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Re: [at-l] Ray Jardine's Ultra-light Hiking Advice

Amazon -
  Yes, my trail name was (is) Blister>Free, but don't let that make you think
I was in any way pain-free.  I had more than my fair share of foot pain, 
thankfully without blisters compounding the problem.  But as for avoiding them,
I don't know, it really comes down to a lot of variables, and I'm afraid there's
no surefire way of pinpointing my good fortune.  I wore heavy boots for a time,
I also wore lightweight low-cut boots.  I almost always wore thin capilene
liner socks beneath Thorlo Trekking socks (the kind with Hollofil insulation -
yep, even in summer, no good reason why).  Did nothing religious in nature for
the feet, as in hourly massages or daily cleansing, although the liner socks
would get changed about every other day.  I have some suspicion, however, that
my having resided in the Southwest just prior to starting my thru-hike, where
it was comparatively warm thus allowing me to go around continuously in Teva
sandals with no socks, probably toughened up the feet immensely.  Going for
days without socks in an arid environment, the feet eventually crack and
callous on the bottom, which was painful, but upon healing... who knows,
maybe they evolved in the process.  
  As for conventional wisdom about blisters and various types of footwear,
it would seem that the fit of the boot or shoe would be paramount to avoiding
the friction that can lead to blisters.  I good fitting boot weighing in at
5 pounds would be a better choice than an ill-fitting running shoe, I conjecture.  But a good fitting running shoe might be superior to a good fitting boot,
since it would be more malleable, working with the movements of your foot
rather than in opposition to.
  Washing socks and self in streams is generally frowned upon along the AT,
and is against the ethic of no-trace camping regardless of locality.  There
was a day when such activities would affect few, if any, people besides
yourself, but with today's push to get away from "The Machiwe're just
about all out there at that stream you're daubing your stinky socks into,
trying to grab a quart or two of potable aqua.  It comes down to the very
democratic notion of doing that which is in the best interest of the most
individuals.  I usually would fill my 2.5 gal dromedary and move away from
the water source before contaminating a heretofore unconsidered piece of
ground.  You could also shower yourself in this fashion (Jardine's dundo
idea).  Actually, the MSR dromedaries work really well for showering, and
even better with the optional shower kit you can buy.
  Although you may not encounter full-fledged "streams" or "creeks" everyday
of your hike, as you inquired, you'll certainly find water of some sort which
could be scooped into yo water bag for showering, etc... so not to worry if'

every source isn't flowing like the Kennebec.

- Blister>Free (whose editor is so chronically discombobulated, it could very
well do harm to the well-intentioned among us) '96
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