When you exercise outdoors, some of the downsides are blisters, cuts and scrapes, but they can be avoided with these simple tips according to experts:

Pick the right kicks

“Appropriate shoes really do make a difference. A heavy boot will be more supportive for my feet and my knees when I carry a heavy pack. Every type of shoe has its limits, but it also has its sweet spot. Play with them and see what works for you.”

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Pack plenty of socks

“Merino wool or a Merino-synthetic blend are great options for socks, as Merino does a wonderful job of wicking moisture away from your feet. Wool socks in the summer might sound like an oxymoron, but they work very well. If your planned hike is somewhere that gets a lot of moisture, like the Pacific Northwest, Southeast Alaska or windy Patagonia, you should plan on bringing at least one extra pair of socks. If your trek is planned to be four days in length, as you hike through the Torres del Paine Park in southern Chile, I would bring three pairs of socks, which will allow [you] to change every other day and have one back up pair, if it rains hard one day.”

Clothing material counts

“If you are on a trail with vegetation overlapping the trail, either wear pants, [or] shorts that convert into pants, or carry a pair of knee high compression socks that you can wear to avoid scrapes and cuts during that part of the trail. Same would go for long sleeves. The rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon offers well-groomed trails where vegetation is cut back.”

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Sip ample H2O

“Depending on the terrain and season, carrying one water bottle and one high-quality filter is all you’ll need. The most accurate measurement is how much and how clear is your urine. When it rains, it makes sense to capture that water with a tarp or tent fly. The goal here is to travel as light as possible.”

Blisters need more than band-aids

“Moleskin is the classic cure for blisters, but duct tape will work too. The downside with duct tape is it gets a little gunky sometimes. Both moleskin and duct tape are applied directly to the hotspot, blister, or open blister to prevent further rubbing or infection. Pro tip: Wrap a section of your water bottle in a few rounds of duct tape so that you’re always prepared, and save yourself the weight of carrying around the full roll of tape.

 

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