Hiking can be fun, exciting and appealing but there will be the inevitable injury along the way. No matter how many precautions you take or how careful you take a step, you will get injured. In some cases, it is nothing more than a blister or little paper cut but you still need to know how to deal with these as well as the more serious injuries.
No one wants to have a run-in with an insect or some nasty bugs but it will happen, especially when hiking through forest areas. To help treat the injury, you need to stop, clean the wound by using an anti-septic cream to cleanse the bites. Spray on an anti-itch cream and don’t scratch or touch the bites no matter what, you don’t want to make them worse. To avoid bites in the future, use bug spray.
Bee stings can be very serious especially if you aren’t aware of your allergic. If you have had allergic reactions to stings in the past, you must carry your allergic medicine whatever that may be. However, for regular stings, your first course of action would be to remove the stinger. Next, use a cold-compress or some ice and apply to the area which was stung. Take pain killers if you feel some discomfort and add some antihistamines to the area.
Dealing With Scrapes and Cuts
Cuts and scrapes are the most common injuries for hikers but they are also very easy to deal with. In most cases, they are pretty minor and can be dealt with very easy. First of all, add pressure to the area which is bleeding, if there is any blood; and once the blood has stopped, cleanse the wound carefully. This can be easily done with good clean water and after the wound has been cleansed, add some cream to sooth the cut or scrape. If necessary, use a plaster or bandage to patch up the area.
If the cut is deep, stitches may be required and you have to get to hospital quickly. Until you reach hospital, you must apply pressure to the area and do what you can to reduce the amount of blood loss.
Dehydration might technically not be an injury of sorts but it can be a common ailment hikers come across very often. Spotting the signs of dehydration can be very easy; if you find yourself using the bathroom less, sometimes, not for hours at a time, you may be dehydrated. You must continue to drink water and rehydrate the body.
Don’t just take a sip every so often when hiking or when your throat feels dry, drink like a fish! Remember, you lose fluids as you hike since it’s a form of exercise and you must keep your body hydrated. When you find yourself dehydrated, you need to rest up and take it easy for a little while until you properly rehydrate.
Dealing with Sprains
When you have a sprain, you need to first stop and rest. Resting for as long as possible is crucial because you can’t keep walking on a sprain as you will make it worse and be in a considerable amount of pain.
Apply ice to the sprain for a good ten to fifteen minutes; no longer. Next, you need to create a brace to support the sprain and for arm sprains, keep the arm elevated. If you really have to walk, lean on a fellow hiker for support.
Sunburn can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant but there is no real quick solution to fix this. You need to use some after sun protection, apply some cold compresses to the worst affected areas and use pain killers to stop the pain. You can’t really do much apart from leaving the sunburn to heal and this can take a lot of time to do. However, when blistering starts, don’t pick them because you could get infected and that is going to be considerably tougher to treat.
Dealing with Exhaustion
Just like dehydration, exhaustion isn’t an injury but rather a common ailment. When you feel tired and feel as though you’ve pushed yourself too much, you need to stop and rest. Now, exhaustion doesn’t go away in a matter of minutes, it can take hours at the best of times and you need to take serious care of yourself. Proper rest is crucial; and you should ensure you drink plenty of water. It doesn’t hurt to stop and take an energy bar and it may just help get you through the day.
There could be a few reasons why you get muscle pain; the first is that you haven’t trained sufficiently enough and secondly, you’ve overdone it. No matter the reason, you should look to stop at once and rest. Drink plenty of water and use a few pain killers to help dull the pain; if you have creams that target muscle pain, use it. However, if you find yourself in terrible pain, you may be best suited to rest for a day or two and then turn back if it doesn’t get any better. You may have pulled a muscle somewhere.
There is not much you can do when you have broken a bone apart from making them immobile. When you break a bone anywhere in your body, you have very few options available to you. If you break a rib or hip, you probably won’t be doing much walking. However, if it’s a minor break say to your hand or leg, you should be able to carry on as long as you make a splint.
