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What is that stuff the old timers put on the backs of their hands?
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By JeffL
From Salt Lake City
Feb 26, 2014
I met a crew of old timers who hand some kind of paste or solution in a small brown bottle with a brush attached to the lid. Tinchture sounds right, but I thought that was just some kind of THC drug kids ingested. Anyways these guys put it on the back of their hands to make them either sticky or toughen up the skin a bit for sharp granite crack climbing. Instead of tape gloves they pretty much put a single layer of tape over the backs of their hands and called it good.

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By PRRose
From Boulder
Feb 26, 2014
Benzoin.

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By wivanoff
Feb 26, 2014
High Exposure
Yes, Tincture of Benzoin.

BITD, used on fingertips and back of hands. Sometimes used to glue down flappers - but it stings. Best use, IMO, is for making tape stick better. Smells bad and stains clothing.

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By SlowTrad
From St Paul, MN
Feb 26, 2014
I used to use tincture of benzoin to help hold tape in place, but I found that the spray stuff athletic trainers use is OK and smells much better. To hold down flappers super glue works great.

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By C. Archibald
Feb 26, 2014
Me on some bolted 10 in boulder canyon
Warning: I've asked lots of docs and medical professionals about this procedure and they have ALL said it was a bad idea.

But... I've used tincture benzoin for blisters on my feet. I used to work as a wilderness guide. If I got a bad blister, I would pop it, and using an irrigation syringe shoot tincture benzoin into the blister. It stung like hell. When the tincture dried it formed this really hard shell over the spot, and I could hike for miles. It worked great. The docs say I am inviting infection.

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By C'est La Vie
Feb 26, 2014
^

Clostridium tetani called; he said, thanks for making a perfectly anaerobic environment for me to make tetanus toxin.

Sent from my TI-83

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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 26, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
wivanoff wrote:
Yes, Tincture of Benzoin. BITD, used on fingertips and back of hands. Sometimes used to glue down flappers - but it stings. Best use, IMO, is for making tape stick better. Smells bad and stains clothing.


Exactly. I still have a 70's era bottle around somewhere, probably leaking goo in the bottom of an old pack stored in the garage. Cleanses, disinfects flappers, glues them down, sticky base for great tape job, helps keep chalk on hands for a long time,,,why did it go away and lose popularity? Was great stuff. I used to go pick it up from my pharmacy with no need for a prescription back then.

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By MRock
Feb 26, 2014
Split shin after 5.9+ R lead
Not sure if they still do , but the army teaches medics to drain blisters and replace with benzoin tincture like said above. Dries out the new skin under the blister or something along those lines.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 26, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
yeah I think the stuff was definitely a first aid material at first intent. Stickness gave it a second life for fingers of climbers,,probably cuz they had some in their old first aid kits and put it to use, finding a new purpose for it.

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By MarkGriffin
From Goretex-Vortex, CO
Feb 26, 2014
lizard.
Benzoine tincture is good stuff. I dunno about injecting into blisters, sounds pretty masochistic to me, but it works great for keeping tape/moleskin in place. It's a tincture so there's plenty of alcohol in there to sterilize I would think. Not the best for your wound's recovery though. Never considered using it to keep tape gloves on... I rip enough hair off my hand removing the tape as it is. And don't hate, that shit smells great. Edit to add you can buy it at REI in a little plastic bottle, it's in the first aid section.

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By Mic Fairchild
From Boulder
Feb 26, 2014
personal photo
I love the smell of tincture in the morning, it smells like... redpoint.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 26, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Mic Fairchild wrote:
I love the smell of tincture in the morning, it smells like... redpoint.


Yeah, back in the day, that smell was part of my climbing day..I loved the smell cuz it did smell like a 'send was coming up right soon.

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By SlowTrad
From St Paul, MN
Feb 28, 2014
My hands are usually tough enough by May/June to not need any tape for my local rock type(basalt and quartzite)....but a trip to J-Tree in February will make you re-think that and I find myself reaching for the tincture and tape (or Mueller Tuffner pre-tape spray). I prefer the spray becuase it doesn't leak all over everything in my pack like the ToB does. It is bulkier.

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By Dylan B.
Feb 28, 2014
Orgasm Direct, Devil's Lake, 5.11a  c. 2008
Benzoine tincture is aid. You can't claim a send if you use it.

