[Cdt-l] Vapor Barrier Liner socks

Paul Magnanti pmags at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 7 17:52:42 CST 2010


VBLs are a trick of the trade for people who trek a lot in winter (possibly for canoiests too..but I don't know)

 Basically, it is fancy garbage bag for your feet.

A person will typically  put on a liner sock then put on the VBL ...then put on the heavier fleece or wool sock.

Besides keeping your heat in, they prevent your socks from getting soaked with sweat. 

A VBL often used by people winter camping because the same principle works for the sleeping bag.  The heat is kept
in the bag and the all the  water the typical human puts out over the night is (mainly) contained in the VBL helping to prevent
the bag from getting condensation inside (Other than the normal night breathing of course).

Note these are all deep winter uses.  Snowy, cold and dry.   . 

They are not really meant for extended trekking and/or above freezing conditions. You may get a mild case of athletes foot in a best case scenario...
or trench foot in the worse case. 

If you go with VBLs, be sure to air out your feet and change your socks on a regular basis. 

A poor man's version of VBLs and perfect for short periods of time are breadbags...aka BagTex. :)  Crude, but effective, in a pinch. (I carry
them in my winter day kit).

If you are trekking in above freezing conditions (aka water crossings) and find your feet are cold, many people swear by SealSkinz:
http://www.danalco.com/  More breathable than VBL and perhaps better for above freezing conditions.

I've never used them personally, but other people have had good luck with them in conditions you described.

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