Episode 83 S3-2
Foot Care for Long Hikes or Bugging Out
The Walls of Freedom Ch 2
Dr. Ryan Chamberlin
Most problems that you will encounter with your feet on a long hike or in a bug out situation can be prevented with a little bit of preparation. Your boots or shoes should be well broken in before you intend on attempting this long journey on your feet. Also you should know the arch of your foot and have proper insoles in you foot wear. Finally you should include emergency medical items for foot care into your pack.
Blisters are a very common problem that occur while hiking. The biggest preventive measure you can take is making sure your footwear is broken in before you begin. Don't buy a new pair of boots and put them on for this adventure. If you do develop a blister the classic thing to do is avoiding breaking it. However, in this
circumstance you will want to pop it. Then, cover it with Xeroform or a Vaseline gauze and duct tape. Then apply Vaseline to the outside of the duct tape to provide a slick surface for you foot to slide comfortably inside your boot. Alternately if you have mole skin with you go ahead and apply that.
Plantar Fasciitis is another common problem that folks experience from overuse of their feet. This can be caused by a low arch or a high arch. To test your arch, put your wet foot on a piece of paper and look at the mark it makes. Google "footprints" and compare yours to a normal print. If you have flat feet you will want a stiff insert with a high arch. If you have a high arch you will want to select a shoe with lots of cushioning in it to absorb the shock. You can also use athletic tape applied in a specific way to reduce the pain.
Runners Toe is another problem you may encounter. This happens when the foot is jammed into footwear that is inelastic and too small for your foot. Additionally, it sometimes occurs during forced marching, like the situation we are examining here. Blood will start to pool under the nail causing massive amounts of pain. To fix the problem heat a paper-clip with a lighter and touch it to the nail. Don't leave it on too long or the heat will disperse and cause more pain. Continue heating and applying the paper clip to the same spot in the nail until a small hole is made. Blood will exit via the hole and the patients pain will decrease dramatically.
The bottom line is you need to be ready to be on your feet if you are planning a long hike or bugging out in a SHTF situation. Make sure your boots are broken in. Have your insert chosen and in your shoe. Pack Xeroform, Vaseline gauze, athletic tape, a lighter, a paper clip and duct tape in your pack. When you take time to rest, inspect your feet, readjust your laces and have some candy.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"No rest for the wicked."
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