As Lindsay and I were getting our matching mani-pedis last Thursday, she surmised that hers was worth the money because “I won’t be wearing shoes all weekend.” (Someone spent the fourth barefoot on an island – jealous much?)
I surmised, a bit sadly, that I don’t think things through. My plans for the weekend? Hiking in the Hoh Rain Forest.
The Hoh Rain Forest is absolutely breathtaking, and obviously worth destroying a brand new manicure and pedicure for. At the same time, if I could manage to keep my nails pretty and see giant moss-covered maple and spruce trees, I would.
In honor of July’s Mani-Pedi Challenge (and giveaway!), I present my mani-pedi hiking protection plan. Some of these ideas worked, some decidedly didn’t.
1. Wrap Yo’ Toes
My dance training inspired this one. Once you figure out which toes tend to rub in your closed-toe shoes, wrap them in gauze or a Band-Aid. (Make sure the sticky part doesn’t touch your nail polish.) For me, the nail polish tends to rub off on the outer edges of my largest toes, so one bandage on each is all I need.
2. Careful With That DEET
DEET, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, is a really, really powerful insect repellent. If you’re going somewhere with ticks or mosquitoes, or allergic to their bites, DEET is the easiest and most readily-available option to avoid those bites. At the same time, it’s also a solvent and a carcinogen. It will eat away at all of your synthetics, including your fingernail polish.
There are a number of alternatives to DEET, though you have to apply them more often. Some studies are showing that Bite Blocker is the longest-lasting, but as with everything, it’s always best to find the one that works for you, personally, the best.
If you have to wear DEET, take off your nail polish first. Seriously. There’s no way to save it. (And wash your hands before you pick up your camera or touch synthetic fabrics.)
3. Follow the Signs for Nail Safety
Stay on the trail! Unless you’re back country hiking – and if you are, why are you worried about your nails?! – you’re supposed to do this anyway, to preserve the native plants growing under all those gorgeous trees. Sometimes it’s hard to do, though. For example, I really wanted to hug that tree. And I’m pretty sure it wanted to hug me.
But along with the forest’s preservation, there’s also your own personal safety to think of. You could trip on an exposed root, or slip on loose earth…and your nails aren’t the first thing you’re going to think of when you start to fall. So when they break, don’t blame me: you should have stayed on the trail.
Once you’re far from civilization, ready to see the wonders that us humans had nothing to do with, forget about your fingernails. They are soooo not important. I worried once about whether the bandages on my toes had slipped, and then realized that there were bigger things to think about. Like gigantic trees covered in moss.
How do you keep your nails looking pretty when you’re out in the wilderness?
Don’t forget to enter July’s Mani-Pedi Challenge for a chance to win a gift bag full of nail goodies!