By now you probably know that we like to talk about the odd stuff. The things that other survivalists ignore, or don’t think of, the weird concepts our strange little brains come up with in the bath or at the supermarket.
Yesterday, I thought about blisters.
Yes, blisters. The annoying, painful, fluid filled sacks you get when you have irritated, injured skin. You get them when you burn yourself or when your shoes rub. Wait, when your shoes rub? What are you going to be doing post-apocalypse? A hell of a lot of walking. Which means what? Your shoes will rub.
Blisters can make it hard to walk or run and slow you down. So, what to do?
You should, by now, have a pair of apocalypse ready shoes or boots. They should not be brand new and unworn, because that’s jsut asking for blistery-type problems. In fact, you should be wearing them as much as possible for two reasons. You’re going to need to wear the boots in – and get yourself used to wearing them. By doing that, you reduce your chances of blisters.
Invest in some hiking socks. Soft, thick and supported, hiking socks can reduce your chances of developing blisters, and keep your feet warm if the world ends in winter. Whatever you do, don;t think you can go without socks, no matter the emergency. You’ll be crippled with blisters all over your feet within hours. Keep a pair in your boots, and the rest in your pack.
If you do develop blisters, DON’T BURST THEM. The fluid acts as protection for the injured skin underneath. Bursting them before their time will lead to more damage to your feet. However, walking with blisters (especially on the soles of your feet, ouch) can be painful, so invest in some of those special blister plasters with the gel – it forms a protective barrier and reduces pressure pain.
If you have no access to plasters and the like, having not done your research pre-apocalypse (I don’t know how you’re reading this. Perhaps you have some kind of magic smart-phone that can still access the internet? If so, hello! Please tell us what finally finished us off. Was it badgers? I bet it was badgers) you still shouldn’t pierce your blisters. Instead, keep an eye out for a book on natural remedies and herbalism (loot bookstores) and follow their advice. Honey is a good way to heal injuries – it’s mildly antiseptic and soothing – but it’s pretty sticky, so it’s probably best to apply it at night. Similarly, try to keep your feet clean. It may be tricky, but the last thing you want is an infection setting in. So loot yourself some cleasning wipes and use them when you camp at night. And I want to wish good luck to my hypothetical post-apocalypse survivors currently reading this. Maybe I’ll see you out there.
Blisters aren’t the only foot injury you can face from lots of walking – sometimes the friction bypasses the fluid-filled stage and goes straight to the ouch-i’m-bleeding stage. If you are bleeding from your feet, don’t panic. Blood always looks more dramatic than the injury actually is. Simply use some of your first aid supplies to cleanse and cover the wound and try to mentally bypass the pain. The next day will be the worst, but survival is more important than the ragged, bleeding mess that used to be your heel. A sufficiently padded wound covering will stop it getting worse, and will reduce pain and prevent infection.
And rest assured that after the first two weeks of constant walking, your feet will harden up. No more blisters for you, so if you can just make it through those first two weeks…