Bad business: Avoid Bonnie’s Balm

For a very long time I have argued that wearing so-called waterproof footwear is an ineffective solution when backpacking in wet conditions. Much better results can be had by minimizing the effects and aftermath of wet feet, instead.

Among my recommended strategies, I have advocated for the application of an oil- and wax-based balm to reduce maceration and to moisturize skin. For the past six years I specifically promoted Bonnie’s Balm Healing Salve, which worked well for feet and for other applications like chafing and dry, cracked hands. To improve distribution I sold it through my online store, and was happy to support another Colorado small business.

Sadly, due to recent events I no longer recommend Bonnie’s Balm, and I will no longer sell its products.


If you are seeking a Healing Salve-like product, my recommendation is to look elsewhere. Consider:

Both of these products share similar ingredients and consistency with Healing Salve. If you have found other good options for treating wet feet, please leave a comment.


Bonnie’s Balm produces good product. Unfortunately, the business is not reliable or trustworthy.

The company first went quiet in June 2017. My orders were not filled, and my emails and phone calls were not responded to. Bonnie’s voicemail was full. The website went down, because the domain name was not renewed and a squatter jumped on it. I thought it was weird that Bonnie’s would go out of business without informing its bigger accounts (I ordered about $2k of product each year), but it happens.

Surprisingly, Bonnie contacted me in April, explaining that she had health serious health issues after two black widow spider bites and informing me that she was up and running again. I decided to give her a second chance, and began to carry her product again.

Recently, Bonnie’s Balm has gone quiet again, however. My last communication with Bonnie was on May 30, when she informed me that an order (paid for with my business credit card) would “ship out tomorrow.” The product has not arrived. My emails to her on June 11 and June 14 have not been responded to, nor has the phone call I placed on June 19. Yesterday I called Chase to officially dispute the charge.

For her sake, I hope that Bonnie is not having recurring health issues. But that does not excuse the lack of communication from her (or about her, via an employee, family member, or friend). So I have decided that Bonnie’s Balm is not a company with which I care to do business, and recommend that you take your business elsewhere as well.

Do you know of a good substitute for Bonnie’s Balm Healing Salve? Leave a comment.


This post was first published on June 21. Since then:

July 27

Bonnie left me a voicemail on July 24, nearly eight weeks after last hearing from her and 6 weeks after contacting her multiple times about the order.

She shared that her health is still shaky and that she decided to step down from the company, selling 90 percent of it. The partners are not pleased with this post, and offered to send me free product to help negate my experience, no strings attached but hoping that I pull this post down.

I don’t plan to do that, but I’m happy to update this post again if/when the partners have demonstrably improved operations and restored trust in the brand.

July 30

To my home iPad, which I use about twice a month, Bonnie sent me four messages on July 23 via iMessage, which I never use. The screenshot is below. We must differ in our definition of slander.”  Also, I’m uncertain why she says, “We heard you tried to reproduce the Healing Salve.” After all, I stated this specifically in this post from January 19, 2018 (which now redirects), saying, “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.”

August 7, 2018

In a comment on this blog post, Bonnie stated her intention to sue me for slander.

March 15, 2019

Bonnie made several additional comments, some of which included false accusations.

Disclosure. I strive to offer field-tested and trustworthy information, insights, and advice. I have no financial affiliations with or interests in any brands or products, and I do not publish sponsored content

This website is supported by affiliate marketing, whereby for referral traffic I receive a small commission from select vendors like Amazon or REI, at no cost to the reader. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Posted in on June 21, 2018


  1. Nick B. on June 21, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    I’m a rather big fan of Squirrels Nut Butter products ( Primarily, I’m a huge fan of their anti-chafe salve, but their foot balm is also a product that has kept my feet happy… Only issue I have is remembering to use it 🙂

    • Margaret Tiller on July 23, 2018 at 7:00 am

      Please Take your slander down about Bonnies Balms. She is sick, has been sick with dvt’s & pulomonary embolisims & is not doing well..

      We do know you tried to make the Healing Salve yourself.

      She sold 90% of her company to a group that want to see the brand prosper.

      • Derrick on July 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm

        Slander? Where? The article presents a fact-based account of dealings with Bonnie’s Balms. The comments below might not be fact-based, but they aren’t presented as such. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and should be free to voice it.

