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One great point that a Scout should take care about, to ensure his endurance and being able to go on the march for a long time, is his shoes or boots. I like shoes better than boots, because they let more air in for the feet. A Scout who gets sore feet with much walking becomes useless.

You should, therefore, take great care to have good, well-fitting, roomy boots, and fairly stout ones, and as like the natural shape of your bare feet as possible, with a straight edge on the inside. Keep your boots soft with lots of grease, mutton fat, dubbin, saddle soap or castor oil.

If feet are allowed to get wet, from perspiration or from outside moisture, the skin is softened, and very soon gets blistered and rubbed raw where there is a little pressure of the boot.

Therefore, the feet should be kept as dry as possible. To do this it is necessary to wear good woollen socks. If a man wears thin cotton or silk socks, you can tell at once that he is no walker. A fellow who goes on a long walking trip for the first time is called a "tenderfoot", because he generally gets sore feet until by experience he learns how to keep his feet in good order.

If your feet always perspire a good deal, it is a useful thing to powder them with powder made of boric acid, starch, and oxide of zinc in equal parts. This powder should be rubbed in between the toes, to prevent soft corns forming there. Your feet can be hardened to some extent by soaking them in alum and water, or salt and water. Wash the feet every day.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

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