Jul 22, 2014 at 7:16 pm #1319171
@maiaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Companion forum thread to:Jul 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm #2121669
– -K.T.- –Participant
Good to see you back with another quality article Darin. I'll be picking up some tape and Spenco to add into my kit. Thanks.Jul 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm #2121674
After seeing some other references to this tape I tried it out last year on two extended trips along with Leukotape. My experience is that Leukotape has superior adhesive power. It stays on much longer which is very desirable.Jul 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm #2121709
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
I get blisters so rarely, that I don't carry anything special to treat them. By reading Fixing Your Feet, and other classics, I figured out how to prevent blisters under most conditions, though that's still a work in progress. Much easier than treating blisters.
My first aid kit has a few items that would also work on blisters: tincture of benzoin (might switch to the dropper bottle, good idea), some bandaids, and Opsite Flexigrid transparent dressing; plus duct tape for general repairs.
Could kinesio tape replace duct tape for general repairs?
— RexJul 22, 2014 at 10:14 pm #2121721
@millonasLocale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Leukotape is what you need for certain kinds of stress relief foot taping where elastic will not do. Its definitely multi-use. Kinesio is good for other stuff. I take both. Foot stuff is the one thing I always take enough of.Jul 23, 2014 at 3:34 am #2121741
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I have seen a few references to this stuff. I think I will try some. I usually carry about 3-5 yd of duct tape (depending.) How much is appropriate to bring?
Also, alcohol fuel makes a good sterilizer for blisters.
Thanks, Darin!Jul 23, 2014 at 9:49 am #2121814
Thank you for the excellent article! I've taken it to heart, and will be replacing my moleskin-centric foot care kit as per your recommendation. I don't have much of a problem with blisters, but when I do use moleskin, it curls up nastily at the edges.Jul 23, 2014 at 9:49 am #2121815
1) You must allow the benzoin to dry thoroughly before applying anything on top of it or nothing will stick. I give it a full 3 minutes.
2) The benzoin must extend beyond the edges of the tape in order to secure those edges, but the exposed benzoin will then stick to your socks. Once your foot repair job is done, dust that area with a good foot powder like Zeazorb, which will adhere to the exposed benzoin and prevent it sticking. Zeazorb is an excellent antifungal powder and is available at WalMart.Jul 23, 2014 at 10:24 am #2121830
Since Leukotape comes on a roll, it seems like it would be difficult to repackage. Do you take the whole roll, or do you have a reliable way to take only some of it without messing up the adhesive?Jul 23, 2014 at 10:26 am #2121831
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
Alcohol wipes will just dry the skin out and damage it further. Using them to "prep" the skin is not necessary and may cause additional skin damage (while minor), requiring a longer healing time. If you feel the need, prep the skin with Benzalkonium Chloride, which won't damage the skin. Otherwise clean water to wash/irrigate and some drying time is plenty.
Benzone is also mostly alcohol. While lower in percentage than alcohol wipes, it still does some drying and damage if applied directly to the wound site. I still carry it along with my foot care kit to be applied around the wound site and to hot spots that haven't blistered/opened up yet, but i have found that lukotape by itself is the best option as it is very sticky and will hold well as long as it is carefully applied.
Before applying the lukotape, moleskin is cut to size and placed under the lukotape, on top/around the wound site, to take pressure off the inflamed area. This also reduce any damage done to the healing wound site when the lukotape is removed/replaced later as the moleskin isn't as sticky.Jul 23, 2014 at 10:34 am #2121836
"Do you take the whole roll, or do you have a reliable way to take only some of it without messing up the adhesive?"
Funny, we were just discussing this in the backpacking group I belong to. Alan Dixon recommended the following: "Use release backing from something like a USPS mailing label (raid trash at PO). Then cut strips and place them on that. EZ to use and tape retains full adhesion."Jul 23, 2014 at 11:25 am #2121854
@dcramtonLocale: Southwestern Washington
Great article. Since I started moving toward ultralight, and switched to trail runners from heavy boots, I get few enough blisters. But my best friend and hiking partner gets them all the time. I'll be updating my duct-tape-and-moleskin foot care kit pronto, and so will he!Jul 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm #2121864
"… do you have a reliable way to take only some of it without messing up the adhesive?"
A while back I repackaged Leukotape by putting 6" strips of it on wax paper, then trimmed the paper. It worked pretty well but after a few weeks, it was hard to get the tape off the wax paper without the paper tearing. The backing from a large label or something, as another reader posted, would likely work better but I haven't tried it.Jul 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm #2121867
@ksawchukLocale: Northern California
Nice article Darin. Thank-you!
The differences between Leuco and Kinesio are 1. stretch in one dimension for Kinesio which makes it easier to apply especially on irregular surfaces like feet. 2. Adhesive qualities–which are much stronger with Leuco allowing it to be used without tincture of benzoin and still remain well attached for 3-4 days. Kinesio must be used with benzoin in order for it to stick.
Having spent 12 hours at the 56 mile Michigan Bluff aid station at Western States with John Vonhof I can confirm that he used benzoin with each kinesio application. It can be contained in a small dropper bottle though the lid will often get glued shut.Jul 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm #2121869
@steveLocale: Eastern Washington
The tape on the roll is stuck to itself. Do the same thing using a plastic card (Starbucks, Subway, etc)–free at store if cash balance is $0. This is what I do and it works great.
Another option is to keep a few feet of it wrapped below the handgrip on a trekking pole.Jul 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm #2121876
I've seen Mike C actually precuts pieces and puts it transfer paper, similar to a sheet you'd have after mailing labels. I cut a piece to fit insize a quart size ziplock and pre-cut them to try it out, and it's kind of nice that I don't have to cut a piece to size, it's already done a head of time.
