Outdoor Tips

When you recreate in the outdoors there are common problems that can be really perplexing. Some can be quite painful or even dangerous but solutions are out there. I wanted to share a few of these in case they’re helpful because they were true revelations that completely resolved these particular issues for me.

Chafing

Sooner or later it’s going to catch up with you and when it does it can really spoil an outing. I’m not sure exactly why this started to become an issue for me but once it did it nearly stopped me from hiking completely. The amount of pain involved is pretty intense and you don’t want to walk at all. The issue is sweat and friction, even in Winter. The result is basically diaper rash and extreme misery. I know that there are specialized products that are supposed to address this ailment and I haven’t tried any of them but I found a simple and inexpensive option on a backpacking forum.

Gold Bond medicated body powder will not only treat the symptoms and stop progression; if applied before a trip it almost always prevents it completely. A 1 oz. travel size container is widely available for only a few bucks and fits nicely in a toiletries bag. I keep a bigger one at home for pre-trip dusting too!

Split fingertips

I first encountered this while winter fly fishing and thought that it was caused by the cold water. Nope. Turns out this is basically another form of chafing and it’s caused by the desiccating effects of cold dry air. So we need to protect the skin from that desiccating effect. Wearing gloves really helps but the key is Dermatone.

I’ve tried several other lotions and creams but nothing works like this stuff. Slather it liberally on the fingertips and cuticles, even if you’re wearing gloves. No more split fingertips. Seems expensive for a smallish tin but it lasts forever and is one of those multiple use items (sunscreen, lip balm, etc) that deserve a place in your pack.

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