Some kinds of trips involve lots of walking: trekking and hitchhiking come to mind and I personally fall into the latter category.

If you're walking in hot humid conditions or are still breaking in new footwear you can subject yourself to some kinds of "injuries" you might not otherwise get at home because of long distances or climates unlike you're used to.

So if you develop blisters or chafing partway through a long walking trip, how best to continue on without too many or too long breaks?

I'm currently on day three of a convalescence and would much prefer to keep hitchhiking but I don't want to aggravate my blisters and chafing, especially if doing so might involve infections or other complications.

One of my blisters after three days of healing
One of my blisters after three days of healing.

  • Related: I asked a question about prevention and suitable clothing in regard to chafing some time ago, but this question is about treatment / coping. Aug 18, 2013 at 17:14
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    You should get answer here: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/157/… Aug 18, 2013 at 17:14
  • @ŁukaszLech: Good point - do you think we should close and migrate? I don't really want to label this as off-topic to do that though because I think it's on-topic on both sites. \-: Aug 18, 2013 at 17:16
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    It's quite common that some questions are on-topic for two or even more sites. We've certainly discussed it before on travel.SE. In fact I think Stack Exchange should have some special features for crossover questions to bring interest from one site to another that might not have the same set of uers. Aug 18, 2013 at 17:31
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    chafing question on Outdoors: outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/4400/163 also note that there is a blisters tag on that site so lots of info for you Aug 18, 2013 at 19:21

1 Answer 1



As a collector of blisters, this is what I do. Note: this is not medical advice and you're definitely taking some risk of infection with this method. However, I've done this a lot without problems and I've been in some pretty bad locations.

Before you go to sleep:

  1. Lance ('pop') the blister with a clean needle
  2. Drain the fluid from the blister
  3. Apply some antibiotic to the affected area
  4. Snugly, but not too tightly, wrap the affected body part so the epidermis (top layer of skin) is pushed against the dermis (the skin closer to your body, the red painful part). For toes, band-aids work well. For other parts, you may have to use some gauze and an ace wrap or self-adhesive wrap.
  5. With any luck, the old skin will 'rebond' to the live skin.

When you wake up:

  1. Inspect the affected area, lance and drain again if necessary
  2. Put on a fresh wrap/bandage/whatever you're using.

However, when you start walking the next day your feet will start sweating, the blister will come undone, but it won't be quite as painful. To avoid this continue to keep the affect area 'wrapped' just to keep the skin (hopefully) in place.

When you're done walking for the day:

  1. Take your sweaty foot gear off
  2. Air out your feet.
  3. Inspect and repeat the lancing/draining process if necessary.
  4. Reapply antibiotic and wrap snugly.


I chafe between my upper legs. Consequently, I hike my pants/shorts up so the crotch of the clothing is between crotch: the cloth is rubbing together instead of the inside of my legs. My shirt is untucked so I don't look like Urkel. This makes it cloth on cloth friction rather than skin on skin friction. This avoids chafing and/or reduces aggravating chafed areas. Wearing compression type shorts is also an option to protect chafed areas Although that may result in other parts of your body experiencing chafing.

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