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Advice Regarding Habits

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

Your life in camp in regard to food, exercise, hours of sleep,

surroundings, and comforts, will differ greatly from that you lead as a

civilian. You will submit your body to a sudden, severe, physical test.

In order to prepare your body for this change in manner of living and

work, we recommend that for a short time prior to your arrival in camp,

and thereafter, you observe the following suggestions:

1. Use no alcohol of any kind.

2. Stop smoking, or at least be temperate in the use of tobacco.

3. Eat and drink moderately. Chew your food well. It is advisable,

however, to drink a great deal of cool (not cold) water between


4. Don't eat between meals.

5. Accustom yourself to regular hours as to sleeping, eating, and

the morning functions.

6. Keep away from all soda fountains and soft drink stands.

7. For at least two weeks prior to your arrival at camp, take

regularly the exercises described in this book.

Most men are troubled with their feet during the first week of each

camp, usually because they do not observe the following precautions:

1. If you have ever had trouble with the arches of your feet, wear

braces for them.

2. Lace your shoe as tightly as comfort will permit.

3. Wash the feet daily.

4. Every morning shake a little talcum powder or Foot Ease in

each shoe.

5. Each morning put on a fresh pair of socks. Your socks should fit

the feet so neatly that no wrinkles remain in them and yet not be

so tight that they bind the foot. Do not wear a sock with a hole in

it or one that has been darned.

6. Some men cannot wear light wool socks with comfort. Do not wear

silk or cotton socks until you have given light wool socks a fair


7. In case of a blister, treat it as directed in Chapter X.

8. Most of the foot troubles are caused by wearing shoes that do

not fit properly. If the shoe is too large it rubs blisters, if too

small it cramps the foot and causes severe pain. Marching several

hours while carrying about thirty pounds of equipment causes each

foot to expand at least one half a size in length and

correspondingly in breadth; hence the size of the shoe you wear in

the office will be too small for training camp use. If you have

been living a sedentary life, ask for a pair of shoes larger than

you ordinarily wear.

9. In case the tendon in your heel becomes tender, report at once

to the hospital tent and get it strapped.