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TMF89

Which's Warmer?

27 posts in this topic

Which's warmer? Layers with no air space between them, or layers with air to warm up? For example, I wear three pairs of socks, short cotton, long cotton, and wool, and my boots, but they're packed so tight I can BARELY wiggle my toes, with no room for toe warmers. They'll stay cold throughout the day, like warm to cool, or sometimes downright cold. I'm wondering if I took out a layer of socks, to give it some air, would it warm up quicker? Same question for gloves, hats, and everything else.

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loose some of those socks i can say i wear my normal hanes white socks and my feet never get cold, may be time for some new boots!

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Yeah, that's all I wear is one pair of cotton socks and my feet stay warm. There's a lot of good boots out there if cold feet are your problem. wink

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Which's warmer? Layers with no air space between them, or layers with air to warm up? For example, I wear three pairs of socks, short cotton, long cotton, and wool, and my boots, but they're packed so tight I can BARELY wiggle my toes, with no room for toe warmers. They'll stay cold throughout the day, like warm to cool, or sometimes downright cold. I'm wondering if I took out a layer of socks, to give it some air, would it warm up quicker? Same question for gloves, hats, and everything else.
also the wool socks should be on first since they wick the moisture away from your skin. I think that 2 pairs of cotton then the wool is whats giving you the most problems try just a think pair of woollies

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Quote:
or layers with air to warm up

Having answered your question with your answer and my shared opinion of such I will add that some 35 plus years ago I was invited to take a winter survival course that consisted of living/camping in the northern forests of Minnesota for 7 days and nights. Your question reminded me of the list I received prior to that outing of required items that would be needed in order to have a somewhat comfortable experience. No Cotton Socks or Under Garments of Cotton. Silk was recommended next to the feet and skin followed by wool. Of course not to many of us if any could afford the silk and went with just the good old wool.

After 2 days in the field and upon the start of day 3, five of our group had to back track out due to being cold. They were escorted out by one of the 2 survival experts. He returned the next day and found us relatively easily as we were snow shoeing. I'll never forget the way he described cotton fabric. He called it the Death Fabric and spoke of how it is like a towel soaking up perspiration.

Now if you are sedentary and are in a portable shelter with a good pair of modern thinsulate and gore tex boots that are not tight fitting I can see one enduring the cold for an extended period of time in relative comfort with cotton socks although I prefer and would ware wool. I always pack an extra pair of wool socks and have on several occasions borrowed them along with the previous information.

I have tried the thinsulate socks but find myself more comfortable with wool.

Choppers or Mitt's, whatever you want to call them with removable liners for the hands. I just have not found a pair of gloves that will keep my hands relatively comfortable. It seems to me that there is warmth in numbers and the digits really like to be with one and other in making the hands comfortable.

Good Luck...

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Excellent advice Scupper. I for one always try to make the first layer some type of material that wicks. I use some knock offs of Smartwool socks and they are the best thing for my feet since I wore out my Army issue socks. I like to have lots of wiggle room in my Sorels.

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I have three pair of winter boots. 1 pair I use for stuff like walking the dog, hiking etc, fits pretty good and easy to walk in, kind an all in one no removable liners. I have a 2nd pair that I wear most of the time for ice fishing especially early ice, removable thermolite liners and got them big enough for a pair of heavy wool socks and not be snug. I have a third pair that I only break out on those days where It is gonna be -10 or colder, these are big heavy boots, removable thermolite liners and big enough to have at least to pair of wool socks and still have plenty of room for air around my foot. The third pair I wouldn't consider walking more than a couple of blocks but they keep my feet nice and warm.

Give your feet some room in those boots and NO COTTON!!

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Great advice! Cotton kills!

Always buy your extreme cold weather boots large enough that you can fit three pairs of socks in and still have plenty of toe wiggle room.

When I'm out in cold weather, it's a thin polypro or merino wool undersock (VERY comfy, by the way), a medium weight wool sock and then a heavier outer wool sock. And that goes for sitting still in a heated shack, because sweaty feet in cotton socks will get chilled there, too. The inner sock should be tight enough to be snug to the skin, the middle sock a bit bigger so it doesn't restrict movement, and the outer sock bigger yet. Putting on a heavyweight outer sock that's too small will squash the other socks and restrict blood flow in the foot, resulting in colder feet.

Even in summer I wear the sheer liner sock and a medium weight wool or wool/synthetic blend two-sock system. It's a bit warmer on my feet, but I know my feet are going to sweat no matter what I'm wearing, and just as wicking away moisture in extreme cold will keep your feet dry (warm), so in summer keeping your feet dry will prevent blisters.

The same winter advice goes for long underwear, too. There should be NO cotton or cotton blend against your skin if you will sweat even a little bit, and that's most of us most of the time doing any type of extended moving around like setting up a house and drilling holes and such. Once the cotton absorbs some sweat, you'll have a hard time staying warm the rest of the day.

For me it's a polypro or soft-wool blend against the skin (again, these are soft and comfy), then fleece or wool.

To people who have been wearing cotton against their skin their whole lives when outside in winter, it's amazing how their warmth/comfort level rises when they make the switch. Some people with excellent foot circulation and high metabolism can keep their feet warm in cotton socks even in extreme cold weather, but most cannot.

TMF, your feet are cold both because of the cotton and because of packing too many socks into the boot and losing circulation in your feet. Definitely switch to polypro/thermax/wool socks, with a thin liner and a thicker outer. If that's still too tight, it's time to get bigger boots, though keeping the laces as loose as possible also helps, as long as you're not walking long distances.

