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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Frustrated with pack test

    This probably doesn't belong here, but here goes.

    I would like to see how others prepare for the 3 mile pack test. Every year I get blisters on my feet, this year it prevented me from passing.

    Any suggestions on how to prevent blisters?

    I've used tape, mole skin, and I've heard about wearing wool socks with a pair of cotton over, but I still get pretty bad blisters.

    I also have purchased a pair of hiking shoes and have only worn them to do the test.

    Any advise is welcome

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Forum Member RxFire's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Are you wearing your boots???

    I hope not. Have you tried a quality pair of running shoes? Just a thought.
    IACOJ
    Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
    http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

  3. #3
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    Default

    My first try was with running shoes, and I had the same results.

  4. #4
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    Did you "break in" the running shoes before the test? It pays to wear them around home a little, then walk in them without the 45 pounds over 3 miles or more, then they should be ready for the pack test.

  5. #5
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    nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooo
    Last edited by fire101; 10-03-2005 at 06:14 PM.

  6. #6
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    fire101, thank's not very nice, smokeater81 was asking for advice not smartarse comments.

  7. #7
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    Soak you're shoes in water & then wear them dry. This helps form them to you're feet & eliminating hot spots.

    Soak you're foot & sok in a high quality cooking oil. I always used olive oil in my military boots.

    Rub vasoline on you're feet (same as above but not as good)

    2 pair of socks also works somewhat.

  8. #8
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    I'm a volunteer in the New York suburbs with very little knowledge of wildland firefighting. Do you need to take the pack test every year for your red card? Did I hear that you can substitute a timed run for the pack test? What other class work, practical skills do you need? Looks like I'm going to be relocted to Colorado and hope to live along route 285 in the mountains west of Denver. Sounds like I need to get ready for a whole new world
    Thanks
    ex2561

  9. #9
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    Your feet should be in good shape, and if your having to worry about getting blisters durring the 3 mile pack test, maybe you should think about that desk jockey job.

    I am not nocking you in anyway just think if you get a helo ride in to a fire and then have to hike out. Or are on your feet for the whole day and then something happens where you need to run, and your feet are already hurting.

    But I would say maybe start running everyday, start slow and work your way up to at least 19 miles a week, your feet should be in a shape that you should be able to pass the pack test with no problems at all

    EX if your going by USFS standards yes you need to have the pack test done each year along with the fire shelter review, but we are maybe getting the new fire shelter this year so we will see how that all changes.

  10. #10
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    Post foot wear

    As smketer stated you need your feet in good shape. It can be a long walk not only OUT, but IN as well. My first year out we sent an individual home after 2 days on the line. It was a 10 min. helicopter ride in during the morning an a four hour walk down at night. This individual ended with blisters on blisters, from dime to silver dollar size: BAD SCENE.
    I guess I'm lucky since I have never had a blister from the PAC Test, but have had them from the line. I too have a good pair of hiking shoes, but they have been worn for more than the test. They are broken in and fit without any problems. I usually start about 6 weeks before the test walking, then power walking, then adding weight while walking. I've even done a few walks up the sides of some hills just to help. Walking hills seems to work all sides of the foot and helps to tough'n up the tinder spots. If you start out walking six weeks or so before the test, you will find those tinder spots 'Hotspots' on your feet. If you take care of them before they become blisters, you can possibly build a callous before the test.

    You still have time to get'm healed and take another shot at it. May be another long season. (I really don't agree with the experts.)http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...38&sectionId=4
    By the way...."SUCK'n IT UP" can get ya hurt.

    Get'm ready
    Hickman
    Last edited by Hickman; 03-14-2003 at 11:03 PM.
    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...but, maybe we had better take a closer look at it."

  11. #11
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    I would love to take the pack test in running shoes! Don't the rules say you have to where footwear that covers your ankle?
    Career/Volunteer, We are all professionals!

  12. #12
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    First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone that replied, even fire101. I asked for advise, and I got it.

    The only reason I am doing the pack test, is that my department started requiring it about two years ago. We are a relatively small department that has limited exposure to actual wildland fires, but we do have a possibility of one occuring.

    Thanks again for all the info.

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