Winter boots for backpacking ?

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Tom_H
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Re: Winter boots for backpacking ?

Post by Tom_H » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:36 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:14 am
...winter backpacking....was a lot of work and so unforgiving.
Truer words were never spoken. The environment can seem ultra-serene and more starkly silent than you could imagine, but the whole experience is one of extreme exertion and survival. Staying alive is of far greater concern than enjoying the beauty of nature. For me personally, these trips were of value in that they induced a realization about how much of our everyday stuff and activities are frivolous. It makes you think a lot about what is important in life and what is not. From that perspective, I am so glad I did these trips, but also glad I will never do one again.








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Satchel Buddah
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Re: Winter boots for backpacking ?

Post by Satchel Buddah » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:56 pm

thank you all for all the advice! Indeed, Daisy, babysteps is what is on the menu! First night(s) out will have easy egress until I know what I am doing :). And Tom, your wise words are well heard.

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bobby49
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Re: Winter boots for backpacking ?

Post by bobby49 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:43 pm

We were doing a two-day ski traverse from Highway 4 and the Mount Reba turnoff going up to Highway 88 east of Carson Pass. One couple consisted of the guy that had skied with us a lot plus his lady. It turned out that it was her first time out in the winter, and it also turned out that this was their honeymoon! Crazy!

When we were about 60% of the way along, we realized that we had to alter our route. So, we ended up making it to Highway 88 in a blizzard. That gal learned her lessons the hard way. It was a wonder that she made it out with all of her toes.

Kids, this is only for trained professionals! Don't do this at home.

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SSSdave
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Re: Winter boots for backpacking ?

Post by SSSdave » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:17 pm

And then there are those long long long night hours when it is to cold to hold up a book outside one's winter sleeping bag.

Oh, you wake up and its the wee hours, and you fight that growing urge to p as it is so so cold out. Oh I wish I had brought a p-bottle! An hour later it is driving you nuts so out of the bag you go, struggle pushing into your stiff boots, take a few steps outside, and then bring back in a ridiculous amount of snow stuck on them thar boots that later in their isolation stuff bag melts when pushed into your sleeping bag so as not to freeze like a rock overnight but instead makes your sleeping bag damp. Oh I wish I'd brought a little brush to knock snow off my boots and clothing and sweep up all the flakes inside my tent now.

There are whole books on winter camping, best read before learning the more painful way or better take WD's training advice.

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Tom_H
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Re: Winter boots for backpacking ?

Post by Tom_H » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:50 pm

I finally found the boots I used long ago. Unbelievably, they still make an almost identical pair. These are Chippewa. They have gusseted tongue, are waterproof, have lamb shearling wool fleece insulation all around the inside, tightly woven wool foot inserts, squared off toe to fit hinged swivel mountaineering bindings (but without the extension for 3-pins), grooved heel for cable part of binding, padded snow collars, and Vibram lug soles. They work well with that type binding; also with snowshoes, with crampons (but sole not stiff enough for ice climbing), with microspikes, or hiking on cold bare ground or compressed snow/ice. They are an amazing all-round winter expedition boot. I got mine through Sears in 1978; these are through Amazon. They come in two outer finish styles. To see the wool fleece insulation lining, go to first or second link below, scroll to third picture, zoom in on cuff.

https://www.amazon.com/Chippewa-Waterpr ... B001D1E5ZG
https://www.amazon.com/Chippewa-Mens-Go ... CTIC+25466

The boots are also available directly from Chippewa. (Note that Chippewa site does not have as many photos of the boots.)
https://www.chippewaboots.com/footwear/ ... ctic/25492
https://www.chippewaboots.com/footwear/ ... ctic/25466

Here is one other Chippewa boot insulated with thinsulate. I would consider this for hiking on dry ground in winter, and perhaps for hiking on shallow packed snow or ice with microspikes, but not for the other purposes described above.
https://www.amazon.com/Chippewa-Origina ... wa+6068TAN
https://www.amazon.com/Chippewa-6068BLK ... ppewa+6068
https://www.chippewaboots.com/footwear/ ... er/6068TAN

I cannot overstate how ideal the Arctic 50 Chippewa boot was for me. Still, this type of need is a fairly personal decision. I would recommend reading the reviews attached to the pages. There are many military mountaineering personnel, nordic mountaineering skiers, hunters, etc. who rave about them. There are a few negative reviews re delamination and separation of sole/upper. Those with attached photos make me think those people lathered Sno-Seal on the seams of Vibram layers and in the stitching, causing deterioration and delamination.

Remember to size them for use with two thick pair of expedition weight sox.

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