believe the liner (along with your socks) would end up getting soaked---along with the boot. Then you end up with soaked boots, soaked liner and soaked socks---all freezing solid overnight. Who wants to wear a soaked liner in your sleeping bag all night just to dry out? Hmmm . . . . .Most folks do up-size when wearing these kind of double boots; I did when I bought mine, about 1/2 size, maybe a full size. I put an additional old-boot foot beds (or odor eaters!) in them to make up some extra height-volume. But it is important to have plenty of toe box room for circulation/warmth.

My particular boot liners are closed cell foam (and very light, the intuition brand custom-fit), and do not absorb water. If they have water on their surface when you take them off, just let 'em freeze, then bang them on something to break off the thin layer of surface ice, then warm them with hot water bottles as described below, or in my case, I do bring them into my bag for 15 minutes or so.

Dogwood
11-23-2016, 13:17
Simple: Wear double boots with removable liners. But yeah, they are expensive. Warm up you liners in your sleeping bag in the morning, though a lot of boot liners are closed-cell foam that don't really absorb moisture anyway (google up "intuition boot liners"

mountaineers (including myself) have been doing this for decades, and it works great for simple winter hiking in deep snow.


Nobody on the AT or in the Southeast during the winter wears double boots with removable liners; you don't even see Sorels or Baffin pac boots out here during the winter. And yet we get some frigid days on occasion, like -10F. We suffer thru it cuz we know in a few days it'll warm up to 20F. And we like to hike unencumbered. Anyone who has backpacked in Sorel type rubber boots with felt inserts and leather uppers knows how terrible they are for backpacking---Clunky is the operative word.


http://cdn.campsaver.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/65x65/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/o/bora2-mid-hiking-boot-black-cajun-boot-liner.jpg
Hey Rob, just wondering about these kind of boots. When buying and sizing, does the liner affect normal sizing, as in: If I wear a size 10, will the inner liner affect boot size so I'd have to get a larger size to fit like size 11 etc??

Also: In a cold rain I believe the liner (along with your socks) would end up getting soaked---along with the boot. Then you end up with soaked boots, soaked liner and soaked socks---all freezing solid overnight. Who wants to wear a soaked liner in your sleeping bag all night just to dry out? Hmmm . . . . .

On cold winter wet weather hikes where stream crossings, rain, sleet, crossing extensive snowfalls, walking extensively in possibly slushy wet snow, and multi-day outings in "dry" powder I apply Colorado Rob's liner system principle with slightly 1/2 -1 size larger shoe maybe bump up the width to account for the typical bulkier socks but use a WP sock such as the Hanz Light Weight WP Calf Length and for colder hikes switch to the more insulated warmer Chillblocker version of this sock. http://www.hanzusa.com/waterproofsocks/

In all my experiences these socks have never succumbed to external wetness. Drying a removable liner(sock in my case) is much easy, easier to keep warm and toasty for morning wear, and less likely to stay frozen overnight by placing under my sleeping pad but above a groundcloth. If out on multi-day cold winter outings I'm always carrying two pr of socks usable one of these Hanz socks and a wool sock to switch out for sleeping to allow on pr drying time IF needed, etc

Coupled with expanding laces, loosening tongue, removing footbeds(easier to dry both shoes and footbeds by doing this too), then, even if footwear is cold or frozen easy enough to slip warm dry feet into shoes.

I treat winter wet weather intended footwear to repel wetness in the first place as C moulder described which reduces footwear freezing in the first place. I sleep on my footwear with a WP stuff sack, etc layered over or extending a ground sheet over ussing as a pillow which additionally helps thaw out footwear.

Dogwood
11-23-2016, 13:48
Here's another idea. Not all winter conditions necessitate wearing boots.:-? Winter hikes for everyone aren't limited to mid Atlantic, Northeastern, southern Appalachians, upper mid west, interior of California, Oregon Washington state at upper elevations, etc deep winter with significant snow depth on the ground conditions. "Winter" has wide variations of definitions.

Most often I can avoid wearing heavy leather boots for winter hikes. As wearing this type of footwear depends on where your winter hikes are located, specific weather for your hike, how long you out for, load, etc.

Even if boots are chosen exterior shells don't have to be all leather or include leather or can include designs with limited leather used.

Rain Man
11-23-2016, 14:09
This is an example of a removable liner boot, not at all clunky nor too expensive:

http://www.campsaver.com/bora2-mid-gtx-hiking-boot-men-s

Interesting that you don't consider $330.00 expensive.

Leo L.
11-23-2016, 14:09
Just curious, why are so many people here shy of using leather?

Sarcasm the elf
11-23-2016, 14:11
Interesting that you don't consider $330.00 expensive.

Mountaineering boots are in a totally different category than hiking boots. Sticker shock is a normal step when researching them for the first time.

https://www.rei.com/c/mens-mountaineering-boots?r=c&ir=category%3Amens-mountaineering-boots&page=1

Sarcasm the elf
11-23-2016, 14:16
Just curious, why are so many people here shy of using leather?

Primarily because of the recent Ultralight hiking craze here in the United States.

In warm weather I wear lightweight, fast drying trail runners, but in winter I switch back to my tried and true Scarpa leather boots.

Sarcasm the elf
11-23-2016, 14:26
I wasn't talking about Sorels, for goodness sakes, and these days double-boots (AKA: boots with removable liners) are no longer clunky. But I'm not doubting folks back in those parts never wear them, but I wasn't aware we're strictly talking SE USA, but sure, this is an AT oriented site. Just throwing out my own type of winter hiking Modus Operandi.

This is an example of a removable liner boot, not at all clunky nor too expensive:

http://www.campsaver.com/bora2-mid-gtx-hiking-boot-men-s

I really wish I had known more about mountaineering boots before I bought mine. I impulsively bought a pair of Salewa Pro Gaiter boots at Neptune Mountaineering because they were on clearance. At the time I bought them primarily so that I could get into ice climbing, but I made the mistake of buying a pair that does not have a removable liner and isn't really meant for extended subzero trips. And while they're great for ice climbing they're nowhere close to being as warm as a double boot.

That pair you linked to looks mighty nice for non-technical trips.

37112

colorado_rob
11-23-2016, 14:38
Interesting that you don't consider $330.00 expensive.Just curious: what exactly do you find "interesting"? That some folks actually appreciate excellent gear and are willing to pay for it?

For the record, I said not TOO expensive, not just "not expensive", and that link shows a 20% off, making the total price mid-200's, really not bad for a boot that will last a long, long time and is perfect for what the OP asked about.

