Goodbye February

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

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 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 deal . 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  that I had been wanting to do for a while , I also took my dog with me  for added support (company ) It was a good day , I believe  that 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 chosen 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 was good , although there was a hot  spot  on my  left  foot,  if I was hiking again tomorrow  I would  have to tape it .

 

HOT SPOTS

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:
1, STOP
2, DO SOMETHING!
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 in sole 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, donuts 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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