Late Season Mountain Hunt & COLD A** FEET

RAM190Hog

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
116
Location
Boise, ID
Shot a cow elk end of day back in early Dec, and didn't recover her until next morning. Lows were 0F-ish over night, and luckily the meat was all salvageable. I found her about 8AM the next morning, and we went to work trying to field dress. If you have never cut on a front shoulder that is frozen...it's not fun. So, working in about 5F in the shade on N side of hill was very cold. I was well prepared, except my feet. I had Crispi Briksdahl 200g boots on, which were fine when I was hiking, but as soon as I went static, got very cold very fast. Tried to start a fire, but it was all snow covered sagebrush and nothing would burn. Had toe warmers, they were useless...may have made it worse from taking off my boot and then they were tight once put on. Ended up getting 2 quarters and backstraps off and we made first trip to the truck just to get moving. Made second trip and recovered rest of the elk. The toes on my left foot were partially numb for almost a week after the pack-out, but have since come back to normal. My Dr buddy said I prob had frostnip / beginning stages of frost bite.

So, question for the late season guys out there. What is your preferred method to keep feet warm when static glassing or field dressing? I have heard some guys say the Arctic Shield booties...do these really work in this temperature range? I am also considering buying a pair of the Western Mt down expedition booties: http://www.westernmountaineering.com/down-garments/booties/expedition-booties/. My concern here is the durability while moving around trying to field dress an animal on the mountain. I bought a pair of Pacs; they were warm as hell, but returned them as I personally don't think I would like them for hiking on the steep Idaho mountains. Appreciate any inputs.
 

Researcher

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Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
330
Location
Reno, Nevada
Not saying this is what happened to you but your feet couldve been sweating while you were hiking and then you stop and all that moisture around your feet freezes. Insulated boots may not be your friend. Just a thought to consider.
 
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RAM190Hog

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
116
Location
Boise, ID
Not saying this is what happened to you but your feet couldve been sweating while you were hiking and then you stop and all that moisture around your feet freezes. Insulated boots may not be your friend. Just a thought to consider.

Definitely a factor...but at those temps static, I think my feet would have gotten cold regardless. I did change socks at the truck after first load, and that did help.
 

Researcher

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Mar 31, 2018
Messages
330
Location
Reno, Nevada
Definitely a factor...but at those temps static, I think my feet would have gotten cold regardless. I did change socks at the truck after first load, and that did help.

Its also important to keep the inside of your boots dry. So you go out, shoot your elk and recover the next day. When you went out to recover if your boots arent dried out from the previous day youre putting on moist boots which just freeze. Having dry boots inside and out plus dry socks is the most important. After that you have to take more breaks to get up and move around and keep the feet warm.
 

wildcat33

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
814
Location
Lakewood, CO
600gr Shcnees are the warmest mtn boot that I know of without going to a pac boot or muck boot. Another thing to keep in mind is fit, you don’t want your toes crammed in the end for max warmth. Need some air space in there. As others said getting boots dry every night helps a lot. Pull out the insoles, stuff newspaper in them if they are really wet. Good luck.
 

Shraggs

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
765
Location
Zeeland, MI
200 gram imho is not going to keep you warm in static 5 degrees. Hell if your in deer stand for a few hours you’d or I would need a damn warm pack boot.

the trade off is waking with the good mountain pack boots out there. I personally would wet the wool liner.

This year I used an old pair I never have, and no longer made. It is a cabal brand from a decade ago called the attic Bruin. Good stuff mountain boot with 1400 gram, gortex and a mix of leather and cordura. So it breathes well well hiking/hunting! And I could go a good hour sitting before foot got cold.

I absolutely carry and use attic shields they work, if done properly and you could get by with your 200.

but if we’re to buy a good warm mountain hunting boot, personally I would look at the kenetrek mountain extremely offered in 1000 gram. I save pack boots for more stationery, personally.
 

duchntr

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
737
Location
Anchorage,Ak
If you plan on hunting in the winter I'd recomend getting some boots with some proper insulation, unless you just like pain. Get some schnees or Hoffman pac boots, or something with a MINIMUM of 400gr insulation, as with everything everyone is different when it comes to cold tolerance, fit etc, so you will have to find out what works best for you. A cheap way to get a few more degrees out of your boots if you have the space in your boots is some heavy felt liners, like these. 6

 

grizz_bait

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
60
Couple of thoughts come to mind. First, try using a thinner sock. People will often intuitively choose a super heavy sock, which can make the fit too tight and limit blood flow to the feet. Same goes for adding toe warmers, they will decrease the inner volume of the boot and can reduce blood flow. Second, consider a vapor barrier sock. The mountaineering company Rab makes one for relatively cheap. A vapor barrier sock will keep your socks dry and your feet warm. Also, make sure you're well-fed and your core is warm. And try not to use tobacco if you do, as nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. Ditto for beta blockers. If you try all of this and still have cold feet, you probably just need a warmer boot. Everyone is different but I can get away with an uninsulated boot down to zero degrees. If it's windy or I'm spending lots of time glassing or slow-stalking through the woods, I'll bump up to an insulated pair at zero degrees and below. Most people I know are the same in that regard.
 
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Snicolio

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
524
With boots there can be tons of different options. One thing else to consider is your socks. My feet run pretty cold too and what worked for me was a thin smartwool liner sock with a darn tough hiking sock over it. My feet sweat when I hike so having that liner helps take the moisture away from my foot which in turns keeps my feet warmer. Just another thing to consider.
 

Millerish

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
18
Location
SE Indiana
Thin sock liners with good thick hiking socks over them will help immensely. During an archery caribou hunt in Alaska at -20 degrees I busted through some ice and water got into my boots. I immediately turned around and went back to the truck which was about 2 1/2 miles. Upon getting to truck, my boots were frozen, had to cut laces and the still would not come off. My boots were literally frozen to my heavy woolen hiking socks. The only thing that saved me from any kind of frost damage was the liners, was able to remove the boots with the wool socks still frozen inside of them. Although I have hunted/hiked on terrains/states. I never go without my sock liners! Oh yeah, I did get my caribou
 
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