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Watch out for that blister!

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posted on May, 15 2008 @ 09:19 PM

The bane of the footsoldier, traveler and athlete. If you happen to be one of those people who never gets blisters then well done you lucky git!
For folk who get them they are a sad by-product of foot-slogging.
Aside from your speed and agility suffering they could well be a dangerous distraction in SitX if you drop your guard fretting about them

Prevention is key
There are more myths and folk tales about this than I care to remember. Some of them are true.
Blisters are when a part of your foot gets too much friction and the body forces a sac of fluid to keep the friction effect down and provide cooling. All well and good but they bloody hurt!
Blisters can also be very susepitable to skin that is damp and moist (tench foot) and will be softer and prone to blister.

Wearing Boots

Boots and no weight = Some minor risk of blisters if no prep.
Boots and weight = Almost certain Risk of blisters if no prep.

Running = More heat generated all over
Fast Walking/Marching = Both heels increased flashpoint for blisters.

Wearing Trainers.

Blisters a lot less likely overall.

Prevention is key.
Talc your feet! Not to the extent that the stuff 'balls' up in the boot though, as this will cause blisters. But enough to dry out your feet.
Tape you feet! Tape them carefully, problem areas vary from person to person but for me the heels and occasionally the little toe give me sht.
Zinc oxide tape is the stuff I use.
Gaffer tape the strip of stitching on the inside heel that runs down the back of your heel and achilles tendon, MAKE SURE IT'S SMOOTH AND NO CREASES. Its easier to apply this before the boot is broken in.
Applying Gaffer tape will cut down friction against your heel.
Wear decent, thick socks. Change every day if possible. This will cut the risk of blisters.

Two pairs of socks, one thin and one thick can work, although the risk of a pair creasing over the other is possible.
Some soldiers swear by soaking the feet in white spirit or any strong industrial alcohol to toughen them up.
Rubbing vaseline on the foot can help.


If despite your best efforts a blister forms then you have some options.

1. Do nothing and soldier on through the pain. Its not pleasant and if you haven't experience this then its near impossible to explain. The pain factor can vary. The little toe is the least nasty, the heel is 2nd worse (often the commonest) then its the ball of the foot which is excruciating. I can't recall ever suffering the last but suffice to say the heel is pretty darn painful.
After a day or so of complete rest the blister should start to fade and heal.
However, being SitX that day is a wasted day and, being, a man on the move you can't afford risk of danger descending.

2. If its a hotspot (not a blister, but one that'd form if you keep on walking) then vaseline and a 'second skin' paster/fresh zinc tape over it can help.

3. Syringe/Lance and drain the blister fluid. This is a soldiers trick.
The wooley williams and gentle folk often blanche and warn against this but I can tell you that I've done this many many times and its never caused me an infection or problems.
In times of urgency this will get you back on the move again.
Get a needle and pierce the blister on the edge, at a right angle and then keep piercing until you come out the other side. A trickle of fluid will come out, remove the needle and press down hard from side to side and drain the blister completely until there is nothing left fluid wise. Dry the foot with talc
'second skin' paster/fresh zinc tape over it, sock on, boot on, get your groove on out of there!

Now it will still hurt, you've got a loose bit of skin now on hot, raw flesh.
But the pain will be less than when the blister was filled.
To reduce the pain take a few painkillers.

If you ignore all but one point of this post then let it be keep your feet dry. That's generally the best overall one for prevention. closely followed by taping them up.


[edit on 15-5-2008 by WatchRider]

posted on May, 15 2008 @ 09:46 PM
While i've never personally had a blister, I just wanted to say what a great read and thanks for taking the time to post this. I can see this being extremely beneficial in a time when you do not want your movement to be hindered in anyway - and if it does happen, to be able to at least minimize the effects.

So again, thanks for such a great write up!

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 12:00 AM
Man I wish this would've been up around football season, i got so many blisters because of my socks getting caught under my heal so that made my heel rub against the inside of my cleat, it took forever to heal but now i know how to heal it

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 01:04 AM
You could probably use corn starch instead of Talc if you had to (but don't use flower lol, it would gunk up). Plus getting your feet wet is really not a good idea!

The popped blister does have a greater chance of infection, so it should be treated carefully.

Blisters really suck... prevention is best!

Thanks for the read, very informative.

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 08:45 AM
Very nice cant think of any thing that needs to be added Stared and flagged.

