How to Deal With a Blister While Hiking

How to Deal With a Blister While Hiking
Blisters can ruin a great hike. Blisters develop anywhere on the foot or body where there is irritating friction. Shoes, clothing and skin rubbing against skin creates friction. A blister forms when the outer portion of skin separates from the next layer. The clear liquid that forms in between these two layers is called serum and it is there in order to cushion the blistered area.  Blisters can be very painful and, if you aren't properly equipped, you might have a painful hike back to your starting point. Read the simple steps below to deal with your blister while hiking.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Sit somewhere comfortable and remove your hiking boot and sock.
Step 2
Wash the area with soap and water. If that isn't available, use an alcohol pad.
Step 3
Poke the blister in an area close to the base. Use a sterile needle. You can sterilize a needle with fire, boiling water or alcohol.
Step 4
Apply an antibiotic ointment. If you don't have any, use more alcohol. This will sting.
Step 5
Cover the blister with gauze.
Step 6
Secure the gauze with tape. Medical tape works well. Duct tape works great.
Step 7
Replace sock and hiking boot.
Step 8
Walk around for a while to determine if you can continue the hike. If not, return to your starting point and go home to rest. You do not want to risk developing an infection.

Tips & Warnings

If you didn't pack a first-aid kit, super glue will work in place of the gauze and tape. Be sure to clean the blister and surrounding areas thoroughly. Band-aids don't work very well for hikers, sweat makes them fall off.
Do not remove the skin from the blister. It may be easier to get an infection. If your blister looks infected, seek medical attention immediately.

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