There is nothing worse than after a long backpacking day get into a sleeping bag and wake up in the middle of the night with cold feet. That happens to me constantly when we go backpacking not in summer season. I have tried everything: wearing multiple dry socks, wearing grandma’s knitted woolen socks alone and with other socks, but I would still wake up with cold toes. And if feet are cold the whole body will get cold too and is impossible to go back to sleep. So I started thinking about other ways how to get rid of cold feet in my sleeping bag? A new warmer sleeping bag cost too much and I am fine with the one I have. To buy down booties cost $50-100 and I didn’t want to spend that much money either. Since I know how to sew I decided to use my skills to make my own down booties/slippers. It was a long process as I was looking not only that booties would keep me warm but also that it would look good. I found couple patterns people used before in different backpacking forums but something was not working for me when I tried to make it myself. So I created my own pattern and decided to share it with you.
STEP 1. Get your supplies
- 1 yard of rip stop nylon. ( I got mine from http://zpacks.com/ I chose 2 yards of Ventum Ripstop Nylon but 1 yard is enough if you are not planning on making more things).
- Some high quality down, I would suggest to go to your local thrift shop and get a puffy jacket and use the down from it.
- Some paper to make your own pattern, pen & measurement tape
- Sewing machine and nylon thread.
STEP 2. Make the pattern.
- First, trace your feet on the paper it will be your down booty sole. Add ⅝ of an inch ( or 1,5 cm) on a side it will be your sewing allowance, cut the pattern.
- Take a measurement tape and measure from your longest toe to the ankle the part that bends and subtract an inch.
- Measure from the middle of the toes following the measuring tape around the feet to the heel. Add ⅝ of an inch ( or 1.5 cm) for seam allowance.
- Use the sole pattern to guide you how wide the hole for your ankle should be.
- Make a rectangle, the length of it should be the circumference of your boot part and the width its up to you how long you want the sock to be ( mine was 4 inches or 10 cm). Multiply width by 2 and draw your rectangle that now is 8 inches ( 20 cm ) width and the length stays the same.
STEP 3. Make the down booties/socks.
- Cut the rest 2 pieces of the pattern.
- Place all 3 pattern pieces on the fabric and pin them to the fabric ( Make sure to fold your fabric in half before).
- Cut your pieces.
- Repeat steps above for the second bootie.
- Now you should have 4 pieces of sole, 4 pieces of boot part and 2 pieces of sock piece.
- Take 2 sole pieces and sew together by leaving a small opening for stuffing the down inside. Repeat the step with the rest of the pattern pieces except the sock part. Fold sock part in half and sew it.
- Stuff the down through the openings.
- Hand sew shut the openings.
- Sew all 3 pieces together.
And here you go, you just made yourself down booties/ slippers. Wear them while you sleep on your next backpacking/camping trip and don’t get cold feet anymore. And for all of you who are obsessed with ultralight backpacking these down booties don’t take space and are super light! So don’t wait grab your grandma’s sewing machine and do it yourself! On your next backpacking trip your cold feet will thank you!