There is an old military saying that is told to new recruits the world over: Look after you feet and your teeth! The logic behind this most basic of hygiene advice, is that if your feet are not in good order, you cannot walk out of any trouble you get into. Also, if your teeth are rotten, you are not able to feed yourself!
Beyond regular brushing of your teeth, there is not much you can do to look after them without the help of a dentist, but it is a different story with your feet. Feet should be washed and dried each day and it is a great idea to use an anti-fungal powder before putting on fresh socks. This will stop athlete’s foot becoming a problem over time.
If you are going to a boot camp or taking part in any outdoor activity, it is a good idea to make sure that your toenails are clipped and that you have none that are causing you pain. Have There is nothing worse that having to hike or stay on your feet for hours, if you have a sore toenail. 5 minutes with the clippers is well worth the time.
You should take a shower whenever one is available to you. If you are spending several days doing strenuous activities, the bacteria from sweat builds up much faster. Showering as often as possible, reduces the chances of this bacteria becoming a problem. Fungal infections love to grow in warm, damp environments, so be sure to clean as much of you as often as you can.
Fungal infections are one of the main problems associated with bad hygiene and they range in severity from itchy feet to gradual hair loss. It is just as important to make sure you dry yourself properly after you have washed, but do not share towels with others as this can spread unwanted fungal infections. Razors are another item never to share. They often have small amounts of blood on them from shaving and this can be another source of infection or bacteria.
To save yourself from getting a nasty blister of two from hiking or wearing boots all day, the best thing to do is make sure to “break in” your footwear well ahead of time. This is done by simply walking in any new boots, etc. long before you need them for real action. Popping them on for small periods at a time is often the best way, but you should never wear brand new boots or shoes the first time you need to rely on them.
If you do get a blister out walking or taking part in boot camp activities, the general advice is to not pop it. Sometimes they will pop while you’re walking but if you are carrying a basic first aid kit, you should try to loosely cover the blister to stop it rubbing. Cotton or wool socks are better than nylon, because nylon will cause blisters by friction much faster. If you are going to be doing a lot of walking, you can harden your feet with surgical spirit to avoid blisters. Rub on the surgical spirit with cotton wool and repeat twice a day for at least a week before any activity.
It goes without saying that you should always check with your health professional before going on a military-style bootcamp, just to make certain that you are fit enough to take part in the activities. Paying attention to your basic hygiene while you are on camp, will help you to enjoy rather than endure the experience.