Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > Outdoors Related Discussion > Gear, Food, and Survival Topics
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-21-2017, 09:59 AM   #1
wjgood3
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 17
Keeping toes warm when winter hiking

Hi everyone. I'm looking for some opinions and advice on winter hiking and gear, specifically on keeping your toes warm. I developed a circulation problem with my toes a couple of years ago which is primarily activated by cold, and I haven't done any winter hiking since then; but I'd like to have a go at trying it again and see how my toes react. I already own and know how to use all the regular day-hiking winter gear - wool outer socks, poly inner sock liners, gaitors. I researched this topic online and I've seen some sites recommend using chemical toe warmers. One hesitation I have in using them is how the wear-and-tear of hiking, over the course of several miles, will impact them. I've also thought of adding a third sock layer specifically to cover my toes, but at that point all those layers might be too thick for my boots. Does anyone have any practical advice on this topic?
wjgood3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 10:15 AM   #2
Bob K
Member
 
Bob K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 508
The chemical warmers work for me skiing or winter hiking when really cold. I put them on top of my socks (sticky tape) rather than under as the package suggests. When under socks, they bunch up under my toes.

I have found that thin wool or poly liners under a mid-weight wool sock works best for me.
Bob K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 10:23 AM   #3
cuterocky
Kalie
 
cuterocky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 219
I have used the chemical toe warmers (and had warmers) while hiking and they work pretty well. I've never had them break open or anything like that. The will feel kinda funny under your toes while hiking and can be uncomfortable sometimes. A good compromise is to stick them to your sock (or shoe) on top of your toes instead of underneath.

I'd also recommend making sure your socks and shoes are roomy enough. I buy the next sock size up for my ski/snowboard/winter hiking socks than my warm weather hiking socks. This way my toes aren't restricted and there's some extra room for them to move around. I had snowboard boots for a few years that were too small (my feet fit, but there wasn't any extra room) and my toes were always freezing since there was no extra air space to hold the warmth.
__________________
CL50 #506
ADK 11/46

I Should Go Hiking...
cuterocky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 10:40 AM   #4
tenderfoot
Member
 
tenderfoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 235
Ok, my wife used to use plastic bags from bread as a kid. I thought this odd until I learned the fancy scientific name "vapor barrier". More info here.

Also, regarding hand warmers. Oddly enough if you put them in your armpits or inner thighs they are supposed to warm the blood up a bit and your heart will get this warm blood pushed out to extremities - although sounds like that may be an issue. I was never sure trying this if it was working or if it was a placebo effect. But it got me around the concern of grinding the hand-warmer up in my boots.

lastly, people swear by Wiggy's sleeping bags. Seems to be a guru for insulation. He has stuff for feet too. Santa is supposed to bring me Lamilite socks.
__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees

Last edited by tenderfoot; 12-21-2017 at 10:42 AM.. Reason: added Wiggy
tenderfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 11:06 AM   #5
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 3,697
Keep moving (hiking) with decent boots, and your feet will always be warm.

Regarding hand warmers. In my (much) younger days when deer hunting with my dad, he would put me on watch to sit perfectly still for hours at favored locations. My feet always got cold, until he gave me a Jon-e handwarmer. It uses lighter fluid and a catalytic burner. I found that if I put it in a shirt breast pocket over my heart, it kept my whole body toasty warm, including my hands and feet. Works great in a sleeping bag for winter camping too.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

Last edited by Wldrns; 12-21-2017 at 11:17 AM..
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 11:15 AM   #6
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 896
Has anyone ever tried taking some mild aspirin to see if that helps with circulation?
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 11:24 AM   #7
Terasec
Member
 
Terasec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 110
proper sock/boot fit is important,
if your adding thicker socks to your 3 season boots then will be too tight
dedicated cold weather boots should be sized while wearing thick wool socks,
also learn proper lacing technique so your not over tightening certain parts of the foot
think someone here posted a good pic of lacing
http://protips.dickssportinggoods.co...QUES_DICKS.jpg
Terasec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 11:25 AM   #8
JohnnyVirgil
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Porter Corners, NY
Posts: 564
I was just researching this very topic for my wife. I've seen a lot of these get decent reviews, but I've no first-hand knowledge of how well they work.

