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  1. #21
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with digging or scraping a hole or trench...

    just fill it back in eh. A hole in the snow or dirt, or down through the snow to the dirt where you scrape/dig a trench, boots in, water bottle in, etc. then a sheet of plastic, foam, whatever; then the snow goes over all. Never had anything freeze (solid) that way to zero. Can't comment on t's lower than that

  2. #22
    Harstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerminator View Post
    I'm wondering what others do to stop their kit freezing in extended cold hangs?
    )

    I think you must first define "kit", what are the essentials?

    The essentials to me are clothing, shoes, water and sleeping gear, everything else can freeze.
    And nothing of this can freeze without being wet or moist.

    So the first priority is to keep things dry, and to dry up gear whenever possible.

    Gear can be kept dry by adjusting activity level and clothing (sweating).
    By preparation of the gear (choosing the right gear, impregnating clothing)
    And common sense - dont wade rivers Bear Grills style , dont lay in the snow, brush of snow from clothing after setting camp, and after setting camp do some camp chores like collecting wood or take a short sightseeing around the camp, to allow body heat to dry you off.

    It is possible to dry clothes on a clothes line, dry cold air will take some moisture out, and by shaking the garment some ice will fall of .

    The most difficult things to dry up are shoes and sleeping system, so keep them dry.

    If you change socks a few times a day it will keep the shoe dryer, the moist pair need to be dried ( I keep mine on my chest, also when sleeping). Dry socks will prevent blisters and changing gives you the opportunity to check for frostbites.
    A vapor barrier in the shoe will help to keep the shoe dry, some like them, some don't.

    The sleeping system must be kept dry, the biggest "moistmakers" are respiration and condensation. A good tool is a dish brush to wipe off frost rim and snow from your kit in the morning. Also take care when setting camp, is there drifting snow? wind direction? Is there open water nearby? Is there snow on the trees? Are you down in a valley or on a platou? A selection of camp site will have impact on durability and comfort.

    Cold weather camping is challenging and cold camping over several days will reduce the kit effectiveness. Focus on keeping dry and to dry wet kit whenever possible.



    Harstad
    Last edited by Harstad; 01-07-2013 at 07:55.
    If I die, my biggest fear is that my wife will sell my gear for what I told her I paid for it.

    I am learning from my mistakes, so I can make better and bigger mistakes.

  3. #23
    dragon360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    I have been using vapor barrier socks for years. They contain the copious moisture from my feet and my liners stay dry. They are much more comfortable than it sounds! I carry spare thin socks that go inside the VB socks and change them daily.
    Works for me.
    What VB's are you using Jayson if you don't mind me asking?
    The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. - St. Augustine

    Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
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  4. #24
    turnerminator's Avatar
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    More great replies

    Interesting that VB clothing layers get mentioned as much, they seem to be growing in regard and rightly so I believe. I'm a user of them too.

    Started off with bread bags and quickly bought some RBH socks which are in another league of warmth and comfort.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerminator View Post
    @ Beast. I'm a fellow sufferer of moist feet, its a constant battle. The leaves trick sounds great but dry leaves are non-existent over here for most of the time. I'm on near industial strength anti-perspirant ATM (DriChlor)to try to abate it a little.
    If you can't use leaves dry grass or even news paper will work. Where I live there is usually snow on the ground from late November to early April so the dry stuff in the boots trick I can only do part of the year. You'd be surprised though how much moisture that you can get out of wet gear by sublimation, even when frozen and what moisture doesn't sublimate can mostly be beaten off as ice crystals. Sun and wind really helps the sublimation process too. I do live in a place, with a continental climate, so we have very cold and dry winters so that helps keep things dry. I had trouble keeping warm when I was stationed in Germany because the air was very moist and usually got above freezing every day in winter so gear tended to get soggy.

    Also, it is a good idea to squeeze all the damp air out of your sleeping bag or quilt when you first get up. I also use a dedicated sleep hat, mittens, scarf, frost bib and over-sized thick socks that I keep dry in a sack and only use for sleeping. I find it easier to keep things dry instead of getting things to dry out in the winter.

