SHORT BLASTS 5 Ways To Avoid Blisters In The Field 1. BREAK IN YOUR BOOTS It’s generally believed that you should log at least 25 miles in a new pair of boots prior to hunting. More is better. And wear them in hunting situations. 2. WEAR WOOL SOCKS You’ve heard the saying that cotton kills. Wear cotton socks and it gives it double meaning. Wool is the way to go. 3. WEAR BLISTER PREVENTION CREAM For as little as $10 you can buy a tube of blister prevention cream that you apply prior to putting on your socks. The stuff is a God-send. 4. WEAR SILK SOCK LINERS This applies to the old adage of wearing two pair of socks. A silk liner worn under your wool socks will prevent blisters better than most remedies. 5. PRE-BANDAGE HOTSPOTS If you have known areas on your feet that are prone to blisters, use moleskin bandages, or use 2nd Skin patches. Remember to keep these handy in your day pack should you get a blister in the field. 18 WESTERN HUNTING JOURNAL Canister Stoves Make no mistake, blisters can and will kill your hunt. The obvious remedy to this age-old problem is to own a good pair of hunting boots. But beyond that, here are five things you can do to help avoid getting blisters on your hunt. 5 things to look for when buying a pack stove for hunting. F rom multi-day backcountry meal prep to a simple caffeine kick on an afternoon hunt, a compact, canister style stove should be at the top of every outdoor adventure seekers ‘must-have’ list. Able to boil water in just over a minute, hot food and beverages can be had quickly and easily no mat- ter the setting or activity. Here’s a down and dirty look at what to look for in a canister stove that fits in your hunting pack. 1. Fuel Type Packable stoves can operate on a variety of fuel types from twigs and pine cones to propane or liquid fuel. One of the most common is isobutane which performs well in a wide range of temperature, weather and altitude conditions. Isobutane is readily available from most outdoor and sporting goods retailers in a range of canis- ter sizes, and is also very affordable. 2. Size Most canister style stoves are designed to hold a fuel canister, the burner assembly, and a few accessories within the cook pot for a tidy, easy to pack unit. The cook pot capacity is mea- sured in liters or cups. A 1L pot is great for a sin- gle user, and provides enough volume for popu- lar dehydrated meals without being too bulky for smaller backpacks. 3. Fuel Consumption Fuel consumption can vary widely among stoves, especially if used in windy conditions with no wind screen. Higher fuel burn rates are of little concern for day-use activities, but can require the need to pack addi- tional fuel on extended backcountry trips. Many stoves will state an approximate number of boil cycles which can be achieved with certain sized fuel canisters. 4. Ignition Some stoves will feature a Piezo style ignition system which performs well in wind and inclement weather, and eliminates fumbling with matches and lighters. Most stoves can also be lit with auxiliary methods such as matches, lighters or Ferro rod strikers. 5. Features Key features that make some stoves stand out from the pack include wind screens, a secure fitting lid with strainer and pour spout, the ability to add a coffee press, and a pot sup- port system which allows use with cookware aside from the pot. Pots with volume markings on the inside make for easy measuring of water for dehydrated meals, as do lids with gradua- tions which double as measuring cups or eating bowls. Canister support stands add security and stability, and insulated pot sleeves are also nice.