A core item in my backpacking first aid kit and foot care kit is Leukotape P, a non-elastic strapping tape. I most often use it for hot spots, blisters, and other skin irritations; and on a few group trips I have made custom bandages and protected injured body parts with it.
Leukotape P should not be confused with Leukotape K, which stretches. I’m uncertain about its differences with Leukotape Classic; it may be a re-brand, since I no longer see Leukotape P on the manufacturer website. I have made an inquiry with BSN Medical for clarification.
Leukotape P comes in a 15-yard roll. This works well for stabilizing an ankle, and so I take it on group trips when such injuries are more likely to occur. But for foot care, it’s an unfriendly form factor; it’s also more tape (and more weight) than I need on a solo trip.
Make field-friendly Leukotape strips using discarded mailing label paper, rather than or in addition to carrying the full roll.
- Create patches that are precisely sized and shaped, with rounded edges that are less likely to curl under pressure;
- Maintain the tape’s full adhesiveness, which is compromised when it is touched or when it is re-rolled into smaller rolls; and,
- Carry only the amount you are likely to need, thereby reducing pack weight and volume.
1. Find a discarded sheet of mailing label paper. I find address label paper to be convenient: the paper is pre-cut into strips that are about the same width as Leukotape.
2. Place a strip of Leukotape on the waxy side of the label paper, where the labels used to be. Leave about 1 inch of extra tape on each end.
3. Adhere the overflow sections to the other side of the label paper, to hold the strip in place. Unfortunately, these sections of tape are now trash. Remove the paper margins.
A finished strip is 11.5 inches long. I fold them into fourths to make them more packable, and store them in a plastic bag along with Band-Aids, Steri-Strips, and moleskin.
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