Hello, my friend and welcome back! It goes without saying that in any disaster, you will find yourself doing a lot of walking and even some running. Today,y I want to take a few minutes to talk about Footwear and how to be sure you will have what you need for your feet when the time comes. Grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.
Now I’m sure that any of you who have served in the Military know, taking care of your feet is critical in battle. I know we watched the movie about how to keep the clean and dry in basic, but many of you have never seen the video, so it’s important that you know what and how to do to take care of yours as well.
First off, you’re going to want to spend the money and get you a good set of hiking boots. Military boots work well too. There are many different types and while they all claim to be the best, few actually make the grade. I can tell you from personal experience that being forced to walk many miles with blisters on your feet is a miserable existence. Not something I would wish on anyone.
Let’s first look at some basics.
- You need to always keep your feet as clean and dry as possible.
- When going on long hikes, always try to use socks which wick the moisture away from your feet, by wearing socks made out of material such as wool.
- When you are forced to march in long stretches in the heat of summer, be sure to stop as often as you can and to remove your boots or shoes and let your feet dry.
- If you can, take the time to remove your socks and hang them so they can dry as well.
- Keep foot powder with you to help absorb excess moisture in your boots and kill bacteria.
- Make sure you only wear good quality boots and that they fit correctly.
Many people will go out and spend a fortune on backpacks, and cloths but buy the cheapest pair of hiking boots they can find or some that they think look fancy. This is a terrible mistake to make and often lead to sore and blistered feet because they were made to look like fancy hiking boots instead of being good hiking boots.
So how do you know if you’re getting a good pair of boots for hiking? Here are a few things to look for when buying boots:
- Has the brand around long or are they a Johnny-come-lately? If in doubt always ask the salesman in a reputable sporting goods store. They are for the most part honest and won’t steer you wrong.
- If you have friends who have been hiking for a long time then ask them. Experience is the best judge of quality.
- Something many people over look is ankle and foot support. This is critical for long walks. When walking for long distances, the muscles in your ankles become fatigued and this could cause you to twist and ankle putting your ability to continue in jeopardy.
- Loosely tied shoes or boots are another good way to twist an ankle or fall and cause other injuries. Always be sure they are tied tightly.
There are many reliable sporting goods stores all over the country and also on-line. I personally buy mine at the Army Navy Surplus Store. These are the same brands and styles the Military wear and last for a very long time.
This also brings up the question of when to replace them? If you are going to wear them every day right now, then watch for soul wear on the inside edges of the souls. If you are wearing them all the time, you probably should replace them every year or so. NO more than three. In fact, some manufacturers have started putting recommendations on the boxes showing how many miles they are good for just like tires.
To put all of this in a nutshell, start with good properly fitted boots and socks. Be sure they are correctly sized for your foot and laced up tight. Remove them periodically while wearing them and let them and your feet dry as much as possible. Take care of your feet and they will take care of you.
If you are going to put them in storage, then be sure to break them in good first and check periodically for dry rot of mold. Hiking boots are one of your most essential preps, so be sure they are always good to go at any time.
Well I guess that is it for today and I hope you have found it worth reading. Until next time, please stay safe, stay strong, and stay prepared. God Bless America!