Foot Care on the Kokoda Trail

People contemplating a trek across the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea should make sure their boots are comfortable and well worn in.

Socks are extremely important. A good natural/breathable fabric that will not retain too much heat, such as cotton/wool mix, is recommended.

Kokoda campaign most eminent battle in Papua New Guinea.

Clip your toenails. Short toenails help prevent pressure and bruising.

Know your feet! Get to know where your feet are prone to blisters. Cover these areas with blister pads before the event. Prevention is much better than dealing with the blisters afterwards.

As part of your daily routine we recommend you apply antiseptic Tea-Tree oil to your feet. At night, after you have washed and dried them thoroughly, apply a liberal sprinkle of anti-fungal foot powder.

If the track is muddy it is likely that bacteria will stay in your socks and the inner sole of your boot. It is therefore a good idea to wash your socks and the inner of your boots with antiseptic soap at the end of each day.

Wartime journalist Osmar White – author of Green Armour – wrote that he spent 20 minutes pampering his feet at the end of each day during the Kokoda campaign!

We recommend – from personal experience – that you commit to the same discipline – ‘fungal foot’ is not a pleasant condition!

We also recommend you bring three (3) pair of trekking socks – one to wear; one to have hanging off your backpack to get dry; and one bone dry pair in your pack for the evening.

Care of your feet can be the difference between an enjoyable or an unforgettably painful experience in the tropics of Papua New Guinea.