        As far as illness being an excuse for taking people’s money and not delivering product, that is beyond ridiculous. If someone else has controlling share (90%) of the business, why aren’t they running things in her absence? None of it makes sense.

      • Andrew Skurka on July 27, 2018 at 9:01 am

        Your definition of “slander” must be very different than mine. I have no intention of removing this post.

        • Bonnie Searcy on March 15, 2019 at 10:30 am

          You never ordered any 2k in product ever liar. You ordered a couple cases a year. Your the worst customer a company could have buying products.

          • Andrew Skurka on March 15, 2019 at 11:50 am

            Nope, won’t accept being called a lair when I have the facts on my side. Here are my payments to your company, first order in March 2014 and last attempted payment in May 2018, pulled from my Quickbooks:

            03/31/2014 purchase $372.00
            06/24/2014 purchase $390.50
            10/30/2014 purchase $396.50
            03/19/2015 purchase $375.00
            10/02/2015 purchase $452.00
            11/09/2015 purchase $446.00
            04/21/2016 purchase $917.00
            07/21/2016 purchase $504.00
            08/31/2016 purchase $714.65
            01/25/2017 purchase $712.00
            04/25/2017 purchase $720.00
            02/14/2018 purchase $1,600.00
            04/04/2018 purchase $486.00
            05/30/2018 purchase $270.00
            05/31/2018 credit -$270.00

            So that’s $8,355.65 over 4 years, or $2,088.91 per year.

          • BY on March 15, 2019 at 12:15 pm

            I liked the product Bonnie however due to the facts presented and how you respond to things I found other alternatives and wouldn’t go back. I do know from trying to call your Business and left a voicemail with no return call that something was up and did place and receive an order from Andrew, he was very responsive and well spoken as is evident in his replies to your attacks Bonnie. I’m sorry you had health issues, I had serious hot oil burns two years ago and didn’t and only missed one day of running my business yet visited the Trauma ER daily for two weeks because I found people to help me through my trying times to keep things running. However though you are literally destroying your brand every time you post keep that in mind.

            Also as far as a slander lawsuit do know that if you go that route then the courts will use their resources to find the truth and who ever is tilling the truth will become public record. So currently it is a he said she said scenario. A court case would make it factual and wouldn’t be a good look if you are just trying to threaten Andrew.

          • Jordan Taylor on July 11, 2019 at 4:24 pm


          • Marsha Wolland on November 10, 2019 at 6:38 pm

            Stick to your principles. A business that is unreliable needs to be taken to task. You just chronicled the events which befell you. That isn’t slander. I was going to buy some based on your recommendation for an upcoming hike. As I took your recommendation as stellar based on your track record as a reliable source, i am not buying a brand that is ethereal and I dependable. As my late dad said “ all you have in the end is your reputation”. They need to stand up and practice ethical business. This will speak for itself. Bravo for this info

      • AZDesertHiker on February 15, 2019 at 10:51 am

        There is a difference between telling a true story in the vein of what is basically a review of a B2B relationship; i.e. a totally valid and relationship specific way of doing a product review of a business (reviewing business practices as part of a product review is extremely normal and expected, and totally legal) and slander – which is specifically defined as “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.”

        The post above I’m replying to can do a very simple google search on what does and does not constitute slander. Note, I am not a lawyer; just a regular guy who has seen many businesses get the legal definition of slander wrong many times. In the information age, something that really should never happen. It’s embarrassing for a company to accuse someone of slander and doesn’t make them look very professional.

      • Bonnie Searcy on March 15, 2019 at 10:26 am

        Thank you Margaret. This guy has no right to treat me like this. He is a real bad person for slandering me when I was very ill with 31 Blood Clots, DVT’s and Pulmonary Embolisms. Did he pay my medical bills for my 2 black widow spider bites near death experience. No! He just decided to bad mouth me when I couldn’t defend myself. Shame on Andrew Skurka.
        I almost died. All my customers except him are glad and happy I alive and okay now in 2019.

        Just for the record Andrew paid his invoices late, I sent him free products for years at no charge, gave him a huge discount my retailers never got.

        How does he thank me, Andrew Skurka tried to reproduce my healing salve and is slandering me because I almost died. Who the hell do you think you are Andrew Skurka. If could afford spending money on an attorney instead of my business I’d sue your ass off! You are real peace of work. You think its okay to pick on woman in business. Well you have another thing coming pal. May all your negative posts and comments and slander come back on you. That is exactly what you deserve.

