The Lure of a Long Trail: Planning a Thru-Hike (Part 3 of 4)

10:54 a.m. on November 10, 2009 (EST)
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This thread is for comments on the article "The Lure of a Long Trail: Planning a Thru-Hike (Part 3 of 4)"

In the third of four columns on planning a thru-hike, Triple Crowners — hikers who have completed the AT, PCT, and CDT (that’s nearly 8,000 miles of trail) — offer advice to first-timers on how to stay safe and have fun.

Full article at

12:37 p.m. on November 10, 2009 (EST)
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Re: The Lure of the Long Trail: Planning a Thru-Hike (Part 3 of 4)

If I had a dollar for every time I have seen this piece of advice ignored, I would be richer than Warren Buffett and Bill Gates combined -

Stop and take care of your feet at the first sign of a “hot spot” before it becomes a blister. And when you have blisters, take the time to treat them — antiseptically.

Doc Ellis, the course director for our High Adventure leader training course, and for which I teach several sections, has been out in the hills for many decades, and has observed that there are more "Grand Adventures" cut short by blisters than accidents or any other cause. Taking care of your feet, those things that will propel you on short hikes or thru-hikes, is part of the old "prevention is the best treatment" mantra. The first step is properly fitted footwear (whether boots or trail runners), combined with proper socks. The second step is recognizing and taking action for hot spots. The third is prompt and proper antiseptic treatment of blisters that do develop. Beyond that, your trip is over.

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