Hiking is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and get beneficial exercise, but a blister or any other minor issue can be an emergency when miles from the trail head. The following tips will help make sure your hikes are care free and fun no matter what the trail has in store.
Avoid the dreaded blister
Blisters are one of the hiker’s worse enemies. While an inconvenience when at home they can be debilitating when your only way home is walking. Even with well fitting shoes and proper socks blisters can occur, especially early in the season. Try these simple tips to avoid being a victim.
Wearing pantyhose under your clothing will not only help avoid blisters they will also add a thin but valuable layer to ward off the cold.
2. Petroleum Jelly
If you have hot spots prone to blistering smear a little bit of petroleum jelly on your skin before putting on your socks. It will reduce friction and there by cut down on blisters.
3. Treat ASAP
The key to keeping a blister from getting out of control is to treat any problems as soon as possible.
Ditch the tent
Your tent takes up valuable space and adds unwanted weight so ditch it for a large tarp instead. A tarp can be combined with a few short pieces of rope to build dozens of different shelter configurations. Best of all it can be folded flat and weighs far less than even single person tents.
Know when to call it a day
Knowing when to stop and make camp is important, especially if you will be building a shelter or looking for food & water. But what do you do if you do not have a watch? Use the sun instead.
By placing your hand between the sun and horizon you can estimate the time until sunset. With hand horizonal each finger’s width is worth 15 minutes, with your whole hand (don’t use thumb) being 1 hour.
Duct tape fixes everything
Ever hear the saying “duct tape fixes everything”? While it may not be 100% accurate it is close, you can use it for everything from repairing a torn boot to covering a blister. Instead of carrying the whole roll, which can be bulky, wrap several yards around a water bottle or lighter. Tear off what you need and save the rest for the next emergency.
Double duty trash bag
Every hiker knows the importance of carrying out everything you carry in so most will have a small trash bag tucked away somewhere. But why should it just sit in your pack until needed, make it do double duty providing extra water protection. You can either store valuables, extra clothing or anything else you need to protect from dirty & water or line you pack with it to protect everything.
Check out this You Tube video for more hiking hacks that will help you avoid trouble on the trail.