        Thank you Margaret. If Andrew got sick he won’t be able to work.
        The guy just makes me want to hurl

        • Derrick Williams on March 15, 2019 at 12:31 pm

          Medical struggles and other personal problems are terrible, but part of running a business is isolating professional and personal issues. There should always be a contingency plan, including closure of the business if operations cannot be sustained. The original post was not a personal attack, but you seem to be doing everything you can to make this personal. In my opinion, the more you do this, the worse you look as a business owner.

          • Kate on June 6, 2019 at 7:17 am

            I couldn’t agree with Derrick more. I was almost willing to give this product a try despite the issues Andrew had; however, after reading your posts Bonnie, I will never purchase products from you. I wish you good luck and good health.

        • Jordan on November 13, 2019 at 12:33 pm


          Please accept my genuine empathy to your conditions. It is horrible to have medical problems and to be so ill of health that it affects your business.

          You are however, very mislead on your current in your position you are taking on this blog post. In your post you state Skurka “Not paying your medical bills.” Should any customer or marketing agent need to do that to support a company??? I mean he already promoted your business and helped you to grow for 4 years. He already turned hundreds… if not thousands of people on to your product. Why need a marketing platform when you have a world class adventurer that recommends your product by name every chance he gets… his influence undoubtedly deserved your attention and any discount you gave him… he doesn’t owe you a good review for a poor business because you feel you “made it up to him.” And your position on how unbelievably good he has been to your business is made clear by your (over)reaction to when he says he’s taking his influence elsewhere as your company did not deliver.

          If you ask me… He did pay your medical bills… His influence and promotion over 4 years… and the fact that you are specifically named in his Nat Geo sponsored books and several of his videos over years has most certainly… and is still most certainly helping your business… Not everyone who sees the videos and reads these books is going to scour the internet for this post.

          If you have the audacity to sue him for bringing to light the truth… that you own a company that fails on deliverables when the owner has complications with her health… then please enlighten us to how you have properly thanked him for the thousands of customers who have bought your balm because of the positive marketing he has done for you for years prior to these events. How are you thanking him for his influence that (ironically) helped you pay your medical bills by having a successful business.

          Good luck in the lawsuit… even after you win it will still be bad press for you… suing a top enthusiast for slandering you after all the years of support… all because your business couldn’t run or communicate the delays to your clients and you feel “personally attacked.” Also you’re forming a victim mindset with the “I’m a woman and you attacking me because of it,” why did he support your business for years if he was sexist… why’d he specifically say your product is still to this day top notch if he wanted to attack you because you are a woman… You are losing customers every time you post a response that isn’t “How can I make this right.”

          If you followed how lawsuits are going… you would very much understand that lawsuits can hurt your business more than help them. But clearly your business sense (both in ensuring the company runs when you are not directly overseeing and knowing how to handle customer communication) aren’t up to par and all you really had was a good product. Unfortunately most businesses like yours run a course and die off… You can’t insult your customers, supporters, and primary influencers if you hope to have a sustainable business.

          Sue away… you’ll get a one time payout and be known as the company that sues your biggest supporters after they tell the truth… Good luck.

          And again – Sorry for your Medical complications… it sounds terrible. Being that I, and others like me, will not be purchasing your products due to your response (Not Skurka’s post) I would encourage you to explore other forms of making a living… because clearly owning a business is not a strength… perhaps consider licensing the product… let someone else handle the the business side as it doesn’t appear to be something you succeed at.

          Lastly… Andrew – You can likely open a lawsuit against bonnie for slandering you. As you have built a business, her and her company have given you plenty of opportunities to make a case that she has engaged in discourse to slander you and yours.


          • Tracey on February 2, 2020 at 4:20 pm

            I had a bad experience with Bonnie’s Balm too. I order 3 of the hand moisturizer. I paid & then didn’t receive it. It took me several phone calls & a bad review for her to respond & to finally fill my order even though she had taken my money.

            Tracey Price

        • TB on April 27, 2024 at 3:08 pm

          You are UNHINGED.


      • K on August 12, 2020 at 9:26 am

        A FB post says she passed away in 2019.

