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Foot care kit, need help.
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Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: peter holds forth of foot care on 09/27/2013 23:14:15 MDT Print View

Peter, thanks for posting that excellent site about foot care.

Question: why the rolled up foam?

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Leukotape on a card on 09/28/2013 01:56:09 MDT Print View

I use both leukotape and BodyGlide.

A lot of people, including other posters on this thread, precut their leukotape and stick it on silicone release paper.

I find that I don't really want to try and guess the exact size of the patch of tape that I'm going to need so I don't bother cutting it beforehand. Instead, I wrap leukotape around the lightest plastic gift certificate card that I can find in a slight spiraling pattern, going up and down the length of the card to get a relatively flat end result. You can custom tailor the amount of tape you put on to fit your needs.

I then cut pieces off of that with my Leatherman Micra scissors, but a sharp knife would work too, albeit not quite as well.

My leukotape wrapped card weighs a bit less than 0.5 ounces, and I have tons of leukotape on there. You could certainly get by with less.

I haven't yet found the ideal container to store the BodyGlide in though. A little plastic tub would be perfect.

I am with you in that I think it's worth separating your foot care kit from your general first aid. I rarely need first aid items other than the foot care specific ones, so to me it makes sense to make a smaller foot care kit that is more readily available at a moment's notice.

Edited by dmusashe on 09/28/2013 01:57:52 MDT.

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
Re: Foot care kit, need help on 09/28/2013 06:34:20 MDT Print View

I keep reading that BodyGlide Liquified Powder is pretty much the same stuff as Hydropel. I'm waiting to have someone bring a tube to Costa Rica.

I carry a contact lens case with Benadryl itch cream and hydrocortizone cream. The case works well for creams like that. Ants can be a problem, that's why I carry them.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: peter holds forth of foot care on 09/28/2013 09:43:41 MDT Print View

the very tightly rolled up foam keeps the liquid from spilling when it gets knocked over in the tent.
foam bottle for Benzoin
if you spray benzoin on your foot, goodness but it goes all over, and thence onto a very expensive sleeping bag. yuck.
deodorant roll bottles drool and what fun is it rubbing a hard ball of plastic into an open heel wound. they also tend to not seal very well (poor cap integrity)
swabs leave you to deal with a dead .. swab. (and it's wrapper)
some folks even swab from a bottle, and that looks like a DISASTER about to happen.

thusly : we went on the prowl for a way to dispense sticky liquid sans the danger of messing the tent, and consider that there is a limited amount of this precious fluid on the trip too.
this was the whole bpl dogma .. a long line of possible bottles set on the counter, notes, tests .. all the anal bpl'ish routine.
they all failed in on way or another, except the foamy thing. which just kept working better as it developed over several iterations.

if one rolls enough foam and thrusts it into the nalgene bottle, it dispenses benzoin optimally nice. and yet, when knocked over, gives you a few seconds before it (slowly) begins to drool. the foam (which sticks out the top a little bit) is nice and soft on open wounds ( plus, the alcohol cleans as it goes), and you have good control over covering the area you're aiming at. the nalgne cap is substantial enough to generate a reliable seal.

when making a foam bottle for benzoin, DO NOT try it out first with water, and then add benzoin. water and benzoin will not happily co-exist in there. if you pre-run your device with water, remove the foam and dry it out 100% totally before reinsertion.
i suspect the service life of the rig is about 3 years, as the benzoin does seem to marginally attack the nalgene material over time.
1oz looks to be plenty enough, even for a thru hike.
i am using the Smith-Nephrew benzoin, and it seems optimal. there apparently exist stronger adhesives such as Mastisol and H-Tac, but i'm quite satisfied with the adhesion of the Leuko-P / Benzoin combination. it's right where i want it to be as far as durability when wet, and still be removable.

peter has had quite a few demons with foot blisters and they have cost me not only tens of thousands of dollars in ruined trip costs, but far worse, Several Years of lost opportunities (when trips end early).
in 2010 i stupidly changed insoles and developed an issue where the heel bone actually "came out" the back of my foot. you could see stuff moving in there it was such a nice wound. (it cost me a year, and i'm already 60. so see, i don't have years to lose ). since then i have taken the foot care - tape- benzoin situation MUCH more seriously. thusly, the foam filled bottle !

thank you for your question. i hope all that puts an end to any blisters you have, as it has for mine.


Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
tincture of benzoin on 09/28/2013 10:15:40 MDT Print View

I find easiest way to use this is to put it into a 2mL NUNC tube, and apply with a small paint brush.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: tincture of benzoin on 09/28/2013 10:55:25 MDT Print View

An observation and a question....


