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View Poll Results: How much Thinsulate for general hunting boots?
200 grams or less 12 37.50%
400 grams 6 18.75%
600 grams 10 31.25%
800 grams 2 6.25%
1,000 grams or more 2 6.25%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-21-2007, 08:26 AM
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How much Thinsulate in your boots?


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For normal fall/early winter stalking (temps in 20's-40's, maybe some light snow on the ground), how much Thinsulate do you like in your boots?
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2007, 08:49 AM
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I mostly prefer none at those temps, especially when hiking/hunting. I have a pair of Danners with nothing, another with 200 grams, and a pair of Brownings with 600 grams. All tend to be too hot with some fairly good exursion, but the 600's are good if there's a bit of butt time watching hillsides.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2007, 09:22 AM
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More than you wanted to know.

None. Leather hiking boots and good socks. Polypropylene liners and wool socks that aren't worn thin anywhere. I've had Thinsulate in gloves before, but the fingers eventually wear out same as any other gloves, and then it doesn't do me any good.

I looked at the 3M website on this material. It the table on footwear is any indicator, you probably won't want more than their 400 grams per square meter thickness unless you either have circulatory issues, as from diabetes, or are going to spend most of your time sitting in a stand? If you stalk vigorously, it looks like 200 grams will do it. If you mosey along, the 400 would appear to be designed more for that.

It annoys me a little, as a thermal engineer, that they created their own unit for clothing, the clo, equal to .88 of a regular R/inch value. That unit appears to be a solution in search of a problem. Especially since they go on to sell the material by grams per square meter rather than by clo number or thickness. But that's just my view as a technical person. It's not a big deal.

As near as I can tell, this insulation should do well in boot uppers. I have no idea what its insulating properties are when it is squashed flat under the weight of your foot, as compared with regular socks? They don't say, but I can guarantee the flatter you squash it the lower the clo or R value will be, regardless of the number of grams present. You are shortening the heat path in compression, and that will increase both the contact and fluid (air) conductivities. Infra-red reflectance and absorption may remain unchanged.

They talk about their small fibers being better at trapping air than coarse ones, but if you have a good air barrier on the outer sides, it won't matter. Air pockets have to exceed half an inch for air's insulating effect to drop due to convection, (that's why double-pane windows have the thickness they do), and all fibers make air spaces much smaller than half an inch. Where smaller fibers can help is in the area of breaking up fiber-to-fiber contact heat conduction. This also allows radiated heat to be trapped nearer the surface of the fibers (because it has a harder time finding a path out), and that may be what their real advantage is that gets them rated higher than down? Perhaps the same increased contact interruption helps under compression, too? It may, but that depends on the fiber compressibility and they just don't specify it.
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Last edited by unclenick; 01-21-2007 at 09:27 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2007, 09:46 AM
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I've got a pair of LaCrosse Mountaineers that fill that gap pretty well. They are I believe 14" tall and work well for when it's muddy and when the snow gets deep. They also work well for when as Shawn said there is need of "butt time" to glass and rest. They have the removable liner that is made of thinsulate or some such stuff. When there is no snow I just wear my Whites Smokejumpers.

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  #5  
Old 01-21-2007, 11:38 AM
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Hello
I voted for the 200 or less,because that is what my regular boots have.However,a few years back,we had a severe early Fall cold spell,and,because I'm getting a little long in the tooth,I have a second pair of boots with 1200 gms of insulation.They are bigger,heavier and clumsier,but now are necesary,sometimes.Not this past Fall;sneakers wold suffice.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2007, 12:55 PM
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i just bought a new pair back in nov. for deer hunting there 600 grain. there nice and warm and light for walking around alot. i had a old pair that was rated for -100'f but there wighted too much to do any amount of walking around in the woods
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2007, 01:09 PM
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In dry conditions I would say non-insulated with good wool socks but if there is snow, that means wet and then I would go with rubber bottoms and 200 grams or less (none) of insulation.

But I do little stalking, mostly sitting so then I would go with about 800 on dry ground. My chest waders have 2000d and look like moon boots but standing in near freezing water for 4+ hours is tuff.

