Ben posted a link to a picture here: http://www.soccermaniak.com/images/ankle8.jpg
The dark green -- is that some kind of underwrap?
Hikinggranny writes to say that, "There is a world of difference in taping to prevent a sprained ankle vs. stablizing a freshly sprained ankle which is going to swell."
Sigh. I'm sure she is right.
Look, boys and girls -- I gotta cut to the chase here: I'm a 62 year-old man who takes three, four hikes a year in the Deschutes and Willamette National Forest when the weather is mild and the tourist are everywhere. Most of my trips are two, three-nighters, I'm planning to take a five-nighter in late summer to someplace pretty like the Green Lakes once school starts up and we can stop dodging tourists around here.
I stick to established trails, although I might wander off a bit to some lake or outcropping that looks interesting on the old topo map. I am very aware of my surroundings (having gotten lost more than a few times when I was younger) and find I am more cautious these days.
I hike by myself (although Mrs Elliott has expressed interest in a late-summer backpack, and my 24 year-old son wants to do a couple of the shorter trips with me [cool]) but I will probably always be within a few hundred yards of the trail.
I have a 2-meter/440 handy-talkie, a ham license (KG6RCR), and know I can hit the local repeaters from anywhere I go.
I don't have an ankle with any history of spraining.
So I have in front of me (turns monitor around so people can see) my ca. 2003 lightweight backpacking gear and have been poking through it, looking for ways to lower my pack weight.
I am eyeing the Ace dressing, and questioning it.
So what should I pack? The Ace? A bunch of leukotape? A big ol' SAM splint? Or nothing and simply rely on my whistle and my radio and my proximity to heavily-traveled trails to get help in the slight chance that I might sprain an ankle.
(I should mention that the weather on Oregon's eastern Cascades is treacherous and can turn from a prediction of sunny balminess to a blizzard overnight.)
Heck, based on the last two hikes I took, I'm far likelier to need emergency dentistry than ankle stabilization: on each trip I caught a toe and tumbled head over teacup with a full pack on my back.