    Good luck staying warm and dry.
    "In your face space coyote"-HJS

  6. #26
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    Interesting...and proof of my thoughts that the slogan of HF really should be "There is no one true way"!

    Love the thoughts and ideas here.

    I'm old-school I guess. I normally hike in areas where I can always have a fire...and I always remove my boots and socks and dry them over the fire that night, usually right after dinner is done cooking.

    Like Beast, I have a dedicated pair of socks for sleeping in that are not worn for hiking, so I normally either throw those on or just heat my tootsies by the fire while the boots/socks are drying out. Same thing happens with any clothing that I've got wet as well...I just throw on the sweat pants I sleep in while my other clothes are drying out.

    Electronics (just phone right now...navigation is by compass) goes in the sleeping bag with me, as does my water filter element (in it's own ziploc bag). Everything else is dried out and put back into my backpack, with my boots hanging from my suspension, or on a trash bag under my hammock.

    I'm curious...on the VB socks...being old-school Army, that sounds like a dangerous practice to me. If you keep the moisture trapped with your feet, seems like they'd just get cold again...and you run the risk of immersion foot/trench foot. How do you avoid that? Clearly it does work...I just wanna understand how.

  7. #27
    turnerminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post

    I'm curious...on the VB socks...being old-school Army, that sounds like a dangerous practice to me. If you keep the moisture trapped with your feet, seems like they'd just get cold again...and you run the risk of immersion foot/trench foot. How do you avoid that? Clearly it does work...I just wanna understand how.
    I can only talk from personal experience, but I find that if I'm using the socks properly (not sweating in them) then my feet are just moist. Compered to two pairs of thick felted wool socks, the VB socks are warmer. I also don't need to dry the liners out as they stay dry.

    The point about trenchfoot is valid, as I got that after 6 days of constant use. As part of a group and in a heatwave in the arctic winter, I sweated in the socks and paid the price. Spent the last 4 days with very sore feet that needed to be kept in breathable socks. TBH, that trip was just too warm for VB socks for me.
    My RBH VB socks are impregnated with copper, which, although very effective against the rotting stench that is my feet, was overpowered by the sweat.
    When I've used them right, my feet have never been so warm or comfortable in the winter and when I don't sweat at all, they actually stay amazingly dry.

  8. #28
    Harstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post

    I'm curious...on the VB socks...being old-school Army, that sounds like a dangerous practice to me. If you keep the moisture trapped with your feet, seems like they'd just get cold again...and you run the risk of immersion foot/trench foot. How do you avoid that? Clearly it does work...I just wanna understand how.

    I'm not a big fan of VB socks, but they work. Many polar expeditions have used these with success.
    The principle is that you have a thin liner sock, the VB sock and then a thick sock. No perspiration will reach the outer sock but the inner sock will be moist at the end of the day.


    You stay warmer because the outer sock and shoe stays dry. It is only the liner that need to be dried out at night. And you can bring several pairs of liner socks.

    And you're right, the moist liner can lead to sore skin and immersion foot symptoms. It can be helped somewhat if hygiene and foot care is maintained daily.

    Edit: beaten by terminator

    Btw the VB socks used by polar expeditions often were common white garbage bags - the thin stretchy ones
    Last edited by Harstad; 01-07-2013 at 11:03.
    If I die, my biggest fear is that my wife will sell my gear for what I told her I paid for it.

    I am learning from my mistakes, so I can make better and bigger mistakes.

  9. #29
    Senior Member
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    OK...I can see how that would work. And can imagine some folks would have more success than others. My feet tend to sweat profusely as long as I'm moving, pretty much regardless of temperature. Odds are, I'd quickly ovecome the wicking power of that sock liner and end up with failure to keep my feet warm.

    And I'd agree too...foot hygiene/maintenance is as critical in artic conditions as it is in jungle. Back in the day, that was stressed very strongly in both schools.

  10. #30
    I second Beast71 suggestion that you use newspaper to dry out your boots. Wad up different pages and stuff them up inside your footwear. The newspaper has other uses and should not be a problem if you are using a pulk for snow camping.

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