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Old 12-24-2017, 06:34 PM   #1
HemlockHiker's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 7
Winter Overnight Boot Selection

Hi All,

I'm want to try my hand at winter camping and do my first trip this year. My main hang-up currently is selecting the proper footwear and I'm looking for some advice on winter boot selection. I've been reading up on other threads and have seen some great suggestions, but many of those seem like boots that wouldn't be good for overnight camping due to them freezing. I have been looking at purchasing Muck Boots, perhaps the Artic Sport Mid Height model thinking that because of their construction they would be less prone to freezing. I could perhaps add a wool/felt liner to the boot to take out each night and put in the sleeping bag to dry at night. Does anyone else use these boots, or something similar, for winter camping? Are they comfortable to hike in? The military surplus mickys seems like they would fit the bill, but they seem clunky and uncomfortable. Maybe I'm wrong about that?

Thanks in advance, happy trails and happy holidays!
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:19 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
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#1. Rule - What ever you wear, put them in the bottom of your sleeping bag, in a bag. At -32 F it takes most of the morning to thaw frozen boots out.
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:39 PM   #3
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Welcome Hemlock,
I occasionally use ‘Wetland’ Muck Boots while winter camping and/or icefishing and love them, but not for hiking, as the ones that I have don’t provide very much ankle support.
For winter hiking, snowshoeing, & backpacking I’ve had good luck with These over the past 3 years, using them year round.
For socks I use a layer of merino wool, followed by another one of the countless pairs of warm socks mom & grandma always buy me for Xmas.

Never was much of a fan of putting my boots in the sleeping bag with me.
Hot water bottle or warming packs can often help with that.

Last edited by Justin; 12-24-2017 at 09:21 PM.. Reason: Wetland Muck Boots
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Old 12-25-2017, 12:18 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2016
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I wear Mucks for hunting and chores in the winter, but wouldn't want to hike in them. They do not breathe at all, which leaves you with damp feet and damp boots that can't easily be dried. Same goes for the Keen pseudo-pack boots. They have insulation but it's not removable for drying, which drives me insane because they fit my feet so well.

I have a pair of Empire Wool and Canvas True North boots that I love. They're not remotely water resistant, but the liner and sock system I use gives me over an inch of wool between my feet and the cold. They're also only available in the summer or on the secondary market.

Sorel or Kamik pack boots are reasonably priced, available almost everywhere, and (importantly) use a removable wool felt liner. I'd go up two sizes with Sorels to allow for extra socks and circulation. Extra liners are available, and you might want to cut an insole from Reflectix or carpet scraps for additional underfoot insulation.
Alternatively, you could just wear your regular hiking boot and invest in a pair of insulated NEOS overshoes. I've read that folks have used NEOS with pack boot liners or down booties as a modern pseudo-mukluk.

Whatever you do, there's an REI in Rochester now. Their excellent return policy eliminates the risk of getting stuck with a bad choice and makes the drive worthwhile.

Last edited by SyrMatt; 12-25-2017 at 12:20 PM.. Reason: *return policy
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Old 12-25-2017, 01:33 PM   #5
Pauly D.
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Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
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I use these in 10 inch height and love them. I carry an extra set of liners too and plenty of thick Merino wool socks. Cold feet are the worst. Best of luck!
Oh I'd rather go and journey where the diamond crest is flowing...

Last edited by Pauly D.; 12-25-2017 at 02:52 PM..
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:43 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 7
All, thanks for your insights and warm welcome. It seems like Muck boots won't be the best fit for what I'm looking for...back to the drawing board.

It seems like the Sorels keep popping up again and again in my research, maybe there is something to that. SyrMatt...I think I'll take your advice on traveling to the REI store to try some pairs on. For all its convenience I've always struggled with purchasing footwear online since you can't try them on first. It also helps that I moved to Rochester so the drive will be much, much shorter! What model of Sorel do you recommend?

Also, a friend has a pair of North Face Chilcat III he is willing to part with. He's used them lightly, but otherwise they're in good condition. Anyone have experience in those? It seems like they don't come with a removable liner, but maybe I could still add one?
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:44 PM   #7
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Boots that are really warm aren't easy to hike in and those that are easy to hike in aren't warm. What distance do you plan to hike in for the overnight/weekend? I prefer a boot that has a removable liner and I would carry an extra liner.

One solution would be to hot tent so you can dry things out at night.

I tried on Baffin Impact but the boots were very large. Too clunky for me. I also tried their Control Max which were a smaller-size boot. I may get those or the Selkirk.

The Mukluk-style boot is great for super-cold weather where you will never encounter wet conditions. You can hedge your bet and get the Steger Mukluk CamuksXtreme which are water resistant and light.

Another approach would be to get even a smaller-size boot such as the Baffin Yoho. They have a removable liner as well. is a great place to buy boots from as they have a fantastic selection and free shipping both ways. I believe they are located in Burlington, VT so they would be a good place to take an overnight trip to visit.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:37 PM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I'm a fan of Steger Mukluks. It's worth pointing out that although they rank very high for warmth, comfort, and light weight, the only traction they accept is snowshoes. It took me awhile to accept the conclusion: for much ADK back country snow travel you will need a little heavier SS, e. g. MSR EVO instead of e.g. Northern Lites Backcountry, so you have more traction on ice and uphill.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:05 AM   #9
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The Obvious

How come nobody recommend the Best Boot Goin'...?
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boots, overnight, winter

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