Here we are the premier survival community on the net and I cant recall anybody else doing a thread on blisters. thats why team work is so very important. thanks for the thread wish I could do more then just a star and a flag.

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 11:48 AM
Cheers! Yeah I thought I was being a bit arrogant when I posted the this thread as I figured somewhere in the depths of ATS there'd be a post on this.

I've got some other threads in the pipeline.
Just need the time to 'bring it all to the surface.'

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 11:59 AM
No mention of Mole Skin? As an avid backpacker, Mole Skin is a must for any trip I make into Yosemite. The stuff is like gold when you are 5-10 miles into the trip.

Another good tip in prevention is dont wear brand new shoes on a hike without first breaking them in for a few weeks prior to your trip. This almost always results in blisters. If you are planning on a hike into the mountains you are better off with those rotted old, yet comfy tennis shoes then a brand new, never worn before pair of Waffle Stompers fresh off

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 12:10 PM
Toughen your feet up now before it is to late. The more blisters you get now, the tougher they will be tomorrow.

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 01:58 PM
As far as prevention, walk. The more you walk the better calluses you'll build in the right spots, and you'll be in shape. I regularly hike rugged terrain and will oftentimes walk for 15-25 miles on a hike, sometimes carrying a load as a simulation of what i'd be packing if i had my big pack full. Yeah, i used to get calluses sometimes, now i just don't unless i do something stupid like not stop to fix a bunched up sock or take a rock out of my shoe.

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 06:08 PM
Great Post!!!!!
starred and flagged

Being the avid runner and hiker I am. I used to always get blisters from all that walking and running when I first started doing this on a daily basis.
And they annoyed me like heck.

though basically all my advice was mentioned already. So I dont really have much to offer.

I found it best to get a nice pair of shoes and socks(and as mentioned before make sure their broken in) and use those.

Also if you get one I found it best to just pop and let all of the liquid out then just put some neosporin and a bandaid over it and just keep on going.

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 06:46 PM
VERY good post regarding a total pain in the ... heel..

For some reason I got very tough soles,climbed up the cliff faces of the Ardeche after canoeing barefoot with no hassle.. but the skin above the heels is totally wussy..just have to look at it to blister

This was one of the reasons I was in a dilemma about a pair of really solid cross trainers versus walking boots..
I went for the walking boots for the ankle support..I figured .. blisters v broken ankle!!

Two pairs of socks does the trick.. great insulation in winter and still plenty of air circulation.

I'm fortunately in a climate where humidity isn't a problem.. I'd hate to have to contend with blisters in swampy/tropical conditions and risk of infection.. Ouch.!

[edit on 16-5-2008 by AGENT_T]

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 04:39 PM
After walking 10km in boots last night (after playing 2 hockey games running on 2 slices of pizza 8 hours earlier),
I got a blister on each foot. I'm staying off my feet until they heal, but i'd just like to re-issue this nicely done thread so others don't have to walk the remaining 2km of their journeys limping and looking like a zombie, which I must've looked like to people driving by as my hands and face were covered in blood from a conviently timed nosebleed LOL.

Preparation is key. Since I had no intention of getting blisters I wasn't aware of the risk I was walking towards.

although what kind of preparation can have in a situation where you have no control over what you wear or how you are getting to your destination? it was 1 in the morning.

2 dollars from my idiot friends would have went a long way to avoiding this.
(I spent the money I brought with me at the rink)
I wouldn't have had to outrun a petty thief, then watch the buses go by.

Also if you see someone who looks like they need a ride up the road, maybe it would be nice if you did, I could have seriously used a ride just up the road and it would have saved me so much time and effort, and I might still be able to walk. lol

anyways thats just a dumb story from last night, hopefully someone reads this thread and doesn't get a blister. lol

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 08:40 PM
I have extremely tough feet, being one of those strange girls who hates shoes, and would go barefoot 100% of the time if I could. Race you barefoot on sharp gravel?
Well, since life demands shoes, I tend to get blisters on the backs of my heels. I have these awesome gel pads made for blisters. I have thrown a few in my b.o.b, but I probably should stock up on more.

posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 10:38 AM
The only time I've ever had blisters, is if I've been wearing either thin or no socks. Regardless of my shoes, I wear thick woollen socks, even in summer, and that seems to work well for keeping them away. Sandals in bare feet are probably the surest way I know to get blisters; I haven't worn them since I was a child, for that reason. They chafe like mad.

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