And also for the record Leo: I still believe well over 50% of the footwear you see on trail, summer or winter, are basically made out of leather. Leather ain't going away anytime soon.

Leo L.
11-23-2016, 14:46
For any kind of climbing you'd want the boot to fit as tight as possible, in order to apply as little torque as possible to the foot by putting full weight on a foot while resting it on the tip or edge only.
Many times during climbing adrenalin is flooding your body and you'll feel warm or hot anyway, and after the climb you'r supposed to reach shelter soon.
Climbing shoes/boots fit tight, sometimes up to the edge of pain.
I have seen thickly insulated full-size gaiters to add warmth to climbing boots. Not sure if this really helps much.

Leo L.
11-23-2016, 14:50
@Colorado_rob:
It seems there isquite a difference between the picture I get from the distance just reading the WB forum, and the real life out on the trails.
Just like somebody stated in another thread here:
Most often UL packing is discussed, but where in reality are those ULers?

Feral Bill
11-23-2016, 14:59
To add to the mix, Mickey Mouse boots absorb no water and are heavily insulated. Also heavy and clunky. Not made for big miles

Dogwood
11-23-2016, 15:04
Just curious, why are so many people here shy of using leather?

Let's make sure we're talking about the same thing. I'm referring to backpacking/hiking footwear where the approach is to put in longer miles. Every hike is not in the most abrasive environments or possibly requiring heavy leather hiking boots similar to European mountaineering footwear. Nor is every hike off trail or in winter requiring traveling extensively on/in deep snow and ice.

FWIW, IMO leather has it's place but i tend to shy away from it because:

1) there are lighter wt shoe shell fabrics including synthetics that can almost always do the job equally or better than leather 2) some of these fabrics are naturally or have long lasting treatments applied that make them less prone to absorbing as much water if any at all 3) abundance of leather goods is able because it's a by product of the meat industry which some including myself aren't always willing to support

colorado_rob
11-23-2016, 15:12
For any kind of climbing you'd want the boot to fit as tight as possible, in order to apply as little torque as possible to the foot by putting full weight on a foot while resting it on the tip or edge only.
Many times during climbing adrenalin is flooding your body and you'll feel warm or hot anyway, and after the climb you'r supposed to reach shelter soon.
Climbing shoes/boots fit tight, sometimes up to the edge of pain.Wow, I partially but strongly disagree. For warm weather technical climbing, sure, make 'em tight and make 'em hurt, but for cold weather snow/glacier climbing, I totally disagree. This thread is about winter hiking, not soloing Half Dome. Comfort, and enough room for good circulation is absolutely vital in a winter-cold weather boot.

colorado_rob
11-23-2016, 15:17
@Colorado_rob:
It seems there isquite a difference between the picture I get from the distance just reading the WB forum, and the real life out on the trails.
Just like somebody stated in another thread here:
Most often UL packing is discussed, but where in reality are those ULers? Those ULers are hiking the northern parts of the AT because they have made it that far! And all of my circles out here in Colorado, a couple dozen fine folks, are either very lightweight or true UL, including myself and my wife. WB is an awesome site, with some marvelous folks, but it is really not an accurate demographic sampling of backpacking in the USA.

Old Hillwalker
11-23-2016, 15:29
Those ULers are hiking the northern parts of the AT because they have made it that far! And all of my circles out here in Colorado, a couple dozen fine folks, are either very lightweight or true UL, including myself and my wife. WB is an awesome site, with some marvelous folks, but it is really not an accurate demographic sampling of backpacking in the USA.

Totally agree!

Leo L.
11-23-2016, 15:50
Wow, I partially but strongly disagree...
Sorry if I've put the wrong words in.
I wanted to explain why Sacrams's climbing boots failed for winter hiking (but sure he knows better than me anyway).

Sarcasm the elf
11-23-2016, 16:25
Sorry if I've put the wrong words in.
I wanted to explain why Sacrams's climbing boots failed for winter hiking (but sure he knows better than me anyway).

Your explanation was fairly accurate. When I originally bought the boots I did not realize how much variation there was in the design of technical boots. The boots were advertised as being mountaineering/climbing boots, but I later realized their design was primarily for climbing. At the time that I purchased them I was primarily interested in ice climbing, so the folks at the outfitter said they would work well for me, which was good advice based on what I told them at the timez It was not until I used them for hiking in -15f weather that I realized they were not nearly as warm as boots I had rented in the past. If I ever begin winter hiking/mountaneering more often then I will buy a warmer and looser fitting pair of boots, but for now I am going to keep what I have and suffer through my once a year trip to the white mountains.

egilbe
11-23-2016, 17:43
Interesting that you don't consider $330.00 expensive.

I went to International Mountain Equipment in Conway NH a few weekends ago. They had a pair of mountaineering boots for $990.00.

http://www.ems.com/la-sportiva-olympus-mons-evo-mountaineering-boots/20211900063.html?emssrcid=PPC%3AgooPLAs%3A14957616 2205custom3normal%26brandla_sportiva&adpos=1o2&creative=79867308525&device=t&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CjwKEAiAmdXBBRD0hZCVkYHTl20SJACWsZj9eSfayJew Gwd2dco7azD7Z8GRybDbyFR2YeiOAjHLPhoCD73w_wcB

cmoulder
11-23-2016, 17:49
For any kind of climbing you'd want the boot to fit as tight as possible, in order to apply as little torque as possible to the foot by putting full weight on a foot while resting it on the tip or edge only.

I also do not agree with this. AT ALL. Totally incompatible with French technique. Even with plastic double boots, good ankle flexibility is key (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X52BBjDmqZw).

I have some Scarpa Invernos (http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Scarpa-Inverno-Mountaineering-Boot_10084984_10208_10000001_-1_) (great price at that link BTW!) that are as comfortable as bedroom slippers, if you can imagine bedroom slippers that weigh about 3 lb each. But sometimes they're the tool for the job. I've had them for about 25 years and the soles have been replaced twice and the liners 3 or 4 times.

cmoulder
11-23-2016, 18:06
Mountaineering boots are in a totally different category than hiking boots. Sticker shock is a normal step when researching them for the first time.

https://www.rei.com/c/mens-mountaineering-boots?r=c&ir=category%3Amens-mountaineering-boots&page=1

The old joke about the price of mountaineering boots:

How much do they cost?

