Contributors to this thread:
My boots were frozen inside and out one morning in the backcountry. Not fun at all.
For starters I'm getting boots that will hopefully not leak, got some lowa Caminos on the way. Looking for any tips to help keep my boots in good shape for the trip. Putting frozen boots on in the morning sucks.
If you don't have waterproof gators you may want to use a taller pair of boots? If snow is getting in from the top of your boots your feet will get wet no matter what waterproof boot you are using. I often take my boots off and take out my insoles during the day while glassing to let me feet air out and inside of boots/insoles/socks dry. Just as important as boots is your socks. Make sure you have a pair of socks that dries quickly. Thorlos or Smartwool are tough to beat! I have several thickness of socks to choose from. All of my socks have added padding in the feet!
I've used Lowa Tibets in snow for years without a problem. They are a bit taller than Caninos. It also helps to use an all leather boot similar to Tibets. The fewer seams on your boots the longer they will last in wet and snow.
I have several boots to choose from. I use my Tibets strictly for hunting in snow. I use my Scarpa Kailash (similar to Caminos) for hiking on steeper, rocky terrain. I use Lowa Renegades (super light and quiet soles) when I want to cover lots of country.
I bet you will like your Caminos but possibly bring a pair of gators for snow. If you are hunting a bunch in snow you may want a 2nd boot similar to Tibets. In deep snow I use Sorels!
Jims thanks for the info, I do have gators from OR. Found out the hard way to not bang them against a tree to try to get the ice off of them I broke one of the clips at the top. I got real good socks from farm to feet. They were absolutely great.
Any ideas to keep them from freezing at night other than wearing them. I'm thinking of using a trash sack to put wet boots in then stuffing them under my sleep system, I know they won't dry but at least not freeze.
With my feet and they way they sweat I know I am putting on frozen footwear. I just make sure to hop around a lot and get the blood flowing! I have found with wet feet even though my feet are wet somehow my Darn Tough socks keep me from getting blisters. I've since gotten some advice on a way to rid me of the sweat so I am hoping to try that. Or, what I did the last few days on my moose trip was wear bags over my feet and that kept my boots from getting wet. Kept the moisture on my feet which are wet all the time anyways.
i find nothing really dries when it's close to freezing or below freezing anyways.
stuff old newspaper into them at night to dry them
Some more information. Are backpacking, car camping, etc. There are options for boot drying depending on what you are doing.
They won't freeze if they aren't wet, I'd start there.
From 25 years of personal experience, Salomons leak, as do Lowas, Rocky, Danner, Keen, Merrill, and Vasque. The only boot that has not leaked (yet) is the Hanwag Alaska. Buy your boots from REI so you can take them back when they leak.
If you are going to wear leather in extremely cold temps there are not a lot of alternatives. Leather absorbs water even if treated with oils. If boots aren't subject to snow and rain on the outside, they are absorbing sweat from the inside. And in extreme cold conditions even if you are sleeping with your boots so you can get them on in the morning....... you are still basically lacing up ice cubes 10 minutes after you are out of your bedroll.
In the 70's we switched to plastic boots with removable liners , but while they were ok to climb steep grades and were great for crampons , they left a little to be desired in a pure hiking boot as they are rather stiff.
If you are using leather today a tee pee tent and a small stove are your best bet for avoiding frozen toes in the morning.
The Military Mukluks are great in snow. They do need to be treated from time to time, (waterproofing) You can carry extra booties inserts.
Last time I had that problem was on an interior Alaska brown Bear hunt. It was a seventeen day fly in. Just so happened to be close to my birthday and my wife bought me a pair of sealskinz socks and gifted them to me from my young daughter. Long short feet got wet first day out and I wore the new socks every day and they worked really well on that hunt. My wife actually suggested another lifesaver in the form of a kids tobbogan. Pulled most gear and food on that while trekking on snowshoes and eventually pulled bear hide out on it!
This wasn't an extreme cold weather hunt, it was September in Montana which turned into a toughh weather hunt. I guess it really just comes down to quality boots and socks. Oh and suck it up butter cup.
Even with top end boots, my feat sweat, so if you are moving, they are getting warm and wet... A good rule of thumb is to have at least two pairs and alternate them, wearing one, having the other drying out. All of my boots have the Lathrop & sons inserts which helps minimize the wetness as they do not absorb much on the top layer.
Pigsticker do your feet sweat really bad wearing those sealskinz socks?
Mathewsman im doing backcountry backpack hunts. Extra pair of boots not an option.
Solomons fit me better than any boot I've ever used in 25 years of hunting. Love them, love them! But I gave up on trying to get a waterproof pair, totally futile.