This is one of those things where it's easier for me to show it than to try and explain it. If I fail at explaining it, I'll upload a picture later.

A combat medic taught me long ago that when popping a blister, to consider the mechanics of how the blister rubs against the boot/shoe. He suggested draining the blister on the side which will receive the least friction so the incision will hopefully not rip open.

What Daniel described above re: squirting tincture of benzoin into the blister is called a Hot Shot in the military (or at least when I was in). It does hurt like hell but works.


I read one of Peter's links and learned a new technique from the wiki article. It reads:

"Adhesive promoters are nearly always needed to get tape to stick well. Tincture of Benzoin (friar’s balsom) is cheaper than Mastiol, but not as strong. The spray bottle that Tincture of Benzoin comes in is rather useless, so I transfer to a smaller bottle and use a brush to apply it. Some type of powder should be used so the excess adhesive promoter does not stick where it’s not wanted. I use Zeasorb, but baby powder is as good for this. Friar's Balsam/Tinture of Benzoin at Zombie Runner and Mastisol at Zombie Runner."

My question is that I'm not clear on the "Some type of powder should be used so the excess adhesive promoter does not stick where it’s not wanted. I use Zeasorb, but baby powder is as good for this." part of it.

It seems that the powder would reduce adhesion so am I correct in assuming that I should apply powder anywhere I don't want the Benzoin or Mastiol to stick?

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
Re: Re: tincture of benzoin on 09/28/2013 11:37:11 MDT Print View

> It seems that the powder would reduce adhesion so am I correct in assuming
> that I should apply powder anywhere I don't want the Benzoin or Mastiol to stick?

In the duct-tape section he mentions using the powder after applying the tape so that any exposed sticky stuff won't catch on something and roll the tape.

I'd guess he's suggesting the same here. Put the tape on and powder it last to cover any exposed liquid.

Corn starch might also be a good alternative.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - M

Locale: Orlando FL
tapes on 09/28/2013 22:14:28 MDT Print View

Well my Leukotape and second skin arrived yesterday via
The Spenco second skin blister kit also contains "Moisture pads" and foam pads which are taped in place over hot spots. The foam is the same as what is used for that white double sided mounting tape. It appears to be a substitute for moleskin. With the moleskin and two kinds of tapes, I don't see the point of adding Kinesio Tex tape to the kit ... seems like the two tapes should be enough.
I think I can use the backing paper from the amazon shipping labels to store leuko tape strips.
Has anyone heard of taping over seams in the inside of hiking shoes ?
My new Saucony Adventerra's have a sewn seam running vertically along the heel which rubs the back of my heel when I walk. That was with my first break in session with thin socks, not the thicker ones I will use on the trail.

"I'm waiting to have someone bring a tube to Costa Rica"
Well I'm headed to Lima Peru this Friday for a couple days so I could toss the tube out the window when we fly over .... : )
I like the idea of the foam applicator for the benzoin. Thanks for that.

Regarding powder for non-stick and in the interest of simplicity - why couldn't I just use a dab of BodyGlide instead of the powder ?

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Foot care kit, need help. on 09/29/2013 11:37:56 MDT Print View

Lubricants prevent tape from sticking to you.

Powder over adhesives prevent the adhesives from sticking you to your gear.

Anything that prevents the edge of the tape from sticking ensures a failed tape job, and more time spent fixing the problem.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Foot care kit, need help. on 09/29/2013 12:09:14 MDT Print View

"Anything that prevents the edge of the tape from sticking ensures a failed tape job, and more time spent fixing the problem."

Makes perfect sense and I'm not sure why this wasn't immediately obvious when I read it yesterday. I haven't tried leukotape yet and have had mixed results with duct tape. Some of the failures I've had with duct tape are from an edge sticking to my sock and working its way loose from my foot so I can see how this would work.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
double sided tape on 09/29/2013 12:44:55 MDT Print View

FYI, leukotape will stick to your socks like crazy (depending on placement), even though it continues to stick to your feet. It's almost like double-sided tape on the ball of the foot, once it gets moist. When using leuko, I pull a frightful amount of wool out of my socks (sticks to the tape), when taking my socks off.

What we need is a smooth sided leukotape. If Transpore could be made to adhere as tenaciously, it would be my choice.

Edited by Bolster on 09/29/2013 12:48:20 MDT.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - M

Locale: Orlando FL
non-stick on 09/29/2013 20:47:38 MDT Print View

Just to clarify what I meant earlier by suggesting bodyglide vs powder.
If I tape over my benzoin treated skin with, say, leuko tape, then smeared BodyGlide over the whole thing - wouldn't that keep the tape and benzoin from sticking to my socks ?

My thought was to eliminate the need to carry yet another item - powder.

