Goodbye February

So where did February go?
March is here and the days are already flying  making my start date get  closeer

I  have  been finding numerous excuses  not to get  out  so last weekend  i hoisted my  pack and went  for a shake down hike .
I carried an almost full pack, that is my pack without food and water and it  at 28LB, although my actual pack maybe closer  to 44lb

It was a glorious day  as  I set  off  on my  circuit , I have to say that my pack felt good   and  I  was soon got into my stride apart from the path being  muddy  and   so  I  was slipping    for a great deaal .  My first  climb  went very  well  for an aging  unfit  bloke.
(I blame Beer)

I  was averaging 3,2 miles an hour  not  bad  , in fact I was really pleased, My pack felt good  and  so did my  feet  .  I walked for  three  hours  well I had to be home for the Rugby  and  so  maybe that helped me maintain my  speed .
Once  home I checked my GPS  and was  happy to see I  was a tadge shy of 7  miles
I  felt very  pleased but a training  hike  is never like  hiking the real  thing .

Sunday  I decided to go  out again, so  I  hoisted up  my pack and set  out, I decided on a different route, one  I have been wanting to do for a while , I also took my dog with me  for  added support  (company ) It wasa good  day  , I think  I will get  consistent  rain for  the  first  week or two  on the trail.  so i will make the most of this Sun!
Apart from having to stomp across one freshly ploughed field, the route I  had choosen was good, with a few hills to test my lungs.

My pack  felt  good and  when I  checked my GPS   I was still averaging 3.1 mph , Well done   I said  to myself. I had also completed  9  miles  although that will be 10  by the time  I get home
I checked all my  kit  all good , although there was a hot  spot  on my  left  foot,   if I was hiking again tomorrow  I would  have  to  tape it .



Foot trouble can wreck a hike quicker than you might shout “Where’s a bandage!”


What is a hot-spot?

A hot-spot is a pre-blister state. It’s a warning that your skin is stretching too much and it’s starting to fatigue.
IT’S SUBTLE. It feels warm, like something’s rubbing, and it looks a bit red.
AND IT’S BRIEF. How long does it last? Well might not last 5 minutes. It might not even last 1 minute.

If you feel a sting, you’re too late – that’s the tear under the skin surface that kick-starts blister formation. Within two hours of that stinging sensation, you’ll have a blister.

Your tiny window of opportunity

The hot-spot stage is a brief window of opportunity for blister prevention.
Take it. Don’t ignore it.
Be thankful you’ve received it.

A hot-spot is a pre-blister state

Two things!

There are two things you need to do to stop a hot-spot from becoming a blister:
You won’t want to stop – I get that. But you need to, unless you want this blister to happen.

What are you going to do?

Firstly, do some general stuff. Have a look. What is going on in there?
Can you see where it’s red?
Are your socks bunched up? Is your insole not sitting right? Is there sand in your shoe? Sort this out.
Then do something more specific for that location. What do you have planned for this blister location? Whatever you have planned, implement that plan.
Is it a silicone gel toe sleeve? Is it tape?
You’ve got this stuff on you right?
You’ve got your “on-the-move” blister kit right there, yes?

No good it being in the car, back at camp or at home!
I have had a high success rate of blister avoidance with hot-spot taping with mole skin or Fixomull.

Stop. And do something!

Do something and you might just remain blister-free.
Do nothing and you will get a blister.
Get a blister and you’ll be mucking around with antiseptics, dressings, donut pads, changing all these things a few times a day and monitoring for infection.
Oh, and you’ll be treating this blister for about a week until it heals.

If only you’d stopped and treated the hot-spot!



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