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  1. #1
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    Elevated and cold feet

    I have given this some thought for a while, and I mentioned it in passing in a post some weeks ago, but it did not generate a response.

    The last time I was out, when it was well below 40°, my feet were quite cold. I was wearing socks and was in a 25° bag with a hot water bottle. Overall I was toasty, but my feet were cold. After I gave it some thought, I realized that my feet were elevated a few inches which probably reduced blood flow, and warmth.

    Is this a realistic conclusion? If so, what can be done about it? I have another hike in just over a week, probably in similar temps. Any guess how I can defeat the CFS (cold feet syndrome)?
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  2. #2
    cataraftgirl's Avatar
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    Lower your feet a little and see if that helps. Hand/foot warmer packs. Down booties. Thick wool socks. What insulation is under your feet? UQ, pad? Maybe need extra layer at the feet. Just a few ideas.
    KJ

  3. #3
    Shewie's Avatar
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    I think cold feet are one of the down sides to using a hammock in cold weather, due to the shape of the body (unless you use a bridge) then your feet will always be slightly elevated.

    What are you using for insulation ? Is it long enough to give you good coverage at the foot end ? I notice a difference in temperature if I pop my feet beyond the end of my Snugfit, maybe that's the same effect you're getting ?

    It's probably worth trying to lower your feet a touch for a start, maybe look at changing you socks too at bedtime, switch to a pair (or two) of dry thick 200g or 400g merinos and see how you get on.

    Could the cold have been a draft coming in and onto your feet ? Again if the under insulation is short then it wouldn't help.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bomber's Avatar
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    +1 one the dry socks before bedtime. And personally i use a pair of down boots - nothing fancy but they help a lot....
    You could try to "pull out the toe section" on your sock to help blood circulation(and the advice in the post below;-))

    /Bomber
    Last edited by Bomber; 11-24-2010 at 14:05. Reason: absentminded as usual
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  5. #5
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    +2 on dry socks. Even a little moisture seems to make a difference to me. Also, if my socks are too tight around my calf, that can make a difference (if so, I push the top of the socks down so they bunch up around my ankles). And lastly, if using a gathered end hammock (most often associated with raised feet), the center ridge by your legs can also affect circulation but can be mitigated by using a small pad, a small pillow or clothes filled stuff sack, or sometimes by just smoothing it out with your hand.

  6. #6
    Senior Member leepingreenlizards's Avatar
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    Several things that can help:

    • Wear thick “fuzzy” wool socks.

    • Tuck your trousers into your socks, this helps prevent “pumping.”

    • Stuff a piece of fleece (vest or something) in the foot box and twist your feet around until their wrapped in it.

    • A vapor barrier…such as Saran Wrap, wrapped around the feet can also help.

    • If you have bad circulation in the lower legs, use men’s support hose under the socks. It improves circulation and increase’s the flow of warm blood to the feet.

    • By some toe warmers and wear them on the “outside” of your socks.

    • If all else fails, by a pair of electric socks. Sounds funny, but they work great.


    Remember, your feet are going to perspire like mad when you take off your boots before hitting the hammock. This means that they'll feel like they're freezing for about the first half hour and sometimes longer...but they will warm up. This is why you need to have a fresh pair of warm, dry socks to put on.
    Last edited by leepingreenlizards; 11-24-2010 at 14:35.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I'd second the down booties idea. They work great for me.

    As far as socks go, I'd make sure that any socks you wear are not constricting or compressing your feet and cutting off your circulation there. I don't know much about the socks one would wear to increase circulation, having had no personal experience with that idea. I have found that sometimes my best bet is to take socks off, as counterintuitive as that sounds. Of course that assumes your top quilt is providing good foot coverage, etc.

    Perhaps you're right about having your feet too elevated... <shrug>


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  8. #8
    New Member Shade-Dog's Avatar
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    I suffer from cold feet 9 months a year. Thank you Minnesota.
    I agree with the socks off suggestion.
    My feet feel wet when cold. I let the moisture evaporate before putting loose fitting wool socks on. I do the warm water bottle in the sleeping bag trick..warm my feet, make sure they are dry, and then put the new socks on.
    Putting cold feet in thick wool socks makes me feel colder. I need to warm my feet first.
    Loose fitting wool socks work best for me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    All good suggestions. I do try to change my socks before I hit the hay-mock. Always clean and dry. I also am out of my boots as soon as I am into camp. Makes a difference for me. I would rather bring 2 additional extra pair of socks than one more extra pair of pants.

    Oh, and nice Buffalo, Shade-dog.
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

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