Hell Hike and Raft: Goo, Boobs, and Stinky Feet

You heard me right. This review is about goo, boobs, and sweaty, stinky feet. And I know you’re probably bracing yourself for what’s ahead and grateful the internet doesn’t come with Smell-O-Vision.

The crew members of the Hell Hike and Raft received a variety of products to test on our journey. There were core items like our Teton Sport packs and the Geigerring hydration systems as well as top-notch products like Fishpeople Seafood and Cairn gear boxes.

But we also got to test out some other great stuff…

Hike Goo…

So Foot Kinetics offers several variations on their “goo” for active folks. Whether hiking, running, walking, or everyday use, the goos are designed to prevent blisters, calluses, and fatigue.

To keep it simple, here’s how Foot Kinetics explains the product and the differences between the formulas:

Each of our protective foot creams is formulated for specific activities and footwear. The relative percentage of hard vs soft waxes in each product’s formulation enables it to perform optimally for that activity. The more hard wax, the longer the product stays on the skin’s surface and the slower it absorbs. HikeGoo has the most hard wax and will last in the harsh environment of a boot on an all-day climb. The higher percentage of soft waxes in the foot cream, the greater absorption and dry skin moisturization. SilkStep has the most soft waxes and is optimized for moisturization.

Rather than repelling moisture or attempting to block sweat, our unique formulations actually absorb sweat and moisture to become even more effective in reducing friction between the skin and sock. This is why they are highly effective in both dry and wet conditions to protect feet from blisters, callus formation, and skin damage.

Given that we were hiking, the crew was given the HikeGoo version to test out. Bottom line? I like it. I was worried about it feeling slimy and gross. It doesn’t. It absorbs well and does actually make my feet feel a little happier. I now use it regularly and with what I put my feet through, they deserve a little TLC.

HikeGoo and Fresh Balls are now part of my adventure arsenal.
HikeGoo and Fresh Balls are now part of my adventure arsenal.

I did run into a little problem on the last day of the hike, you know… the day that put the hell in Hell Hike and Raft. The temperature dropped into freezing that night and I couldn’t get my goo out of the tube to treat my feet the next morning because it was quite solid. By the time it warmed up enough to use, I was so tired and blistered I didn’t care anymore. I just marched on in the 6,000-foot descent from hell. So had I thought to keep it in my sleeping bag that night, it would have been fine and I likely would have had a much better day on the trail.

For more about HikeGoo from Hell Hike and Raft crew members, check out these posts by Trevor at Colorado Hiking, Scott of Hiking Forward, and Jeff of Missouri Howell.

Fresh Balls/Breasts…

Here’s the boob part of the review (I know you were waiting for that…). The crew was stocked with Fresh Balls and Fresh Breasts, from Fresh Body. The supplies didn’t exactly work out right and there weren’t enough Fresh Breasts to go around so I happily took a tube of Fresh Balls instead since they’re the same formula, just branded to avoid awkwardness I suppose…

The pertinent points about Fresh Balls/Breasts is that it applies as a cream and dries as a powder that combats wetness and chafing. It’s talc-free, paraben-free, aluminum-free, hypoallergenic, and clinically tested… on humans, not critters.

Anyway, whatever parts you have, the product is really effective and it is another great discovery I use regularly thanks to having participated in the Hell Hike and Raft. I can’t speak for the men-folk on this product, but as a forty-something mom who breastfed two rugrats, the girls hang more than a little lower than they used to and boob sweat is a very real problem. Because of that, I totally dig my Fresh Balls. As much as I hate to add more stuff to my arsenal of gear and products, I do enjoy what this product does for me in keeping sweat and chafing in control.

The bonus is that I’ve enjoyed using this motorcycling as well. Even in mild temperatures, motorcyclists sweat… often profusely under all of our heavy, protective gear. I’ve used Fresh Balls to great effect on my girls as well as my groin to ease the discomfort that can come with that.

I would also like to see smaller tubes to keep pack weight down like my buddy Trevor suggested in his review. Adam of Hiking the Trail has a review of Fresh Balls, too.

Ausangate socks..

I got to test out the mid-calf hiking sock offered by Ausangate. These are made with an alpaca fiber called Alpacor that is naturally anti-microbial, truly wash and wear, and moisture-wicking according to the Ausangate site.

hell hike and raft - val in real life
A close up of the fitting features of the Ausangate mid-calf hiking sock… and my super-sized calf.

There’s often not a lot you can say about socks. The finer points of the virtues of various types and brands aren’t terribly noteworthy, usually. I will say I like these better than most of the others in my hiking sock collection. I feel they do wick sweat well and are quite comfortable. I like the fit of the ankle “compression” bands as they call it. It keeps the socks fitted with no bunching. That’s excellent if you ask me.

For this particular model of Ausangate sock, I did have to squish them down to the top of my boots instead of keeping them pulled up because the cuff was very constricting to me. Apparently I have thick calves. I’m glamorous, I know. 😛

And I can attest that they helped with odor. I’m not exactly a dainty chick and my feet can give the burliest of men a run for their money in the olfactory sense. I think these help keep that in check, especially in the backcountry when I’m not treating my feet and boots with odor control powders and such.

Bottom line? I like the socks. They’re now in regular rotation in my three-season stash, often ahead of most of my other brands/styles. And I do plan on trying more offerings from Ausangate, not only for hiking, but for motorcycling as well. If they end up performing well in motorcycle boots, that will be a true test of the Alpacor fiber’s ability to combat odor.

My buddies Missouri Howell and Adam of Hiking the Trail have some insight on Ausangate socks as well.

Farm to Feet…

Yes, more socks!

farm to feet - val in real life
My Farm to Feet Greensboro Lows are my go-to socks for physical therapy. Light, cozy, and sweat-wicking.

The good folks at Farm to Feet provided the crew with even more socks. The Boulder Crew light hiker style went along for the ride on the Hell Hike and Raft. These are wool socks that outwardly look like many of the others in my collection but these hold their shape much better than pretty much all of them. Unlike the Ausangate, these are of the wash and dry flat variety so they need a little bit of tending.

I’ve also been using the Greensboro Low multisport sock. But since it’s a low, sport sock, it didn’t venture into the Seven Devils with me. Like I said earlier, how much you can detail about socks is challenging. But I really do like these socks. I wear them constantly. They don’t slip down on my heel and they fit really well. I love using them with my light trail sneakers on steamier days.

And if you’re interested in where and how your clothing is produced, Farm to Feet’s mission is admirable. Their supply chain and manufacturing are entirely U.S.-based. So if having American-made products is important to you, these socks are worth checking out. They’re quality products and among my new favorites.

You can also see what Paulina of Little Grunts and Jeff of Missouri Howell have to say about them.

Fine print…

As part of the Hell Hike and Raft team, I received these products to review free-of-charge. However, my opinions are my own. And your results may vary.

Click here for the full Hell Hike and Raft monty according to yours truly.

And now for your moment of green…

hell hike and raft - val in real life
Great gear can make a trip all the more awesome. Our Hell Hike and Raft sponsors helped set us up for success.