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How to protect your feet?

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posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 01:43 PM
Hey folks and survival experts of ATS. I am a survivalist by nature and have been taught a lot of different ways to survive. However, a thought has come into my mind, while surviving is important, if we do not take care of our feet survival is going to become extremely difficult. So I was curious what is the best way to take care of your feet for long destinations and difficult terrian?

Is it best to wrap them up in some sort of bandage to prevent injury?
What is the best thing to do when it is cold? Is it best to wrap them up or will the sweat cause damage to your feet that you are trying to prevent?

Just looking for guidance folks.

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 01:52 PM
Hmm..well, I can't speak out of experience, but I can speak out of some general knowledge. In the dark ages, the important thing was to protect the soles from punctures and keep them hydrated to avoid cracking, which leads to infection.

Aside from that, you don't want to have too much padding, because the build up of callauses(sp?) is important to protect the feet long term.

In the cold, it is best to keep your feet insulated in order to keep the blood flowing to them. If you are sweating in your feet, that may mean you have too much insulation, but too little will surely lead to frostbite.

I have a pair of medeival moccasins that I aquired from a vendor at a Ren Fest. they are modelled off of an actual pair from the dark ages on display in the British Museum. They pad the feet, but I can still clearly feel the ground below me. I would imagine you could accomplish this with thick leather or even a woven straw mat that has been coated in bees wax to prevent splinters.

Anyway, just my two cents.

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 02:09 PM
The Canadian military uses the COLD (clean, over-heating, loose/layer, dry) method.

simplified here:

ps. this goes for all clothing., not just for feet. hands and feet should feel 'comfortable' not hot, not cold. Keep dry and in something that breathes, especially while walking or sleeping. After walking is when the sweat will freeze solid and without a new dry pair, you are errr screwed. You may have to have a fire (if not, dry the socks in the open air). You can put them on frozen again as long as they are dried. And always as a Quebecer how to stay warm lol.

[edit on 5-7-2009 by suzque66]

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 02:10 PM
A very good point.

A good pair of broken in walking boots with steel toe caps is a great start.
You might drop something heavy on your feet whilst building shelter.

2 or 3 pairs of clean socks, one thin cotton pair and then woollen socks.
It's very important to keep your feet dry, you can even use plastic bags over you woollen socks to keep your feet dry.

When you rest at the end of the days it's best to wash and air your feet before putting on cotton socks are light shoes or slippers.
If you have blisters then something is rubbing and you can buy some cream to that helps.

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 02:19 PM

you can even use plastic bags over you woollen socks to keep your feet dry.

hehe, I recall those days by growing up in Quebec lol. Bread bags over socks then into boots to go sledding but it is not a good idea for a long haul of walking because too much condensation builds up. Good for a short (very short) risky, wet hike.

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 03:14 PM
In the service they tell you to constantly change your socks. Comfortable shoes that breathe is another good idea.


posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 04:52 PM
Thank you everyone for your answers! It is much appreciated to see excellent answers. But how about this what if situation X happens. Is their anything that can be done in the wild to make shoes comfortable? or bearable? Also what about Socks? What if we only have one pair? Is their a plant or something that can be used?

Also what if a long trek is needed because the enemy is catching up and you and others will not have a long time to rest in between? What can be done for men (me)? and what can be done to protect womens (like my girlfriends) feet as well? I know their is a difference in anatomy with the feet, by that I mean the softness and other biological things. What can be done if situation X were to occur?

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 06:05 PM
If all else fails and you have no shoes, use what is available.

I don't know why you want to know about cold weather but if in snow..there are different degrees of snow. See any snow ski alert chart for that info. Within a few hours snow you walk on can be like pellets, can be soupy, can be soft like down (sink) or crisp with a thin sheet of ice (like falling through a layer of 2 inch syrophome) into oblivion (see above regarding pellets, soup, down) that could be 16 feet deep. You can tell by vision what kind of snow is usually beneath you, if it is the sheet of ice, stop and break it ahead of where you walk to see what is under it. Older snow is usually thicker, new snow is weak (fluffy or sticky depending on the moisture). Keep track of the date it fell on and the temperature and humidity level after the fact. That will determine how dense the snow is. Older snow is usually well packed due to gravity, new snow isn't unless it was a wet snow.

But, if stuck, without shoes or dry socks (and without a means of drying your feet quickly)., keep what shoes you have on as long as possible to collect 2 feet of pine needle branch for the outside of your footing, a layer of bark (any 1/4 inch will do), a layer of birch bark (hopefully not freshly torn) and a layer of leaves and moss/grass. Tie this onto your feet with stripped pine/maple bark (pine is better because the sap will turn adhesive to what you wrap it around). Pine also leaks through the bark year round, maple tends to have a drier bark in winter.

Remove and dry wet shoes and socks, layer the moss/grass first, and continue. The Pine branches on the outside interfaced or in a weaved pattern can be used if you need to walk for a while. Do not lay the pine needles forward or directly backward, they are slippery on snow. They have a natural gripping sticky coating, keep them at a criss cross for better grip.

edit: if you only have one pair of socks, unless they are dry there is NO pair of socks and useless to both of you. If one person is weaker, sorry, that person gets the makeshift footwear that will keep their feet warm to just sit until that person returns. The healthy one gets the socks. There is no use in two people having one frostburnt foot each. Take care of both of you not half of yourselves each. It never works. and no, size doesn't matter. Nature can be made into a one size fits all situation.