BTW, I hate cold feet!
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2007, 03:00 AM
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Nothing ruins a hunt faster than cold, wet feet. If it's just cold, I agree with the majority here - boot liners and good, thick wool socks. But if it's snowing or raining buckets, WATERPROOF and boot liners and wool socks. Insulation isn't necessary for me, as long as my feet are dry. Good luck finding a pair of truly waterproof boots. I've spent more money on a variety of boots, from Rockies, Cabela's, Vasques, Merrells, you name it. None have stood the test of time for me, until I bought a pair of Kamik mukluk rubber and leather boots. So far so good. I personally think thinsulate is over-rated and a lot of hype. Also, silk glove liners covered by water proof thin gloves and under wool fingerless gloves keep my hands warm and dry, while still allowing me to use my fingers. A Rivers West handwarmer/muff is great for warmth when you don't need your hands free. It's taken quite a few combinations and even more money to find a method for warm, dry feet and hands. Just my opinion and experience. Wolfsong.
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2007, 07:23 AM
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I have 2 pair, both are 400. I always keep the extra pair in my car. I have been out in October in 10 degree temps with snow or ice falling. You can't beat a good, warm, dry boot.
Nothing worse than cold wet feet to ruin a day.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2007, 07:52 AM
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Had my feet frostbitten many years ago while in the service and now can't find much of a combination to keep the tooties warm. The boot liner and good, heavy wool socks, plus a thin wicking sock is about the best I can do. Feet were frostbitten while wearing the rubber "Mickey Mouse" boots, so I don't hold much for rubber boots. Like the waterproofed leather ones far better.
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  #11  
Old 01-22-2007, 08:03 AM
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The views of an old man ....

I used to range far and wide. Now, at 66, I don't go far, my favored hunting method is bush-wacking 'em from above!

Almost all my deer hunting is around a lake in GA, near my camper. I go out in my small boat, tie up on shore and walk a up a few hundred yards, find a tree and climb it. It can sure get cold up high when being still. For sitting, I would prefer to have boots with maybe 8000 grams of thinsulate but I can't find 'em!

As a reasonable compromise between walking comfort and sitting comfort I find that boots with 200-400 grams don't get too hot for walking reasonable distances but they do get cold in a few hours of being still, expecially so if there is any wind. And there usually is. My solution has been effective and cheap.

After an hour or so in the stand, my feet begin to cool too much so I need an air barrier around them. I just put each boot into a plastic shopping bag and tie the tops around my calves; it works too. Got to be really still or the bags can make a little noise but with warm feet, I can be still a lot longer.

Last edited by ranger335v; 01-22-2007 at 08:17 AM.
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2007, 10:01 AM
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Wow, I must be the cold wimp on this forum!!!

I ended up with a nice case of hypothermia about 10 years ago while out hunting on one of those 35 degrees and raining type of days. It threw me for quite a loop. It seemed to sensitize me to the cold also. Ever since then I can't keep my hands or feet warm enough. Tried alot of boot and sock combos. Bought a bunch of new inner and outer clothes after that too. I now use 800 mg thinsulate boots with a wicking sock and a heavy thermal synthetic sock over that. As long as I still hunt s-l-o-w my feet don't sweat up and I can sit in relative comfort. If the temp is under 32 and I am sitting, my feet only remain warm for an hour or two. After that I have to still hunt for a little bit to warm them back up.

Like wolfsong, I use silk liners as my first layer for my hands too. They are great as long as they stay bone dry.

MikeW
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2007, 10:39 AM
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There are some simple therapies that you can use to train your body to keep hands and feet warm in extreme cold. I believe that the army is possibly using this in Alaska?

Basically, you keep hands and feet in something warm, while exposing the rest of the body to cold (briefly).

Sounds interesting... but, hypothermia is a survival reaction to life-threatening cold. Not sure you'd want to turn it completely off....
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2007, 01:09 PM
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I recall studying hypothermia and its symptoms in diving training. It can happen any time the body is exposed to temperatures below body temperature if you are in conditions that cause you to lose heat to that lower temperature faster than you can generate it. In water, which removes heat rapidly from the body, people get hypothermia even when it is in the low 80’s. Ever notice how kids, with their relatively high surface area-to-volume ratio, will come out of the local swimming hole shivering, even in summer?

