We often go hiking or camping to revive our minds and to find peace of mind. But all our efforts can go in vain if we get any kind of injuries or pain during the hiking. One of the most common problems hikers and backpackers experience during their trips are blisters. They may be small, but they can be painful enough to end our trip. It is always better to care for blisters before they worsen. Let’s talk about how to avoid blister when hiking.

We should avoid draining if possible and dress it like a wound if it pops. As blisters are the most common hiking injury out there, and the hikers often suffered from them many times so it is better to have some knowledge about how to prevent it and how to cure it. In this segment, we will discuss how we get blisters, how we can get rid of them, and also we will discuss how we can prevent ourselves from getting blisters.

What Causes Blisters :

     We can get blisters for various reasons. Blisters can be caused by pressure, heat, and moisture burns, allergies, skin conditions, or even spider bites. But the most common culprit for blisters is friction. When we have enough friction in a focused spot, cell damage occurs. The serum (fluid) inside a blister helps to protect and heal the damaged tissue. Red fluid-like material found in a blood blister simply means that capillaries in the area of the blister have also been damaged.

Here we gonna discuss several factors that make blisters more likely to happen:


A tight spot in our boot or a wrinkle in our sock can create a friction pressure point.

Direct Friction:

 The places where a shearing force grabs the skin and slides can cause a blister. That might happen inside our boot heel or inside a glove where we grip the shaft of a trail tool. Eventually, the epidermis (upper skin layer) separates, and thus fluid enters the space, causing a blister.


Moister (sweatier) skin is often softer skin that is more susceptible to damage when friction occurs.

How to avoid blister when hiking :

     Blister causes too much pain in our hiking. It makes our trails too much difficult for us. So, we should take some precautions in order to prevent blisters. There are a few steps which we can take to prevent blisters when hiking like we should not skimp on the socks, we should try a sock liner and foot powder, we should wear the right hiking boots that protect and keep our feet dry and we should Keep debris out of our hiking boots with low gaiters.

 Here,  I am going to discuss them in detail to avoid blister.

Proper Footwear Fit: 

The most important factor about footwear is its fitting. The proper fit footwear helps us in staying blister-free. So we should make sure our shoes/boots fit well. Footwear that fits too tightly will almost certainly create pressure that’ll create blisters. That’s why we should go for a relaxed fit. A little extra roominess in our shoes (especially in the toe box) is good, but we don’t want our feet to be slipping and sliding either, so we should make sure our shoes fit just right. A good pair of insoles can help if we need extra support. 

Break-in New Footwear (Especially Boots) : 

Sometimes we plan to wear brand new footwear (especially boots) on a trip then we must make sure to break them in by wearing them around before we head into the backcountry. New shoes/boots can be quite stiff. Worn footwear is far more comfortable and eventually, our shoes will conform to our feet, but we should make sure old boots still have good tread on the sole and support on the inside. 

Keep Feet Clean:  

We should always keep our feet clean. Keeping our feet as clean as possible will help reduce chafing caused by dirt while also reducing the chances of blisters becoming infected.  After long days of hiking, it’s always important to keep our feet clean and dry throughout the night which will allow our skin to recuperate.

Lubricate Your  Feet  Before You  Exercise:  

     Friction causes blisters, so it can be said that reducing friction can help prevent blisters. Rub petroleum jelly or other lubricants designed for runners on problem spots on our feet. 

Wear well-designed  Hiking Socks :

       We should always pick up the best socks for hiking. While selecting our socks we should keep in mind that we should choose those socks which will protect our feet from the inside of the boot and should help prevent blisters (by preventing friction). Good hiking socks will wick moisture, fit snug, dry quickly, and have hidden seams. We should always opt for socks that are made from soft materials like merino or smart wool. A good hiking sock will have extra cushioning in the areas where we’re prone to hot spots.

Hot spots are the red and tender areas on the skin which appear before the formation of blisters. The extra cushioning on a good sock will help prevent the formation of these hot spots.

If our feet sweat a lot and we’re doing a long hike, it’s not unheard of to bring another pair of socks to change into. Again, one thing is to remember good socks will wick moisture off our feet and to the top of the sock.

