As a kid, one thing I really hated was being cold. I remember getting wet and chilled to the bone tubbing as a kid. My hands were so cold, I wanted to cry. When I got home, I thought running hot water over them would take away the pain – boy, was I wrong! I couldn’t believe how much it hurt! I learned not to use that tactic to warm my freezing hands in the future but I still hated being wet and cold. Tubbing was so much fun, but there was always a price to pay. In addition to tubbing, often hunting was also a time of painful cold.
When I’d go deer hunting with my dad, we’d get up early on opening morning, leave the warmth of our sleeping bags, put on our coats and orange vests and hats and hike out to the edge of a clearing and sit and wait for the sun to come up. Since it was typically late in October, it was always cold before sunrise in the mountains. As a young kid, it was hard to sit still for what seemed like forever but it almost always paid off, we’d see several deer as they were looking for a place to bed down for the day.
Problem was, after the warmth of hiking wore off, just sitting there in the dark, I would start to shiver. My rear would get cold sitting on the ground and my feet would start to get cold. I hated it when my feet and toes would get cold because it was always difficult to warm them up. Unless you took your boots off, even sitting close to a fire didn’t seem to warm them up.
I remember being warned as a kid not to rest your feet too close to a fire because once you actually felt the heat of the fire through your boots, they were too close, too hot and you could both burn your boots as well as your feet. I had a friend who was wearing rubber winter boots, his feet got cold and he tried to warm them by the fire. He got too close and his boots melted and badly burned his feet before he could get them off. He was in so much pain he wanted to cut off his feet.
Over the years, I have purchased very warm boots (I personally like the Sorel brand) but they can be heavy and clunky if you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking. Unfortunately, the lighter weight hiking boots just never provide the warmth once you stop moving around. Then I discovered the solution! You’re probably familiar with space blankets – thin mylar blankets that help keep you warm by reflecting your body heat – great in an emergency. Well, this solution works on the same principle, reflecting the heat from your feet. The mylar blankets are far too thin and would bunch up if you tried to line your boots with one. Luckily, there’s another solution – car windshield sun shades.
You can pick these up at your local dollar store for just a buck. I picked up ten of them to keep with my preps for future needs. Just remove the insoles from your boots and use them as a pattern. Trace around them with a Sharpie marker, and cut them out. Slide the perfectly cut sun shade inside your boot, shiny side up. Now replace your insoles. You can also try placing the cut out sun shade on top of your insole. You will be amazed how warm they will keep your feet. Even though the material is thin, it’s rigid enough that they won’t bunch up when you walk.
Here’s a quick video with directions on how to make these great foot warmers.
Put these sun shades on your shopping list and pick up several. You can fit all your family’s winter boots needs and have extras for when the kid’s boot size change.