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That's all you've got?

11:45 a.m. on April 18, 2009 (EDT)
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I thought it would be fun to create a thread with its pretentiousness out in front; a place we can share the best of what we've learned. Whether it be techniques or tips, spill it here...

11:47 a.m. on April 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Forget the toothbrush. Find some willow, birch, or hickory and strip off a length of inner bark, double it back a few times and rough it up, and go to town.

1:12 p.m. on April 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Forget about toothpaste, white ash from the campfire tastes funny, but works just as good.

Got a nasty gash on your leg? Forget the first aid kit! After washing it, rip a piece of your bandana, soak in balsam fir resin and tie in place, Rambo style!

Grrrrr!! And the hairy beast keeps on trucking....

(Can't wait for the Docs' reply on this one! ;)

11:44 p.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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Take your large Arcteryx Bora (Bora 95 in my case), lay it out flat and empty, and put you sleeping bag foot end inside. Cinch the extension collar drawstring around your waist, and use the pack plus a torso-length pad and a tarp for a lighter-weight option outside of winter; maybe early fall, after the insects die back a bit. This is also a good trick any very wet situation where the feet must stay warm and dry (whole shoes can be worn inside).

12:28 a.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Actually, Franc, the fir resin does have some antimicrobial properties. But the most important thing--by far--is to do just what you say--wash it. Wash it well, then keep it clean, and you're half way home.

As for pillowthread's half-shelter, I'm curious as to what happens to the pack contents....

12:50 a.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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And if you are carrying so little that you can totally empty it out and not have stuff everywhere.....why wouldn't you just save the weight and cary a small pack and a two person tent. I got to imagine it would wweigh in close to a Bora 95.

4:11 p.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Yes, the applications are limited, but I was hoping this thread could be used more as a repository for ideas than as a opportunity for debunking. Just share the things YOU'VE learned, first hand, make an addition to a prior post, or offer another aspect of the current topic.

And the pack's contents are in a large drybag which I use as a portable windbreak for my canister stove once camp is set up, unless in bear country, where the walking distance makes it impractical. This technique probably saves me a bit of fuel weight over a week-long trip, if only a few mL, but it also gives me a good object to lean back on or sit on. Win-win.

10:14 p.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Please share with me how you use the dry bag as a wind break, I mean I understand basically, but the details please.

I do a good bit of river or watershed trips and might be able to work this into my system. Also do you ever use the dry bag as a bear bag?

Thanks.

10:47 p.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Tegaderm. It saved a major 60 miler I was doing around Rainier. I had a MAJOR blister, and I am quite skilled at blister treatment. Using that under the blister treatment saved my foot. It can be used for burns, cuts, anything that is appropriate in its application.

BTW if anyone wants to know some of my blister tricks, I would be happy to post.

10:53 p.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Post, baby post.

11:42 p.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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I'd love to know some blister tricks, as long as one of them isn't peeing on 'em. Heard that one before.

9:43 a.m. on April 24, 2009 (EDT)
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I'd love to know some blister tricks, as long as one of them isn't peeing on 'em. Heard that one before.


R-Kelly is an outdoorsman? Man that guy is everywhere!

4:04 p.m. on April 24, 2009 (EDT)
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I use the dry bag to augment natural windbreaks mostly, setting it up on the long edge with about a 60-degree kink in the middle. I use a Sea-to-Summit drybag with about 50L of capacity. The canister tucks right into the kink, completely out of the wind even if the ground is otherwise flat. I use a small 1L Primus pot with a heat exchanger ring which the flame of my stove jets right into; I have no worries about the drybag melting/flaming up, as my stove/pot setup traps heat very well, with very little "escaping" out the sides...about 3 inches of space between the two is all I need.

5:50 p.m. on April 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Cool, I use nylon sacks which do not stand up very well at all.

10:00 p.m. on April 24, 2009 (EDT)
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12:22 a.m. on April 25, 2009 (EDT)
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OOOH, more things to experiment with!

Don't know how well it would work with my Whisperlite though.

I like my stove, but what made them name it that?

It's not quiet, it's not very light. Maybe back in the day the name was more appropriate.

But it puts out some real heat and is reliable.

I would also like to get a old SVEA & a old Primus.

6:52 p.m. on April 26, 2009 (EDT)
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Blisters...the bane of exercise enthusiasts!

I have picked up some good tricks and ideas over the years.

A very simple fix is to just cut a center hole in a band aid pad, just larger than the blister, and affix. For little blisters, that works pretty well.

I have also used the holed bandaid, then put a regular bandaid over the top of the holed one.

Mole skin can be used in a similar fashion. Lots of people make the mistake of plunking a chunk of moleskin right over an existing blister. That can often aggravate the problem, PLUS one can pull the blistered skin right off.

Be sure, when using moleskin on the pinky toe, to wrap the moleskin all the way around to it sticks to itself. It helps the moleskin to stay put better. Little toes shuck blister treatment worse than any other body part, I think.

For large blisters, I recommend draining (milking) them, but ONLY with a good, sharp needle (not pin) [I carry one with me]. NEVER EVER puncture the blister on the top. After disinfecting the needle and skin, gently but firmly insert the needle at the corona of the blister. Push the needle in a ways to "milk" the blister. If it is a big one, the practitioner may need to insert in one or two other places.

Then use the "holed" method of blister treatment. The trick here is giving a space for the blister to go while providing protection. It acts almost like a moat. Plus, the fabric of choice raises the area around the blister, helping the change the pressure of the contact point.

Duct tape can be effectively used, especially if the area just has a hot spot. Always round the corners (bandaids, moleskin, ducttape, whatever) so no edges can catch. Make the dressing at least a third bigger than the hotspot, again to help diffuse pressure. I have used this technique on toes, balls of feet, heels, etc.

With each of these techniques, I have "polished" them with paraffin wax. Using a chunk of parafin wax works really well when rubbed over athletic tape and blister care as it helps smooth out any wrinkles, and it firms the adhesive down. It also helps the sock to rub over the treatment rather than want to stick to it.

BTW understand that if someone uses the ducttape methods, the adhesive may want to stick to the wearer's socks.

The last and most aggressive treatment is to use tegaderm. It was originally developed to treat burns. It is permable, but quite durable.

Cut the tegaderm at least a third larger than the affected area (after cleaning and disinfecting the site), giving it plenty of room to stick down. If necessary, trip the torn flap made by the torn skin of the blister; otherwise, leave it or milk it.

Tegaderm does not necessarily stick to feet well under socks, so I usually use moleskin in addition. If the blister is serious enough, use the holed method, or the holed layer method.

I had the most severe blister of my life in the middle of a 60 mile trip, and I had used all of my bag of tricks. My friend, who is a nurse, had some tegaderm with her. That additional layer was enough to help my skin tolerate the blister treatment, plus it aided healing. I was able to finish my hike when I was literally on the verge of calling it quits.

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