Hot Sockee!
JohnnyVirgil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 11:28 AM   #9
JohnnyVirgil
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Porter Corners, NY
Posts: 564
Quote:
Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
Has anyone ever tried taking some mild aspirin to see if that helps with circulation?
I take 81m every morning to stave off migraines, and I've not noticed a difference in my feet warmth. Maybe a higher dosage would make a difference?
JohnnyVirgil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2017, 03:28 PM   #10
aft paddle
Member
 
aft paddle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern Greene County
Posts: 292
A pair of galoshes (tall or short) over boots makes a huge difference in foot warmth but really adds weight for much hiking. Neil has posted wearing tingley?? boots mainly for keeping footwear dry, I think, but I imagine there would also be a significant warmth factor.
aft paddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2017, 08:18 AM   #11
wjgood3
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 17
Thank you everyone for the replies! I never thought of aspirin -- that might be worth checking out as well. Thanks!
wjgood3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2017, 08:56 AM   #12
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 3,697
I, for one, will always avoid any and all drugs that are not absolutely medically necessary and recommended or prescribed by my physician.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2017, 10:11 PM   #13
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,976
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
I, for one, will always avoid any and all drugs that are not absolutely medically necessary and recommended or prescribed by my physician.
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2017, 08:52 PM   #14
HemlockHiker
Member
 
HemlockHiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 4
Has anyone tried VBL socks or bread bags as suggested? My feet run warm (not hot by anymeans) but even then they tend to sweat and even with wool socks and a warm boot my toes are cold. I have heard they work really well, but have not put them to the test. Wondering if anyone here has.
HemlockHiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 09:35 AM   #15
Bob K
Member
 
Bob K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 508
If your boots are large enough, you can find a full size innersole liner meant to accept toe warmers in a small compartment under the ball of your foot. Mine have foam pads in the compartment to remove when the warmers are inserted. You need either the foam or warmers packets in there to be comfortable. You may be able to remove the innersole that comes with the boot to make room.

I buy the hand & toe warmers in bulk on line and the cost is well below retail. Check expiration dates as they do have limited shelf life.

As others have said, good circulation is key so make sure to have adequate room for toes to flex.

Have used hand warmers several days recently but not toe as outings no more than 2 hours and active skiing.
Bob K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 12:08 PM   #16
JerseyHighlander
Member
 
JerseyHighlander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New Jersey Highlands
Posts: 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
Has anyone ever tried taking some mild aspirin to see if that helps with circulation?
God no. But Ginger, Turmeric root & Cayenne Pepper most definitely. and it works really well. Can make a tea with the powders or buy a product like this.

https://www.amazon.com/Herb-Pharm-Ci...0014ATKSS?th=1

Or this

https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Christophe...RMEJMQJ6F&th=1
JerseyHighlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2018, 02:41 PM   #17
rachelsdad
Member
 
rachelsdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Star Lake, NY
Posts: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by HemlockHiker View Post
Has anyone tried VBL socks or bread bags as suggested? My feet run warm (not hot by anymeans) but even then they tend to sweat and even with wool socks and a warm boot my toes are cold. I have heard they work really well, but have not put them to the test. Wondering if anyone here has.
I do it all the time. I even wear exam gloves under my mitts. The difference is stunning. But you have to wear next to skin. Odd feeling at first until the temp of the bag matches your feet.....a little slick feeling at first but that goes away too. YMMV

You'd think you would have gallons of water pouring out of the bag at the end of the day but the amount is minimal....the vapor barrier forms some sort of micro climate around your skin and keeps warmth in....I have no idea how you don't get drenched but I ain't gonna argue after 3 decades of inactive and active time n sub zero or sub freezing temps...oh, and your socks are dry and relatively odor free.

It was 32 below up in Star Lake this morning when walked to get the paper. After I shoveled my way out. Toasty. Kept them on in the very warm car driving back to Syracuse. Wasn't about to take ANYTHING off,
__________________
I sometimes put a wool hat or mitt over my nose, across my face, but not to cover my nostrils, just to keep my nose warm. You have to pay the piper somewhere for this kind of fun
JerseyHighlander 2-2015
rachelsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.