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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Feb 28, 2014
blah
sticky rubber is aid, cams are aid, non-oval biners are aid. fancy climbing outfits from prana are aid, tape is aid, bleeding is at least A1. if I want my milelage on thin hands in zion or the creek I do a boxer wrap with tincture. I have no problems climbing 5.10-12 A0...hah

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By Dylan B.
Feb 28, 2014
Orgasm Direct, Devil's Lake, 5.11a  c. 2008
Rob Warden, Space Lizard wrote:
sticky rubber is aid, cams are aid, non-oval biners are aid. fancy climbing outfits from prana are aid, tape is aid, bleeding is at least A1. if I want my milelage on thin hands in zion or the creek I do a boxer wrap with tincture. I have no problems climbing 5.10-12 A0...hah


You forgot chalk. Chalk is definitely aid. I only climb barefoot in a toga.

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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Feb 28, 2014
blah
I only climb naked, after cutting off my own hands, using my own manhood for pro...anything less is aids

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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 28, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Rob Warden, Space Lizard wrote:
sticky rubber is aid, cams are aid, non-oval biners are aid. fancy climbing outfits from prana are aid, tape is aid, bleeding is at least A1. if I want my milelage on thin hands in zion or the creek I do a boxer wrap with tincture. I have no problems climbing 5.10-12 A0...hah



++ 1 on the Prana panties, they are soo aid' I don't know what to even think.

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By Salamanizer
Administrator
From Vacaville Ca.
Mar 12, 2014
Tincture of Benzoin was taken off the shelves in many places years ago because it was found to have something in it the apparently causes cancer.

Well, so does wood. I always wanted to get a bottle and try it out. I think you might still be able to order it online.

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By Cultivating Mass
Mar 26, 2014
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
Rob Warden, Space Lizard wrote:
I only climb naked, after cutting off my own hands, using my own manhood for pro...anything less is aids

^^^^^pure, unadulterated genius

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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 26, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs s...
I guess that I'm an old timer (54, and climbed for 30 out of the last 35 years). I like the smell of benzoin. I use it to make the tape stick. Us old guys have thin skin, and the scarred areas don't build callouses.
Buy the liquid and use a q-tip to put it on very thin, and a bottle will last years. To prevent spills, I transfer some benzoin into an empty eye drop bottle (they have good lids). For further safety, eye drop bottles fit nicely into the most common size of prescription med. bottle. Maybe overkill, but totally secure.

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By flynn
Mar 26, 2014
Hey, Tom, what you're doing might sound like overkill until the first time the TofB comes open in your pack and glues everything in there to the chalk and dog hair. But for keeping tape gloves on your hands at, say, Devils Tower, it has no equal. The 'unique' scent is just a bonus.

It is great stuff to have in your first aid kit, too. My husband, as durable as he is, has fairly thin skin (he's Norwegian; it figures). If we're hiking any distance at all, the TofB and moleskin are in the top of the kit.

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By wivanoff
Mar 27, 2014
High Exposure
Salamanizer wrote:
Tincture of Benzoin was taken off the shelves in many places years ago because it was found to have something in it the apparently causes cancer. Well, so does wood. I always wanted to get a bottle and try it out. I think you might still be able to order it online.


rei.com/product/752451/rei-tin...

I bought some up at the corner pharmacy last year. Was less than $10 though

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By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 29, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
flynn wrote:
Hey, Tom, what you're doing might sound like overkill until the first time the TofB comes open in your pack and glues everything in there to the chalk and dog hair. But for keeping tape gloves on your hands at, say, Devils Tower, it has no equal. The 'unique' scent is just a bonus. It is great stuff to have in your first aid kit, too. My husband, as durable as he is, has fairly thin skin (he's Norwegian; it figures). If we're hiking any distance at all, the TofB and moleskin are in the top of the kit.


Agree totally,,it's a great disinfectant and helps hold down moleskin or any dressing. And I keep my small old bottle in a plastic bag, cuz it's true, if it gets out on stuff, your pack will hold that smell forever and will sticky glue everything nearby the spill. Somewhere buried around this mess of gear in my house,,I know that bottle still exists but haven't used it since the early 90's I'm sure for trad cracks and tape job.

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By John Husky
May 15, 2014
Do like I did and grow a pair of leather gloves. Never need tape.

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By DuncanKL
May 19, 2014
Huh... I love ToB, but had never even considered it for hand tape. I guess it just makes too much sense. Well, assuming you want your tape glove to stay on for a week. Generally, I just use it to hold tape on my heel as soon as I start feeling a hot spot.

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