Mar 29, 2010

Tip of the Day: Take Care of your Feet!

A golden rule of infantry is to take care of your feet, a rule which is even more important for the guerrilla. And for good reason, battlefield conditions can cause severe harm to your feet. Mobility is one of the guerrilla's assets and s/he can not afford to be fettered by an injury, infection, blister, fungus, etc. when airlifting/evacuation is not possible. General fatigue from marching is an obvious source of discomfort as are the blister resultant therein. Blisters and all other lesions must be kept as clean as possible to avoid infection. Boots and socks must be cleaned as much as possible, as frequently as possible. With two or more pairs of socks you can change your socks, rinse the dirty ones and dry them on the outside of your backpack, and repeat. Keeping your feet clean AND dry is important; moisture breeds fungus and infections like trench foot which can leave you in debilitating pain and unable to walk. Thus when you do get a chance to change socks, air dry your feet before putting them back into your boots.

So just take care of your fucking feet.


Justin said...

Drink water.
Change your socks.
Drive on.

Words to live by...


Muttski said...

Some more tips from Muttski.

BUY QUALITY SOCKS TO BEGIN WITH. I recommend Icebreaker or Darn Toughs. Darn Toughs are made in VT, used by U.S. military, have a lifetime warranty AND are some of the most comfortable socks ever.

Oh yea they are the Colt 6920 of the sock world, so be prepared to spend some $$$.

1. Wear a non-cotton sock (wool or polypropylene.)Cotton holds moisture.

2. If you feel a "hot spot" when hiking then STOP. Take off your footwear and apply a few layers of duct tape to the affected areas.

3. Use a pair of poly pro sock liners under your main socks. This will cut down friction tremendously. I recommend Fox River liners. Not cheap, but well worth it.

4. Look into using gaiters. They will keep debris out of your boot, provide extra protection, and help keep yours boots dry.


To dry your socks in the field overnight (assuming it is not warm out), drape a sock over each shoulder and go to sleep. Wake up with dry socks (and smelling like feet)

Take a Nalgene with boiling water in it and slide a sock over it. Throw it in the bottom of your sleeping bag and you have an extra warm bag and dry socks for the morning!

The Red Son said...

Muttski- The benefit of cotton socks is that you can use them to make a prison match.

Muttski said...

Red Son,

Nice link. Les Stroud is one mofo.

Another perk of using cheap cotton socks is they make great emergency field expedient toilet paper! Although I have seen people use smooth river rocks instead of toilet paper (FOR THOSE THAT DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO BABY WIPES ----COUGH--- sahiem ----- COUGH. )

The advantages of cotton vs wool/polypro just about ends there.

Back on topic.

We have a saying in the outdoor industry about cotton. COTTON KILLS. When STHF, you don't want to be wearing a Carhart one piece suit,although cotton t-shirts are nice in the summer.

Anonymous said...

Yeah cotton blows in the winter, now is the time to stock up on some wool socks. Some stores like Walmart, kmart and Dunhams sporting goods have wool socks in the discount bin left over form their winter stocks.