Long Trail 8/15: Nye’s Green Valley Farm 4 miles

TOWN DAY/STAY!!!

Easy short 4 miles or so down to the road from Bear Hollow. The majority of the walking was down logging roads. Walked into Johnson, VT via the rails to trails.

Quick stop into the grocery store to pick up a few extra ramen noodles to supplement the 2 days of food that I shipped to the B&B. Stuffed my face at Subway where I ended up staying for an hour while my phone charged.

Road walked to the Landmark Tavern to kill a few hours until Marsha from Nye’s could come and pick me up. I was hopeful that the tavern would be open, but I was not lucky on this day. So instead of drinking a cold beer I elected to spread out in the shade and take a nap.

Marsha picked me up around 2 in the afternoon in her convertible. Good choice of vehicles to pick me up. The owners of  Nye’s are fabulous people. You may not meet a more friendly couple along the trail. They have put me in this cute little room with twin beds. Best part of this room in the Air Conditioning!!! This place is clean and comfortable!

After checking in I was able to take a shower and organize my food for tomorrows departure. Included in my stay is laundry, so I have handed my disgusting clothing over for them to wash. Marsha’s husband Dave gave me a quick lift into town so I could get dinner and some beer. Enjoyed an evening of lounging, beer, and watching the Olympics.

Excited for tomorrow mornings breakfast and hitting the trail. Hopefully I can blast out a short 12 mile day before the shitty weather sets in.

Not many miles left in this journey.

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Tents! Which Type is for You?

Tents! Which Type is for You?

Choosing a tent can be a daunting task because of the vast number of brands, sizes and models available on the market today. No matter your reason for buying a tent it is important to remember that this will serve as your primary shelter on the trail. The tent you choose will provide protection from weather and bugs, so it pays to do your homework before buying.

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Blister Care and Prevention

Blister Care and Prevention

It is hard to find a person that hasn’t had blisters on their feet at one time or another. Hiking can be a truly awful affair when you have blisters. So here is how I have dealt with this common issue.

So what is a blister? Bubbles on your skin can result from friction against your feet or toes that cause the outer layers of skin to rub139 together. Over time the skin can separate and fill with fluid. The causes can be anything from shoes that aren’t broken in, poorly fitting shoes, friction from socks rubbing or wet feet. Hike enough miles and a blister is bound to show up.

Blister Prevention

Your best chance of having a blister-free experience starts with preventing blisters from forming in the first place. Prevention starts before you even take your first steps on the trail. Buy  properly fitting shoes and take time to break them in before you start your hike. Your choice of socks can go a long way in preventing blisters too, so choose socks that wick the moisture away from your feet and dry quickly. Take time during the day to rest and air dry your feet.  If possible, also take time to allow your socks to dry out or switch to a dry pair.

Hotspots

As soon as you begin to feel a hotspot developing, drop everything and take action. The hotspot you are feeling is your body letting you know that something isn’t right and if not treated, the hotspot can develop into a blister. This is the time to get your med kit out and treat the area.

Blisters

You ignored the signs of a hotspot and now you have a nasty blister.  What you do next all depends on the severity of the blister. But, no matter how bad the blister is you need to address the issue or the blister will continue to get worse.

Treatment Steps

  1. Assess the blister and its condition. Is the skin intact or did the blister already rupture? You shouldn’t puncture the blister unless it is large, painful, may become more irritated or is located on a pressure point.  A blister that has not been pierced will keep the area clean and free from infection.
    • If you need to drain the blister
      1. Make sure that the item you use to drain the blister is sterile; you don’t want to introduce any foreign bodies that can lead to infection.  Sterilize your needle or blade using an alcohol wipe or a lighter.
      2. Clean the area with an alcohol wipe. With clean hands, make a small hole in the skin and squeeze out the fluid.
        • Fluid that is white or yellow may indicate that the blister is already infected!
      3. Resist the temptation to remove the skin from the blister as this skin is helping to protect the new skin underneath it.
    • Patching 
      1. Start by assembling all the items you will need to patch the blister before actually starting. Being organized before you begin will prevent issues and make your use of time more efficient.
      2. If you have an intact blister, cut out a a doughnut from the felt that will surround and protect the blister.
      3. Prepare the tape that you are going to use over the felt pad, 2nd skin (if you choose to use this) and the blister. Cut out a piece of the tape the size of the hole in the felt so that you can put it on the adhesive side of the tape to keep the tape from sticking to the intact blister or flap of skin. Be sure to round the corners of the tape off so that the tape won’t get rubbed and be loosened up while hiking.  My choice is Elastikon and I have had great success with this product.
      4. Apply antibacterial ointment or 2nd skin to the blister (if drained).
      5. Stick the felt doughnut onto the tape and adhere to the affected area.  Check to see that you have gotten proper adhesion before replacing your sock.  You may want to roll your sock before trying to put it back on your foot.

In My Kit

I have several items in my med kit that are solely used for hotspots and blisters.

  1. Elastikon: I stumbled on this product when hiking the Appalachian Trail after I found out that Duct tape would not stay adhered to my feet. Perusing a pharmacy, I happened to see Elastikon and haven’t used another adhesive tape since. So what is Elastikon? The tape is made from a soft cloth that is flexible and has a porous construction that allows moisture to pass through the material. Elastikon is ideal because it is flexible and adheres to hard-to-tape areas.
  2. Spenco 2nd Skin is a soothing hydrogel dressing used to cover blisters.
  3. Felt
  4. Alcohol Pads
  5. Safety pin

 

At the end of the day you are trying to prevent blisters and not treat them.  Your goal if you should need to treat a blister is to prevent infection, ease your pain and increase the rate of healing.

 

Long Trail 8/16: Corliss Camp 11.4 miles

Early breakfast of scrambled eggs with Vermont Cheddar Cheese, sausage and O.J. hit the spot this morning! Set the date and time on my camera and I hope it stays correct this time.

Back on the trail by 7:45 this morning. I had an easy day of less than 12 miles. Decided to make a short day because of the weather forecast. Heavy rain and winds are expected early to late afternoon. Covering bigger miles early has allowed me to make changes as needed. I caught up to Lambs Quarter and shivers as they were lounging by a lookout at Laraway Mountain.

Made it to camp around 1:30 this afternoon. Heavy rain began to fall as I entered the shelter. Overall the the hiking today was easy and quite enjoyable.

There is some BAT SHIT crazy lady from Utah in the shelter. Her shit is strewn all over the shelter. She started at the norther terminus. Claims that she is getting off at RT. 15 in Johnson. She told me that it took her 4 days to cover the 38 miles from the start, but then said she has already taken 2 full days off. Not sure what to believe.

***BAT SHIT CRAZY is actually CAT SHIT CRAZY***  She is wearing a shirt that is covered with pictures of cats. It is all making sense now!!!

A few more section hikers rolled into the shelter around 3:30 this afternoon. Definitely glad that I had planned such a short day as it looks like this shelter is going to be full tonight.

At 4:00 Some Guy (trail name) popped his head in the shelter.  I had heard of him, but not actually crossed paths with him until today. Seems like a good guy. Quit his job driving the book-mobile to come out and hike the LT.

Spent the evening playing Hearts with Lambs Quarter, Shivers and Some Guy. I Won!!!

The rain continues to fall and the wind is whipping out there!!! So glad that I am in a shelter. To date I haven’t used my tarp once.

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