    • Bonnie on August 7, 2018 at 9:08 am

      I’m filing a law suit against you today Andrew Skurka for Slander 😀

      • Jessica on August 14, 2018 at 10:00 am

        I don’t think that someone who has taken people’s money and not delivered product or refunds should be threatening a lawsuit. This is not slander by any means, in fact, everyone here is upset because they liked your product, your the one who has failed to deliver.

        • Bonnie Searcy on March 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

          I refunded all my customers and sent them their orders last year

          • Jessica on March 15, 2019 at 12:58 pm

            Not me you didn’t and I have the bank statements to prove it. I also never received any products from you. I turned you into the BBB and you didn’t respond to them either. All of which I have proof.

      • Grunde on August 19, 2018 at 3:12 am

        By doing this you inflict more damag to your brand.

        I’m not doing business with any company or brand who sue or threaten to sue individuals, bloggers, forum operators, etc. who give bad reviews or tell about bad experience.

        • Randy Cain on August 19, 2018 at 9:23 am


          Exactly what I was thinking. Bonnie also put a smiling emoji at the end of her statement, which seems pretty odd. Even if a company has a good product (which they do), when I see “leadership” like that, I’m content to take my business elsewhere based on principle alone.

          • Derrick on August 21, 2018 at 7:04 am

            Some people just aren’t cut out for business, plain and simple. I’m not saying they’re bad people, but they fail to understand how to do simple things like respond properly to a grievance.

      • Tresa on August 23, 2018 at 2:28 pm

        Why don’t you Bonnies Balms deliver what you take (now it seems steal) money for. I ordered Golfers Swing and the Salve $42. You had no problem taking my money April 9th and sending an email saying my order had shipped, which I still have not received and today is August 23. But you had no problem announcing on April 9th it was your Birthday and you were having a great time. You said your business was back up and running, Ha. All it seems like you’re doings is stealing money from people, and here I thought I was the only one being ripped off. I have emailed you probably a couple dozen times (not kidding) and left messages about 6 times, same reply, “I’ll get back to you ASAP.” I hope this gets around to enough people so you can be stopped. I’m not stupid enough to think one person is running the company. Someone connected to your company could reply back. Buyer Beware!

        • Jessica on September 4, 2018 at 9:29 am

          I placed my order in June and still haven’t gotten my money back. I found Bonnie on Facebook and she promised me she would refund and has refused. She blamed the poor service and skipped order on her ‘sister company’. What frustrates me even more is that I have little income and the balm was a last effort for my toddlers terrible eczema. I have decided to just start turning in complaints to the BBB and may even contact local news. Bonnie is stealing people’s money. Sick or not, what she is doing is terrible.

  2. Derrick on June 21, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I second the Joshua Tree Climbing Salve recommendation. I have been using it on my hands for close to a year and have had good results. It may seem a bit expensive, but the jars last a long time if used correctly.

    • haiku on June 30, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Joshua Tree! When I looked at the list of oils in JT vs Bonnie’s it was definitely superior. It works great- lips, chafing, bug bites, healing cuts, and of course dealing with nasty feet.

  3. Jordan on June 21, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    I’ve been using Rocket Pure hand and foot balm and really like it. It seems to work well and smells wonderful (though, it does melt in the heat). It’s worth noting, however, that I don’t have experience with any similar product with which to compare this.

  4. Joshua on June 21, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I like a small company that makes Creosote Salve. Works well on my hands and feet and smells like a rainstorm in the desert. Thanks for this explanation Andrew, I really enjoyed that product and purchased it multiple times from your website.

    • Jay on June 22, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Can you give the name of the company please? I would like to order some.

  5. Sean on June 21, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve had good luck with GurneyGoo.

    • John Baltzell on June 23, 2018 at 5:11 am

      +1 for Gurney Goo have been using for years with great success.

  6. Steven on June 21, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Trail Toes! Been using it for the past 4 years on backpacking trips as part of my nightly footcare. I’ve been very happy with its performance.

  7. Bill on June 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    This also works well and comes in a deodorant stick style applicator.

  8. David M. on June 21, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Na. She’s just a crazy flake. She has no problem posting on FB and Twitter (recently) about how grand life is and doling out sagely advice, but never mentioned a single word about getting Black Widow bites in all of 2017-2018.
    My guess is, she burned through all the large order money and can’t fill them. Probably praying to some invisible tree elf that she doesn’t get sued.

