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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
BPL "Winter Footwear" articles on 04/03/2010 15:24:32 MDT Print View

I'm STILL waiting on a good BPL diuscussion on the importance of good VBLs to keep boots and insulation dry.

Any winter footwear discussion without reference to this AND how to have warm boots or boot liners in the morning is incomplete, especially when it comes to winter camping.

So far this topic has barely been addressed.

Edited by Danepacker on 04/03/2010 15:25:34 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: BPL "Winter Footwear" articles on 04/03/2010 15:43:52 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/lightweight_footwear_systems_for_snow_travel_part_1.html

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: BPL "Winter Footwear" articles on 04/03/2010 15:43:57 MDT Print View

In Part 1, midway down is

"Make Use of Vapor Barriers

"The use of vapor barrier socks is a complex subject. We will explain the principles here and cover the options in Part 2. Here are a few key points about using vapor barrier socks:

"Use them only in frigid temperatures (less than 25 °F). In warmer temperatures, the feet sweat too much with a vapor barrier on, and the disadvantages outweigh the advantages..."


I read all three parts, followed the suggestions and have warm dry feet and dry trail runners at the end of a day of snow travel.

What's missing?

Edited by greg23 on 04/03/2010 15:44:49 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
What's Missing? on 04/04/2010 00:40:10 MDT Print View

What's missing and what's misinforming is the discussion does not EXPLAIN the necessity to keep the interior of boots and insulating socks dry.

In winter hiking we have two scenarios:

1. Day Trips
2. Overnight Camping

In day trips keeping the insulation absolutely dry is not so critical unless temps are below 10 F. There is always the prospect of constant movement for warmth while outdoors and a warm place indoors to dry out boots at night.

Overnight Camping REQUIRES boots be kept dry.

Further boots need to be warm for donning in the morning. Here removable liners are worth their weight in gold because they much more readily fit in the sleeping bag.

I read nothing of this in the articles. What do the writers DO to have warm boots in the morning? This is not a mere comfort item. On frigid mornings trying to warm freezing boots can cause frostbite at worst and be painful as hell at the least.

Saying that Gore-Tex oversocks is an answer is really not an answer unless a VBL is worn between the insulating sock(s) and the GTX oversock.

Wearing NEOS-type Waterproof NONbreathable overboots is fine - as long as a VBL is worn to keep insulating layers DRY. I have NEOS and, with felt pac liners and VBLs they work extremely well, just as with my regular heavy duty Sorel feltpacs.

So let's address these items head on:

Talk about things like the fact that VBLs need a thin poly liner sock so they don't feel clammy. Carry a pair of these thin socks per day or at least 3 pair & wash & dry the others each day. Rinse out and shake off VBLs every few days to reduce the grunge factor.

Talk about fabric VBLs v.s. neoprene VBLs and their relative merits. (And mention retail sources for these not-so-common items.)

Talk about how to have warm boots or insulating liners in the morning and why boots with insulating liners are better.

Talk about the necessity for eVent or GTX gaiters. Non-breathable gaiters won't cut it.

Am I getting my points across?? Basically, at the least, partially re-write the winter footwear articles for safety, if nothing else.

PARTING SHOT: "The use of vapor barrier socks is a complex subject."
Really?? Pray tell why it is so "complex".

Edited by Danepacker on 04/04/2010 01:09:23 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What's Missing? on 04/04/2010 00:48:51 MDT Print View

For warm boots in the morning, all it takes is a minute at night. Take your sleeping bag stuff sack and turn it inside-out. Drop your boots in and pull the drawstring shut. Stick it in the bottom of your sleeping bag overnight.

Some of you have snugly-fitting sleeping bags, so the bottom of the sleeping bag gets real busy with boots, water bottles, camera, etc. I have about six inches of free space at the bottom of my winter sleeping bags, so that's where my stuff goes.
--B.G.--

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Keerect on 04/04/2010 01:06:44 MDT Print View

Yer keerect Bob, but is this mentioned in the article??

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What's Missing? on 04/04/2010 05:14:24 MDT Print View

> Overnight Camping REQUIRES boots be kept dry.
Oh?????
Mine often aren't.
If it not going to be seriously sub-zero, I don't care.
If it is <0 like in snow country, I plas-bag and store at the bottom of my quilt.

The only time I have ever had a problem was one Autumn when one shoe was soaking wet (I didn't see the tiny creek in the snow grass) and it was -7 C overnight. That took a few minutes to sort out!

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 04/04/2010 20:11:47 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Keerect on 04/04/2010 08:53:32 MDT Print View

"Yer keerect Bob, but is this mentioned in the article??"

I don't know. Consider it a secondary opinion.

--B.G.--

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: What's Missing? on 04/04/2010 09:56:16 MDT Print View

> Overnight Camping REQUIRES boots be kept dry.
I'd say it depends on the type of footwear used...

When I was actively winter camping I used military surplus vapor barrier boots -- didn't much care if they were wet or dry. They were rubber with sealed insulation...

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: What's Missing? on 04/04/2010 10:31:12 MDT Print View

"military surplus vapor barrier boots"

God, I thought that mouse boots were banned by the Geneva Convention!

They were OK if I had to simply sit in a foxhole, but they weren't good for walking any distance.

--B.G.--

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: What's Missing? on 04/04/2010 10:49:13 MDT Print View

>>God, I thought that mouse boots were banned by the Geneva Convention!
Pretty much standard-issue for winter backpacking in the Northeast 30+ years ago. Crampon use with them was an adventure...