Last week, I was in the middle of a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee with about 70,000 of my closest friends for the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, where we walked dozens of miles and I was left with a pretty gnarly blister on my heel by the end of day 2.

Bonnaroo Is a Marathon and Not a Sprint

They say that Bonnaroo is a marathon and not a sprint, and boy are they right! You really have to pace yourself, especially with the unbearable heat and humidity we all endured last week.

Taking Care Of Your Feet Is Top Priority

One of the biggest survival tips from Bonnaroo veterans is to take care of your feet. I've read all of the advice, and taken heed:

  • Bring comfortable, well-worn and broken-in shoes - and more than one pair!
  • Bring new socks.
  • Change socks midway through the day.
  • Use foot powder.

READ MORE: Ultimate Bonnaroo Survival Guide

Blisters Will Ruin Even the Best Time at Bonnaroo

I have read all of the tips and tricks but nothing prepared me for the painful blister that I would experience by the end of day number 2 after wearing my Fila sneakers instead of my Dr. Marten boots. Mind you, we arrived on Tuesday and planned to stay until Monday morning. This was no time for a blister - I still have 4 more days and several more miles of walking to do!

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Luckily, I Am Chronically Overprepared (and Overpacked!)

Fortunately, I am almost always chronically overprepared, especially for something like this. I mean, sure we can leave to go to the nearest Walmart, or hope that the onsite general store has what I need in a pinch... or I can pack half my over-the-counter medicine cabinet and bring it along with me.

I Brought Blister Care and More

Thanks to my need to overprepare, I was able to help out a fellow Bonnaroovian who was having some trouble with things moving through a little too fast, if you know what I mean. I was also able to help out another Bonnaroovian who was a bit backed up, but being prepared also meant I was able to treat my blistered heal and prevent it from getting worse or ruining my good time.

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Sticky Bandage By Itself Wasn't Enough

First, I applied a padded sticky bandage over the blister. That by itself lasted all of about 30 minutes before it rolled right up in my sock. So what I did next was nothing short of genius. Although, I cannot take actual credit for it.

Duct Tape Fixes Everything

So how did I combat my brutal blister in the sun? I used a few things from my mobile medicine cabinet, and one thing from my tool box - duct tape! After all, duct tape can fix almost anything.

The Trick: Bandage + Moleskin + Duct Tape

I applied another little bandage. Cut and applied a piece of moleskin from my mobile medicine cabinet - placing it right overtop of the bandage. Then I whipped out my roll of duct tape and proceeded to first tape over the bandage and the moleskin, affixing it all as though it were one giant bandage straight out of the Busted Knuckle Garage. Then I proceeded to add a few more strips of duct tape, essentially creating a bit of a heel cup, before pulling my sock on over top and popping my boots on.

Wash and Repeat

I repeated this process each morning with a fresh bandage, moleskin, duct tape combo. This combination created enough padding to displace the pressure from every step and eliminated any additional friction from happening on the same spot. This prevented the blister from getting any larger and protected it from breaking open, giving it the chance to heal.

Yes, I finished out the remainder of the festival with duct tape on my foot, but it made me able to survive the last four days without pain or further injury.

Bonus: There is something called a heel lock - it's a specific way you can lace and/or tie your boots to help prevent heel slip when you walk. This video does a good job explaining how it works.

Music Festival Survival: Must Have Essentials For Your Fanny Pack

Before you head off to your next music festival, make sure you've got these essentials.

Gallery Credit: Kat Mykals

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