Backpack hiking on the trail presents potential opportunities for wounds, but proper planning and insight can avoid many injuries that render you uncomfortable. The last thing any hiker needs when they finally hit the trails with their backpacking backpack is to encounter an injury. No one can predict unexpected problems 100% of the time since accidents do happen sometimes. Many can be eliminated as long as you prepare. Here are some ways to prevent common situations that could ruin your excursion. It’s more a matter of prevention and ways to avoid the injury that are most helpful.
Prevent Foot Issues While Trekking
Hiking backpack trekking requires proper-fitting hiking boots for prevention of prevent painful blisters. Make sure you have very supportive boots or shoes that don’t rub your heels when you walk. Make sure to always “break in” a new pair for a couple of days with your socks before you head out on the trail. Tight-fitting crew socks are not the best choice compared to a looser ankle sock. If you end up with a blister in spite of preventative measures, only pop it if it’s big and painful. You should have a needle in your first aid kit that you can sterilize either with alcohol or the campfire coals. Drain the fluid after popping. Keep the area very clean and dab some triple antibiotic gel on the area and cover it with a Bandaid. These are all common items you should have in your hiking pack for every trek. Diabetics must be more cautious than others when it comes to foot wounds. Check any injuries daily for redness or swelling, and see your doctor when you return from your trek if you observe these things.
How Does Iliotibial Band Syndrome Affect Hikers?
Hiking backpack trips really works the legs. Without proper stretching or warming up before and after the hike, injury is more likely. ITBS, known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome, can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. The iliotibial band is a ligament that runs down between your thigh and shin, and secures your knee in place. When it is over used, pain will result. Trekking also works your Achilles tendon, which is another area that requires stretching prior to walking. If you don’t stretch, it can become inflamed and cause pain and discomfort.
How Do I Repair The Pain While Hiking?
If hiking backpack treks find you with pain in these areas, it is better to address it sooner rather than later. Take a break, remove your hiking pack, sit down and take some Ibuprofen or Motrin. These medications help inflammation. Your muscles and ligaments are inflamed from overuse and the best treatment is to get off your feet. Rest your legs and apply ice if possible. If you continue your hike in spite of pain, you will only make it worse. It could render you barely able to walk at all, and that’s not a position a backpack hiker wants to be in, so take the time to properly stretch before, after and during your trek.
Hiking Backpack Travelers Must Rest On A Long Hiking Trip
Hikers can prevent serious fatigue. Often, over stressing and not taking adequate breaks during your hike will cause fatigue to sneak up on you. By learning to be aware of your body’s limits during strenuous activity, you can save yourself many aches, pains and injuries. The best cure is periodic breaks and a long rest before continuing the hike. We’re talking about a no-hike day of complete chill time, not just a 10 minute break. Refuel your body with nourishment and hydrate your muscles. Come on, kick back a day for injury prevention instead of worsening the situation.
Drink, Drink, Drink On Your Hiking Trip!
Dehydration can be very serious. It can cause dizziness, headache or fatigue. You know the drill, as a hiking backpacker, you have to bring plenty of water in your hiking backpack. If you are a beginner, learn from others past mistakes. Not only is it imperative for your body, if you don’t properly filter your drinking water, you could introduce your stomach to Giardia, which comes from bacteria that will cause stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. If you suspect your water was to blame for these symptoms, try this remedy. This may sound weird, but always carry a garlic bulb in your bag and eat a few raw cloves each day until you feel better. The garlic acts as a homeopathic cure for intestinal upsets. You’ll be glad you brought it with you. Feel better naturally and get back in the game.
Your Skin Needs Protection When You’re Backpack Hiking
Sunburn is totally preventable. You absolutely should be carrying sunscreen in your trekking backpack. Remember to reapply sunscreen after 80 minutes of walking and choose a sweat-proof product. If you end up with a sunburned neck, dampen your bandana with water for a soothing temporary solution, and cover up your over-exposed skin. I know you learned this in Hiking 101, but it bears repeating. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and it needs protection, so don’t overlook its importance.
Oh No! Poison Ivy While Backpack Camping
Hiking Backpack explorers beware! If you’ve encountered poison ivy, this is anyone’s nightmare. Yes, being out in the wild when you’re hiking and trekking through Mother Nature’s house, has a few pitfalls. You should familiarize yourself with the 3-leaf shape of poison ivy. It grows in 3 leaflets together that taper to a point. But there may be times when it’s well hidden and you brush across it accidentally. There are several remedies for this, but I always carry Ivy Dry Soap and Ivy Dry Super Itch Spray or Cream in my hiking bag. Amazon and drug stores carry these items. Oddly enough, if you bring Pepto Bismol with you, you can down a couple gulps. The alkalinity in that pink syrup will soothe the itching. Try this per the label instructions for frequency. If you have access to a trail store during your trek, pick some up. I always carry a small bottle in my backpack.
Prevention Is Best To Insure A Successful Backpack Hike
Hiking backpack enthusiasts will find that trying these tips will insure you more quality backpacking backpack time. Being out in the wild is the best medicine ever. The old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really holds true. You don’t want pain or anything else to spoil your time in the outdoors. Be aware and spare yourself possible calamities. Happy hiking!