Friday, January 28, 2022

Heat for the feet, part two

The heating pad didn’t satisfy my needs and wants so it went to a new home. May it serve the new owner well. 

Time to try the no-tech option. I got a real rubber hot water bottle and filled it with not quite boiling water. Mmmmm, nice and warm. I slipped it under the covers between my feet. Having never used a water bottle before, I didn’t know whether I was supposed to simply keep it in the general vicinity of my feet or rest my feet against it. I went with the latter. But that left me with tootsies that were toasty on one side and chilly on the other. So I moved my feet, leaving them feeling neither warm or cold. Okay, I’d try that.

I always change sleeping positions several times before falling asleep. Now I was bumping against the water bottle each time. I would move the bottle to make room for my feet, ankles, shins. Kind of annoying.

My big question was how long the bottle would stay warm. I understand a little bit of physics and know that when objects of different temperatures come in contact for a period of time, their temperatures eventually average out, with cold things warming up and warm things cooling down. And I also know that everything cools down unless more heat is applied. My semi-educated guess was that the hot water bottle would end up being a no-warmer-than-me bottle by morning.

And that was what happened the first night. Then there were several nights in a row that were warmer and my feet were happy without the bottle. The results the next chilly night were pretty much the same. I think if it had been seriously cold the bottle would’ve stopped being warm in the middle of the night.

So, meh, I don’t think a hot water bottle is the answer. The quest will continue.


  1. Replies
    1. Wool socks, down booties or similar things can only hold in the heat my feet generate. My feet don't make enough heat, which is why I'm trying external sources.

    2. Ever try a wool cap too?
      Most of the night time heat loss happens through the top of your head. You're feeling the heat loss at the other end of your body.
      Without a power source all you can do is conserve what you have.

      From the back of my mind ... dry rice on a sealed sock that was heated (in a microwave?) being used as a heat storage

  2. When I lived in some cold country my feet being cold was helped a lot by a first layer of nylon stockings from the womens section of Walmart. The next layer was some COLD WEATHER knee high "socks" from a hiking store. Then my best results was a sleeping bag over all of that but not up past my waist for me. I think my legs must not have blood circulation in them. Good luck. Cold feet are miserable.

  3. Maybe handwarmers in socks or electric socks?

  4. The more I remember about my cold feet trouble the less I can say even came close to working except warming pads plugged into 120 volt service. This is one of the reasons I try to NOT boondock in cold weather.

  5. I have same issue with feet. I have had good luck with hot water bottles. I use at least two. I use boiling water and have an old beat- up pan dedicated for that water only (re-using the same water) I preheat the bed with first round. Then reheat and refill. I use a lot of insulation (blankets or pillows) over the feet area. Sometimes I tie them to my feet with other long sox. I find them still just warm when I wake up. This has worked well for me when I had no other heat available. Not long ago, I found some flat-ish, smooth black landscape stones. I heated them in the hot water pan and then dried them and then set them under the covers to heat up that area. They weren't that noticeable while sleeping. I store them in a cloth drawstring bag (shoe bag?) in the pot when not in use. Maybe too much extra 'stuff' for you to haul around. Also, using a bit of fleece fabric there seems to help my 'popsicle toes'. I hope you give the 'warm hugs' another chance.

  6. Since you asked my opinion . . .

    How about a "half sleeping bag" design, maybe using a small comforter, that you could place your lower legs in before pulling up the covers over the whole shebang. I know it seems as though your feet generate no heat, but I don't think that's possible if they're still attached and healthy. You just need to capture what little is there and keep it around through the night.

    You're welcome. ;)

  7. Low-tech magazine just covered water bottles. Coincidence?

  8. I put seldom used clothes in a pillow case and put that over my feet. I also have a heavy wool coat that I never wear because it is so heavy and put that over my feet. Then a blanket on top of all that. It does feel heavy at first but I have gotten used to it. I can sleep and have warm feet down to -5 or so. In addition, I have my regular blankets, sleeping bags etc. Adding more layers only over my feet was my solution.