Thursday, 23 March 2017

Going on a Hike with your Backpack : 5 Foot care Tips to remember

As you wish winter adieu and get ready to welcome spring, perhaps you are short-listing as well destinations to enjoy a hike. Amidst all the preparation for a hike, you may miss an important thing – taking care of your feet. If you are ready to set on a hiking trail with your backpack, remember these foot care tips and your feet, for sure, will be thankful to you for your considerateness!

1. Right pair of boots

Choosing boots that allow too much of space for your feet to slide either side to side or from front to back would cause blisters due to friction; too tight a pair, on the other hand, would make your toes curled up and probably smash them, especially during your hike downhill.

It is important, therefore, to select boots that give you the right fit. Remember not to wear your new boots for the hike, or you may experience foot pain and discomfort. Wear them while running errands or during your neighborhood walks to break them in before heading out on your rather strenuous hiking trip.

2. Right socks and laces

Experienced hikers advise you wearing two socks inside out, one over the other; this is to avoid the discomfort and sometimes pain caused by the rubbing of the toe stitching of the socks against your toenails.

The inner pair of sock with its tight fit helps reduce friction and wicks away moisture from your foot to the outer pair. The outer sock, apart from absorbing the moisture from the inner sock, serves as a cushion between the boot and your feet.

Ideally, you should invest in socks that have a blend of advanced synthetic fibers with new wool. It’s not enough if you choose the right socks; you should, in addition, lace your boots properly. You may go in for regular lacing, skip lacing or dual lacing to ensure that your heel is firmly placed at the rear of the boot, and you don’t cut off circulation to your in-step and toes.

3. Toenail issues

Remember to cut your toenails straight across before heading out. Though most people usually have a slightly curved cut, a straight cut is preferable for hikers; it decreases the chances of having in-grown toenails, and reduces the general friction between your skin and toenail.

If you forget to clip your nails properly or have a nail protruding outward, your shoes will pressurize your nails; in turn, it would press into your toes that may cause the nail discomfort or even bleeding, chipping or falling off.

4. General care

If your feet sweat heavily, make sure you pack an antiperspirant spray that would prevent sweating, thus reducing moisture. Blisters would appear if this preventive measure were not taken. Sprinkling some foot powder into your socks to keep your feet friction-free, moisturizing your feet (if you prefer it) with moisturizing balms, creams and lubricants are a few other ways to get your feet hike-ready.

5. Mid-hike triage

Despite all precautions and foot-care measures taken, you will inevitably feel some discomfort after miles of hiking and would need some mid-hike triage. Since hot spots suggest an upcoming blister, change your socks; dry your feet if you experience a burning sensation on your feet.

In case small, unbroken and not-very-painful blisters appear on your feet, simply apply on them a lubricant or cream before taping your feet. If they were big and already broken, you would need to clean them first, cover them with gauze or a piece of fabric before taping.

During a hike, your feet will do a lot of hard work, carrying around the load of a backpack, as well as your own body weight. It pays to ensure they are comfortable and taken care of when you go on a hike to enjoy your favorite haunts.