As far as training goes, that's for real. When I was about three years into learning T'ai Chi (college days), I remember going out on a snow-covered field in 25° weather in my shirtsleeves to practice. Even with a breeze blowing, it still made my hands and fingers heat until my palms were perspiring. I don't expect the opportunity to watch people exercise attracts much game, though.

The main thing is to try to control heat loss. Warm extremities are comfortable and avoid frostbite, but hypothermia is more about core temperature. You lose heat where blood flow is great near your surface; the scalp and armpits, for example. Staying dry helps because water conducts heat much faster than air, and a Thinsulate fiber that works great defining air pockets won’t work nearly as well if the air is replaced by water. That's why divers switch from wet suits to dry suits in really cold water. Keep your head dry so your hair acts as an insulating fiber. If you don't have head hair, get a thin wool cap to wear under an oversize hat. Keep thick insulation under your armpits (a vest under your coat, for example), then don't keep your arms propped up to let air in under them. If you have to sit a long time, a rain poncho you can withdraw your arms into will create insulating air pockets around your coat as well as keeping you dry. Getting on your gun fast without much visible movement becomes a little more problematic, though.
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Last edited by unclenick; 01-24-2007 at 05:53 AM. Reason: grammar
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2007, 08:26 AM
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Excellent posts, unclenick! Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:04 PM
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Well, since both my rubber boots and my lace up hunting boots have 600 grams I guess I have to vote that way. I grew up in Oregon and learned that staying dry made the biggest difference. Poypro is nice but I find I like Capilene and Ultimax even better. For me it seems not to hold stinky feet smell as much as Polypro does and I tend to always have warm feet, that can be an issue after three days in a tent. Warm dry feet means my wife can snuggle up to me and put her cold feet on mine and warm them up.

I like wool socks, but prefer good moisture wicking socks. A good medium weight pair does the job unless it is -20 and I'm sitting still for a long time. If it's that cold, I'm wearing pac boots.
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2007, 05:33 PM
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I got a pair of La Crosse boots with 500 gram insulation and they work out fine for about anything I do. They're a little warm for fall days when I'll be out in terrain that requires boots and not just a pair of junky shoes, but I love them for pheasant hunting and deer hunting where it can get cold and I'll have to go through deep snow. My feet are a size 14 so the boots are massive and they go high on my calves, so I have no problem going through thick stuff. They're waterproof, and I can thank them being so warm because I can remember when I was pheasant hunting a couple years ago and my father sent me to go through a slough and one of my feet went through the ice and over the top of the boot. The exterior was frozen but my foot was still warm. If it gets really cold I'll wear a good pair of wool socks and my feet will be fine.

I suppose I don't know any different but these suit me pretty well.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:19 PM
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My normal hunting boots have 1000, but I usually hike in and sit. I take extra socks along and change them when I get to the stand because the original pair will be damp w/ sweat. I have experimented with heavy sock but that seemed to have an opposite effect, it made my feet fit tighter in the boots and they got cold quicker.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb12string
. . . it made my feet fit tighter in the boots and they got cold quicker.
May be the compressed fiber phenomenon I was mentioning, but may also be reduced circulation from the tight fit or a combination of the two. Anyway, you want a loose enough fit that you don't blister the ends of your toes walking downslopes.
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  #20  
Old 01-25-2007, 04:14 PM
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I usually buy the boots a size larger, put in liners either of poly or wool, and use polar fleece and wool combination socks without getting things too tight. 600 gram leather Danners.
I have some of the Mickey Mouse boots, mfgd. by Beta. I definitely use a wool removable liner in the sole, and wear the double moisture wick polar fleece and wool socks. The military surplus or original Beta Boots are the only way to go in the winter for my money. I have worn them at a recorded -60f to work outside fixing equipment that should have been left alone! It's the only boot I wear snow machining in the back country, and have had them fill with water and still keep my feet warm. I have never owned a new pair, but I heard they cost about 200.00 to 300.00. I even modified my snow shoe bindings and ice cleats to fit these bulbous booties.
Dog mushers wear a little different style that is lighter, bigger, and better for running along the dog sled.
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