About $50 per toe.

colorado_rob
11-23-2016, 18:47
I went to International Mountain Equipment in Conway NH a few weekends ago. They had a pair of mountaineering boots for $990.00.

http://www.ems.com/la-sportiva-olympus-mons-evo-mountaineering-boots/20211900063.html?emssrcid=PPC%3AgooPLAs%3A14957616 2205custom3normal%26brandla_sportiva&adpos=1o2&creative=79867308525&device=t&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CjwKEAiAmdXBBRD0hZCVkYHTl20SJACWsZj9eSfayJew Gwd2dco7azD7Z8GRybDbyFR2YeiOAjHLPhoCD73w_wcBYep, those Olympus Mons boots are The Gold Standard for serious, high altitude (>7000 meters) mountaineering. Yikes! A grand for boots... I still use my old Koflach Degres, got 'em used for $99, then put $100 worth of custom intuition liners in them, voila!

egilbe
11-23-2016, 19:28
Yep, those Olympus Mons boots are The Gold Standard for serious, high altitude (>7000 meters) mountaineering. Yikes! A grand for boots... I still use my old Koflach Degres, got 'em used for $99, then put $100 worth of custom intuition liners in them, voila!

I was thinking that the $400 price for the other boots wasnt so bad afterwards :D

iAmKrzys
11-23-2016, 19:53
Wow! Lots of great ideas! Thanks to everyone who chipped in!

I currently have Vasque Breeze 2 boots which are a combination of fabric/leather with Gortex. They do a descent job of keeping the water out but they are not breathable enough to get rid of the moisture from my sweat. To be fair I am not sure if any boots would be able to accomplish this since my feet just tend to sweat a lot. I guess the thing about the fabric part is that it easily absorbs water and even though the Gortex layer keeps it from seeping in it still takes the heat away from my feet. Hence maybe one idea mentioned in the posts would be to apply some DWR treatment to the exterior part of the boot, so that the fabric does not soak up the water. Alternatively I could upgrade to sturdier, better insulated leather boots and treat them with some water repellent but such an upgrade may be beyond my current hiking budget this winter. Similarly, real mountaineering boots are also out of my budget as well and such purchase would be hard to justify since I don't do any climbing or even a lot of really cold-weather hiking.

Initially, I thought about keeping the boots inside of my sleeping bag but the boots are bulky while space in the bag is limited, so I agree with some other posters that keeping boots in the sleeping bag may not be ideal. That brings about vapor barrier socks, and especially now around Thanksgiving time it may be easy to get hold of a couple of left-over Reynolds Oven Bags! :) I guess this will probably be the very first thing that I will try out.

For the record, I am using gaiters when hiking in snow.

I really appreciate all the ideas and please feel free to add more to the discussion. Tks!

rocketsocks
11-23-2016, 20:15
It's amazing that I still have my feet after hearing all this, what with my old Danners.

rocketsocks
11-23-2016, 20:16
...though I did learn a few things.

nsherry61
11-23-2016, 21:04
Unless it's consistently into the double digits below zero, or technical ice (or skis) it's trail runners for me all the way, all winter long. Trail runners with the right sock system totally rock!! And, with trail runners, who cares if they freeze, they still flex.

Cadenza
11-23-2016, 21:59
*** *** ***

Dogwood
11-23-2016, 22:02
.....WB is an awesome site, with some marvelous folks, but it is really not an accurate demographic sampling of backpacking in the USA.


So right. And, I didn't have to say it. WB has so many great folks. I've learned from very good insight shared but perspectives and experiences are limited and narrow.


.

Cadenza
11-23-2016, 22:02
I wasn't talking about Sorels, for goodness sakes, and these days double-boots (AKA: boots with removable liners) are no longer clunky. But I'm not doubting folks back in those parts never wear them, but I wasn't aware we're strictly talking SE USA, but sure, this is an AT oriented site. Just throwing out my own type of winter hiking Modus Operandi.

This is an example of a removable liner boot, not at all clunky nor too expensive:

http://www.campsaver.com/bora2-mid-gtx-hiking-boot-men-s


This COULD make sense if they made it easy to buy an extra pair of liners.
But I don't see that option listed anywhere.

It may also be possible to put this boot on over a pair of neoprene socks like those intended for fly fishermen wading in trout streams. Hmmm.

Dogwood
11-23-2016, 22:09
Unless it's consistently into the double digits below zero, or technical ice (or skis) it's trail runners for me all the way, all winter long. Trail runners with the right sock system totally rock!! And, with trail runners, who cares if they freeze, they still flex.

Even in winter I rock trail runners more often than boots. Couple with gaiters and sock/liner systems I can usually make it work for UL winter backpacking. That in no way suggests ruling out various winter high cut boots, snowshoes, skies, crampons, etc. Everything and every approach has the time and place.

Dogwood
11-23-2016, 22:16
Cadenza, as said any boot can be made into having a liner if we expand the definition of a liner. Easy enough to choose a winter boot a 1/2- 1 size larger perhaps 1 size wider than usual and use a insulated WP sock as the liner. There are various levels of insulation in WP socks addressing progressively colder weather. If the boot does freeze it's not the end of the world. But as Cmoulder and Tipi said opt for boots and treatments that keep boots from absorbing much water and ice in the first place. Less water, less ice absorbed by footwear equals lighter wt on the feet and less freezing potential and greater potential for boots unfrozen solid into a brick in the morning.

colorado_rob
11-24-2016, 00:28
This COULD make sense if they made it easy to buy an extra pair of liners.
But I don't see that option listed anywhere..My post, and the boot link I showed below does not involve extra liners. "Liners" in the context I was talking about is simply the inner boot of a double-boot setup, very common in mountaineering, and now apparently in simple winter condition worthy hiking boots. No one carries extra liners for such boots. Nor does anyone ever only wear the outer boot, it would be unbearably uncomfortable. It is a two-piece system. Normal boots are really very similar, except the inner lining is attached to the out shell, and cannot be separated.

What works with these double-boots is to simply take the liner (inner boot) out of the shell (outer boot) at night. The liners are low mass and not nearly as bulky, and warm up much easier than a full one-piece "normal" boot. One can even wear the inner boots around camp as comfy camp shoes.

Sarcasm the elf
11-24-2016, 00:31
The old joke about the price of mountaineering boots:

How much do they cost?

About $50 per toe.

:clap I got a good laugh from that one.

Maybe that's my problem, I only paid for seven toes!

Leo L.
11-24-2016, 03:51
"...For any kind of climbing you'd want the boot to fit as tight as possible..."

Should have added, "...but still good for not freezing your toes..." or similar.
When you're climbing on rock or ice, every single mm the torque lever is shorter counts positive for your climbing ability.
Even for Xcountry skiing it makes a difference, but then the main culprit is the binding, not the boot.

