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ok so I have tried several different things to keep my toes from freezing while hunting. The only thing I have not done is buy

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  • ok so I have tried several different things to keep my toes from freezing while hunting. The only thing I have not done is buy

    ok so I have tried several different things to keep my toes from freezing while hunting. The only thing I have not done is buy 1000+ grain thinsulate boots. I have 600 or 800 grain now but no matter if I have on 1 pair of socks or 2 my toes get so cold I can hardly stand it. I have not bought the 1000+ yet because all of my stand locations are at least 1/2 mile off the road and carrying all the gear and everything that you have in your pack and weapons you are already weighed down by an extra 40 pounds and 5 pound boots a piece trudging through snow and mud does not sound like fun to me. What do you guys do to help stay warm? How long do you normally stay after you get cold?

  • #2
    If you're just going to sit in a stand, pick up some down booties to stuff in your pack. Slip them on in the stand and your feet should stay toasty. If you shoot something, you'll usually want to wait a few minutes (at least) before climbing down and looking for it. That should give you plenty of time to change back into your boots.

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    • #3
      I use the adhesive backed toe warmers - they usually last all day. When it is really cold I will put my feet on a hot seat or put on my ArcticShield booties. Remember, insulation works both ways. If your feet do get cold, outside heat will not warm them, the insulation will stop the heat from warming the inside. You have to take the boots off to warm the feet. I was on a guided hunt and stepped in water over the top of the boot. Took the boot off and started a fire to dry out and warm up the foot. Difficult to do and took a long time.
      Also, check with your Dr., you might have a circulation problem.

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      • #4
        Make sure that your socks are wool or a synthetic material that wicks moisture. If you are wearing cotton socks it doesnt matter what kind of boots you have on your feet will get cold. Try to keep sweating to a minimum while getting to your stand. I had the same issue while wearing my 1200 gram boots because my feet tend to sweat. I switched to 200 grams and high quality socks and have been much better off in milder temps.

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        • #5
          40#'s of gear in a pack! What are you taking with you everything you own including the kitchen sink? 1/2 mile isn't terrible walk in insulated boots but it can be strenuous with bulky boots. 1st off ditch about 20#'s of gear wear hiking boots to get you to the stand then put on some highly insulated boots. I recommend a minimum of 1200 gram insul. for sitting and 800 for walking. Also with the more weight you carry the more likely you are to sweat and 40 extra pounds will make you sweat once again you do not need all that gear to hunt with.

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          • #6
            Buckeye is right about the socks. They are just as important as boots. It makes no sense to spend big money on nice hunting boots and then put them on over $.50 cotton socks. Get a pair of high quality wool socks. Smartwool is my favorite, but opinions vary.

            Secondly, make sure that your boots aren't too tight and that you aren't wearing too many pairs of socks. To stay warm, your feet need blood flow. Many guys put on as many pairs of thick socks as they can, thinking that more is better. Unfortunately, they end up cutting off blood flow and making the situation worse than it needs to be.

            Anything that constricts your feet is bad. Too many socks are a common problem, but so are socks that are too tight on the ankles, or tucking too many layers of long underwear into your socks. Don't lace your boots too tight. You should have room around your toes. That space is critical to staying warm.

            Finally, if your feet sweat a lot, you might want to consider a wicking liner sock under a heavy wool sock. I don't like the combo, but other people say it is the only way to go.

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            • #7
              I use 800g insulated boots with very heavy wool socks for most cold weather hunting. I've sat in a climber stand all day at below zero temps many times and don't get cold feet. I do use hand warmer packs for my hands if it is below zero and the wind is high though.

              I haven't gotten heavier boots because I don't like my feet being hot and sweating. These seem all I need. I'd suggest trying some good heavy socks. They make all the difference for me.

              I second the notion that you could lose about 35 pounds of gear if you are hiking half a mile. I take my gun, a couple spare bullets, a knife and water/snack. If need be, I'll add a climber stand to the mix but try to avoid that like the plague.

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              • #8
                Greenhead is correct about not having too much constriction on your feet. The air around your foot inside the boot is what keeps you warm. It is the same concept as down coats. It is the air that is traped in the loft of the coat that keeps you warm, not the down itself.

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                • #9
                  Lighten your load a bit, put a pair of dry wool socks in your kit and wear a lighter weight pair for your walk in. After you get to your stand, change to the dry wool socks before your boot liners get saturated. Put sweaty stinky socks in a ziploc bag for obvious reasons. Toss in a toe warmer if you need it. Some of the lightweight insulated over-booties will do the trick for long hours. You have to have dry feet or not much will help. Ditch the cotton socks for any use while hunting. I shot my best elk while sitting changing my socks after a vigorous hike to my hunting spot. Unless it is raining or snowing, remove outer layers for the hike in to mitigate excess body temp that causes sweating.

                  Good hunting!

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                  • #10
                    S0 40#'s is probably a little excessive. There is grunt tube, doe can, 2 knifes because I lose things, scent wafers, rangefinder, a flashlight and generally my coat because I will sweat if I wear it into the stand, plus bow and binos on slings. That's what I take bow hunting.

                    I never tried the booties never took them seriously. I am looking at them now on Bass Pro.

                    I was told a long time ago to put a cotton sock on 1st and then a wool sock. The cotton wicked the moisture away and the wool was there for insulation.

                    I can not wear the wool socks in my lacrosse rubber boots it is way to tight. And I have never thought that toe warmers were all what they are cracked up to be.

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                    • #11
                      Ditch that cotton sock! The cotton does wick it, but not away. It gets wet and stays wet. I bet that is a major part of your problem.

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                      • #12
                        Cotton socks, then plastic bread sacks, then wool socks, then packs with liners. That will keep your feet warm ice fishing in zero temps. Half mile hike is nothing! If a person couldn't carry forty pounds that far on reasonably level ground, then they are way too soft for big game hunting in my opinion. I put in about eight miles yesterday afternoon hunting birds over hill and dale. No pack but insulated boots, heavy coat, bird vest, wool pants over canvas dungarees. And my Browning A-5 is hardly lightweight. Very cold and lots of snow but I'm always moving so boots that have a good tread and don't leak water are most important. Sweaty feet will still stay warm as long as I'm moving.

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                        • #13
                          first off make sure your not lacing your boots to tight, if your boots are to tight it constricts the blood flow to your feet. also anything over 600 grams of insulation it pointless. 600 grams is where the insulation reaches its maximum effectiveness, anything over that is just adding weight. good wicking socks are a must i have a pair of silk liner socks that i got years ago that are amazing when paired with a good pair of wool or thorlo socks. also saw the other day where therma cell is making heated insoles for boots. they might be worth a try

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                          • #14
                            I have found over the years that the higher the top of the boot, the warmer my feet feel.
                            It is possible that keeping the calf warm enhances the heat retention of the lower boot.

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                            • #15
                              beers,
                              I forgot about the electric wool socks. They each take a single battery and are suppose to last all day. I have some but never have used them. If it gets below about 10deg. I come in.

                              Comment

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