Monday, January 07, 2008

Warm Feet

Well, over Friday and Saturday the temperatures were well below -10 at various time and with a stiff wind to make matters more entertaining.
Despite all this, and an inch of snow and ice falling on Sunday, I've not gotten cold feet at all this winter - even in a pair of old trainers.
Basically your feet lose heat in 2 ways - one is through the soles and the other through trapped moisture. I'm continuously on the look out for a lighter and more breathable boot for winter wear - I need a sort of "town-moccasin"!
The second problem is one that can be fixed very cheaply here. You simply buy a pair of felted wool insoles. A quick trip to the market lets you pick up a pair for a few zloty - less than a pound.
They make your boots a massive amount warmer and reduce the conduction of heat through the soles into the ground.
If you're going even colder then keep a lookout for mesh insoles, designed to go on the sole of the shoe and creat a cushion of air. They also trap condensation and let it freeze here enabling it to be easily knocked out later.
Look at the footwear section of Jack Mountain Bushcraft's site for a picture and some suppliers. I'm still on the look out for a pair of these to try myself.


Mungo said...

I got 'The Backpacker's Handbook' for Christmas, and one thing he mentions that makes a lot of sense (based on my experience) is a quick way to ensure warm feet is to wear a hat.

Same with cold hands... if your body senses you are losing heat (and the head is a major source of heat loss), then it will slow down supply of blood to the extremities like the hands and feet.



Anonymous said...

Fenlander said...

I use Canadian Army mukluks and they are fantastic. They have a felt liner and mesh insoles and with three pairs of wool socks I have used them down to -40 degrees and my feet were still very warm.