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The Updated Foot-Care Kit
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Maia Jordan
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
The Updated Foot-Care Kit on 07/22/2014 20:16:03 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

The Updated Foot-Care Kit

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: The Updated Foot-Care Kit on 07/22/2014 20:32:28 MDT Print View

Good to see you back with another quality article Darin. I'll be picking up some tape and Spenco to add into my kit. Thanks.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Kinesio tape on 07/22/2014 20:44:19 MDT Print View

After seeing some other references to this tape I tried it out last year on two extended trips along with Leukotape. My experience is that Leukotape has superior adhesive power. It stays on much longer which is very desirable.

Edited by drown on 07/22/2014 20:47:09 MDT.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Prevention; kinesio tape dual use? on 07/22/2014 22:22:47 MDT Print View

I get blisters so rarely, that I don't carry anything special to treat them. By reading Fixing Your Feet, and other classics, I figured out how to prevent blisters under most conditions, though that's still a work in progress. Much easier than treating blisters.

My first aid kit has a few items that would also work on blisters: tincture of benzoin (might switch to the dropper bottle, good idea), some bandaids, and Opsite Flexigrid transparent dressing; plus duct tape for general repairs.

Could kinesio tape replace duct tape for general repairs?

-- Rex

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Kinesio tape on 07/22/2014 23:14:55 MDT Print View

Leukotape is what you need for certain kinds of stress relief foot taping where elastic will not do. Its definitely multi-use. Kinesio is good for other stuff. I take both. Foot stuff is the one thing I always take enough of.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Kinesio tape on 07/23/2014 04:34:11 MDT Print View

I have seen a few references to this stuff. I think I will try some. I usually carry about 3-5 yd of duct tape (depending.) How much is appropriate to bring?

Also, alcohol fuel makes a good sterilizer for blisters.

Thanks, Darin!

Kenda Willey
Re: Updated foot care kit on 07/23/2014 10:49:00 MDT Print View

Thank you for the excellent article! I've taken it to heart, and will be replacing my moleskin-centric foot care kit as per your recommendation. I don't have much of a problem with blisters, but when I do use moleskin, it curls up nastily at the edges.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
powder on 07/23/2014 10:49:13 MDT Print View

1) You must allow the benzoin to dry thoroughly before applying anything on top of it or nothing will stick. I give it a full 3 minutes.

2) The benzoin must extend beyond the edges of the tape in order to secure those edges, but the exposed benzoin will then stick to your socks. Once your foot repair job is done, dust that area with a good foot powder like Zeazorb, which will adhere to the exposed benzoin and prevent it sticking. Zeazorb is an excellent antifungal powder and is available at WalMart.

Mitchell Ebbott
(mebbott) - M

Locale: SoCal
Leukotape Repackaging on 07/23/2014 11:24:42 MDT Print View

Since Leukotape comes on a roll, it seems like it would be difficult to repackage. Do you take the whole roll, or do you have a reliable way to take only some of it without messing up the adhesive?

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Facts aren't quite right... on 07/23/2014 11:26:47 MDT Print View

Alcohol wipes will just dry the skin out and damage it further. Using them to "prep" the skin is not necessary and may cause additional skin damage (while minor), requiring a longer healing time. If you feel the need, prep the skin with Benzalkonium Chloride, which won't damage the skin. Otherwise clean water to wash/irrigate and some drying time is plenty.

Benzone is also mostly alcohol. While lower in percentage than alcohol wipes, it still does some drying and damage if applied directly to the wound site. I still carry it along with my foot care kit to be applied around the wound site and to hot spots that haven't blistered/opened up yet, but i have found that lukotape by itself is the best option as it is very sticky and will hold well as long as it is carefully applied.

Before applying the lukotape, moleskin is cut to size and placed under the lukotape, on top/around the wound site, to take pressure off the inflamed area. This also reduce any damage done to the healing wound site when the lukotape is removed/replaced later as the moleskin isn't as sticky.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Leukotape Repackaging on 07/23/2014 11:34:26 MDT Print View

"Do you take the whole roll, or do you have a reliable way to take only some of it without messing up the adhesive?"

Funny, we were just discussing this in the backpacking group I belong to. Alan Dixon recommended the following: "Use release backing from something like a USPS mailing label (raid trash at PO). Then cut strips and place them on that. EZ to use and tape retains full adhesion."

David Cramton
(dcramton) - M

Locale: Southwestern Washington
Re: The Updated Foot-Care Kit on 07/23/2014 12:25:08 MDT Print View

Great article. Since I started moving toward ultralight, and switched to trail runners from heavy boots, I get few enough blisters. But my best friend and hiking partner gets them all the time. I'll be updating my duct-tape-and-moleskin foot care kit pronto, and so will he!

