Dealing with Foot Pain While Backpacking Abroad

There’s nothing quite akin to getting back to the roots of human travel, putting one foot in front of the other and meandering across the countryside at your most comfortable pace. But while you traverse the landscape of an unknown setting, the last thing you want, and perhaps the last thing you’ve thought about, is your primary mode of transportation coming under duress. Nothing can hinder your progress or cast a cloud over your plans on hike like foot pain. Anything from a stray rock in your boot to an accidental injury can, to some degree, turn your adventurous jaunt into a walk from the abyss. So, before you set off on your journey, be sure to consider the possible ailments your feet may incur depending on your route, as well as some tips as to how to deal with each effectively. Here’s a quick list of tips for your travels, but visit NUEMD for extensive and detailed descriptions and advice on various ailments.

Surface Problems

There are many ailments of the foot that can easily be ignored or tended only slightly to when in the regular routine of daily life. However, a slight scrape or blister on the foot can very soon become a serious and urgent problem when hiking, especially over rough terrain and long distances. And because these issues are so easy to care for, it is almost inexcusable to let them progress to a point of debilitation. Since these can occur from simply too much rubbing of a show on your foot, and they occur where your feet will be getting the most action, it is important to attend to any discomfort immediately. Clean and bandage any scratch or scrape right away to avoid infection, and cover and blisters with moleskin or soft cloth. Doing these will not only ensure that your journey remains enjoyable, but that your pain will most likely not get any worse.

Internal Problems

While surface area injuries are the most common form of foot pain on the trail, injuries that arise beneath the skin can occur easily as well. And if surface problems can become serious when unattended to, internal injuries will take things to the next level of pain and discomfort. Anything from your arch, to your bones, to your tendons and muscles can suffer injury while just simply walking long distances, especially over difficult terrain. To start, making sure you have adequate and quality footwear will usually ensure that you do not incur any problems from walking alone. So, you know, avoid sandals and open toed shoes. When you come up against rough or rocky landscapes, make sure to look where you put your foot down to avoid slipping into cracks, and go slowly as well. Attention is key to avoid any injury.

Public Areas

Now, even though you may be backpacking over mountains, rivers, possibly even barrows, you will come into your destinations eventually, and that means access to bathrooms, showers, and the like. In my experience, I’ve had to use public facilities mostly, which means a new set of dangers for your feet. Because these spots are both frequented and home to infectious germs, it is important to take caution. Remember to use some sort of footwear no matter what public area you are entering. I know the tendency to want to finally remove the loathsome boots that have seemingly become a part of your foot entirely after days of walking, but now is not the time to let your guard down. Even after you leave the area, be sure to quickly clean your feet separately, especially if you have a surface injury.


The last thing you want to deal with on the trip of a lifetime is injury, especially if those injuries can be avoided. Be sure to take caution no matter what you’re doing. Plan your distance goals according to your ability. If you have new shoes or boot, break them in before the actual trip, and do so slowly and patiently. And, at the end of each day, give yourself a well-deserved foot massage to loosen up the muscles and tendons.  If you prepare accordingly and take action immediately discomfort is felt, you should have little to no trouble making it your destination a happy hiker. Safe travels!



Categories: Adventure

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