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  1. #41
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    There is one controversial, but ultra cheap, thing to try which is the opposite of dry feet and socks, as excellent as that suggestion is: vapor barrier.

    I remember reading on BPL once that the biggest loss of loft problem with down bags was in the foot box area. So apparently our feet put out a pretty good amount of moisture. The cheap experiment can be done with bread bags or small cut to size trash bags. Probably more pleasant with the tinnest possible synthetic liner socks on your feet, but can be done with bare feet. Then roomy wool socks, or even down booties, over that. Or even nothing if your foot box is thick enough. I have seen this approach have impressive results, even inside boots while ice fishing. You never know, might work and costs almost nothing.

    Your feet will feel (and be ) damp or wet. Which I find a bit unpleasant. But, look at it this way: that is moisture that will not be causing you any problems. It will not be evaporating ( nature's air conditioner called evaporative cooling will be 100% blocked). And any vapor that is being produced will not be condensing in your socks or foot box or booties. reducing loft/warmth. And any sweat also stays out of your insulation.

    So for me, there has been a trade off: cold "dry" feet(or whatever) vs wet(skin only) and warm, with bone dry insulation.

    BTW, with your cold feet: what are you using as a TQ/bag? What kind of temp rating?

    PS: Crawldaddy: OOPS, I didn't see your post #30, covering this subject! So, what you said!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 11-03-2011 at 08:48.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  2. #42

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    VBL v. Dry

    Hey, BillyBob.

    On this particular trip, I was using a 35* Western Mountaineering HighLite mummy bag. It's an excellent bag, lots of loft in the footbox and I've found the temp rating to be quite accurate. So, with an outside temp of about 38*, I was a bit surprised to have such cold feet with socks on and CCF pad underneath my feet. I was wearing clean, dry socks. However, they were somewhat thin and tight, which is comfortable for hiking, but probably not the best for sleeping.

    I had read here and BPL about the VBL approach. I've never tried it but I've been grabbing bread bags at home to try it out. If I can avoid VBL I'd like to. It doesn't sound very comfortable. But, in the end, warm feet (whether they are dry or not) is more comfortable to me than cold feet, so I wouldn't rule it out.

    I'm planning a trip to Joshua Tree this month. Won't be hanging, but the temps will be chilly so maybe I'll try the VBL approach as an experiment.

    SoCal Mike

  3. #43
    Senior Member sonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikingdad View Post
    This thread got me thinking.... and I like the idea of down booties/socks but the ones I've seen are $50 and while it's not a lot of money it all ads up! I realized I had a bunch of that reflective insulation left over from making pot cozies and I decided to see about making booties from that stuff. Here is the end result of about 20 mins of tinkering. I originally used reflective foil tape but it rips way to easily! so I swapped that out for some gorilla tape and I think they are holding up nicely now. my main concern is moisture build up over night.... but time will tell I guess.
    where is the like button when I need one

    Do you have a gear report on these?
    Because you fall through the clouds if you try to lay on them, so the next best thing is a hammock.

  4. #44
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal Mike View Post
    Hey, BillyBob.

    On this particular trip, I was using a 35* Western Mountaineering HighLite mummy bag. It's an excellent bag, lots of loft in the footbox and I've found the temp rating to be quite accurate. So, with an outside temp of about 38*, I was a bit surprised to have such cold feet with socks on and CCF pad underneath my feet. I was wearing clean, dry socks. However, they were somewhat thin and tight, which is comfortable for hiking, but probably not the best for sleeping.

    SoCal Mike
    You may be like me. Cold feet always! A 35 degree bag would not be near enough to keep me warm at those temps. I have to use a 20 degree bag for temps below 40!
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

  5. #45
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal Mike View Post
    Hey, BillyBob.



    I had read here and BPL about the VBL approach. I've never tried it but I've been grabbing bread bags at home to try it out. If I can avoid VBL I'd like to. It doesn't sound very comfortable. But, in the end, warm feet (whether they are dry or not) is more comfortable to me than cold feet,
    Exactly. If you have some form of synthetic ( or maybe wool) ultra thin liner socks that won't absorb much moisture, that will probably be way more comfortable than just the VB on bare skin. But it will still feel damp.

    Good thing about this, you can even experiment at home, while sitting around or even when going to bed. Maybe without the outer sock. At those warm temps, you might even actually sweat and experience the worse this technique has to offer as far as "how it feels".
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Exactly. If you have some form of synthetic ( or maybe wool) ultra thin liner socks that won't absorb much moisture, that will probably be way more comfortable than just the VB on bare skin. But it will still feel damp.

    Good thing about this, you can even experiment at home, while sitting around or even when going to bed. Maybe without the outer sock. At those warm temps, you might even actually sweat and experience the worse this technique has to offer as far as "how it feels".

    OK, I experimented with this at home, in my bed not the hammock. I used liner socks, bread bags, and heavy wool socks. It's weird, but it works well. My feet were warm throughout the night and in the morning, there was definitely some moisture in the bread bags and the liner did its job of pulling the moisture from my foot. You end up with damp bags and liners, but warm feet. In the field, when you remove the bags/liners you'll want to dry off your feet and put on some socks *pronto* because once the cold air hits your moist feet they get cold fast!

    The odd thing was that my brain is trained to think wet = cold. But in this case wet = warm because the wool socks put a cap on the warmth. Can't wait to field test this technique.

    SoCal Mike

  7. #47
    Senior Member KMACK's Avatar
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    Simple fix, I snap my down vest around the foot end of the hammock. Climb into TQ and stuff feet into suspendid vest. It acts as an UQ for your feet and no pad to fight with. Gets me into the mid/low 30's w/out issue.

  8. #48
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    I use a trimmed piece of a ridgerest solite for the frame of my backpack. I use it for my feet when I hammock and I've been warm with light wool socks around 30F. I used the z-lite before that but i like the ridgerest more.

  9. #49
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by te-wa View Post
    there was discussion about sleeping barefoot either here or BPL.
    i had this issue once, feet freezing all night and it wasnt real cold, maybe 35.
    turns out my socks were a little tight. cutting off circulation?
    I think that was my problem my last night out. I was good and warm all over, except my feet. I even put on a second pair of wool socks. My problem: Smartwool Phd socks (tight and constricting to help with blood flow while hicking/ snowboarding/ etc...).

    Quote Originally Posted by Triptease View Post
    I use Acorn fleece socks for sleeping only. I've tried the possumdown socks but found that my $5 Acorns actually felt warmer. They are nice and snug on my feet, but not restricting.

    Check TJMaxx, Ross and Marshalls. About this time of year they begin to carry them and are around $5-6 a pair.
    I might have to try these. I am good with cheap. Would love some of those Flamethrower socks, but I don't have the money.
    -Jeremy

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
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