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Assuming you don't have a circulation problem (I have and that's a whole nother issue) then it's all about the No Cotton and quality boots. When it comes to cold, sometimes less is more.

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datvbdad, you should look into a pair of Steger mukluks. Pricey, but no other cold-weather footwear in my experience preserves foot circulation better. I'm starting to develop foot circulation issues as I get older, and they are all I wear when it's cold out.

I'm a 9 wide, so I bought an 11 wide and can easily fit the three sock combo I mentioned inside with plenty of room for my feet to move.

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Two things that will kill insulation.

1.

Moisture. As has already been mentioned, keep the moisture under control. If you're going to be busy with a lot of walking and moving around, don't over-dress. It will cause you to sweat and that moisture will deplete the insulating value of your clothing.

2. Lack of air. You mentioned that you can barely wiggle your toes. That's a no-no. Just like moisture, wearing clothing that is too tight won't help you much. Not only does it reduce your clothing's insulation value by compressing the fabric, it also reduces your body's blood flow. You need to have room to move.

Here's an example. This year when I was deer hunting I was having trouble with my feet getting cold. I was wearing the same boots that I wore a year ago and last year was colder but I don't recall getting cold. At around 10:00am on day two while sitting in the deer stand I decided to remove a pair of socks. I kid you not, within 15 minutes my feet warmed up and I had no more issues.

By removing that pair of socks I corrected two mistakes. First, I removed the cotton socks and wore only the wool ones and second, by removing the one pair I provided more room inside my boots for my feets and felt less pressure against my skin.

Bob

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Great tips guys, Thanks! New (and even old) forget about these important basic tips that can really make the difference between a fun vs miserable trip out on the ice.

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Two things that will kill insulation.

1.

Moisture. As has already been mentioned, keep the moisture under control. If you're going to be busy with a lot of walking and moving around, don't over-dress. It will cause you to sweat and that moisture will deplete the insulating value of your clothing.

2. Lack of air. You mentioned that you can barely wiggle your toes. That's a no-no. Just like moisture, wearing clothing that is too tight won't help you much. Not only does it reduce your clothing's insulation value by compressing the fabric, it also reduces your body's blood flow. You need to have room to move.

Here's an example. This year when I was deer hunting I was having trouble with my feet getting cold. I was wearing the same boots that I wore a year ago and last year was colder but I don't recall getting cold. At around 10:00am on day two while sitting in the deer stand I decided to remove a pair of socks. I kid you not, within 15 minutes my feet warmed up and I had no more issues.

By removing that pair of socks I corrected two mistakes. First, I removed the cotton socks and wore only the wool ones and second, by removing the one pair I provided more room inside my boots for my feets and felt less pressure against my skin.

Bob

I did the same thing sitting in a deer stand when I was 15. about 15 minutes later my feet were toasty. In normal cold weather I just wear one pair of wool socks in my good boots.

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That is some great info guys. Glad to see that everyone on here is trying to make ice fishing as comfortable as possible for all. This site is great because it is real people giving out great advice on what works and what does not.

Best pair of boots I've ever owned were Rocky Snow Stalker Extreme's. Only pair that I am aware of with removable thinsulate liners in the Rocky boot lineup.

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Just a little tip I learned from an old timer about keeping feet warm. Wool socks he said are a must, but the biggest reason feet tend to get cold is due to moisture from sweat. He said the best way to prevent that is put antiperspirant on your feet. It sounds weird, but it works well.

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Beege actually reminded me that we should always pull the liners out of our boots just to make sure they are bone dry the next day. We go out on day 1 and its 30 degrees and our feet sweat but they don't get cold and the next day it is zero and our boots are still damp and the feet will get colder faster.

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Great Question, Excellent responses!

Thanks for all the tips and insights gentlemen.

Now, who wear blue-jeans under their bibs/suit...? Same principles apply...

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Some people get cold no matter what the temp, but lose some of the socks and the feet will warm. I am blessed with lack of feeling in my feet so I don't get cold often. As the posters above have stated, give a little air and the feet will feel better!

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Beege actually reminded me that we should always pull the liners out of our boots just to make sure they are bone dry the next day. We go out on day 1 and its 30 degrees and our feet sweat but they don't get cold and the next day it is zero and our boots are still damp and the feet will get colder faster.

something i have been told/learned is that since my boots don't have removable liners is to tip them on there sides at night and wallah! dry boots every morning!

8 years or field service and still on the same pair of winter boots the same boots i use for fishin

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My current boots don't have liners. So i just put them up on the boot dryer. Lost the rocky's to a fire. Sitting on the edge of a lake pike fishing by the bonfire. About a foot of slush on the ice so our feet were soaked. Didn;t even feel that the botoms of my boots were melting right on through. Man was i mad when i realized it.

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The Peet brand boot dryers are great for getting your boots dry overnight.

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Just a little tip I learned from an old timer about keeping feet warm. Wool socks he said are a must, but the biggest reason feet tend to get cold is due to moisture from sweat. He said the best way to prevent that is put antiperspirant on your feet. It sounds weird, but it works well.

That antiperspirant stuff works well, especially if you have to trek for some distance. The only thing bad about wool socks is that they pyle or slips off while doing hard treks. Get some soccer socks made of nylon to go over your wool socks and that helps prevent your sock from sliding off.

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never had any problems with wool socks slipping ---I use an 85% wool blend

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I got the smart wool socks this year for deer hunting and my feet have never been warmer...just that pair in my boots and nice and toasty...got that tip from here and can't wait for ice fishing now....so are the under armour type layers a must for your body and legs, since they are of the satin/silky material?

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