T.S.Kobzol
11-24-2016, 08:14
This is a ridiculous suggestion for winter boots. If you don't want to lose your toes do not get tight fitting boots for the winter.

I'd give Leo L some slack if he puts it into a context of region, temperatures encountered and ability to retreat back to warm environment. Otherwise, you need boots that will insulate you from the cold ground (thick insulating sole), boots that will insulate you from cold wind (windproof membrane), boots that will insulate you from cold temperatures (insulation between outer shell of the boot and your socks), boots that will allow for ample movement of your toes to allow for blood circulation (warmth)



For any kind of climbing you'd want the boot to fit as tight as possible, in order to apply as little torque as possible to the foot by putting full weight on a foot while resting it on the tip or edge only.
Many times during climbing adrenalin is flooding your body and you'll feel warm or hot anyway, and after the climb you'r supposed to reach shelter soon.
Climbing shoes/boots fit tight, sometimes up to the edge of pain.
I have seen thickly insulated full-size gaiters to add warmth to climbing boots. Not sure if this really helps much.

egilbe
11-24-2016, 09:08
The old joke about the price of mountaineering boots:

How much do they cost?

About $50 per toe.

Dark humor. A better question would be "how much are your toes worth to you?"

cmoulder
11-24-2016, 09:24
lol, well yes, that's the implication! :sun

kevperro
11-24-2016, 10:05
It's amazing that I still have my feet after hearing all this, what with my old Danners.

LOL... I've hiked a lot of miles in traditional leather hiking boots and my feet are still intact. The idea of a removable liner is great. In practice what boot I use is primarily determined by fit and everything else is a distant second consideration. For the most part, frozen boots are an annoyance. You put them on in the morning and get moving and eventually they warm. Keep extra dry socks and potentially a vapor barrier liner and get on with your day.

Leo L.
11-24-2016, 12:00
This is a ridiculous suggestion for winter boots. If you don't want to lose your toes do not get tight fitting boots for the winter.

I'd give Leo L some slack if he puts it into a context of region, temperatures encountered and ability to retreat back to warm environment. Otherwise, you need boots that will insulate you from the cold ground (thick insulating sole), boots that will insulate you from cold wind (windproof membrane), boots that will insulate you from cold temperatures (insulation between outer shell of the boot and your socks), boots that will allow for ample movement of your toes to allow for blood circulation (warmth)

The specific context of my post was obvious:
Sarcam's special boots for ice climbing, that were not good for winter hiking due to lack of insulation.
I just stated the obvious, that there are different kinds of winter boots, for winter climbing (tight fit), for skiing and hiking (different boots, well insulated).
The tight-fit climbing boots will not perform for hiking, and the loose fit well insulatetd double socks hiking boots will not make you happy when doing serious rock/ice/mixed climbing.
Sorry if I've put anything wrong, due to my lack of English knowledge.

A friend and hiking partner owns a full cue of seven pairs of hiking/climbing boots, from high level rock/ice mixed climbing to Himalaya expedition boots. He says that for really serious attempts he needs such highly specialized equipment. But then, maybe he's only crazy at stuff.

I have exactly one pair of winter boots at the moment, that's 35yr old Koflach Combina, where the leather inner is a high level rock climbing boot, and the outer plastic is strong and stiff enough for ice climbing and even skiing, while still flexible enough to be able to walk a bit. The insulation is a bit edgey, on Mont Blanc it was -20C in the tent (kept the inner in the sleeping bag) and -25 when starting in the morning, had to keep on moving all time to not get cold toes.
Due to the plasic outer shell they do not get wet from outside, only a little damp from sweat.
Also due to being plastic they are not good for walking longer distances on hard and flat surfaces. When roadwalking I take off the outer shell and walk in the inner.
Unfortunately Koflach, and no company I know of either, does make any boots like these, so as they start to fall apart now I'm a bit desparate to get a replacement.

Had some heavy duty military boots from my service time for winter hiking for many years, and am ready to get the same model anew for this winter (Christmas present from my kids it will be).
These are all-leather boots designed to be waterproof (as far as the leather itself is waterproof), remember the old pair kept up very well but after a full day of hiking in soft wet snow they were soaked.

What I'm really curious is, how do people hiking with trailrunners in snow handle the snow falling into the top of the shoes and gets stuck and compressed to icy clunks? That was the worst thing I can remember from my childhood when we didn't have high boots and gaiters. I still can remember the painful pressure those iceclunks applied after some time.
How do you handle this?

colorado_rob
11-24-2016, 12:09
The specific context of my post was obvious... It wasn't obvious at all to me either, but you did already explain yourself, so I assume TS simply didn't see your first explanation. If you had quoted Sarcasm in your original post, it would have helped. All good!

Dogwood
11-24-2016, 13:13
....What I'm really curious is, how do people hiking with trailrunners in snow handle the snow falling into the top of the shoes and gets stuck and compressed to icy clunks? That was the worst thing I can remember from my childhood when we didn't have high boots and gaiters. I still can remember the painful pressure those iceclunks applied after some time.
How do you handle this?


I begin by applying a WPing or high quality DWR spray on product such as Grangers Xtreme WPing Spray to the entire trail runner avoiding the sole area. This includes the collar/ankle seal. https://www.amazon.com/Grangers-Xtreme-Repel-Waterproofing-Spray/dp/B00TUERX1Q It doesn't last forever but it cuts down on the area icing up or holding water that can ice up.

The depth, extensiveness of snow/ice travel, and type of snow(wet, dry) can affect my trail runner choices realized by higher cuts/collars, different degrees of traction of sole configurations, etc. Lower snow depth below about 6" and not as much ice or steep grades affect trail runner choice. I might even rock a mid cut trail runner or light mid cut hiker without going to a heavy boot.

In fair weather I wear ankle height socks and 95% of the time low cut light wt trail runners. In winter when snow is likely but rather shallow depth I choose med wt merino wool calf length socks and roll down and/or Hanz WP insulated socks. On multi day winter trips I'm typically carrying two pr of socks one med-med heavy wt merino wool and Hanz WP insulated socks. Over that I wear eVent or Neoshell gaiters. The length of gaiters I use depends on snow depth, if it's "wet" snow, how much post holing is anticipated, etc. These conditions also dictate how I layer my gaiters either under my pants or over my pants.

Another Kevin
11-24-2016, 13:17
What I'm really curious is, how do people hiking with trailrunners in snow handle the snow falling into the top of the shoes and gets stuck and compressed to icy clunks? That was the worst thing I can remember from my childhood when we didn't have high boots and gaiters. I still can remember the painful pressure those iceclunks applied after some time.
How do you handle this?

