Using light boots in the snow and wet, Vapor Barrier Socks

The method shown allowed me to use lightweight breathable boots for a two week
May trip in the Tablelands of SEKI where we had wet snow travel the entire time.

Note especially the insole INSIDE the bread sack and the tuck tape over the top
of the instep grocery bag. This will allow several days use out of a bread sack without
your toe going through the bag. The duct tarp lasts through several days use too.

The neoprene sock worked as a VLB and as an inner sock as it was fleece lined. It and
the bread sack kept the insole and wool rag sock dry as they were sandwiched between
the waterproof layers. A bit of perspiration did make it through the neo sock, but
was such a small amount that it made no noticeable difference. I would sleep with
all the socks in my bag at night, and they were usually dry by morning. I had to
turn the neo socks inside out at night for them to dry.

I have done the same thing with bread sacks replacing the neosocks, worn over thin liners. Tape over the instep again helps prevent the toes
blowing out.

One of my hiking partners used bread sacks with wool socks and tevas for his snow camp

Link to a good description of the use Vapor Barriers in cold weather hiking.



Filed under Oware Backpacking Gear, Tips for the Backcountry

5 responses to “Using light boots in the snow and wet, Vapor Barrier Socks

  1. Jim Colten

    Thanks for the info Dave.

    What brand of neoprene socks were you using?

    Regarding sleeping with socks in your bag … synthetic insulation in the bag or down?


    • I have used two brands, both I got at Campmor. They are 1/8″ thick
      versions so they fit with other socks in my boots. One pair was
      fleece lined, the other not. Couldn’t really tell the difference
      between them other than the fleece ones seemed to last longer.
      Both were very durable, and I wore them as stand alone socks
      on summer days as times while my regular socks were drying
      from a wash. The neo socks are also good for stream crossings
      on their own.


    • I use a down bag and add a bivy or synthetic overbag and vapor
      barrier liner for long trips in cold weather.


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