Eric Jahn-Clough
(ejcfree) - F

Locale: off grid
Cover-Roll Stretch tape on 10/01/2013 06:37:38 MDT Print View

After pretty much destroying a few pairs of socks with residue pushed through the Leukotape on my heels I started putting a layer of Cover-Roll over it. This soft flexible permiable cloth tape has what seems to me to be a decent adhesive and did the job of preventing my socks from glueing to the Leukotape. For minor trouble, hot spots, small between toe blisters, areas with a small amount of friction, I would use it alone. I've since switched to Kinesio (not so effective for lots of friction while wet, but generally adequate and I like the flexibility) for my taping needs but still carry some Leuko/Cover-Roll just in case. Switching to loose ish trail runners with thin wool socks and toughening the skin with a small amount of Hydropel early on in the trip is what really has helped greatly reduce blister issues for me.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: double sided tape on 10/01/2013 07:24:20 MDT Print View

so, if say, your leuko tape is pulling at the edges, and it's mucking up the insides or your socks (Very ucky on a long trip), and you've tried to powder/benzoin the edges to no avail ... how about moving that ever-so-tending-to-pull edge away from the area of disturbance.
to that end, i use on heels a good 9"to 10" of tape (x2), and i put on 2 overlapping pieces. (might explain why i'm a proponent of full rolls). the tape starts under the arch, and ends high on the rear tendon.
in that way, the prone to yucking up edges are not near the area i'm wanting to protect, nor near the areas where they get picked away at by socks sliding about.

moral : too small a bit of tape will get rolled about. so i use enough to get the problem distant from the cause.
but that's just what works for me.

compared to taking time off work, tape is cheap. so use lots !


Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - M

Locale: Orlando FL
cover-roll on 10/02/2013 06:28:25 MDT Print View

OK Amazon sells the Cover-roll tape in combination with Leuko Tape so it is now on my wish list. They also have blunt tipped syringes. But I got a 3 Mil syringe from a friend at work so that is covered.

And I ground down a toenail clipper to reduce weight, really proud of that one ...
So I will start out as a walking drugstore and refine it down as I find out what is useful FOR ME.

List so far:
Anti-chafe creme (must decide which to use) Bodyglide it shall be- in tiny pill tub.
Spenco 2nd skin tape
Kinesio Tape - (probably)
Cover-roll tape
Leuko Tape stuck to leftover backing paper from aluminum tape.
Benzoin tincture (Swabs here, liquid on order)Will make foam dispenser.
Moleskin patches.
Alcohol wipes
Provodone Iodine vials - 3 ea.
Triple Antibiotic packets. 4 ea
That dang syringe (not found yet)Oh yeah, got it
Toenail clippers (too heavy, looking for options) Got them- 1.2 oz

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
My advice on 10/02/2013 06:39:34 MDT Print View

Good light socks like smartwool. Break in shoes. Build up blisters into callus hard feet through practice. Don't go to hard first 4 days out. And use Johnson and Johnson blister gel bandages with ZPacks ultralight and ultrathin tent repair tape to cover any small developing blisters.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - M

Locale: Orlando FL
socks/gel pads on 10/02/2013 09:06:53 MDT Print View

I have the smartwool medium hikers, might order some of the PHD light ones.
I am wearing the new hiking shoes to work sometimes, and for lawn mowing.
They will have 50 miles on them before I ever take them on the trail.
And they will have at least one long day hike of continuous use before any overnighters.
Are those blister pads the same as the BandAid Blister "Ampules "?
I just opened one - pretty comfy looking and quite sticky.

"ZPacks ultralight and ultrathin tent repair tape"

Oh no, another tape ?
But I have 76 freaking kinds of tape now !
Aside from some of most tapes recommended here, there is my "repair and sewing" kit with McNett Super tape, Cuben Fiber repair tape, Duct tape, and then there is that medical tape in my first aid kit ......... If I hike the AT they will start calling me "Tape Man" ......

Edited by Diablo-V on 10/02/2013 09:16:45 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: tincture of benzoin on 10/05/2013 17:37:52 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 16:47:50 MDT.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Foot care kit, need help. on 10/05/2013 19:18:25 MDT Print View

If you want a pair of small nail clippers try Nuby brand infant nail clippers,they sell them on Amazon for $2.99,mine weigh .3 oz or 8.5 grams.

Edited by annapurna on 10/06/2013 09:19:56 MDT.

foot kit on 10/06/2013 10:05:12 MDT Print View

What is needed for an occassional blister is a square of duct tape.
What is needed for chronic blisters is another solution all together.

I just did 115 miles in 6 days in the mountians, and never took my one pair of thin wool socks off.