Survival Update

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Protect Yourself from the Nightmare of Trench Foot

When it comes to future plans, most people who consider themselves preppers are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. You’ve got your home supplied for long-term survival and maybe you even have a “bug-out vehicle” which will take you away from your home if your area becomes a dangerous place. However, there is always the chance that you and your family will have to set out on foot with your bug-out packs. If this scenario ever becomes a reality, taking care of your feet becomes extremely important. After all, your feet are now your vehicle for taking you to safety.

If you have ever had foot pain of any kind, due to blisters or bruises or plantar warts, you know how miserable walking can become. If you and your family find yourselves in a situation where you must walk long distances for a few days, you’ll want to avoid trench foot at all costs. This is true also if you are a recreational backpacker. Trench foot is caused when your feet are wet for long periods. The skin on your feet becomes soft and tender and will blister easily. The blisters can become infected and your skin may begin to slough off. You can also experience swollen feet and cramping. Therefore, trench foot is something you want to prevent at all costs.

The most obvious way to avoid trench foot is to keep your feet dry. However, this may be easier said than done if you are hiking through during a rainstorm or walking in wet grass. Fortunately, you can purchase waterproof boots or moisture wicking socks. When you stop, take your socks off and check your feet. If your feet are wet, try to give them time to dry out.

Probably the best thing you can do to prevent trench foot is to change your socks often. That means when you are putting together your bug-out bag, you should include several pairs of moisture wicking socks. Once you remove your wet socks, you can hang them from your bag to dry when you resume your hike. If you get a chance, rinse them at night to clean them up a bit. Just remember to keep one pair dry to start out your walk the next morning.

A third step in preventing trench foot is to let your feet air out. Allow your feet to breathe and dry as long as possible. This is particularly important if you are beginning to experience any symptoms. Keeping your feet dry and healthy is easier than dealing with injury and infection.

So, what should be included in your bug-out bag to avoid trench foot? You should have a minimum of three pairs of wicking socks. Foot powder can help to remove moisture. Moleskin or blister block will help to address blisters in the early stages. Antibiotic cream will help keep blisters from becoming infected. As for footwear, boots or shoes that allow your feet to breathe can be helpful. A pair of waterproof boots will keep your feet dry but can be hot and more difficult to move in for long distances. The particular environmental conditions you will be dealing with should dictate whether these boots are right for your situation.

Keep in mind that proper foot care will keep people healthier and happier, and will keep them moving longer. So if you are putting together a bug-out bag for yourself or your family, remember to include supplies to keep those feet healthy enough to take you where you need to go.