Blisters. One of the worst things that hiking Scouts and Venturers can suffer. By the eighth day of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, boots are wet, clean socks are scarce, and feet — well, they need some loving care.
Dr. Neal Frankel, one of the jamboree's staff podiatrists (yes, there are podiatrists on staff) has some advice for participants to prevent blisters and help care for injured feet.
"Change socks twice a day, it helps keep your feet dry and prevent blisters," says Frankel. At the Summit, Scouts and Venturers should wear boots rather than low cut footwear like tennis shoes.
Hikers should always stop and take care of hot spots before they become blisters, the doctor says. Moleskin is available at any of the jamboree medical facilities and can be applied over hot spots to prevent blisters. Hikers should remember make sure to round off the moleskin's corners when applying.
"If you have a blister that has popped, come see us at one of the medical tents," says Frankel. This is important to prevent infection of the raw skin underneath the blister, he says.
Frankel also warns that participants whose toes are crammed into small boots might face is ingrown toenails. If possible, hikers should footwear with a good amount of space between toes and the front of the shoe, assuring enough space for toes.
Whatever ails their feet, Frankel says Scouts and Venturers should not be afraid to visit the podiatrists on staff. One simple trip can save a bit of pain later.