Do you know that foot problems are one of the biggest problems that we hear about from backcountry hikers and backpackers?

Well, we want to help you take care of your feet.

That’s why HLAW Founder, Rebecca is here to share her top 5 tips for backcountry foot care.

If you have seen this video, you have seen 12 miles of happy smiling HLAW faces along a small section of the Continental Divide Trail.

But what you don’t see behind the scenes behind the smile is the agony that I felt because my feet were killing me that entire hike.

Now, if you have ever finished a hike or a backpacking trip with blisters upon blisters or swollen, painful tender feet, stay tuned because today we are going to talk about how you can take care of your feet in the back country.

Here we go.

Tip #1: Trim your toenails

My very first tip may seem kind of silly, but it is to trim your toenails.

Make sure you kind of straight across, because you don’t want any ingrown toenails there come straight across and you don’t want them too short, too tall. There’s like this really sweet spot where your toe nails are the perfect length. And that is what you want, especially before a big trip.

Now, I recommend toenail clippers like real toenail clippers. Toenail clippers will clip straight across and you’ll get a much better cut. And that’s what they’re designed to do. Toenail Clippers, trim your toenails with toenail Clippers,

Tip #2: Break in your boots (and your feet too)

Now, back in my Army days, we used to try to toughen up our feet before big ruck marches. We would go around barefoot. We’d like walk on rocks a lot. We wouldn’t shave off any of our callouses because we wanted really tough feet.

But, that’s kind of, antiquated thinking.

Now a lot of hikers backpackers really recommend scrubbing off those callouses because you can actually get a blister underneath the callus, and that is just a disaster waiting to happen. Then you’ll have this floppy piece of skin that will just rip off and get infected and be disgusting. No one wants to be disgusting on the trails (bahahaha).

So, break in your feet. You can still break in your feet by hiking around with a heavy pack before your first backpacking trip. I still think some calluses are good, but just you don’t want to have a ton of calluses. You can break into your boots by just walking in them, just wear your boots, wear them to work where I’m around the block, where them around town, wear your boots or your shoes before you take them out on a trip.

Tip #3: Don’t forget about your socks

A boot or a shoe is only as good as the sock that you’re pairing it with.

So, make sure that you have a good sock boot combination.

For example, if you have a really sweaty foot, make sure you’re getting a good Merino wool sock. That’s going to wick away that sweat and that moisture. I have super sweaty feet. So I really have pay attention to what I’m putting on my feet.

Now please don’t wear cotton socks. Water is the enemy and cotton is just going to soak up the moisture and keep your foot wet and gross. When it comes to taking care of your feet in the back country, you want to keep those feet dry and happy.

We recommend Darn Tough Socks, they are guaranteed for life and made in the USA so it’s a win/win. We’ve found that they last a lot longer than SmartWool socks and they are worth the investment for happy hiking feet. You can click here to shop for Darn Tough Socks from our sister store, Laramie’s Basecamp.

Tip #4: Lace your boots properly

There are several different lacing techniques and ways that you can lace your boots to relieve pressure spots on certain part of your foot.  You can learn more about boot lacing techniques by checking out this video.

Tip #5: Air Out Your Feet At Breaks

Make sure you air your feet out at breaks and especially at camp when you get to your camp if you’re backpacking.

I usually have three pairs of socks when I go backpacking and I switch those socks out all day, every day.

So every time we take a break, I air my feet out. I take my boots off. I take my socks off and I air my feet out for a few minutes while I’m eating a snack or whatever.

Then I put on a dry pair of socks. I use a safety pin to pin those wet, sweaty socks, the back of my pack, and then those socks dry out while I’m hiking between breaks. If you have sweaty feet put on a dry pair of socks at every break.

Now that third pair of socks, I try to keep one completely dry, clean set of socks to wear when I sleep, I call those my super socks. I try not to use those unless both of my pairs of socks are wet. Like maybe if it’s been raining or something and I haven’t had the ability to dry out my second pair of socks.

So there you have it. Those are my top five tips to help you take care of your feet in the back country.

What are your biggest tips? Drop a comment below.

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