I've yet to have wet feet in my Lowa Tibets and I've worn them a bunch in snow. The entire sole is rubber and the first 1" or so above the soles is rubber so it is 100% waterproof up to that point. I treat the remaining solid leather with nikwax. My rainpants and gators (when I wear them) cover most of the rest of the boot so there actually isn't that much of my boot exposed to snow. In super cold weather the snow isn't melting so you shouldn't have any problems with wet boots.
Obviously boots similar to those in your photo are not designed for snow! It really helps having boots that are a fairly thick, one piece leather without any seams or thin synthetic material for snow and ice to collect on. There is no time when I'm hunting that snow and ice collects on my boots like they are in your photo. There is actually nothing for it to attach to with solid leather! I usually brush it off if it starts to collect on my pants, gators, and boots. It really helps having boots that are a fairly thick leather without any seams.
It really pays to keep snow off pants and boots as much as possible....especially when done hunting at the end of the day. I can't remember having to deal with my Tibets ever being wet or frozen in the morning.
The Hanwag Alaskas that Wapiti Bob mentions above look almost identical to the Tibets. There likely is a reason both boots perform well in snow! Take a look at both boots and it ought to give you an idea what works in snow!
I bought the Tibet's last year and my feet hated them. I hope to have better luck with the Caminos.
When I was in the infantry we would put them in a bag inside the sleeping bag with us. Not real comfortable, but an over sized sleeping bag helps. It sure beats the heck out of putting frozen bricks on your feet in the a.m.
Just pack a small odorless anti perspirent stick and rub it all over your feet. Your feet won't sweat and they won't smell.
Tibets and Caminos are two totally different boots, for different purposes. The Tibets are a stiff soled, very supportive, mountaineering boot. Something like that is what you want in rough country with a heavy load. The Caminos are just an ordinary lightweight hiking boot. Can't compare the two.
SDHNTR your spot on about two totally different boots. I'm just trying to find something that will work for my feet. As well as i dont want to lug around all the extra weight of a heavy boot if i can avoid it. Im new to this whole elk hunting thing and maybe way off base though.
I gave up on flexible hikers after 25 years and went the stiff route. First pair of stiffies were Lowa cevedale pro at about $380. Leaked like I stuck em with an ice pick. Went to the Hanwags next. I think stiff and all leather is the way to keep my feet dry. But, if they don't fit right they'll tear your feet up. The quest 4d fit great, they're just piss poor at keeping water out.
I think boot size matters too. I know guys with size 10 that have no trouble, I don't know a 13 that has dry boots.
Scrappy, my feet are pretty dry but on that hunt the socks were lifesaver. I do not hunt snow often it has not been tried over time but I always have them with me.
Scrappy, why didn't the Tibet's work for your feet?
The only time I wear my Tibets is in deep snow. Stiffer, heavier boots are a lot tougher to stalk quietly.....that's another reason I don't wear my Tibets that often. Your original post was about snow so that's why I recommended Tibets.
My preference for everyday use is a medium weight/height hikers similar to Scarpa Kailash. In fact, that's what I wear in the field every day at work. They are plenty stiff enough for hiking sidehills and plenty of foot protection on rock. The Caninos are likely fairly similar. I wear them in snow but in deep snow would definitely switch over to Tibets.
I use the large hand warmers in mine and then put my socks on top Of that . Always nice to have a warm boot to put on. Hunt
Jim's the tibets I couldn't get them to lock into my hills which resulted in blisters. I got them off of amazon and only had thirty to return. Maybe i didnt get them broke in well enough.
I'll be back in Montana in September, so from last year I want to be ready for any weather. Waking up to a tent collapsed in from the snow was definitely a new experience for me.
If the terrain isn`t crazy steep and in snow....it`s Shnees pacboot with a spare set of liners. For snow I go with the air bob sole.
Haven't had an issue with leakage. Love my Meindl's. Been wearing the same pair since 2010.
Another vote for Sealskinz socks. They don't weigh much but can be a lifesaver with saturated boots.
Solomon's = $125...Crispi and others 300...but I have not seen that the cost makes them any better. Many many guys like their Solomon's. I understand that Gortex will replace if they leak
I would recommend Hoffman Boots out of Wallace, Idaho, I have been wearing their pac boots for 25 years. My next Hoffman boot will be their new explorer boot.
I use Mink Oil on my Cabela's $125.00 non insulated boots and it works great for me....layered socks, Suppression/Compression socks first layer against skin then my wool if it is cold or my Thurlow's if it is warm-ish
Just a thought--------->
Good luck, Robb
Houndy65 your one day late, the lowa boots didn't work out for me. I ordered a pair of crispi, Nevada uninsulated gtx last night. The quest continues.
Wood stove works pretty good