Assorted questions (Sleep, wide feet)

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Assorted questions (Sleep, wide feet)

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:44 pm

I would probably switch to a warmer bag if I went out, high altitude, in October. But, if you only had a 20-degree bag, you could just add a heavier down jacket and heavier long johns. I used to have down booties. They weigh little and are great to use in the shoulder season. Also, a balaclava. Regardless of the temperature rating, a late or early season bag should have a draft collar. A lot of 20-degree bags do not. You also have to be willing to cinch up the hood and just have your nose stick out, if you want to get the full advantage of your bag's comfort rating. If not willing to do this, you should bring a down hood. I have a detachable down hood on a big mountaineering down jacket that I bring sometimes. A neck gaiter is also handy. It is the drafts down the back of your neck that chill you.

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Re: Assorted questions (Sleep, wide feet)

Post by Hobbes » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:17 am

Jeff, I've been wearing this watch for years. They seem to last around 3+- years before they fail. ... UTF8&psc=1

It may sound contradictory, but this is one of the few cases where I advocate for cheap & disposable. Given the abuse - I wear it in the water, jogging, hiking, etc - with little/zero regard for protection, it's a fantastic sports watch that is light and functional.

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Re: Assorted questions (Sleep, wide feet)

Post by SirBC » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:05 pm

Ashery wrote:Besides weight, what do high end bags like Western Mountaineering have going for them?
WM are committed to ethically sourced down.

They also have amazing service. The zipper on my bag had an issue and I just took the bag to their San Jose headquarters (I had the option of mailing it) and with no questions they had someone come over and fix it on the spot. I love that bag.

Ashery wrote:What are some good wide-ish shoe recommendations?
I feel your pain. I have (as my wife calls them), Hobbit feet. One foot is 4E, the other 3E, one is a half size longer than the other. I don't know if you have ever been to "Dave's" in Tahoe, they have a number of stores in the area that rent skiing/snowboarding equipment. Some years ago I was trying to rent some snowboarding boots and the guy helping me could not fit me. He told me, "Don't worry, Dave is here. He can fit anybody". Dave came over and 20 minutes later told me he was sorry but he couldn't help me. That's pretty much been my experience my whole life. It wasn't until I had some custom made shoes in my 30's that I knew what it felt like to walk in shoes that fit.

Having said that, I do have some off-the-shelf boots and trailrunners that I use. My hiking boots are Lowa Renegades in the 2E. I have to buy them in a size larger than I normally wear. These work fine on trails and some offtrail, but for things like sidehilling they tend to rotate around my foot and create blisters.

I also have a pair of New Balance MT510 trailrunners in a 4E. They fit better than any off-the-shelf shoe I have ever worn. They are great on trail and are lighter than my Lowa's, but the soles are not stiff enough for going over talus (hurts the hell out of my feet) and the tread is terrible, I don't feel comfortable going down even a moderately steep well graded dusty trail with them. Also, they don't have a gusseted tongue and the amount of grime that collects on my foot/toes after hiking is crazy.

I just bought but have not worn a pair of 4E New Balance Leadville v3's. They have a very thick cushy sole which I hope will address offtrail use, and a gusseted tongue. Fingers crossed, I hope these can replace my Lowa's.

Regarding blister prevention, due to having hiked in poorly fitting shoes for a long time, I have tried a bunch of remedies. The "Bible" for preventing and treating sports related blisters is "Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes. I use a method described in that book that really does help in preventing the tape from peeling off. I first apply Compound Tincture of Benzoin (available on Amazon) to the area where the tape will go. This helps the tape to adhere. Let it dry for 1-2 minutes. Then apply Leukotape. Then just around the edges of the tape apply the Benzoin again and let it dry for a couple of minutes. I will typically do this the night before I will be hiking and after applying the tape I will put on a loose pair of socks. The next day it won't be a problem to put on your hiking socks without peeling off the tape. The tape will stay on for days, even if it gets wet.

This has worked really well for me. I do pay attention to my feet while hiking though. I carry a spare pair of socks in the lid of my pack and will swap them out after a few hours of hiking. If I feel a hot spot I will stop and apply a layer of Skin Glide over the tape/hotspot area.

I've tried both the Ventilator's and the Altra shoes. The Altra's are a "zero drop" shoe, where the heel is at the same height as the ball of the foot. The New Balance are, for comparisons sake, about 8-9 mm if I remember correctly. Zero drop shoes really cause my Achilles problems. This may have been what you were feeling when you tried them on.
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Re: Assorted questions (Sleep, wide feet)

Post by Ashery » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:06 am

Thanks for the fantastic feedback everyone; ended up deciding to go with the WM bag. And a big thanks to Mav for the equipment purchase offer.

Custom boots have definitely been something in the back of my mind, but I figure it's too early to jump the gun there considering my limited first hand experience with the various mass market options out there. Looks like it'll be close to October before I'm able to seriously start looking into my options, though, since shoes aren't something you can just order on a whim online.

I'm doubtful that the zero-drop of the Altra's were the source of my issue. At least directly. I'm tempted to say that my feet were simply too tall behind the base of my toes. Actually, I think that may well actually be the case now that I think about it more, since I've also realized I have pretty stubby toes. That is, where a standard foot of my size would have that hard band of material right above the base of their toes, it's a little bit further back for my feet, where it's beginning to compete with my foot's arch.

I'll definitely keep that blister remedy in mind, SirBC.

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Re: Assorted questions (Sleep, wide feet)

Post by John Harper » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:28 pm

I'm a side sleeper and purchased a Klymit Static V Lite Insulated inflatable pad. I have used it for three seasons now, and over 21 nights on it this summer alone. I was expecting to have repaired it at least once by now. Much to my amazement, it still holds air perfectly, inflates in about a dozen breaths, and keeps me warm and comfortable. If you are afraid of an inflatable pad (I was) you might try the Klymit brand.


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Re: Assorted questions (Sleep, wide feet)

Post by rlown » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:26 pm

Another thing to think about are the arch supports and the amount of arch support they give. I've replaced mine twice as they take most of the punishment. The originals in my boot were much flatter than the after market and all of my blister issues went away when replaced. my right foot is a little longer than my left and with each step, the arch would sag and the toes would be rammed into the front of the boot.

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