I hike in trail runners only in the mildest snow conditions, and I handle the situation you mention by wearing gaiters with them. One of these years I'm going to try a pair of Dirty Girl gaiters. The Velcro system looks nearly ideal for keeping them tight around shoes that low-cut.

I'll wear microspikes with trail runners for things like my walk to work on a rail trail, but I really prefer boots for any kind of traction gear, or even in snow on a rough trail. I have a pair of Gore-Tex boots that are stiff enough for snowshoe bindings (or for my Black Diamond Contact crampons), which are my real workhorses for much of the winter. They're sized big enough that I can use a layered system underneath: (1) thin nylon or polyester dress socks, (2) doubled bread or newspaper bags, (3) heavy wool hiking socks (maybe even double socks if it's starting to get really cold). That keeps the insulating layer dry from both the inside and the outside. I've hiked with people who prefer Rocky neoprene socks, but I've never tried them myself.

In deep winter, there really are only two good options. Hard-shell mountaineering boots (which I don't want to pay for, for the rare occasions that I'd use them), or pac boots. I have a pair of Sorel Caribou pac boots that work with the bindings on my traction gear, and they are what I use in subzero conditions. I continue to use the plastic bags with them, so ordinarily the felt pacs stay dry, and I wear them in the sleeping bag. I'm really pushing my sleep system to the limits if I'm out in those temps. I sometimes wind up wearing fleece tops and bottoms, balaclava, mittens, tuque and pacs inside the bag, and spreading my puffy on top.

Back to the original question, frozen footwear:

Trail runners - Not really a problem. just beat on them a little and they will flex enough to put them on.
The Gore-Tex boots - As Elf says, unlace them or at least let all the lacings way out, and then pull the tongues out and open them as wide as possible. They thaw out fast with feet in them.
The pac boots - The same, make sure that they are unlaced and wide open. With pacs, they don't chafe too badly before they are movable again.

As long as putting on the frozen boots is possible, they will thaw fast. Nothing will ever make the experience pleasant, but it's at least brief.

Tipi Walter is right that Sorels (or other pac boots) are not suited to hiking long distances. They're heavy, and stiff, and slow you down. Snowshoes are likewise unsuited to covering long distances with a heavy pack. Both are necessary in any kind of heavy snowpack. That's why you'll find that those of us who live Up North switch to peak-bagging and low-elevation overnighting in deep winter, or simply take a vacation somewhere warmer.

One thing that helps a lot with pac boots is to lock-lace them across the instep and then leave the lacing fairly loose up the ankles. That way your ankles can still roll, some, which helps with snowshoeing.

If you want to go long distances afoot in snow country, the way to do it is to ski, but then we are no longer talking about hiking. One of my occasional warm-weather hiking partners is an avid backcountry skier, and jeers at my going out on 'slow shoes.' He's a maniacal German, and makes remarks like, "I neffer belief that I'fe climbed a mountain until I'fe skied down it! Vhy vould you do all ze vork of climbink vun und zenn not ski?" (Uhm, Juergen, because my ski ability isn't nearly up to the narrow and twisty trails you use? Remember, I somehow managed to spend four years at Dartmouth without getting good at it!)

Dogwood
11-24-2016, 23:46
All the DG's I've had or seen are made from untreated lycra. They wet out if left as is in stock condition pretty fast in snow especially east coast heavy wet poo poo. You might have some very limited success if you apply WPing to them but then your screwing with the great breathability DG's are know for. IMO, DGs are best for dry conditions on runs or UL hikes to keep dry debris, some sand, rocks, sticks, etc out of low cuts.

T.S.Kobzol
11-25-2016, 05:33
Sorry if I missed some reply's along the thread but let me be the devil's advocate for sorels.

First let me say I have insulated llbean winter boots (similar to Sorel) and I tried to hike in them and it sucked. ...but... I have a few friends, White Mountains addicts who hike in the winter in Sorel's and love it. These guys have done the grid, some volunteer on rescue missions...basically as experienced as you can be and they like their Sorel's in deep , cold winter here in New England. :)

Another Kevin
11-25-2016, 06:43
Sorry if I missed some reply's along the thread but let me be the devil's advocate for sorels.

First let me say I have insulated llbean winter boots (similar to Sorel) and I tried to hike in them and it sucked. ...but... I have a few friends, White Mountains addicts who hike in the winter in Sorel's and love it. These guys have done the grid, some volunteer on rescue missions...basically as experienced as you can be and they like their Sorel's in deep , cold winter here in New England. :)

I already came out in favor of Sorel pac boots.

LL Bean boots are warm, but their linings cannot be field dried and they do NOT work with crampon bindings. Even the strap-on crampons that 'fit any boot'. The heels are undercut and there's nothing for the back of the crampon to grip, and the boots are so soft that it's like trying to put crampons on sneakers.

Tipi Walter
11-25-2016, 10:44
Sorry if I missed some reply's along the thread but let me be the devil's advocate for sorels.

First let me say I have insulated llbean winter boots (similar to Sorel) and I tried to hike in them and it sucked. ...but... I have a few friends, White Mountains addicts who hike in the winter in Sorel's and love it. These guys have done the grid, some volunteer on rescue missions...basically as experienced as you can be and they like their Sorel's in deep , cold winter here in New England. :)

Sorel type pac-boots work great in terrible conditions as in snow and sleet and cold weather and deep wet snow. As mentioned I spend two years backpacking in a pair of Sorel Caribou boots and most of my wet boots and frozen feet issues were over . . . while new ones arose.

http://www.trailspace.com/assets/1/f/d/70141/Boot-Sorel-Caribou.jpg
Here's a pic of my Sorel boots from 1982 when I lived as a homeless bum and out of my pack around the town of Boone NC. If you do use Sorels, NEVER get the kind with Crepe (i.e. Crap) soles, as above. They slide all over the place.

Btw, we discussed this before on this thread---
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/79432-So-what-kind-of-boots-do-YOU-use-for-winter-backpacking?p=1230587&viewfull=1#post1230587

Tipi Walter
11-25-2016, 11:07
My current winter boot is the Zamberlan Vioz with goretex. It has all the advantages of my old Sorels except I can actually backpack long distances in them without feeling like I'm wearing galoshes.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/Three-Citico-Nuts/i-XFgrLm9/0/XL/TRIP%20170%20028-XL.jpg

T.S.Kobzol
11-25-2016, 11:41
I wear my Limmer midweight leather boots with a wool insole and normal Darn Tough socks and OR Crocodile gaiters - That is good enough for any snow conditions until the temperatur goes to about 5 Fahrenheit. For lower temperatures I add Vapor Barrier socks and switch the Darn Tough with thinner socks.

