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Thread: Duct Tape on Feet?

  1. #1
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default Duct Tape on Feet?

    I have seen posts across the intertubes where people use duct tape on their feet to prevent blisters if their boots have some slippage. It seams to be focused on heel slippage, but some posters wrap their entire foot.

    Being a haz waste worker for two decades, I have had many opportunities to duct tape my skin to prevent chemical exposure. However, the primary solvent in the glue used in duct tape is toluene. It can really mess up your skin and nerves over time.

    My question is do folks put the duct tape directly on their skin? and how does your skin react over a long term exposure to the solvent in the glue?

    What brands of duct tape? In my industry we use some types of duct tape that sticks to your skin like it has crazy glue on it. You won't find this stuff at Home Depot.

  2. #2

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    Mole skin is more commonly used, duct tape works for an emergency
    and it works by SLIPPING (and providing a slip sureface)

    here is what you should take away
    PROPER BOOTS AND SOCKS PREVENT BLISTERS
    so, if you are getting blisters, you need better boots that fit better, I have a boots that I ONLY ONCE got a blister in, old guy in reception asked me, do you want comfortable, or boots that will never give a blister,
    I said "I'll take the ones that won't give me blisters"
    the only blister I ever got (rucking 12-30 miles) was due to a sock slipping.

  3. #3

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    BTW duct tape works as a wart remover too

  4. #4
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I tend to think that duct tape contact with skin is infrequent and limited enough that any coincidental exposure to solvents in the adhesive would have no harmful effects, barring some weird, previously unknown allergy. How much toluene is in 8 square inches of duct tape?

    I have used duct tape as a quick fix to impending frost bite--works like a champ. I have also used it to treat a hot-spot on my heels after being well committed (as in several miles in) on a backpack trip. Once I used some to splint a suspected broken finger...worked great.

    As far as what kind? I prefer silver duct tape for potential skin application. It's stretchy and pliable enough to mold around curves and tacky enough to resist slippage from sweat although it does rip the hairs right out when it's time to come off.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  5. #5

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    Not sure if this relates to your original question, but I will post it anyway. Be really careful putting anything with adhesive (duct tape, moleskin, etc.) over blistered or broken skin. When the tape comes off (either by accident or on purpose) it will tear the blister or any surrounding skin right off, leaving you in worse shape than when you started. If you need to use adhesive, put some thing non adherent over the blister first (band aids, gauze, tp...anything is better than glue on broken and damaged skin).

    One of my very worst experiences involved putting moleskin over half dollar sized blisters I had on both heels from backpacking in poorly fitting boots. The moleskin got wet during the next creek crossing and when it came off it took the skin covering each blister off with it. I ended up with literal holes in the back of both feet, and we terminated what was supposed to be a 7 day trip after a single overnight, which in turn forced us to bushwhack 2 miles through alders to access the river so we could float back to the road. I sobbed for at least the last two hours of the trip out, and couldn't wear shoes with backs on them for a week.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    Not sure if this relates to your original question, but I will post it anyway. Be really careful putting anything with adhesive (duct tape, moleskin, etc.) over blistered or broken skin. When the tape comes off (either by accident or on purpose) it will tear the blister or any surrounding skin right off, leaving you in worse shape than when you started. If you need to use adhesive, put some thing non adherent over the blister first (band aids, gauze, tp...anything is better than glue on broken and damaged skin).

    One of my very worst experiences involved putting moleskin over half dollar sized blisters I had on both heels from backpacking in poorly fitting boots. The moleskin got wet during the next creek crossing and when it came off it took the skin covering each blister off with it. I ended up with literal holes in the back of both feet, and we terminated what was supposed to be a 7 day trip after a single overnight, which in turn forced us to bushwhack 2 miles through alders to access the river so we could float back to the road. I sobbed for at least the last two hours of the trip out, and couldn't wear shoes with backs on them for a week.
    I would heed Becca's advice on the subject on blisters as it may just save your hunt!! IMHO the only thing duct tape is good for is hot spots as in before the blister forms.. I have watched hunters quit 20k hunts over blisters more then once.. I had blisters so bad one year on my heels and shins cause of some hot weather and ignorance and duct tape didnt do squat to help and I would of quit if I could and still have scars.... I personally hate mole skin too, ithink the best and what helped in my case was those blister bandaids.. As far as duct tape adhesive, I use it in work as a temporary band aide from time to time just because it stays on but never had any ill side affects...

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004N166V4/...SIN=B004N166V4

  7. #7
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    I actually prefer duct tape to moleskin. It sticks better, it's cheaper, and it has a slicker surface for socks/shoes to rub against. I try to duct tape my feet in advance on my typical "hot spots". I have had no ill effects. I also have experimented with covering my hot spots (and forming blisters) with New Skin, which I think actually may replace duct tape for me. It actually seems to work better- New Skin forms a very slick surface by itself.

    Re Becca's advice, I use those "corn" pads they sell - you know, the foam circles with the center cut out? I use those to enclose an existing blister and then cover from there.

    Of course, ideally you'll stop the blister from happening in the first place. I had really good luck last year by buying 4E width shoes (which accommodated my bunions) and then wearing good socks. Very few problems with blisters.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    I've used duct tape on my feet a couple of times with good results. I've never been too impressed with Mole Skin, it just never seems to hold up.

    The best product I've tried is Spyroflex. It will actually stick through a full day of hiking. I've searched around Anchorage but can't find anyone carrying anymore. I'll definitely order some for my sheep pack this summer. Skip the duct tape and get some Spyroflex.


    http://gearx.com/spyroflex-spyroflex...ssing-2x2.html

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    Default +1 for duct tape

    I've used duct tape in contact with direct skin for a long time. Granted, only a few times a year, I'm not talking every day. Never a bad side effect.

    But its especially good if you're in the middle of field dressing game and you find you just dressed out your own finger/thumb. Duct tape it up and keep on going. No getting my blood on the meat that way.

    As a field repair to a new cut its also quite great, but never ever remove the duct tape from the wound; it'll tear things up. Let it shed itself, even if you have to take a few showers/baths to help the removal process along.

  10. #10

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    Yes it works great! Moles skin will sweat off. I have done it after the blisters form on the heal (not recommended) when I pulled the tape off the skin was on it.
    Now before every major hike I apply duct tape to my heals. I've never had a blister or a hotspot since.

  11. #11
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    Moleskin is designed for you to cut a hole the size if your blister, then apply it over as to allow the blister to breath if broken. if you have a hot spot same principle applies.

    It can just be applied to the skin as obviously stated..but works better if applied as above. it also can be multiple layers thick if needed to provide comfort.
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