Tips on How to Keep Your Feet Dry While Hiking
Sweat and moisture trapped inside of hiking boots creates the perfect conditions for blisters, skin irritation and even the development of fungal infections. There are a lot of things that we can do to keep moisture out, but what about dealing with the moisture that is produced by sweat and humidity from the inside? Let's take a look at a few considerations that can help you to keep your feet as dry as possible while hiking or camping.
Powders Can Create Problems
While foot powders can work to trap moisture in everyday situations, they can actually contribute to the growth of fungal spores or the development of skin irritation while hiking. This is because they tend to absorb moisture before it becomes a problem, but the powder can become saturated and ineffective as subsequent moisture starts to build up. The end result is that the powder can turn into a cake-like residue that is moist, and this creates the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms to thrive.
Instead of applying powders before and during a hike, consider using some antiperspirant spray. This will go a long way toward minimizing the amount of sweating that occurs in the first place, and you won't have to focus as much on drying items that are already moist.
Seal Your Boots
Make sure that your boots are properly sealed with quality waterproofing material. Some products require multiple applications over time before they are effective, so make sure that you plan ahead and start treating your boots well before you head out on your trip. You also want to inspect your boots for cracks, tears, holes and other signs of wear and tear that can allow water to seep inside as you are walking.
Use Appropriate Socks
There are a lot of differing opinions out there regarding the use of socks to keep feet dry, and most of them are effective under the right conditions. However, since everyone produces different amounts of moisture, it's important to experiment with some different approaches until you find the one that works best for you. For some, using waterproof socks will help to keep moisture away from the skin, whereas others will benefit from using more than one layer in order to create a barrier of protection.
Allow Boots and Socks to Dry
One of the biggest causes of moisture-related problems involves putting on damp socks or wearing boots that haven't fully-dried out yet. Make sure that you open up your boots as much as possible and position them so that heat can cause the moisture inside to evaporate. This may require a little bit of patience, but waiting for them to dry will pay off in the long-run.
Take some time to experiment with these and other ideas that may come to mind until you find the solutions that work best for you. The more you learn now can pay big dividends when you go trekking later.