When I hike above treeline for extended periods where temps go below zero and winds have potential above 20mph then I have these Baruntse boots...forgot the brand...I use them about 3 times per year on Katahdin in January, Mt.Washington etc...

Another Kevin
11-25-2016, 12:17
Sorel type pac-boots work great in terrible conditions as in snow and sleet and cold weather and deep wet snow.
...
Here's a pic of my Sorel boots from 1982 when I lived as a homeless bum and out of my pack around the town of Boone NC. If you do use Sorels, NEVER get the kind with Crepe (i.e. Crap) soles, as above. They slide all over the place.

Those terrible conditions are what I get in the winter - hence my mention of pac boots as the best of a lot of bad options.

The Caribou boots don't have crepe soles any more. They have a decent amount of tread. That's another thing that I don't like about the Bean boots - the chain tread is not far removed from crpe. That's not quite as much of an issue for me as it is for you. I live in microspikes in the winter. The reason I take my spikes off is to put on snowshoes or crampons. But I still like having decent tread, and I need a stiff boot. The Bean ones are just too flexible.

You're right about the pac boots not breathing. I find that I'm ok with that if I use a vapor barrier inside the pacs and I can get my feet dry at night. I had the same problem with toe infections when I first tried trail runners. I found that I had to wax my feet in order to avoid skin maceration, since wearing trail runners in warm weather you just live with wet feet. Since I don't do your long-duration outings, in winter I can bring a pair of nylon dress socks (which are what I wear inside my plastic bags) for each day. With the vapor barrier and the vulcanized boot, the pacs stay dry from both sides. With the Gurney Goo on my feet, the skin doesn't macerate. It's far from ideal in terms of comfort, but it works better than anything else I've tried. With the extensive camp like what you do, I could probably figure out some way to field dry my liner socks, but your extended stays in winter just don't appeal to me.

MtDoraDave
11-26-2016, 13:32
I wish I would have read this thread a couple weeks ago. My first night on the trail in VA last week was in the low 20's, and I had hiked in rain for 2 hrs that day. The Keen's froze solid inside my tent overnight and I could barely get my feet inside them the next morning ... but I did, and after a few miles they thawed enough to tighten and re-tie.

I don't have room inside my mummy bag for boots - I already had 2 water bottles, one fuel can, and one fuel filter inside with me... but I would have put them in a (spare) 2 gallon zip-loc I had and put them under my knees between my pad and bag. I bring a spare 2 gallon zip loc on trips for use as a trash bag if the first rips, for laundry if the need arises, or in this case, for putting wet boots in close proximity of my down sleeping bag.

I use smart water bottles - and they do not like hot water. They shrink a lot, even after boiled water has cooled for a good 10 minutes - learned that one after my filter/pump broke last March.

Tipi Walter
11-26-2016, 23:39
I don't have room inside my mummy bag for boots - I already had 2 water bottles, one fuel can, and one fuel filter inside with me... but I would have put them in a (spare) 2 gallon zip-loc I had and put them under my knees between my pad and bag. I bring a spare 2 gallon zip loc on trips for use as a trash bag if the first rips, for laundry if the need arises, or in this case, for putting wet boots in close proximity of my down sleeping bag.

I use smart water bottles - and they do not like hot water. They shrink a lot, even after boiled water has cooled for a good 10 minutes - learned that one after my filter/pump broke last March.

You bring up the near-futility of storing stuff in a sleeping bag, and your post is almost comical if true. When it's 0F or -10F it's just me inside my bag, period. Why should I spend all night providing warmth to inanimate objects thereby robbing my body of precious warmth when I need it the most? Nothing goes in my bag with me except me alone.

In addition, storing water inside a sleeping bag is bad advice because containers fail and lids can leak. Why would anyone depending on their down bag for survival in subzero temps allow the one thing which can destroy the function of a down bag---WATER---to be placed inside such a bag??? Leaks happen. Suppose your foot kicks open your water bottle thru the night as you toss and turn. Oops, trip's over.

All the things you mention---water bottles, fuel canister, water filter (?), boots---none of them need to be inside a sleeping bag. Where does it end? Does a winter backpacking trip then become a grand quest to keep nearly everything I own warm and close to my body?? So I store my cellphone in my underwear, my camera battery up against my stomach, my fuel canister between my butt cheeks, my little radio lodged in my belly button, my headlamp in my armpit, my boots hugged to my torso, my water bottles strapped to my thighs, my Sawyer filter up against my perineum ETC. It's madness.

Dogwood
11-26-2016, 23:59
You got it all wrong. The tempeh goes under the armpits to keep from freezing. Got to be able to slice it up for Veganise, tempeh, and avocado sandwiches. :p

What do you drink in winter? I wouldn't be surprised if you say watermelon juice.

MuddyWaters
11-27-2016, 00:00
Having your only water containers or filter freeze and bust can end a trip abruptly as well. Dry camping and having only water freeze solid isnt real good either. If you have miles to go till more water.

always a tradeoff

Tipi Walter
11-27-2016, 00:11
Having your only water containers or filter freeze and bust can end a trip abruptly as well. Dry camping and having only water freeze solid isnt real good either.

always a tradeoff

As mentioned, on cold nights put your water inside your one liter cookpot (or larger) and let freeze and then put immediately on stove in the morning to thaw and make tea or coffee or oatmeal whatever. OR put your full water bottle upright in a boot inside the tent and wrap the entire thing in a wad using your overkill down parka and see how it does at 0F. My down parka is beefy (Feathered Friends Icefall) and works well in this regard after I take it off before getting into my bag and zipping up.

If it's REALLY cold like -10F or -20F you have several options---
** Find a campsite to "make your stand" for the anticipated "cold storm" and make sure it's next to a creek. Ergo---no need to store water in any container---just hike to the creek with your cooking pot and get it fresh.
** Put water in cooking pot in tent vestibule and let it freeze solid---thaw with stove as mentioned.

** Store your water bottle half full in the tent, let it freeze solid, boil up in-pot frozen water, pour this into your half-frozen water bottle, let it melt the ice block.

