Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Micro-Sized Footcare Treatments


As disclosed by my son's pediatrician, I didn’t spend enough time with my shoes off as a child and as an adult I have fairly weak feet. As a result, my pack always has some footcare products to include Adventure Medical Kits Glacier Gels and Leukotape as discussed in other blogs. I have also been known to carry BodyGlide and Hydropel.

An important topic for lightweight backpackers is the need to repackage items which are otherwise bulky or heavy into something smaller and more lightweight. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy for items such as BodyGlide and Hydropel. NOLS instructor and talented illustrator Mike Clellan had an excellent picture on his website which showed how he repackaged items (see picture) which he lovingly refers to as his “Dinky Kit”.

For items like Hydropel which comes in liquid form within a tube, it can be easily repackaged in a smaller container such as the widely available micro droppers. For something like BodyGlide which has the consistency of deodorant, it isn’t as easy. Unfortunately, the desire to repackage these items have left some to be inventive to the point that they degrade the product or otherwise make it unusable. I saw a posting on a forum where a guy had stuck his stick of deodorant into the microwave to turn it into liquid. He then poured it into a smaller container. This was a decent idea in theory, but within the new container he didn’t appear to have a way to get it out as the container itself was just smaller, not functional to raise and lower the deodorant stick. I think a better option would have been for him to find a lighter/smaller deodorant-style container and simply pour his heated solution into it so he didn’t lose the function of the container itself which allowed for the deodorant itselt to be pushed up within the container for easier application.

Instead of flatly repackaging BodyGlide, I found a couple of options even lighter than their 1.02 oz stick. First, they offer a .28 oz “mini”, but personally it looks like it is about a ¼ full and the rest is just dead air space to make the product look more full. Another option would be to use a new Band-Aid product called “Friction Block” which comes in a very dense .88oz stick. It is thereby physically smaller, lighter, and more full than the BodyGlide, and it is likely equally effective.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI, his name is Mike Clelland, not McClellan.

Jolly Green Giant said...

Thank you for paying attention. At least one of us didn't grow up under powerlines while eating a steady diet of lead paint and glue...

RedYetiDave said...

And in fact he usually seems to spell it "Mike Clelland!"

If you're got weak feet - I can highly recommend Inov8 shoes for hiking and Vibram Five Fingers for any chance you can get!

Jolly Green Giant said...

You're right on both counts. Mike does tend to have his "!" follow him everywhere and Inov-8's are great shoes. I have two pairs which I use exclusively.

RedYetiDave said...

That's interesting...

Have you noticed any increase in foot strength (there's a sentence I didn't expect to be writing!)?

I've been walking in Terrocs for over a year but have also been using Five Fingers for a couple of months. At the weekend I suddenly realised my feet are "muscley".

I have a feeling it's mainly down to the Five Fingers but I'm sure the Terrocs are helping.

Matt Mahaney said...

Great point. I wondered if heating the deodorant would affect its ability to de-odor. Making it useless weight. I haven't tried it, so really its just a guess, though he says he uses it. You've inspired me to comment on that forum post.
I've also had great success using Hydropel in a small balm jar. Thanks for the heads up on Friction Block.

Jolly Green Giant said...

I haven't noticed an increase in foot strength principally because I have pretty pathetic feet. I don't even like walking in sand and I can only stand grass for a few minutes. I guess they are hyper-sensitive.

Mike Clelland! said...

Hey - My little DINKY kit - it's famous!