Day 8: Kilbride - Milton, 215 km completed

Today feels like a day of rejuvenation. Surrounded by our Trail Angels and good friends we camped out at Kelso Conservation Area last night and woke up to make a delicious breakfast.

I felt refreshed today but still aware of a numbness in my big toe that had been plaguing me since Day 2. Natalie, our designated Trail Angel physiotherapist went to work this morning.

After several needles in my calf to release tight muscles I felt ready to hit the trail again. And this time we were leaving the packs at the campsite.

I can’t say too much about the trail or the views today because it was more about spending time with friends. Rebekah and Heather joined us for today’s hike and the five hour 22.5 kilometre hike felt like a walk in the park. Did I mention no packs?

Happy to report that I can feel my big toe again! Celebrating these little victories are essential.

Safety Saturday: Blister Care
Speaking of little victories... I am also blister free as of today!

Blisters are an inevitable for most hikers. You might be lucky like Chris and be less susceptable to blisters, or you might be more like me who is prone to heel blisters and blisters in between the toes and on the arch of the foot.

Blisters can be seen as a safety concern and if you do not proactively address them it could be the end of your hike. In order to proactively address blisters you need to know what causes them. This would be a combination of 3 factors: friction, moisture and heat. To combat friction Chris and I carefully purchased boots that fit properly and thoroughly broke them in prior to tackling 30 plus km days.

We also wear a sock liner that allows the friction to take place between the liner and the main sock. An added benefit of the liner is that it wicks moisture from the skin to the outer sock to keep your foot drier. At least in theory that’s how it should work. It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another. I made the bold move after Day 2 to ditch the sock liner and it was a life saver.

In regard to heat, it is important to pay attention to hot spots as you walk.
You may need to address hot spots on the trail to avoid blisters forming. You can do this by removing your boots and socks on breaks - which also reduces moisture - and bandaging the hot spot.

If a blister does form (and it will) there is the age old question to consider: to pop or not to pop. After an adolescence spent constantly either breaking in new soccer cleats or running shoes I can tell you I am 100% team pop. Draining the blister in a controlled setting in my opinion is preferable to allowing the fluid to cause pain and create an even bigger blister. Just be sure to sanitize the area and needle to prevent infection.

Happy Trails,
Natalie