We just came back from a weekend camping trip and after a long day hiking on the first day I was anxious to finally get in and get the tent setup. I hadn’t even started the cooking fire, and I could smell the food already from the hunger I had worked up. Your stomach and your head will team up and play tricks like this on you after a full day in the woods. Now that we were at the campsite I could take off my heavy hiking boots and put on my Birkenstock sandals which of course are way more comfortable for hanging out around the campfire.

My girl always teases me about my Birkenstock’s; she’s a worrier and thinks I may get a rash from poison oak or poison ivy by wearing them out in the woods. She does have a point in one sense and that is because the sandals are in such horrible shape due to my wearing them all of the time. I am so attached to my sandals that I have repaired them myself with everything from fishing line to duct tape so they do look pretty bad now. The thing is it has taken a long time to get them to the point where they are this comfortable; they feel like a part of my foot so I really don’t care what they look like.

I hate to admit it but as it turns out she was right. While I was stoking the fire I began to feel an itch on the back of my ankle under the thong and at first I didn’t think anything of it. I went on with cooking our dinner which due to the fact we weren’t that far off from civilization is actually fresh food that we brought with us. It’s pretty cool to be camping out and still eating a juicy marinated ribeye! Even while I was enjoying the taste of the steak and the company of my girl the itch on my ankle was starting to bug me.

After ignoring the irritation for a couple of hours, mainly due to the fact that I didn’t want her to be right, I looked down at my foot only to see that my entire foot was red and swollen. I didn’t know what I got into but whatever it was spread pretty fast. It took me over 30 minutes to find the Caladryl lotion that I brought along, just in case. This lotion is a combination of calamine and Benadryl and it works really good to relieve the itching and irritation. First I soaked my foot in the cold water of a creek nearby and then applied the lotion to the affected area. It helped but the next day of hiking sucked! Needless to say I will not wear sandals in the woods again.

Source by Gregg Hall