Bonnie’s Balms — Healing Salve — 2 oz

Rated 3.60 out of 5 based on 15 customer ratings
(15 customer reviews)


In prolonged wet conditions, my feet will get wet. I reduce the devastating effects and aftermath of wet feet (e.g. like pruning, blistering, soreness, and cracking) using Bonnie’s Balms Healing Salve. It is a critical part of my footwear kit.



Bonnie’s Balm Healing Salve is one way that I reduce and minimize the effects of wet feet. Read this blog post for a fuller explanation.

How Healing Salve works

Healing Salve will reduce — but not entirely eliminate — the effects and aftermath of wet feet, specifically by:

  • Minimizing the amount of moisture that the outer layer of skin will absorb, thereby reducing the severity of the maceration/pruning. The Salve does not seem to clog pores, however, which would cause other problems.
  • Keeping the skin moisturized, thereby minimizing the likelihood that the skin will crack as it dries out.

How to apply Healing Salve for best results

Apply Healing Salve before your feet get wet, ideally hours before. If you apply it after your feet are wet, or immediately before they get wet, the effectiveness is limited.

Normally, applying Healing Salve is one of my nighttime housekeeping chores, along with looking at tomorrow’s maps and separating out tomorrow’s daytime food.

1. After drying my feet thoroughly, perhaps with the help of a warm fire, I coat the bottom of my feet with Healing Salve and rub it in, paying special attention to the rim of my heel and my forefoot, which seem to suffer the worst when wet.

2. Once the Healing Salve has been rubbed in, I put on a dry and clean sock, and go to bed. I don’t spend much time in camp — if you do, then protect your dry and now-treated feet from your (potentially) wet shoes using a bread bag or other waterproof liner.

3. In the morning, and sometimes even in the middle of the night, I check my feet to determine if they need another coating of Healing Salve. If my feet still feel waxy, then they don’t. If they are dry again, which indicates that all of the Healing Salve was absorbed, then I reapply.

15 reviews for Bonnie’s Balms — Healing Salve — 2 oz

  1. Rated 4 out of 5


    After reading your night time rituals, which match mine, and with many of the same hiking philosophies/styles/gear choices/types of hikes, etc as you, and after never having tried Bonnie’s Climbers Balm, I tried it to compare it to Bert’s Bees Res-Q- Ointment, which I take on hikes in .6 oz cans. I find the performance to be much the same for the goals we both share – preventing pruning, blistering, soreness, and cracking . Although the Res-Q- Ointment is a little “wetter” “greasier.” But, like you, a clean sock goes over it after I apply these products.

    I find these herbal products to have some, but limited, insect repellency as well. Although nowhere near as effective as an insect repellent based on a one product verse product comparison(such as compared to DEET), they CAN be part of a multi product multi technique effective insect repellent approach for the more common biting insects encountered in the U.S. It’s an approach that’s often not considered in most insect repellent effectiveness studies! I put that out there for others who might want to pursue alternative approaches.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Shawn K.

    I recently revamped some of my gear and techniques, leading to a change in foot care. No matter the boot or sock, I’ve always had problems with sweaty feet leading to wet socks and maceration, but no more. My friends had to tape up their feet, but I returned from a week of sweaty backpacking in the Chihuahuan Desert without experiencing a single hot spot or blister. Even with moist socks at the end of the day, my feet felt fine; easily the best they’ve ever felt after hard use.

    I credit a switch to trail runners for some of the improvement, but an evening rubdown with Bonnie’s Balms Climbers Salve seemed to have as much impact. I ordered from Andrew and he delivered promptly. I highly recommend both the product and seller.

  3. Rated 1 out of 5

    Todd Baldwin

    I ordered the salve and never received the product. I sent 7 emails, FB messages, and 15-20 phone calls over the period of a month. She never responded. She stole $30 from me. I obviously can’t review the product, but I can review the company. Stay away, unless you like flushing money down the proverbial drain.

    • Andrew Skurka

      I fulfilled all of my orders for Bonnie’s Balm, or refunded the orders fully when I ran out of product. I’m also in the dark about what happened to BB.

