Three Must Haves That Saved My Ass in the First 136 Miles, One Quite Literally
There are actually more than three things that have been amazing to have and use, but I’m going to focus this blog on three specific products that I use daily that have helped me get through this portion relatively unscathed.
I’ve used it since day 1 every morning and this stuff is glorious! My feet absolutely love the rub down on the soles and up the back of my heels. I lack the mythical thigh gap so I slather it on my inner thighs every morning as well. So far no blisters and no inner thigh chafing at all.
I was hiking with a few people early on that had your get off the trail to give there blisters time to heal. Of course this won’t stop your feet from hurting as they adjust to the trail, no balm for that yet that I’m aware of.
Just like the Body Glide, every morning my crack gets a coating of powder before I hit the trail and sometimes mid day depending on the weather. Nothing is worse than dealing with itchy swamp ass. You scratch it and it gets irritated causing you to scratch it again and before you know it you have the baboons ass on the products label. Don’t be that person that has to leave the trail early because of monkey butt.
KT Tape (Kinesiology Therapy Tape)
I’m very much a newcomer to this product, I had heard from others that it is a fantastic product, but honestly I was always skeptical that tape on the outside of your skin could somehow magically help out with joint issues.
I didn’t have any need for this stuff until my right knee started hurting after the mountainous section between Unicoi Gap and Dick’s Gap. By the time I came into Dick’s Gap my right knee was swollen and I was reminded of a pain I hadn’t felt in several years. My Runner’s Knee (aka Patellofemoral Syndrome) had come back to haunt me.
I took two days off at Top of Georgia Hostel and kept it iced and took lots of ibuprofen to get the swelling down. I was good to go after that but it was still a bit irritated. I did the next section up to Winding Stair Gap and by the time I got off there I knew I needed to do something more permanent about it before it put me off the trail.
I paid a visit to the VA clinic while I was in Franklin and the best they could do was a prescription strength ibuprofen so I took it. While I was at the pharmacy waiting for the refill I was looking at knee braces, but the prices were ridiculous and the thought of my skin wrapped in neoprene was kind of a turn off (I’m already sweating enough as it is). I saw KT Tape on the shelf and had heard of others using it for knee problems so I figured I would give it a shot.
I watched a video on how to wrap the knee while enjoying a beer at Lazy Hiker Brewery and figured I’d give it a shot when I got back to the hostel. Later that evening I followed the directions on the video as best I could and took my newly taped knee out for a two mile walk. This stuff is incredible, the pain and stiffness was 95% gone just like that.
I recently did the section between Winding Stair and the NOC over a 3ish day period and absolutely no pain at all the whole time. I am sold on this stuff for life and I have a feeling it will be with me the rest of the way to Maine.
Well there you have it, my three favorite body products so far. Obviously, not including the basic necessities.
What are your favorites?
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.