Hikers, runners, athletes, backpackers and Scouts all know that one must take care of their feet. Scouts are young enough to bounce back from blisters, strains and twists quickly but not the old Scoutmaster.
It is worth knowing how to maintain healthy feet. Perhaps it is a sign of my ever advancing age (I’m fine with getting older, it is better than the alternative) that I have greater concern for sore feet. Folks generally agree that Fixing Your Feet is the best general reference on the subject.
Your feet uphold you. They’re easy to abuse, hard to repair. This book is considered the authority on maintaining feet by those who most depend on them: athletes, dancers, soldiers, runners and hikers. Keep ’em happy with the great advice and proven remedies in this portable foot hospital. No other source is as reliable and complete, or more recommended by pros.
Kevin Kelly at Cool Tools
Fix Your Feet available at Amazon
In immersion foot, like frostbite, blood vessels constrict in response to cold and damp. In this case it’s cold enough to impair circulation, but not to freeze tissue. Cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients.
Nerves are especially sensitive, which accounts for the numbness, pins and needles sensations, itching and pain that often announce the injury.
In the field it’s common to see cool pale extremities, numbness or tingling, itching and mild swelling. It’s less common to see the textbook appearance of cold, swollen, numb, cyanotic and mottled skin, or the warm, swollen, red and painful skin that surprisesthe camper after they take their first warm shower.
There isn’t much we can do to treat this in the field. We need to recognize it, keep the foot dry and warm and go see the doctor. The pain can be awful and difficult to manage with medications. Severe cases result in tissue loss. Moderate cases can be painful and sensitive for weeks, months and even years.
Also known as ‘trench foot’ this condition was all too common during the first and second world wars.