*Keep track because all snowfall happens in layers, it might be strong on top, weak 3 feet under (aka 8 weeks ago). If weak (fresh and fluffy), makeshift snowshoes can be made. Same directions as above except add/weave longer pliable yet strong (inch thick, depending on your weight) branches to the bottom, a thin layer of *fairly strong (not hard or dead) branches in a fanned formation front, back and minimal sides. Again, if pine needles, do not face forward (you will trip lol) face on an angle, cedar branches are perfect for this (with green not brown/dead leaves). If you don't know your trees, you should know them by smell at least.

[edit on 5-7-2009 by suzque66]

[edit on 5-7-2009 by suzque66]

[edit on 5-7-2009 by suzque66]

[edit on 5-7-2009 by suzque66]

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 06:26 PM
reply to post by TheMythLives

Here's a sitx.. if you get blisters.

I hiked with my troop at philmont, NM (50 to 80 mile 10 day trek for boyscouts). Several times during the trek we had blisters.

We used moleskin, which usually comes with adhesive on it. You cut a hole in the moleskin the size of the blister, then stick it on your foot and the extra padding around the hole keeps the boot from rubbing the blister. I guess you could modify this strat to something else if moleskin is not available.

We used linen socks under our wool socks as they tend to breathe better. I seem to recall wearing linen, then cotton over that.. and then wool.

Either way at the end of a day of walking your socks will likely be soaked through, and as said before you either need to dry them before you start out again or have back up pairs in your pack.

[edit on 5-7-2009 by dragonking76]

[edit on 5-7-2009 by dragonking76]

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 06:31 PM
No matter what...moccasins...period.
keep your feet protected, you can wear layers inside for warmth..and yes they do work in snow...and best of all, you can walk quieter with them on your feet than a pair of boots, especially in a wooded area.

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 06:33 PM
I have been walking around more without shoes to build up the tolerances in my feet ( like when we were kids and could run on pavement). I'm amazed that its strengthening the muscles in my feet fairly quickly and I spent the weekend camping and rarely put anything on with 100 degree weather.

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 06:44 PM
No matter where I go I always carry extra socks on me! Feet are very important part of keeping going..

Within any bags I carry, I always put my socks in a water proof bag within my normal bag just incase I am put in a place where IM going to get wet. Or my baggage is going to get wet. Dry feet is very important.
Wet feet will lead you to trench rot! And that my friends is where you start going down hill...
Dry socks will keep you from getting trench rot. However if you are out and about in wet lands.. Or its raining badly, Your best bet would be to try to find dry land ASAP.. Aswell as keeping those socks dry.
Any type of boot that you wear you must keep in mind how wet they can get before they start to fall apart on you..
Thus keeping extra, or finding plastic bags will help if you are able to wrap them around your boots if they are not already water proofed.

So water on your feet is a BIG foe you must contend with.

Many others have covered many other dry sections of the feet protection section.. Steel toe boots ect ect.

But my main thing is always have extra socks.. and keeping them dry!

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 07:17 PM
Knee-high hose (no kidding) worked very well for me as the first layer when some heavy rucking had to be done.

Basic foot care has not been mentioned yet. Wash and dry your feet regularly. First, that you are keeping your feet clean helps. Second, washing them thoroughly forces you to look for potential issues before they arise. Finally, when your dogs start talking, do something about it as soon as you can. Ounce of prevention and so on.

posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 12:39 AM
Vikin nailed it...pantyhose material works wonders...keeps the blood flowing and revents blisters too. Use to wear pantyhose on days I knew we were goinna ruck and those of us that did faired a lot better than those that didnt

posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 12:49 AM
Pantyhose is a good way to keep your feet from blistering. The problem is that they tear easily.

An alternative that works just as good, but is alot sturdier is a good pair of dress socks. The kind you wear when wearing a tux. Slip a cushioned pair of socks over them and it also prevents your feet from sweating to much.

They also double as moleskin.

posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 02:09 AM
In the spring when the ground is wet, those knee high rubber boots work quite well. I've rolled them pretty tight down to the sole. Tied, they might not take up to much room in a BoB. For extra mileage maybe a bicycle tire repair kit would help. (if it keeps the air in a rubber tire, it should keep water out of a rubber boot) Don't know though, haven't tried it yet, just thought I'd throw it out there.

posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 12:08 PM

Originally posted by lightchild
A good pair of broken in walking boots with steel toe caps is a great start.
You might drop something heavy on your feet whilst building shelter.

It's my experience that steel toe capped boots that fit well are very hard to come by. Any I've worn have rubbed considerably and caused blisters, even with the addition of multiple sock pairs. There's far too much room caused by the caps for my liking.

Better buy a good pair of walking boots and be more careful!

posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 07:46 PM
If you have blisters or wish to prevent them, use a little "Preparation H". I'm serious.

If you are in a true survior situation, you will have to make shoes. Even after the fall of civilization, automobile tires can be fashioned into soles for shoes. The Vietnamese made wonderful shoes from discarded or liberated tires.

Read up on tanning leather. It isn't that difficult to do. Make yourself a "sewing awl" for punching string or fiber through tough materials.

There are sites like:

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 12:35 AM
I wouldn't suggest anything rubber or nylon, use Gortex clothing or shoes, they breathe and keep you dry. Cotton and wool in layers under that. Gortex also has windsheilding capability.

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 09:10 AM
So, we're talking "survival" here and nobody else will discuss homemade solutions? Where or where will the Gortex boots come from in a "survival" situation? Just how deeply are you guys thinking "survival"?

I did see only one mention of moccassins. One can make those, but do any know how?

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