  9. Rick on June 21, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I had a similar experience – ordered some product from her last month – never got it. Email and phone calls not returned. Filled out a charge dispute with the credit card I used. Sad. Hope she is ok, but not cool to leave the website up taking orders and your money when you’re not going to fill them.

  10. Russell J. on June 21, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    +1 on Joshua’s creosotebush salve. Works well and reminds me of being in the desert when I use it at home.

    Mine comes from the creatively-named Creosotebush Salve Co. in Alpine, TX. I’ve only bought mine at retailers in Big Bend, but a quick Google search shows they have a presence on Etsy.

    • Ron S on July 7, 2018 at 10:20 am

      I went to the Etsy store for the Creosotebush Salve Co.bought a tin of it. I had blisters from mowing in new boots and tried it out on them. I don’t know how this works but it didn’t just make them feel better, I believe it healed them. Remarkable stuff

  11. John on June 21, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    I like O’Keefe’s Working Hands

    • Randy Cain on July 30, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      +1 John!

      I used Bonnie’s Balm for cracked hands almost daily for the past 2-3 years at least, and after trying O’Keeffe’s Working Hands for a week, I’m absolutely convinced that it works better for me than Bonnie’s. Leave’s less smudges on screens too. I’ve used a gazillion different things for cracked hands in my life, and nothing works like O’Keeffe’s.

  12. G.Topf on June 21, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    O Hydropel, Hydropel! Wherefore art thou Hydropel? Deny the water and refuse the blister. Or, if thou wilt not, be but found on eBay ’cause my stash from 2009 is almost out.

    • Kief on June 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      G. Topf—When Hyropel became unobtainable I started using Wellskin Barriere, a multi-purpose 20% silicone skin cream made in Canada. It works just as well for me. Available on Amazon, though a little pricey.

      • G.Topf on June 25, 2018 at 10:49 am

        Will give that a test drive on a day hike. Thanks Kief!

  13. Alonzo Terrrell on June 21, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I’ve usually used Bag Balm since it’s easy to get. My WFR instructor also recommended it since it had antiseptic qualities.

  14. Liz on June 21, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    I also love Trail Toes, but have used it for blister prevention rather than maceration prevention.

  15. Unnamedpeaks on June 21, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Andrew I’d love your updated recommendation. Neither of the ones you suggested are beezwax base, which seems better than an oily/greasy option.

  16. Qndenile on June 22, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Bag balm…available at most farm stores and on Amazon.

  17. Trevor Morgan on June 22, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Gerlachs Gehwol Extra – brilliant. Saved my feet over 155-mile trek.

  18. PS on June 22, 2018 at 8:07 am

    What a bummer. I ordered some when you started reselling it again, and it was better than the balm I’d used before. I wish I’d ordered more than one container :(.

    Thanks to the other readers for their recs, though!

  19. Nils Petter Lennartsson on June 22, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Elisabeth Arden 8 hour cream is really Good.

  20. David W on June 22, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Looking like another Luke’s Ultralight situation. What a shame.

  21. jason on June 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I liked Bonnie’s balm because it was good for healing chaffing as well. do any of these recommendations work well for chaffing as well as foot care?

  22. Dan W. on June 22, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Green Goo is good, however, it is greasier (less viscous) than BB or JT salves. I don’t care for Bonnie as her other products are snake oil. Don’t even get me started on her multi-purpose oils. They are good for alleviating cracked or dry skin at best. Do NOT use her products if you seek pain relief. JT has their act together.

  23. Jason Corbett on June 23, 2018 at 7:53 am

    What do people here think about using Burt’s Bees Hand Salve as a substitute? It has worked wonders on my hands in winter for the past several years. The ingredient list is:

    Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, beeswax, lavandula hybrida (lavandin) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower powder, helianthus annuus(sunflower) seed oil, tocopherol, glycine soja (soybean) oil, canola oil, limonene, linalool.

    • Andrew Skurka on June 23, 2018 at 8:01 am

      It has similar base ingredients to BB Healing Salve (olive oil and beeswax), although consistency is largely a function of the ratios of these ingredients (more beeswax, less viscous). I’m not an essentials oil expert so I can’t speak to what the rest of the stuff does. My guess is that if it works well on your hands, it will work well on your feet too.

