Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes….and you’ll get blisters.

I remember reading about the Glastonbury music festival that takes place in the UK over three days and being astonished to read that, during a particularly wet festival, around 100 people a day were being treated for Immersion Foot (aka trench foot). It seemed incredible to me that anyone could damage their feet so quickly, and carelessly, in what is hardly a wilderness scenario…and yet all these people  did.

The fact is our feet don’t appreciate prolonged periods of being damp/cold/sweaty and can demonstrate their displeasure if we abuse them for too long by swelling up and becoming painful to walk on.

In the jungle looking after your feet is a high priority as unless you are in a group of remarkably accommodating friends who are prepared (and able) to carry you, then the only way out of the jungle is to walk out….although if there was a deep enough river you could possibly float out (but I wouldn’t bank on being able to do that!)

Swollen feet, skin deterioration, leech bites, fungal infections and blisters can all cause problems for the jungle trekker and even if you do manage to hobble out the experience is not a pleasant one.  So, in the video below I look at some simple precautions you can take to ensure your feet stay in good shape.  None of it is rocket science and the fact is that I have never had a problem with my feet in all the years I’ve been jungle trekking so, as long as you apply some discipline, there is no reason why you should either.

The key to keeping your feet in shape is to pamper them as soon as you set up camp and have washed yourself.  Pampering them is simple:  keep them clean, keep them dry, keep them warm (but not so much that they sweat) and keep them aired.  I also like to put in some intensive hammock time to take the weight and strain off my feet.

As a result from say 3pm to 7am  the next day (i.e. for 16 hours) my feet are treated very well and given the chance to recover for the stress of walking in wet shoes all day and ready to go again.   I am careful to keep the dry socks I use in the evening bone dry and if there’s even a chance they’ll get wet (e.g. when collecting water) I take them off and leave them in the hammock.