Oxfam Trailwalker Preparation

Oxfam Trailwalker Preparation

The Oxfam Trailwalker is being held in Melbourne on the 27th – 29th of March, just two short (literally, February is included) months away. The 100km walk commences at the stunning Lysterfield Lake, winds its way through the densely forested Dandenong Ranges and along the picturesque Yarra Trail, with spectacular Melbourne city views as you approach the Fairfield finish line.

You might be wondering why on earth would anyone want to give up their entire weekend, neglect sleep and food to trudge out 100km in challenging terrain. Well thankfully its all for a good cause, with each team of 4 needing to raise $1600 through fundraising and donations to complete the event. Approximately $7 million in proceeds to go towards supporting people living in poverty. Bravo!!!

For those tackling the multi-day endurance event, the next few weeks are dreadfully important as training and preparations begin to ramp up. This month we threw the Blog open to our friend, Simon from Vast Outdoors, to find out what items are essential when completing the Oxfam Trailwalker.

Having done Oxfam in the past Simon has recommended a few items that can help with comfort, blister prevention and forward planning.
These are 3 things he’d recommend anyone add to their packs, feet and body to help them complete the gruelling walk and in turn support the wonderful cause that is Oxfam Trailwalker.

ArmaSkin Anti-Blister Socks

These are made here in Melbourne and have a unique polymer that locks onto the skin and forms a type of ‘second skin’. These are part of a 2-sock process where the Armaskin is next to skin and a light Merino Wool sock is worn over the top. The friction happens between the socks and the moisture is drawn off the skin by the Armaskin and then soaked up by the merino. Leave the Armaskin on and just change out the outer wool. This is a preventative sock…. if you suffer from blistering, this is used from the get go, not once you develop a hot spot.

Hikers Wool

Use this lovely fluff if you develop a hot spot! Mat up a little pad around 50c in size and pop it on the hot spot, then pull the sock on (don’t tape) the sweat/sock will hold it in place and this absorbs the friction and draws away the moisture…also good for separating toes or wrapping troublesome digits.

Bum Bag – or as they say in the USA…Fanny Pack

As there is plenty of support and stations along the way, a bum bag may be an option for those who don’t want to carry a back pack (or at least in some sections). We found the freedom of not having a panel of gear on your back during the hottest sections bliss. We have options up to 6L in storage with water bottle holders…more than enough for some sections of the trail!

If you haven’t visited us before – we are a specialist independent outdoor and travel store located around the corner from Stride Podiatry at 880 Nepean Hwy, Hampton East.  We offer many global leading brands in the outdoor market including The North Face, Patagonia, Icebreaker, Lowa, Keen, Marmot, Salomon, Teva, One Planet, Lowe Alpine, Arc’teryx and Jack Wolfskin to name just a few. Hope to see you in store sometime.

But what about Footwear?

Footwear for a multi-day endurance event such as the Oxfam Trailwalker is an essential piece of equipment.
No doubt.
However like all footwear, a particular brand or model is not superior to any other. It depends completely on the individual foot sliding into the shoe and how they interact.As a Podiatrist, my general recommendations are simple:1. It is worth taking two pairs of shoes that are slightly different.
The Oxfam has sections of varying terrain, which may be best suited to particular types of shoes. We recommended a trail runner and a hiking boot, changing for sections that are fit for purpose.

2. Spend time and get them fit up.
That means trying on multiple pairs, walking around the shop and have a trained shop attendant check to see if they are the right length and width.

We wish all those completing the gruelling 100km the very best in their preparations and a safe and disaster free walk in March.
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