      • Robin Collard on July 31, 2018 at 3:07 pm

        I does indeed! I have been using it for a while and I’m really happy with it. It is a bit expensive so I stated to make my own and it’s a super easy process!

  24. Ron Sowers on June 23, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I started looking around for my own solution and ran into this article. I thought you might find it interesting.

  25. Kango on June 25, 2018 at 12:06 am

    Check out Climb On.

  26. Henry on June 26, 2018 at 7:20 am

    May be not availible in the States but for the european readers i have a recommondation:
    Xenofit SecondSkin

    Petrolatum, Lanolin, Paraffinum Liquidum, Cera Alba, Deer Fat, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Tocopherol

    Also great for biking and running!

    • Fabio Spelta on October 24, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Thanks mate.

  27. Matthew Burke on June 30, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    For the Australians reading I find Neat 3B Action Cream to be effective, cheap and readily available in pharmacies here

  28. Shari Thatcher on July 4, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Mom’s Stuff Salve is incredible and all natural stuff. Made in Spring City, Utah.

  29. Fred Wahnschaffe on July 6, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    My go-to balm for foot and lip care and to prevent chafing is Waxelene. All natural: Organic Soy Oil, Beeswax, Natural Vitamin E Oil, Organic Rosemary Oil.

  30. Rob Zima on July 8, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I think I am going to try Mushers Secret! It works on my dogs paws during the cold winter weather.

  31. Jessica on July 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    I’m happy to hear that I am not the only one who paid for an order that did not get filled. Thanks for posting this so that I too can get some from another company.

  32. Judy Bailey on July 16, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    I have found all comments so interesting, but no one has mentioned my problem and why I desperately miss Pain Eraser from Bonnies Balm. I used it for hip and knee pain and it helped so much!! I rubbed it in every night before going to bed and it helped me for the entire next day and especially for my daily walk. I am a much older woman so really was thankful for discovering it through a friend and having it enable me to keep walking and also avoid taking any pain medication. Does anyone have any suggestion of another topical oil that is as good as Pain Eraser?? I have tried Arnica as that was suggested to me, but it made no difference in my pain whatsoever. Please give me suggestions; I would appreciate that so very much!!! Thank you!!

  33. David M Bugg on July 23, 2018 at 7:01 pm


  34. Andrew Skurka on July 27, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    A quick update on this.

    Bonnie left me a voicemail on July 24, nearly eight weeks after last hearing from her and 6 weeks after contacting her multiple times about the order.

    She shared that her health is still shaky and that she decided to step down from the company, selling 90 percent of it. The partners are not pleased with this post, and offered to send me free product to help negate my experience, no strings attached but hoping that I pull this post down.

    I don’t plan to do that, but I’m happy to update this post again if/when the partners have demonstrably improved operations and restored trust in the brand.

  35. Kristin on July 31, 2018 at 5:53 am

    I second Mom’s Stuff Salve. Made in Utah, originally made for Grand Canyon river guides, whose feet and hands are generally a cracked mess, and people have found many more uses for it since: rashes, chafing, wound care (it’s antiseptic), etc. Here’s my friend’s thru hiker review of it: And here’s their list of ingredients and what they do:

  36. Anton on August 3, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Hey Andrew. Thank you for the post and suggested alternatives. All of these salves have a pretty strong smell and potentially can attract animals if used at night while sleeping. I’m wondering how do you deal with it?

    • Andrew Skurka on August 3, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      I don’t worry about it at all. A bear isn’t going to enter camp because you have some foot balm. It’s going to enter camp because you’re staying in a high-use spot where there are always hikers with food, not one of which knows how to effectively hang their food in a tree and some of whom will run away from their open canister when they approach.

  37. Randy Cain on August 7, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    I ordered a bunch of the lip balms and a couple jars of Bonnie’s Balm sometime last year, and just as you described, I failed to receive it. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I waited…and waited. I never did receive any communication from her during this time. I’d guess it was at least a couple months later that I sent a message inquiring about the order and did eventually receive what I paid for.