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Leukotape Repackaging on 07/23/2014 13:12:06 MDT Print View

"... do you have a reliable way to take only some of it without messing up the adhesive?"

A while back I repackaged Leukotape by putting 6" strips of it on wax paper, then trimmed the paper. It worked pretty well but after a few weeks, it was hard to get the tape off the wax paper without the paper tearing. The backing from a large label or something, as another reader posted, would likely work better but I haven't tried it.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: The Updated Foot-Care Kit on 07/23/2014 13:25:33 MDT Print View

Nice article Darin. Thank-you!

The differences between Leuco and Kinesio are 1. stretch in one dimension for Kinesio which makes it easier to apply especially on irregular surfaces like feet. 2. Adhesive qualities--which are much stronger with Leuco allowing it to be used without tincture of benzoin and still remain well attached for 3-4 days. Kinesio must be used with benzoin in order for it to stick.

Having spent 12 hours at the 56 mile Michigan Bluff aid station at Western States with John Vonhof I can confirm that he used benzoin with each kinesio application. It can be contained in a small dropper bottle though the lid will often get glued shut.

Steve Martell
(Steve) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Washington
Re: Leukotape Repackaging on 07/23/2014 13:31:38 MDT Print View

The tape on the roll is stuck to itself. Do the same thing using a plastic card (Starbucks, Subway, etc)--free at store if cash balance is $0. This is what I do and it works great.

Another option is to keep a few feet of it wrapped below the handgrip on a trekking pole.

Jon Holthaus
(t25hatch) - M
Transfer Paper? on 07/23/2014 13:57:11 MDT Print View

I've seen Mike C actually precuts pieces and puts it transfer paper, similar to a sheet you'd have after mailing labels. I cut a piece to fit insize a quart size ziplock and pre-cut them to try it out, and it's kind of nice that I don't have to cut a piece to size, it's already done a head of time.
On the other hand I really don't mind cutting pieces off my roll of duct tape that I keep around a water bottle so it's really personal preference.

Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: Leukotape Repackaging on 07/23/2014 14:04:57 MDT Print View

Great article, Darin!

I've also repackaged Leukotape by wrapping it around a drinking straw. My little roll is around 5/8in in diameter and it peels off the same as from the original roll. I don't go out for very long so you may need to make multiple rolls or use the credit card trick.

Kerry Rodgers
(klrodgers) - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Kinesio tape glue on 07/23/2014 20:29:17 MDT Print View

Thanks Darin--I need to update my kit!

My complaint about Leukotape was always that I wanted it off at the end of the trip to clean up the area, but that always ripped skin off with it.

I didn't know you could use Kinesio tape for trekking foot care. A caution though: the second time a PT put it on my leg (like those funny pro athlete pics in the article :) the glue made me break out. Nothing serious--it just burned until I took the tape off and then took a few days for the red to fade. But not something I'd want to be surprised by in the backcountry. If someone hasn't used Kinesio before, I recommend trying it in the frontcountry first.

P.S. +1 for the 6-year-old and Keds photo. :)

Andy Jarman

Locale: Edge of the World
Wilderness First Aid Training on 07/23/2014 21:19:24 MDT Print View

I recently attended a four day Wilderness First Aid training course for first reponders.

Advice for wounds was as follows;

Do not apply disinfectant or alcohol to wounds. This kills the tissue it comes into contact with and delays healing of the wound.

Do flush the wound liberally with clean water. A Sawyer Squeeze provides limitless instant wound flushing water. Get to a creek or large puddle - use your Sawyer syringe to really get in there and flush it out.

If the wound is not bleeding (blisters, friction burns, grazes) apply Fixamol wound dressing directly onto the wound. Recent research has revealed the wound will heal beneath the dressing, because the dressing 'breaths' it can be worn permanently in wet and dry conditions until the wound has healed and it will not permit ingress of bacteria.

Popping blisters provides an entry route for infection, the underside/inside of a popped blister is an ideal breeding site for bacteria. The plasma in the blister is there to encourage the injured not to apply weight to that part of the foot, which will exacerbate the injury.

Celox is useful for stopping bleeding, but must be removed and the wound dressed in a clean sterile environment before the wound can begin to heal.

Edited by AndyJarman on 07/23/2014 21:20:26 MDT.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Fixomull wound dressing on 07/23/2014 22:35:16 MDT Print View

I think you mean Fixomull wound dressing:, a kind of transparent, waterproof, breathable wound dressing.

Many brands are available, including Opsite, Suresite, Tegaderm, Transeal, and generic.

Each is slightly different; my wife and I like Opsite much better than Tegaderm for general wound dressing, especially large abrasion wounds, but we haven't tried them all, and we haven't tried them on blisters, yet.

-- Rex

Edited by Rex on 07/23/2014 22:38:47 MDT.