When it's seriously cold, all my water containers are empty except for the water in my cook pot.

colorado_rob
11-27-2016, 00:56
II don't have room inside my mummy bag for boots - I already had 2 water bottles, one fuel can, and one fuel filter inside with me... .Yeah, Boots are just too clunky to bring in to a bag (whereas boot liners are not, but I think we've kinda figured out not many will be wearing double-type boots). I bring a single hot water bottle in my bag, and another hot water bottle wrapped up in other clothing outside of the bag, so that the next morning I have two luke-warm (or at least not frozen) bottles of water ready to heat for coffee/breakfast, or just for drinking water. So, a single water bottle, maybe my damp glove liners, maybe a pair of damp socks, that's about all I generally have in my on frigid nights. A couple damp articles of clothing have very little thermal mass and our personal furnaces (AKA: our bodies) will warm these things up in no time. It takes one food calorie to heat a kilogram of water 1 degree C, in other words, food contains lots and lots of heat. All we gotta do is eat it and keep burning it up and we can stay warm.

And I recommend not using a water filter in deep winter. Wait, you said fuel filter... maybe a typo? I much prefer liquid fuel in deep winter; if you must use canister fuel, wait until morning before warming it up; it doesn't have that much thermal mass and warms up well enough to use fairly quickly. I usually just stick the canister in my jacket for 10 minutes, good enough.

Feral Bill
11-27-2016, 01:34
You bring up the near-futility of storing stuff in a sleeping bag, and your post is almost comical if true. When it's 0F or -10F it's just me inside my bag, period. Why should I spend all night providing warmth to inanimate objects thereby robbing my body of precious warmth when I need it the most? Nothing goes in my bag with me except me alone.

In addition, storing water inside a sleeping bag is bad advice because containers fail and lids can leak. Why would anyone depending on their down bag for survival in subzero temps allow the one thing which can destroy the function of a down bag---WATER---to be placed inside such a bag??? Leaks happen. Suppose your foot kicks open your water bottle thru the night as you toss and turn. Oops, trip's over.

All the things you mention---water bottles, fuel canister, water filter (?), boots---none of them need to be inside a sleeping bag. Where does it end? Does a winter backpacking trip then become a grand quest to keep nearly everything I own warm and close to my body?? So I store my cellphone in my underwear, my camera battery up against my stomach, my fuel canister between my butt cheeks, my little radio lodged in my belly button, my headlamp in my armpit, my boots hugged to my torso, my water bottles strapped to my thighs, my Sawyer filter up against my perineum ETC. It's madness.

Don't be silly, the headlamp goes on your head.:) On a more serious note, I have found burying a pot of water in the snow leaves it nice and liquid, at least down to near zero.

Also, as it turns out, even Nalgenes can leak into your bag when ice in the threads prevents the lid from seating. Not fun.

Skyline
11-27-2016, 01:42
Those ULers are hiking the northern parts of the AT because they have made it that far! And all of my circles out here in Colorado, a couple dozen fine folks, are either very lightweight or true UL, including myself and my wife. WB is an awesome site, with some marvelous folks, but it is really not an accurate demographic sampling of backpacking in the USA.

Also agree. We need to acknowledge many hikers come to the AT with little or no experience in the woods. The skill sets they learn early on the AT involve walking, collecting water, boiling water, eating, sleeping, and breaking camp. They would be out of their comfort zone trying to function in an unblazed wilderness area with USGS maps and compass. Still, they persist on the AT, and many finish.

MtDoraDave
11-27-2016, 09:39
Yes, fuel filter was a typo. Sawyer filter, water filter, was what I meant. Although I shake as much of the water (and contaminants) out of the inlet side as will come out after each use, any water left inside would quickly freeze making the filter ineffectual. So it will continue to ride in the sleeping bag on sub-freezing nights, as it stays in my cargo pocket during the sub freezing days, so my body heat will keep it from freezing.

Valid points on the possibility of water bottles leaking inside the bag. Having warm-ish water boil a few minutes faster in the mornings isn't worth the risk of having a wet sleeping bag.

I tend to be over cautious with my food-smelling items, hanging them all in the food bag. The pot/cup/ stove usually go with the food at night because they smell like food - I read somewhere that wild animals sense of smell is molecular; so much more acute than we could imagine - and although it is likely irrational, the few stories we hear about bears and campers/ hikers have me almost paranoid at night. Hence the over cautiousness. I have come to the conclusion that I need to get over that - I'm not afraid of lightning or alligators, both of which, I believe, are more likely scenarios than bear attacks, so...

And to Skyline, "out of their comfort zone" is accurate, if not an understatement. The map reading and compass "land nav" we learned it boot camp and/or boy scouts so many years ago, if not used regularly, is a skill that fades to the parts of our brains that would require a bit of practice or even instruction to become functional again.

This has turned into a great thread, for me. The frozen boots I encountered last week really weren't that big of a deal. They thawed after a few miles of hiking. A few miles later I could feel my feet again. Shrug. - but the other information that has been tossed around off the original topic; good stuff. While Tipi can be snarky or abrasive, his experience is without question.

egilbe
11-27-2016, 09:50
Bears arent a problem in the Winter, they hibernate up here. Other vermin stay in the snow where its warm. No worries about critters getting your food.

Tipi Walter
11-27-2016, 10:01
Those ULers are hiking the northern parts of the AT because they have made it that far! And all of my circles out here in Colorado, a couple dozen fine folks, are either very lightweight or true UL, including myself and my wife. WB is an awesome site, with some marvelous folks, but it is really not an accurate demographic sampling of backpacking in the USA.


Also agree. We need to acknowledge many hikers come to the AT with little or no experience in the woods. The skill sets they learn early on the AT involve walking, collecting water, boiling water, eating, sleeping, and breaking camp. They would be out of their comfort zone trying to function in an unblazed wilderness area with USGS maps and compass. Still, they persist on the AT, and many finish.

AT backpacking is not an accurate demographic sampling of backpacking because of the near constant town trips and getting off the trail with these serious interruptions. Therefore these backpackers would be seriously out of their comfort zone if they stayed on the trail, carried more food and fuel, and avoided town visits at all costs.

Imagine if they pulled all their zero days inside their tents on the trail. Imagine if it snowed 2 feet deep they actually stayed on the trail like any normal person would do on a "winter backpacking trip" and didn't bail into a town. Imagine during a polar vortex cold snap at -10F they stayed in their tents for the duration and didn't bail out to a town. Then in my opinion they'd be doing a more accurate representation of "backpacking".

Tipi Walter
11-27-2016, 10:11
Don't be silly, the headlamp goes on your head.:) On a more serious note, I have found burying a pot of water in the snow leaves it nice and liquid, at least down to near zero.

Also, as it turns out, even Nalgenes can leak into your bag when ice in the threads prevents the lid from seating. Not fun.

