North Face NSE Tent Bootie???

Really the big disadvantage with these is all the taunting you'll have to endure from your friends. If you can take it, however, the North Face's 700-fill down NSE Tent Bootie offers several tempting advantages. For a long time, I've struggled with the issue of what to wear around camp while ski mountaineering. Basically, you've got to get your ski boots off so you can dry out the liners and the shells, which will always be alarmingly wet after a hard day of climbing.

But what do you put on your feet once you're at camp—especially if your tent is surrounded by loose, deep snow?

Without snow, you may be able to get away with just wearing a thick pair of wool socks, or even going barefoot. With snow, socks alone obviously won't work. I've heard of people wearing silnylon stuff sacks on their feet, which does waterproof your socks, although as a fashion statement it leaves something to be desired. Traction, additionally, will certainly be an issue, especially if you happed to be camping along the edge of something big and nasty.

You may be tempted to just bring along your hiking/mountaineering boots, which I have occasionally done, but you'll surely regret the extra weight and space they take up in your pack. So, consider the tent bootie: warm and water-resistant, and not-too-terribly-heavy, at 11.6 ounces for the '09 model.

— October 10, 2008

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents