The Dreaded Blister

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PatriotT4R

Rank VI
Member

Influencer III

4,870
Lillington, NC 27546
Member #

14619

Yes, a fairly small real pain in the butt that can put the strongest healthiest person at a stand still. I've had my fair amount of blisters throughout my military career and during everyday life events. My first encounters when I was young cutting down trees with my Dad to stock 14 cords of wood for the winter time. My most frequent experience were the never-ending road marches during my Army days. The worst experience was soaking my foot in water doused in epson salt the blister was open ... talk about a huge Oooouch moment. By the way this was highly recommended by my Army buddy Kurt .. thanks buddy I'm glad it didn't hurt you as much as it hurt me.
Being an Overlander we will encounter some form of a blister at one point in time whether it be walking for miles hiking, spotting up long winding trails, using hand tools, or trying your hands at starting a fire the old fashion way ... friction. So how do we prevent blisters of the hands first off wear gloves, wear gloves or some sort of wrap to protect them, rendering your hands useless in a survival location is not highly recommended. Remember its not always friction that can cause a blister to the hands it can be a chemical burn, heated metal parts ie the engine or exhaust or from a camp fire. Treating a Blister burn is a bit different than the average blister. The most common blister is probably the foot or feet depending how bad your luck is, in my Army days the most important factor was how well your shoes or boots fit. There should not be an excessive amount of slippage being to big can cause your feet to slide which in turn cause blisters. Shoes should not be to tight that they constrict blood circulation or cause potential blisters from forming. To steer away from this nasty ordeal try the following. Break your boots in by soaking in water and rubbing in oils to make them supple and smooth fitting. Also try changing your socks periodically every 3 hours especially if you wade into water which can cause other common foot ailments like trench foot. Pull your socks up if they fall or use boot blouse-rs. Try inner nylon socks next to the skin, and an outer pair of wool socks. This should help them from slipping.
Treatment: Wash the blistered area. Sterilize a needle. Pierce the blister near the edge. Pressing gently let out the fluid. Cover with Mole Skin, Cloth and tape or bandage in place in a field environment. Keep feet dry.
 

mjherron

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,682
Smithville, Missouri, USA
First Name
Mark
Last Name
Herron
Member #

8422

Yes, a fairly small real pain in the butt that can put the strongest healthiest person at a stand still. I've had my fair amount of blisters throughout my military career and during everyday life events. My first encounters when I was young cutting down trees with my Dad to stock 14 cords of wood for the winter time. My most frequent experience were the never-ending road marches during my Army days. The worst experience was soaking my foot in water doused in epson salt the blister was open ... talk about a huge Oooouch moment. By the way this was highly recommended by my Army buddy Kurt .. thanks buddy I'm glad it didn't hurt you as much as it hurt me.
Being an Overlander we will encounter some form of a blister at one point in time whether it be walking for miles hiking, spotting up long winding trails, using hand tools, or trying your hands at starting a fire the old fashion way ... friction. So how do we prevent blisters of the hands first off wear gloves, wear gloves or some sort of wrap to protect them, rendering your hands useless in a survival location is not highly recommended. Remember its not always friction that can cause a blister to the hands it can be a chemical burn, heated metal parts ie the engine or exhaust or from a camp fire. Treating a Blister burn is a bit different than the average blister. The most common blister is probably the foot or feet depending how bad your luck is, in my Army days the most important factor was how well your shoes or boots fit. There should not be an excessive amount of slippage being to big can cause your feet to slide which in turn cause blisters. Shoes should not be to tight that they constrict blood circulation or cause potential blisters from forming. To steer away from this nasty ordeal try the following. Break your boots in by soaking in water and rubbing in oils to make them supple and smooth fitting. Also try changing your socks periodically every 3 hours especially if you wade into water which can cause other common foot ailments like trench foot. Pull your socks up if they fall or use boot blouse-rs. Try inner nylon socks next to the skin, and an outer pair of wool socks. This should help them from slipping.
Treatment: Wash the blistered area. Sterilize a needle. Pierce the blister near the edge. Pressing gently let out the fluid. Cover with Mole Skin, Cloth and tape or bandage in place in a field environment. Keep feet dry.
PatriotT4R great write up! Thank you for your service. Having spent time in the Navy myself as a corpsman and spending most of my 24 yrs with the Marines, you hit every important item. Shoes broken in. Change socks often. Keep feet dry. Prevention is a pound of cure. Are you recommending to keep the skin in place and mole skin placed on top? Thank you.
 

Traveler I

1,747
Phoenix, AZ
I do a great deal of hiking, often on my overland trips. I use smart wool socks always. The ones by Darn Tough are bomb proof and they replace them if you ever wear them out. Wool fibers don't hold moisture. If your feet are sweating bad just change to your spare pair every so often. Your old pair will have dried by the time you need to change again.

Also, pay attention to your feet. If you feel a hot spot coming on, stop, address the issue before it becomes a blister. I carry Leukotape. It stays on in wet conditions and acts like moleskin. Great for equipment repairs too. Think of it as breathable duct tape. I once treated a hot spot after a long hike during a 2-week raft trip on the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. The tape was still on a week later even though I was wet every day most of the day.
 

PatriotT4R

Rank VI
Member

Influencer III

4,870
Lillington, NC 27546
Member #

14619

PatriotT4R great write up! Thank you for your service. Having spent time in the Navy myself as a corpsman and spending most of my 24 yrs with the Marines, you hit every important item. Shoes broken in. Change socks often. Keep feet dry. Prevention is a pound of cure. Are you recommending to keep the skin in place and mole skin placed on top? Thank you.
Sir, my privilege to answer your question … Thank You for Your Service Brother! Attempt to dry the area around the blister. Use foot powder minimally if a dry cloth is not available. Cut a square piece of moleskin large enough to extend a ½ inch beyond the outer edges of the blister. Fold the moleskin in half, adhesive side down. Use the size of the blister as a reference and cut a semi-circle out of the center of the folded end of the moleskin. If done properly, the result will be a square piece of moleskin with a hole in the center. Test that the size of the hole in the moleskin is correct. Gently lay the moleskin over the top of the blister. The circle should completely surround the blister without touching its edges. Remove the adhesive from the back of the moleskin. Attach the moleskin to the skin, adhesive side down.
 

hoosierboy

Rank 0

Contributor I

30
Gas City, IN, USA
Member #

15469

Thank you both for you service. It's nice to see fellow vets on here sharing tried and proven advise.

I'd like to make one addition. As @mjherron pointed out, prevention is a pound of cure. While properly fitting footwear is key, it's also important to buy quality. That's not to say you need to spend a million dollars, but Wally-world is probably not the best place to shop in this instance. You're not just paying for the name brand, you're also paying for all the R&D that comes with each product.

Your feet are incredibly important especially in a survival/adventure scenario. Carring for them will prove to be among the best decisions you can make whether in the desert, mountains, or backwoods. Don't risk your health and safety just to save a few bucks.
 

PatriotT4R

Rank VI
Member

Influencer III

4,870
Lillington, NC 27546
Member #

14619

Thank you both for you service. It's nice to see fellow vets on here sharing tried and proven advise.

I'd like to make one addition. As @mjherron pointed out, prevention is a pound of cure. While properly fitting footwear is key, it's also important to buy quality. That's not to say you need to spend a million dollars, but Wally-world is probably not the best place to shop in this instance. You're not just paying for the name brand, you're also paying for all the R&D that comes with each product.

Your feet are incredibly important especially in a survival/adventure scenario. Carring for them will prove to be among the best decisions you can make whether in the desert, mountains, or backwoods. Don't risk your health and safety just to save a few bucks.
Its been awhile since I checked the thread been busy staying busy to get my mind off of going home in a few weeks just makes sense to me while making the time pass much quicker. I appreciate your comments I've found this forum is loaded with vets with extensive backgounds to cover many different scenarios. As you stated all is very valuable information and proven to be trustworthy facts.