On the other hand I really don't mind cutting pieces off my roll of duct tape that I keep around a water bottle so it's really personal preference.Jul 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm #2121877
Great article, Darin!
I've also repackaged Leukotape by wrapping it around a drinking straw. My little roll is around 5/8in in diameter and it peels off the same as from the original roll. I don't go out for very long so you may need to make multiple rolls or use the credit card trick.Jul 23, 2014 at 7:29 pm #2121979
@klrodgersLocale: North Texas
Thanks Darin–I need to update my kit!
My complaint about Leukotape was always that I wanted it off at the end of the trip to clean up the area, but that always ripped skin off with it.
I didn't know you could use Kinesio tape for trekking foot care. A caution though: the second time a PT put it on my leg (like those funny pro athlete pics in the article :) the glue made me break out. Nothing serious–it just burned until I took the tape off and then took a few days for the red to fade. But not something I'd want to be surprised by in the backcountry. If someone hasn't used Kinesio before, I recommend trying it in the frontcountry first.
P.S. +1 for the 6-year-old and Keds photo. :)Jul 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm #2121987
@andyjarmanLocale: Edge of the World
I recently attended a four day Wilderness First Aid training course for first reponders.
Advice for wounds was as follows;
Do not apply disinfectant or alcohol to wounds. This kills the tissue it comes into contact with and delays healing of the wound.
Do flush the wound liberally with clean water. A Sawyer Squeeze provides limitless instant wound flushing water. Get to a creek or large puddle – use your Sawyer syringe to really get in there and flush it out.
If the wound is not bleeding (blisters, friction burns, grazes) apply Fixamol wound dressing directly onto the wound. Recent research has revealed the wound will heal beneath the dressing, because the dressing 'breaths' it can be worn permanently in wet and dry conditions until the wound has healed and it will not permit ingress of bacteria.
Popping blisters provides an entry route for infection, the underside/inside of a popped blister is an ideal breeding site for bacteria. The plasma in the blister is there to encourage the injured not to apply weight to that part of the foot, which will exacerbate the injury.
Celox is useful for stopping bleeding, but must be removed and the wound dressed in a clean sterile environment before the wound can begin to heal.Jul 23, 2014 at 9:35 pm #2122004
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
I think you mean Fixomull wound dressing:
http://cutimed.com/products/fixomull-transparent-stretch/, a kind of transparent, waterproof, breathable wound dressing.
Many brands are available, including Opsite, Suresite, Tegaderm, Transeal, and generic.
Each is slightly different; my wife and I like Opsite much better than Tegaderm for general wound dressing, especially large abrasion wounds, but we haven't tried them all, and we haven't tried them on blisters, yet.
— RexJul 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm #2122011
@dbannerLocale: Pacific North West
I'm enjoying reading your comments. I wrap my Leukotape around the pen I take with me on my trips, but it's so sticky that it's a struggle to get off. I like the idea of precutting and putting backing on it. Like Kevin said, you definitely need benzoin to make the Kinesio to stay on your feet.
I agree–you certainly don't want to put alcohol on open wounds. That's something I always have to teach the boy scouts I work with. Irrigating an open wound with clean water is the way to go. I use it to clean the grime off my feet so my tape sticks better. It does dry the skin some, but I'm willing to take that tradeoff to keep the tape on better and thereby prevent a blister.Jul 24, 2014 at 5:36 am #2122036
@khafnerLocale: upstate NY
great article. Enjoyed the updates. I have used the various forms of crazy glue and have had much better success with the vet form. The standard crazy glue goes on lumpy, and comes off within a day or so. The vet form will last five days. You could get your physician to write an Rx for the people version but it is expensive, I can not recommend it, it is a single use product where the vet comes in a multi use container for 3 or 4 dollars. The vet form of super glue works great for all sorts of cuts, blisters etc.Jul 24, 2014 at 8:06 am #2122075
@lhoilandLocale: Humboldt County, CA
I put my Leucotape on release paper like Mike McClellen does. I get my release paper from FedEx for free. FedEx uses the slick release paper as a backing for their address labels. The FedEx folks are really nice about giving me their release paper that they are just discarding anyway. I get a bunch of the release paper, apply Leucotape to it and then cut out the strips of Leucotape to put into my first aid kit.
I have had good luck with the benzoin application before attaching Leucotape on top of blisters or hot spots. I do puncture blisters and use antibiotic on the blister before I apply the tape. In my experience, I don't normally get blisters. I do get some blisters on my toes if I'm really pushing high milage using trail running shoes. I'll try some of this kinesio tape to see how it works. Good article and discussion.Jul 24, 2014 at 9:19 am #2122103
@millonasLocale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Save the release paper backing from the kinesio tape for the leukotape and you will have a nice balanced tape ecosystem. :-)Jul 24, 2014 at 9:30 am #2122108
@dbogeyLocale: East Coast
I'm prone to hotspots and blisters on my feet no matter what shoes/boots that I use. I've used both tapes mentioned and found that Leucotape works much better for me. I always apply benzion on the area before taping. I carry the roll of tape instead of cutting because I've found that the Leuctape is sometimes difficult to peel off of paper or pens and I always end up with screwed up tape.
Proper foot care is of the utmost importance and sometimes the least understood amongst backpackers. It was always my understanding before becoming educated that "rough" feet were the best prepared feet for hiking, meaning feet with callouses would be less prone to blistering when in fact its just the opposite. The way some of us in the Army would take care of blisters was to "hot shot" the blister area with benzoin. A very painful way to eliminate it.
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