  38. Jamie on August 8, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    On good ol’ Reddit, I found out that Monistat has a chafing cream (complete care chafing relief powder gel). Yes, I realize Monistat is typically associated with women, however the reviews on Amazon are pretty good and I saw that men have tried it and liked it. I’m not sure how it’ll stand up to a full day ok backpacking but maybe it’s worth a try. It looks pretty inexpensive and comes in a small tube perfect for those packing as light as possible (but not stupid light!).

  39. Alex on August 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    thank you for this post. i ordered from the website and never received product or communication even weeks overdue. your post clued me in to the situation and i attempted to contact the company, which still has not responded after 8 weeks. i was able to successfully reverse my charges over a month ago because the new owners did not respond to my credit card company either.

  40. Katherine K. on August 20, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    If you’re not too put off by Icelandic prices, I was slathering my chapped cuticles with this every time I passed a tester jar in duty-free at Keflavik. I loved their products so much I ordered some once I got back. The international shipping wasn’t too outrageous.

    (at least get some of their wildcraft herb stuff for Amanda!)

  41. James M on August 27, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Apparently they’re selling Bonnie’s Balm on Amazon.

  42. Arch K. Lamb on August 30, 2018 at 11:40 am

    I have used both Corona and Bag Balm for chapped skin, they seem to work. Not very “essential” and are more agricultural but you can find them on Amazon rated 4.5 stars+ and at about half the price.

  43. Esther Colwell on September 11, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Just wanted to confirm that I had the same issue with Bonnie’s (albeit on a smaller scale) – ordered on 11/24/17, never received the product, called and emailed three times with no responses from the company. Not until I let them know that Chase-VISA had opened a fraud case against them and that I was also filing a claim with the BBB and did they finally send the balms at the end of January (it took over 3 months).

  44. Brian on October 2, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks for the post on this Andrew. I came to your site to order more and reading this post you were having these issues right after the time that I had the issues ordering from them when I talked with you over email last year and ended up ordering some from you. Anyways the BB was good but seems like some bad business practices. I am going to give the Mom’s stuff All Purpose Piñon Salve a try as I like the ingredients. I’ll let you know if its a comparable product. On another note aside from hiking the BB (or something similar I would imagine) has been a great thing to add for multi day kayaking in neoprene shoes as well.

  45. Franz Gastler on October 20, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Andrew, here’s a letter from a DC law firm on behalf of another blogger (Modern Hiker) who was being threatened in the same way over his posts about a graffiti artist tagging monuments in Joshua Tree.
    Gives some good background on the legal definition of “defamation” and why it doesn’t at all apply to something like this.

  46. CJ on December 28, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    I love Herb Pharm Original Salve™ Optimal Well-Being.
    I’ve had it heal fingertip cracks, pull out nasty infections from burns, and much more! I’ve been using it for over a decade….

  47. Ginny on January 22, 2019 at 5:37 am
    • Dana on June 27, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      I will second this! Wod Welder is great!

  48. Jessica on March 15, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Can you all believe Bonnie is on here trying to make it seem like everyone is making fake claims? How pathetic. Bonnie, as a business owner you would have records of refunding my money and a tracking number for a shipment. Please, provide those- wait, you can’t! It’s okay to have times of hardship and it’s okay to be sick and need to step back from your business. But what you did was continue to take orders and rob people of their money and you never produced products. Even now, when trying to fix your name your still down talking your customers. You just keep showing us how terrible you are at this and how the only person you care about is yourself.

  49. BY on March 15, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    My pause with Bonnies Balm was Andrews first post. The no shadow of a doubt avoid was with her posts. Maybe she goes all Trump and say that wasn’t her one day and she never wrote that to clean things up hahaha

  50. larry shulman on May 3, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Andrew your handling of this totally turned me off to your site and your words. So what. Person was sick, or did bad by you over some wax? Over 40 years and billing a quarter of a billion in service revenues to my clients, take my advice, forget it and apologize. If you think this was worth affecting peoples attitudes towards you, you made a far bigger mistake than miss balm 🙁

    • Derrick Williams on May 3, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      Larry, I don’t understand why you think Andrew has anything to apologize for. He paid for a product, it wasn’t delivered (theft!), and you think he should be sorry? He posted this information online to explain why he is no longer carrying the product and to caution others who might do business with the vendor. Personally, I appreciate the information and respect Andrew for standing his ground.