Change The Socks: 

It is always better to keep at least 2 pairs of hiking socks so we can swap them out as needed and dry another pair for later. We keep a large safety pin clipped to the back of our packs to secure socks so they can air dry while we’re on the move. We also like to pack a pair of comfy warm socks and reserve them for wearing in our sleeping bags at night. Keeping our feet in relatively clean socks will help keep our feet healthier which will give us more comfort, and blister-free.

Quality Of Socks:

 We should select our socks wisely. Because it plays an important role in preventing blisters. Wool and synthetic fibers are best for wicking sweat away from our skin, and they dry quickly after water crossings too. Cotton should be avoided because it performs poorly and can lead to blisters.  Wearing a pair of thin liner socks under another pair of socks is a great way to make a double-layer system for those who are very extra susceptible to blisters. And some hikers find toe socks to be helpful in preventing blisters between the toes. 

Keep  Feet  Dry : 

Wet feet cause blisters. When our feet get wet, they get wrinkled and pruned, creating abnormal surfaces that are easy to chafe. The water also softens our skin, making them even more susceptible to wear. So we should keep our feet dry as much as possible. 

Get Some Air Time : 

Taking off our shoes and socks to air out our feet during breaks feels good and can go a long way to preventing blisters. Surely it is time-consuming, it takes a few extra minutes. But it’s well worth the effort to let our skin breathe and give our socks a chance to dry out. One general rule is that if we’re taking a break for 15 minutes or longer, the shoes come off. Elevating our legs and feet by propping them up with our pack can also reduce swelling and speed the recovery of our lower body. This is also an excellent opportunity to dump out any debris that got into our shoes and to inspect our feet for hot spots.

How to Treat Hot Spots : 

    We may get help to prevent hot spots on our feet. If we get hot spots then we should immediately take some steps so that things don’t get worsen. Here are some given below.


If we notice any foot pain or discomfort while we’re hiking we should stop immediately. We should find a place to sit and take off our shoes to assess the situation. It takes a little time to do this and can be annoying to stop, but this simple step will easily save us tons of time and pain in the long run.


If there is a blister and it hasn’t formed yet we should clean and dry the area. After that, we should cover the hot spot with a thin layer of duct tape to reduce friction. We should make sure the duct tape is affixed as smoothly to our skin as possible.


If the skin gets red and raw or a blister has partially formed we should immediately use antibiotic ointment on it and then cover the hotspot with a blister bandage, Bandaid, or Moleskin before applying the tape.


If the hot spot doesn’t get worse, we should try to leave the tape in place until we return home. We should remove it very carefully to avoid injuring the skin.

How to avoid blister and heel blister :

Cover your feet with Gold Bond Powder. Best done outside of your car. Some folks also just dump the powder on the sock liners.

An alternative to the dry powder is petroleum jelly. You need to slather it on over your toes and heels. I’ve found that the powder is a little fewer blisters

How To Care For Hiking Blisters :

    If we get blisters unwanted then we should take proper care of them. So that it does not worsen the situation. 

Okay, so let’s say the worst happened and now we have blisters. Here’s what to do to care for them.

Deal With  Hot  Spots  as  Soon  As You Notice  Them :

If you start feeling discomfort or heat on your foot, the chances are a hot spot is starting to form, and you must stop immediately to deal with it and avoid a hiking blister. Take your boot and sock off, and find the area in distress.

To pop or not to pop? :

    The best way for treating a blister is to keep it intact. Popping can increase the opportunity for infections to form. Most hiking blisters will heal themselves if we give them a few days. If we have a large blister that’s affecting our walking, it might be better to pop it. If we do pop the blister, try to do it with something sterile like a knife blade that we’ve sterilized over a flame. That’s usually the best we can do in the backcountry. We should follow these steps to safely pop a blister:

  • Check for signs of infection (pus that’s green or yellow in color and swelling): If the blister is infected we should contact the doctor.
  • Wash our hands with soap and water, then clean the blister with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
  • Sterilize a needle with rubbing alcohol.
  • Locate the blister’s edge and poke it with the needle in several places. We should use clean gauze to soak up the fluid that comes out.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment over the blister and cover it with gauze and tape or a bandage.
  • After several days we can cut away the dead skin and apply more ointment, then we should bandage again until healed.
  • Throughout this process, keep our blister clean. This will prevent infection.

