Foot Care on Long Treks

Foot Care on Long TreksIf the single most important piece of equipment a hiker has are his boots, then the single most important physical concern for a hiker are his feet. Most people can manage a day hike, even with a few blisters. A long trek, however, is a different proposition. Whatever injuries the feet sustain dozens of miles from civilization must be endured, so it is best to avoid them altogether with proper foot care.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hiking boots
  • Water-resistant socks
  • Flip-flops
  • Surgical tape, band-aids or moleskin
 
Step 1
Do not use a long trek to break in a new pair of boots. Even the best hiking boots with an excellent fit need a little breaking in, because after 15 miles of hard slogging a new pair of boots will create blisters. Also, don't try to squeeze the last few dozen miles out of an old pair of boots on a long trek. You don't want your shoes to start falling apart in the wrong place. A good, broken-in pair of shoes are critical to taking care of your feet.
Step 2
Condition your feet. If you take your feet from walking three miles a day to suddenly doing 15, the best shoes and socks in the world won't prevent blisters and perhaps worse problems. By no means do you need to walk 15 miles a day to prepare your feet. Going on a day hike every weekend for a few weeks before the big trek will do the job nicely.
Step 3
Choose good socks. Avoid cotton, which soak up moisture and keep your feet damp. Go with wool or a moisture-resistant synthetic fabric.
Step 4
Air out your feet on the trail. Whenever you stop to rest, pull your boots off and air out your feet. Bring along a light, cheap pair of flip flops to wear around camp at night so you don't need your boots and can continue to air out your feet after stopping for the day.
Step 5
Keep your toenails cut short.
Step 6
Treat blisters as they start by covering the sore area with surgical tape, a band aid or best of all a moleskin. Take this off at night as part of letting your feet air out, and then decide whether to re-apply your treatment the next day.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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