What you need to know
So you’ve got your team together and you’ve signed up for Oxfam Trailwalker. You’re looking forward to the physical challenge. And you’re rapt to be a part of something significant – Oxfam is a great cause and you’re proud to contribute.
There’s a lot to think about:
Your support crew
What gear to pack
Sleep or no sleep
There’s one big fat fact you should not gloss over in your preparations.
In fact, 73% of participants at one Trailwalker event (Sydney, 2011) sought treatment for foot blisters.
Just take a minute and let that sink in … That’s three people in your team of four who will get foot blisters bad enough to require medical attention.
Want to know something else about foot blisters? Researchers have found that hikers with foot blisters are 50% more likely to experience an additional injury – like a knee, lower back or ankle sprain injury! Think about it. Blisters make you change your walking or running style - because they're painful and because you're trying to make them not get worse.
If you get blisters, Trailwalker suddenly becomes a tougher physical (and mental) challenge than you anticipated. Your team mates are relying on you, and you’re relying on your team. So if there’s one thing you must consider, it’s your feet.
Trailwalker is no walk in the park! You’ll see spectacular scenery, meet great people and work as a team. But you’ll barely notice if you’re in agony, trying to keep up in spite of painful foot blisters. Yes, there are medical staff at checkpoints along the trail. But you owe it to yourself (and your team) to be proactive.