How to Treat a Hiking Blister :

   It may happen that how much we try to avoid blisters when hiking l we still end up with a blister. But if we have the right first-aid supplies with us and know how to use them, we can still be able to manage the situation and continue to hike without pain or worry.

  • Clean our hands and the blistered area with soap and water or an alcohol/antiseptic wipe.
  • Sterilize a safety pin, sewing needle, scalpel blade, or small knife with an alcohol wipe, boiling water, or flame. 
  • Pierce the blister from the bottom with the pin, needle, or blade, slightly elongating the hole by gently moving our tool side to side. 
  • Drain the fluid from the blister by carefully massaging it down and out. 
  • Cover the blister with antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Pad around the blister with a piece of Moleskin or Molefoam cut into a donut shape. The hole in the center should be slightly larger than the blister. 
  • We should bandage  the blister with a piece of gauze, an adhesive bandage, or a Moleskin
  • We must tape over the blister and surrounding area with a larger piece of duct or KT tape.

Hiking Blister First Aid Kit :

     It is quite possible to get blisters at any moment so we should make sure we have the necessary equipment to avoid blister when hiking. We should make sure we’re prepared to prevent and treat blisters by carrying the proper supplies in our first aid kit or make a small “blister kit” to keep in an easily accessible place in our backpack. Every first aid kit should have the following equipment.

  • Duct tape (we like to wrap it around an empty pill bottle that can also store a needle, pins, and thread.)
  • Moleskin and/or Molefoam
  • It is a Lightweight multitool with a scissor, tweezers, and a small knife
  • Soap, alcohol, or antiseptic wipes
  • Safety pin, sewing needle, or scalpel blade
  • Braided fishing line, dental floss, nylon thread
  • Bandaids
  • Gauze 
  • Blister bandages 
  • KT tape: Elastic therapeutic tape, also called kinesiology tape or KT. This is generally an elastic cotton strip with a strong acrylic adhesive that is used to treat pain and disability from athletic injuries. It has excellent holding power for blister care. It is also helpful for supporting many other common overuse injuries as well.
  • To make attending to hot spots and blisters less time-consuming, we should keep our blister treatment supplies in an easily accessible lightweight toiletry bag.

Let  Our  Feet  Heal  After  The  Hike  :

    At the end of our hike, we should give enough time to our feet to heal. We should get our wet socks and boots off quickly. We should clean our feet properly and use some moisturizer. If we’re stopping for a longer break (like lunch), we should take our boots off, and letting our feet air dry is also a great idea.

Foot Care Tips :

    Taking good care of our feet before, during, and after backpacking trips is a good habit that keeps blisters at bay. It also makes our feet stronger and healthier. It helps to make our experience more enjoyable. 

  • We should eliminate sharp edges and points and trim toenails short. A well-equipped lightweight multitool like scissors, a file, tweezers, and a knife can be a great help for maintenance. 
  • Clean our feet regularly and thoroughly and pay attention to remove dirt from the under toenails.
  • Moisturize the skin with lotion or coconut oil to prevent painful cracking and unnecessary roughness.
  • Rest and elevate our feet during downtime to reduce swelling. If blisters are really bad, we may need to give them a day or more off to heal properly before moving on.
  • We should soak sore feet in warm water to relax the muscles and tendons. Bonus if we add Epsom salt to speed recovery. 
  • Massage feet for a few minutes a day so that they remain strong and flexible. Foot massage is also beneficial for circulation, promoting restful sleep, stimulating healing in the body. It also prevents ankle injuries.

    As there is a saying that prevention is far easier than finding a cure when it comes to blisters. We just need to give a little bit of attention and care to our feet to avoid blister when hiking. But if somehow we get it then also there need not be much worry. We just need to follow some basic steps.  By simply paying a little more attention and getting to know our feet, our hiking experiences will be much less painful and far more enjoyable.


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