November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
How do you air out your VBL covered feet on multi day trips?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
How do you air out your VBL covered feet on multi day trips? on 11/21/2011 11:41:17 MST Print View

I've been getting my head around VBL clothing these past few days and something I definitely want to try is a VBL shirt and socks. I am ok with how to functionally use the VBL shirt, but I have questions about the socks.

So you may wear the VBL socks all day while hiking, then you get into camp and setup, then you're eating and/or sitting around a fire....all while wearing your VBL socks to keep them warm and keep perspiration our of your foot insulation....then you go to bed and you still want those VBL socks on to keep you feet warm and keep perspiration out of your sleeping bags insulation (and perhaps a pair of down booties).

So when do you air those suckers out?

Edited by bster13 on 11/21/2011 11:42:06 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: How do you air out your VBL covered feet on multi day trips? on 11/21/2011 12:06:36 MST Print View

I don't generally hike in them, but if I was, I'd take them off when I got to camp, dry my feet off, put on my down booties until I got into bed, then perhaps put them back on then. If you've got a fire, you can just use that to keep your uncovered feet toasty, so you can let them have fresh air for a bit.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: How do you air out your VBL covered feet on multi day trips? on 11/21/2011 13:48:49 MST Print View

Like Doug said you simply need to take off the we VB socks and dry your feet then slip them into down booties.

It's very helpful if you only wear a very thin liner sock then your VB sock, then a thicker sock if you need the extra insulation. Normally I will only wear the thin and VB sock with my insulated boots. I'll carry an second pair of thin socks to put on after I've changed into my booties.

My wet hiking socks are worn over my shoulders to dry them out with body heat while I sleep.

I hope this was helpful.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
no down booties on 11/21/2011 18:46:12 MST Print View an effort to go as light as possible (of course :p) I've dropped my down booties and now use a down vest and JRB down sleeves instead of a jacket. The sleeves go on my feet at night as a multiuse item to replace the booties and save weight. Additional thoughts?

Bryce <- stealing bags for VBL socks from the produce isle as we speak. Hehe.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Dry at night is enough on 11/21/2011 23:18:21 MST Print View

"The sleeves go on my feet at night as a multiuse item to replace the booties and save weight. Additional thoughts?"

I'm with the consensus here, it's surprising but true for me too that I'm okay having my feet wet all day if I dry them off in the evening and have them dry overnight when sleeping.

As to whether you use down booties or some multi-use approach instead --- doesn't matter so long as you're confident that you'll be warm enough. For me personally, and for I think quite a number of others, feet are one of the first things that feel uncomfortably cold when I'm pushing the limits of my sleep system (well, unless my foot insulation is disproportionately beefier than elsewhere). I really like my down booties when temps are in the lower twenties or below, unless perhaps I have a really warm bag (for me that's a WM 10F) and I spend all my in-camp time with my lower body in the sleeping bag.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Dry at night is enough on 11/22/2011 07:17:31 MST Print View

yeah, I'd agree, my feet are the first to go. It may be that I have to go to the booties when it gets really cold out. All depends on the situation I suppose.

So for the folks wearing down booties at night with no VBL, are you worried about too much water vapor getting into your down booties and foot box of your sleeping bag? I thought the whole benefit of the VBL socks were to minimize that while you sleep. Of course they can be used to minimize the same effect when hiking, but I guess I was thinking my hiking boots only have so much insulation to saturate vs. my sleeping bag. Thoughts?

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
VBL socks on 11/22/2011 07:55:19 MST Print View

It's a tradeoff Bryce. My feet sweat more (a lot) during the day, so I wear VBL socks on the move, and wool sleep socks and booties in camp. You'll get some loft degradation over days, but unless your sleep system is right at the limit temp wise and the weather prevents you from drying stuff it's not a big deal.

The only time I've had serious loft degradation over a trip was during Le Parcour de Wild 2 years ago (article is on this site). We had the first two nights of pretty cold temps (perhaps -10F and 0F) and then things warmed up and rained/snowed almost constantly for the next two days. The lost loft wasn't a big deal because things warmed up so nicely. Point being, I've yet to have conditions where I couldn't dry stuff coincide with serious cold (the only time I'd be using VBL sock anyway).

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Reading... on 11/22/2011 10:12:38 MST Print View

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: VBL on 11/22/2011 11:41:01 MST Print View

Check out Skurka's article too, if you haven't already.