> If I am going to use a vapor barrier layer in between the shoes and
> insulation AND in between my sock layer and insulation, then are two pairs
> of merino wool socks going to be warmer (better) than a pair of merinos with
> hydroskins over them as the insulated layer?
Never been very impressed with things like hydroskins for insulation.
When canyoning in freezing water we wear 1/4" wet suits - but they
don't keep us warm either.
It all depends on what terrain you are crossing. If it is dry ground,
no worries. If it is cold dry snow, not too many worries. Snow which
is just sub-zero and wet is a bigger problem as your shoes get wet
Me, I would probably wear GTX joggers with GTX gaiters. When the snow
melts on your shoe or around your ankle, the water does not penetrate
the GTX layer. Yes, your socks will get wet anyhow, but there won't be
a huge FLOW of cold water through them. And inside I would probably
wear nylon liners, Darn Tough Vermont Full Boot socks and then another
layer of lighter wool socks over the top - in a large size.
If you are finding DTV socks tight, go up a size. They sure do have a
range of sizes available at Amazon. No, I have no vested interests in
DTV, but I do like their socks.
The big thing is warm trousers, so the blood going into your feet is
> Also, people have suggested putting platypus containers or water bottles
> full of hot water in a shoe in the morning to try and defrost them.
Me, I stick the shoes in a good plastic bag, seal it up, and leave it
at the bottom of my quilt overnight.
> pouring near boiling or boiling water on the shoe just as good or better?
Then you have really wet shoes, rather than a slightly damp ones, and
when they freeze, you are in much bigger trouble.