      • larry shulman on May 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm

        Because i’m allowed to think. His story here becomes a case mini story for my company and hundreds that will hear about it and what it means to be a great company and great performers. When you hijack web based articles to spew anger, embarrassment or spread outright poor business actions, it is equally useful to use that dreadful practice by repeating it and learning from it. Every player who can even defend his action becomes a story in itself. What started as an article written by him that might have been considered good info turned into a joke and embarrassment, just by reading it. I have had hundreds of bad deals with people and businesses, I walk away and use it for making sure I don’t repeat it, as I will do now. Every time I put chapstick on, or use some Glide on my foot I’ll remember this. The worst part I won’t listen to his rant about products and their value in helping me run this sunday in the rain. Clowns at best.

        • Des on May 28, 2019 at 11:16 am

          Huh? Most if this is total nonsense sentences. I have a hard time believing you’ve closed millions of dollars in deals without being able to communicate effectively.

          But to your one point I was able to tease out of that mess of a rant: there is a big difference between a deal gone bad and what happened here, especially once Bonnie started commenting herself.

  51. nate on August 10, 2019 at 12:39 am

    Hey Andrew, just an FYI, your gear lists for first aid and foot care currently still have Bonnies Balm as something suggested in case you would like to change them when you’ve settled on an alternate product that you can feel comfortable endorsing. Also just wanted you to know that I am glad this page came up as a top result when I searched bonnies balm and appreciate your posts. I’m of the belief that we should all do what we can to be responsible consumers and that information like this is always helpful. Thanks for doing your part.

    • Bonnie on September 19, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Well she’s dead so keep hating …… hating on a woman who only wanted to help people …..

      • West Coast Hiker on December 9, 2020 at 4:11 pm

        The only hate in this thread comes from people like you.

  52. Heather DelaCruz on September 20, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Bonnie passed away earlier this week, so you can stop bashing her now, you evil little troll.

  53. Peggy A Scott on January 9, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I started using Bonnie’s Balm due to Andrew’s recommendation. Just wanted to re-order and ran onto this thread. I am so disappointed in Bonnie. I agree with all your earlier comments. All she really had to do was contact Andrew and straighten it out, apologies, refunds, whatever. Instead this crazy lawsuit stuff. I think Bonnie is watching too much TV is she thinks taking him to court will win anything more than a waste of her time and all of us turned off her product. I am going to give Joshua Tree Climbing salve a try and hope to see sometime in future this post from Bonnie:

    “Dear Andrew and users of Bonnie’s Balm,

    I must apologize for going a little crazy for awhile, threatening lawsuits and such. I don’t want to make a bunch of excuses, but illness, business pressures and other personal problems all came together for me in one perfect storm. I am sorry to have let down my customers. This is currently the state of the Company……(Bonnie truthfully fills this in).

    I look forward to serving you all in the future and hope you will give me a second chance. ”

    Wouldn’t that be terrific is she posted this? I hope so. I really like Bonnie’s balm. It was kinda magical.

  54. Richard Guttman on March 12, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    It’s the year 2020, I am a lawyer, I heard about Bonnie’s Balm in a book. I looked it up and this is the insanity I got. I was interested in the product to protect my feet when I run. I can imagine the consultation and the amount of money that would have to be put up for a lawyer to prosecute a libel case. $500 initial consultation, $5,000 to $7,500 up front retainer at $400 an hour. And what if the lawyer said there is not a promising case here? I am not saying there is a promising case or there isn’t, please consult your lawyer for the answer :).

    • Crissy on April 3, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      She died in September, so good luck with that.

      • John Ross on July 30, 2021 at 2:27 pm

        On an aside, unrelated to Bonnie, I would highly recommend Bag Balm, made in Vermont from a highly respected company and it works very well.

  55. Marc on November 29, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    @John Ross – I went out on a limb and bought 2 3-packs of bag balm haha. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂 Everyone is going to be getting some bag balm for Christmas.

  56. Todd on May 24, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    I used Burt’s Bees Hand Salve on my last hike with good results. This was a hot weather hike (Grand Canyon) rather than wet, but i had no foot problems.

  57. gary on May 31, 2022 at 3:16 am

    Its freaking BALM.
    Get over yourselves!!!

    Acting like a bunch of bitches!

    MOVE ON!

    • Rob on June 8, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      We have done, Gary. Last comment about Bonnie was two years ago.

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