Good points, especially about a Nalgene leaking. As far as burying my pot of water in the snow outside of my tent (and not keeping it inside my tent vestibule)---I guess you could do this technique inside the vestibule but I never tried it. The main reason I haven't done it outside the tent in dead leaves and snow is because on the off-chance that an animal would snag my cook pot and chew it or run away with it. Not having a cook pot on a long winter trip is disaster---as I still have 20 lbs of dehydrated meals and 35 ozs of white gas to use.

But on my next snowy cold trip I'll pile a bunch of snow with my water pot inside it and do it all in the vestibule.

Oh and I thing I forgot to mention on a cold trip: Melt snow!

cmoulder
11-27-2016, 10:56
I have found burying a pot of water in the snow leaves it nice and liquid, at least down to near zero.

This actually works down to much lower temperatures. I've done it down to -25F.

Some friends and I also buried some beer the same way near Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch (White Mts, NH) and it was not frozen when we came back to get it a few days later. Overnight lows were usually around -20F.

Oslohiker
11-27-2016, 11:27
I have not read through the whole thread, but this how I deal with it.

In the winter I have a white gas fire stove inside the tent (do it at your own risk). It dries out most stuff. Not necessarily bone dry, but drier. That also goes for the boots. You heat the inside up above the fire. You have to tie off the shoelaces to not burn them. You do this several times. Then you take the boots with you in the sleeping bag, after also drying off the outside. Before you do all this, you first clean off the boots in the snow.

Inside the sleeping bag you also bring a water bottle with warm water and put the socks on it, and that will completely dry out your socks.

Taking dry socks and (at least semi) dry boots on, make a real difference in your hiking experience.

Tipi Walter
11-27-2016, 11:50
I have not read through the whole thread, but this how I deal with it.

In the winter I have a white gas fire stove inside the tent (do it at your own risk). It dries out most stuff. Not necessarily bone dry, but drier. That also goes for the boots. You heat the inside up above the fire. You have to tie off the shoelaces to not burn them. You do this several times. Then you take the boots with you in the sleeping bag, after also drying off the outside. Before you do all this, you first clean off the boots in the snow.

Inside the sleeping bag you also bring a water bottle with warm water and put the socks on it, and that will completely dry out your socks.

Taking dry socks and (at least semi) dry boots on, make a real difference in your hiking experience.

The main problem with using a stove for in-tent heating and gear drying is the waste of critical fuel when it must be conserved for melting snow and cooking meals. White gas goes fast when cooking in subzero temps. On a normal trip I can get 15 days out of a 22 oz bottle of white gas but at 0F I'm lucky to get 7 days . . . SO I can't use my stove for heating and drying as you describe until near the end of a long trip when and if I have any to spare. (A hot tent with a woodstove is a separate discussion).

But it is amazing how fast a white gas stove will heat up a tent---when used properly inside a tent with a large vestibule. (See below pic from my last October trip). But when my leather boots are soaked I'd have to use a full quart of white gas and the stove to get them anywhere near half dried. I'd rather thaw them out by hiking and dry them out by day-to-day hiking. Oh and as mentioned, no water bottle(s) ever go into my sleeping bag with me.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2016-Trips-171/Four-Trails-of-the-Apocalypse/i-6DRWkqw/0/XL/P1000418-XL.jpg

egilbe
11-27-2016, 14:01
When is your next trip, Walter? Soon?

Tipi Walter
11-27-2016, 14:04
Very soon . . . and just when the rains start up again.

Secondmouse
11-27-2016, 15:44
A good place for things you dont want frozen is inside sleeping bag
Even if means putting in garbage bag or inside-out pack liner

Some buy extra length bag expressly for this purpose in cold weather

Water bottles and filter too, as well as fuel cannister and lighters

haha you found me out. I have a Long size bag even though I don't need it for my height. I hate cold/stiff shoes and keep them in the foot of my bag...

egilbe
11-27-2016, 16:19
Very soon . . . and just when the rains start up again.

So you are only home long enough to dehydrate more food and are out again for another three week trip?

Oslohiker
11-27-2016, 19:15
Oh and as mentioned, no water bottle(s) ever go into my sleeping bag with me.


If you check your bottles regularly the possibility is very remote for anything to happen. I don't get you here. Sorry.

When it comes to fuel, you just bring enough. We go through the winter time her in Norway heating up the tent. I don't see why it would be a problem in the USA.

iAmKrzys
11-27-2016, 21:30
Don't be silly, the headlamp goes on your head.:) On a more serious note, I have found burying a pot of water in the snow leaves it nice and liquid, at least down to near zero.

Also, as it turns out, even Nalgenes can leak into your bag when ice in the threads prevents the lid from seating. Not fun.

I like this idea - I think I will try it out this winter. I guess I would just tie a piece of string to the nalgene bottle to make sure I can find it next day.

Actually, I also remember reading or watching a video some time ago where some guy explained how he was using pieces of wood to pitch a tent on snow - he would tie a guyline to a piece of wood, sink it in snow and the key part was that he used a knot that would become undone if he pulled on the loose end of the guyline and he would not need to dig up the wood from the snow when taking down the tent.

egilbe
11-27-2016, 21:38
Deadman with a slipnot.

Tipi Walter
11-27-2016, 21:58
So you are only home long enough to dehydrate more food and are out again for another three week trip?

The drought and the Southeast fires have slowed me down some.

egilbe
11-27-2016, 22:09
The drought and the Southeast fires have slowed me down some.

well that sucks. I was wondering why I havent seen one of your epic trip reports recently.

rockyiss
12-06-2016, 23:53
I wondered if I got a big turkey basting bag put the boots in them and a couple of rocks from the fire ,nice and hot close the bag and see what you have in the morning, maybe dry boots. I think I will give it a try ahead of time and see what I get. I will let you all know

Leo L.
12-07-2016, 07:03
Remember, wind dries better than heat.
So venting the boots is more important than warming them, while best is to have both.
You hardly can have to much ventilation, but its all too easy to have too much heat.
Putting hot stones together with the wet boots in a plastic bag might easily ruin the boots, while it will fail to dry them efficiently.

cmoulder
12-07-2016, 10:47
I wondered if I got a big turkey basting bag put the boots in them and a couple of rocks from the fire ,nice and hot close the bag and see what you have in the morning, maybe dry boots. I think I will give it a try ahead of time and see what I get. I will let you all know

Great recipe for steam. :) The moisture has to be able to escape.

iAmKrzys
12-08-2016, 00:00
I wondered if I got a big turkey basting bag put the boots in them and a couple of rocks from the fire ,nice and hot close the bag and see what you have in the morning, maybe dry boots. I think I will give it a try ahead of time and see what I get. I will let you all know
I once tried to dry up my boots right next to the fire - they became tipless, if there is such a word :)