Back in stock: Bonnie’s Balm || For wet feet, chafing, and cracked lips & skin

Badly macerated feet after the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic

Last year the owner and founder of Bonnie’s Balm, Bonnie Searcy, had a host of health issues (among other things, two black widow spider bites) and the business seemed to evaporate. Orders went unfulfilled, calls and emails garnered no response, and the website even went down. As a long-time supporter and distributor of the products, I was both baffled and utterly frustrated. No doubt, the closure hurt the brand’s reputation among some prospective customers.

A few weeks ago I heard that Bonnie was up and running again, so I put in a call to Glenwood Springs and managed to catch her. I’m willing to give second chances, especially to Colorado-based small businesses. Also, I had tried to reverse engineer the product, but wasn’t happy with the results and wasn’t certain that I wanted to convert my kitchen into a balm-making facility.

Bottom line: I have inventory again of 2-oz jars of Bonnie’s Balm Healing Salve.

For solo and short trips, I recommend decanting salve from the 2-oz jar into a smaller .25-oz jar. The first 30 orders will receive a lip balm, too.

The jar lists multiple uses. I have found it truly effective for a few:

1. Wet feet. Apply the night before you expect you feet to get wet, so that the balm has time to be absorbed by the skin. It helps to waterproof the skin and reduce maceration (“pruning”), which is itchy or painful, and makes the skin more susceptible to blisters. After a wet day of hiking, apply the Salve after your feet have dried out. This will help prepare them for the next day, and to prevent them from cracking overnight. When my feet are really beat up or dried out, I will apply in the evening and again in the morning.

For short and personal trips, I decant the balm in 0.25-oz plastic jars, which lasts 5-7 days assuming daily use.

2. Chafing. If I use the backcountry bidet technique every day or two, and if my clothing is dialed, it’s rare that I chafe while hiking. It seems less avoidable when running, however, especially ultra-marathon distances in high heat and humidity. When chafed, I find that the Healing Salve works very well. The sunflower oil and beeswax are natural lubricants, and the essential oils seem to accelerate healing.

3. Cracked lips and skin. Bonnie’s Balm substitutes for a dedicated lip balm. In fact, the Healing Salve is available in Chapstick-type containers, too. I also apply the Salve to other tortured skin, like cracked hands from dry winter air, and minor abrasions like road rash.

Order now

If you would like some Healing Salve for the upcoming season, order it here. The cost is $13 per unit, plus $3 flat shipping via First Class regardless of quantity.

Orders normally are fulfilled within 24 hours.


Disclosure. I strive to offer field-tested information, insights, and advice, and I have a long-term incentive to be a trustworthy source. I do not publish sponsored content or native advertising, and I do not accept payments in exchange for reviews. I have no financial affiliations with or interests in any brands or products.

This website is supported by affiliate marketing, whereby in exchange for referral traffic I receive a small commission from select vendors like REI or Amazon, at no cost to the reader. This post contains affiliate links.

Posted in , , , on January 19, 2018
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10 Comments

  1. Joe on January 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Way too much trouble to order. Normally with PayPal I can skip everything, but I hung in to support you.

    It kept telling me I needed to enter info I HAD entered.

    Gave up.

    • gement on January 22, 2018 at 10:41 am

      I have just tested. I needed to enter my address information before going to Paypal, but then it didn’t fail or require any repeats. I’m using Firefox. Maybe try a different browser?

      • Andrew Skurka on January 22, 2018 at 12:57 pm

        Have received lots of orders, so problem is more likely on your end.

  2. haiku on January 20, 2018 at 8:59 am

    I didn’t get the BB last year because I couldn’t find out what essential oils were listed but I did order a similar product, a climber’s salve with essential oils- I skipped Sierras and came back later on my PCT thru, but for the short times I did have maceration I think it helped. I did definitely like having a one-size-fits-all natural remedy in my first aid kit so thanks for suggesting to have something like this in the kit. I used it not only on feet but to heal small cuts rapidly and then also for lip balm. Even seemed to help reduce mozzies.

    I think there’s a couple types now out there that you could just go ahead and get in the smaller jar, which should be plastic. Try to find one that help increase circulation/reduce muscle pain like arnica, comfrey, myrrh, frankincense (boswellia) and then also some antibacterial herbs like meleauca (tea tree), calendula, or echinacea.

  3. Yasmine khan on February 21, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    She is back to taking peoples money and not shipping the products.

    • Andrew Skurka on February 21, 2018 at 7:10 pm

      I know some individuals who ordered from her directly had issues, and I would understand completely if they or you opted not to support her business.

      I can say proudly that every order through my website has been fulfilled, or refunded fully and promptly if it could not be fulfilled. I have Bonnie’s Balm in stock and normally ship within 24 hours.

  4. Lawrence Donley on March 1, 2018 at 8:15 am

    As a wilderness canoe camper I am in and out of mud and water all day. Shoes must have some ankle support and stay on in boot sucking mud. I have been trying to keep hot spots covered with different types of tape. Under those conditions most tape will not stay on for very long. I have avoided putting any thing on that would interfere with the tape adhering well. Ok what I have been doing is not working tell me how would you suggest I dress my feet for a long day of carrying 60 lb packs over muddy portages.

    • Andrew Skurka on March 1, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      How many miles are you hiking each day? Those are tough conditions, but I don’t feel like you should be getting such chronic hot spots. Maybe start with a better fitting pair of boots.

      If you feel like you have done all that you can on that front, then use Leukotape. Apply it before your feet get wet to known problem spots. It will eventually come off on its own; if you try to remove it before it’s ready, you’ll pull your skin off with it. https://andrewskurka.com/2016/quick-tip-field-friendly-leukotape-strips-for-foot-care-first-aid/

      • Lawrence Donley on March 1, 2018 at 3:49 pm

        I have done several days with over 3 miles of double carry portages. That would be 6 miles carrying 60 LB and 3 miles with no load. I know 9 miles is not a lot for a hiker but the terrain and bulky loads add to the difficulty of the journey. I would say about 1/3 of the people who do the distance I do have blister problems. So that means 2/3 of them know something I don’t or I just a tenderfoot. If I put Bonnies Balm on in the evening will LeukoTape stick the next morning?

        • Andrew Skurka on March 2, 2018 at 7:59 am

          Luekotape will not stick well to wet or oily surfaces, so I would not recommend applying BB at night and then expecting to adhere tape in the morning.

          However, you can go the opposite direction: apply tape first and then BB later.

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