  4. Rated 1 out of 5

    Mike N

    Put in an order, through, on 7/7/17. Still haven’t received. Started calling and emailing on 7/19/17. The phone has never been answered, but its voicemail box has been filled and emptied. Haven’t received a return call, nor an email response. Went to check the website today, and it’s either down or pulled. Anyone know what has happened?

    • Andrew Skurka

      I’ve been a retailer of Bonnie’s Balm for years, and I know as much as you about what happened. Even if the company rebounded, I would find another vendor of a similar product.

  5. Rated 1 out of 5

    Mike N

    Your not to blame. I commented here since it’s where I first heard of this product, and am assuming so have others. But, at least at the moment, there should be no future losses since the website has disappeared. It’s disappointing that unfulfilled orders weren’t automatically refunded. Hopefully the owner is doing alright. Fortunately my bank as refunded the purchase while they are investigating the claim.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5


    Andrew – Can you recommend a substitute?

    • Andrew Skurka

      I think 75 percent of why Bonnie’s Balm works is the consistency. It’s an oil/beeswax mix that is a degree softer than Chapstick. If you can find something similar in the personal care aisle at a Whole Foods-type of store, you’re most of the way there. The remainder of BB’s value were the ingredients — there were lots of things in there that were good for the skin, e.g. moisturizing, healing, anti-inflamatory, anti-bacterial, etc.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Shawn K.

    Two possible replacements.

    Burt’s Bees Hand Salve:

    And the previously mentioned Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment:

    Both appear to come in tins, which makes me think they’re thicker than standard lotions. I’m running low on Bonnie’s, so I’m emailing Burt’s Bees to see if they have a suggested substitute for Bonnie’s. If I get a reply, I’ll post it here.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5


  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Shawn K.

    Looks like similar stuff, but getting pretty pricey.

    I may give Burt’s Bees suggestion a try, but I’m thinking about melting up some beeswax, with enough olive & tea tree oil to give it the right consistency, and a dash of tincture of benzoin for added antiseptic qualities. With the right consistency, that might hit the key points well enough to get the job done. A pound of cosmetic grade beeswax is only $10, and I already have the rest.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Teddy Y

    Haven’t tried any of these yet, but climbing salve is designed specifically to provide the skin nutrients WITHOUT moisturizing it and making it soft. Most climbers will only use climbing specific salves for this purpose. I haven’t seen the Burt’s Bees ResQ Ointment, but I doubt it’s designed with this in mind.

    J Tree works well for hands as well as these options:

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    David L

    Apparently Bonnie was very ill and the company shut down for while. Seems to be up and running now though as I called the company and spoke to Bonnie personally.

  12. Rated 1 out of 5

    Scott L

    My wife placed an order back in November 2017 for Christmas gift for me. She has left numerous messages and tried calling January 2nd and even today with no response via email or phone. We called credit card company to dispute charges. I would stay away for some time. I hope she is OK, but there is no excuse for the poor customer service and still taking orders and payments without delivery.

  13. Rated 1 out of 5


    Is Bag Balm a decent equivalent?

    • Andrew Skurka

      It’s been a while since I saw a can of Bag Balm, so hard for me to say. Maybe another reader can comment.

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bryan Gamblin

    For whatever it’s worth, I ordered Bonnie’s Balms salve from her website on 1 Jan and got an email that it shipped on 26 Jan. Read about it in Andrew’s Gear Guide & was impressed with his results. So, you can still get it but don’t expect a quick delivery. If I get the results he did then I can deal with the delay.

    • Andrew Skurka

      I have stock of Bonnie’s Balm and I normally ship within 24 hours.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Makerlight (verified owner)

    There is no doubt that Bonnie Balm is a serious healing product. That debate has been settled.
    As far as getting the product and the quality of pre-purchase service, that experience seems to dictact how people rate this product over the product itself.
    As Andrews says, buy it from his website here. It’s available, it processes and ships bloodily fast (got mine in 3 days to Hawaii) and it’s cheaper even with shipping than Bonnie unpredictable website.
    Andrew cares about the products he endorses and carries. He represents them well and with great service. I appreciate that about him.

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