Now, a splint is very easy to create and once you immobilize the broken bone, you can hopefully get moving to seek medical attention. There isn’t much more you can do apart from this; you could attempt to move the dislocated bone back into place but you aren’t a doctor and it could be dangerous. Your best course of action is to seek immediate medical attention.
Deal With Injuries Quickly
Let’s be honest, injuries occur at the best of times and even when you are extremely careful you can still get hurt. Sometimes, it’s a minor fall that causes the most injuries but you need to know how to take care of these. It doesn’t matter if you travel alone or with a group of people, you still need to know how to deal with any injury whilst hiking.
Can you avoid injuries and pain when hiking? How?
Blistered feet, aching joints, and sore muscles can make any hike difficult. Injuries will impede you from having fun and even end your adventure a long time sooner than expected. Some hiking injuries are easy to avoid, and most of the time, you will be able to treat wounds on your own. Our suggestions will help you stay safe and sound while hiking. Keep reading for details.
Regardless of what you
may think it’s not only the entry-level hikers who get blisters; experienced hikers get blisters as well. Inclines and rugged terrain will accentuate stress to footgear.
To prevent blisters, you should wear sturdy shoes that fit you perfectly and hiking socks. Look for hiking socks made of wicking material that don’t fit too tight. These socks typically have extra padding to increase comfort when hiking. To improve protection against blisters, you should layer your socks.
Hiking pole blisters
If you’re using hiking poles, you might develop hiking pole blisters after a while. Prevent these blisters by switching the grip regularly and using your wrist loops for a light grip. Most of the time, you won’t need to white-knuckle the grips. Seek that your hands sit comfortably in the straps and barely touch the handgrips. Keep in mind to use the wrist loops accordingly. You want your hands to come into the loop from underneath and not from above.
When you’re shopping for a hiking backpack, make sure to select the best pack for your body and needs. Ideally, you want to test the bag fully loaded before buying. Once you get a bag, you need to learn to load it efficiently to distribute the weight evenly. You don’t want the load to pull your shoulder muscles and cause pain when hiking.
Your backpack’s load should ride close to your body; most of the weight should be spread across the hips.
It’s a widely spread myth that nobody can avoid knee pain after a certain age. However, most of us can prevent knee pain when hiking. You want to stretch your quads and hamstring muscle to reduce the tension on the joint, which is a common cause of pain.
Use hiking poles if you are prone to knee pain. The hiking poles are excellent at evenly distributing the weight of every step, especially when descending.
Low back pain
Sitting for a long time will cause low back pain, whether when working or hiking. When you sit for extended periods, the hamstrings and hip flexors will become tight and cause a muscular imbalance that affects the lower back. Prevent low back pain by stretching your hips as often as possible. Do it before you go hiking and try several hip-opening stretches to reduce the risk of low back pain.
If you have ever hiked before, you know that muscle cramps can be extremely debilitating. Cramping is a common hiking injury and dehydration is the leading cause. Therefore, you should make sure to hydrate as often as possible to avoid cramping.
While hiking, especially in cold weather, it’s not unusual to forget to drink the proper amount of fluids. Prevent muscle cramping by stretching before your hike and begin stretching if a painful cramp occurs while hiking. You can also apply some hot and cold temperatures to the cramp and refuel with electrolytes.
If you like challenging trails, you will most likely encounter hidden obstacles, rocks, uneven ground, and slippery surfaces. You will be able to fix some of the twists with a “walk it off” approach, but others will require a lot more.
Always put on the best hiking boots that ensure efficient ankle support. You can ease out the stress on your ankle by using hiking poles and carrying a backpack that evenly distributes the load.
Foot arch pain
We cannot stress enough about choosing the proper hiking boots. They can be crucial for your hiking experience and help you avoid many injuries. Arch pain will most likely happen because you don’t wear adequate footwear. Again, stretch before you start your hike to prevent foot arch pain. Also, kneel with your knees on the ground and your feet under your buttocks. The toes should be on the ground like you were standing on them and your foot arches are entirely exposed.
If it doesn’t cause pain, try hinging your upper body back a few inches. Plantar fasciitis is the main reason for foot arch pain, so you should always get boots specially made for plantar fasciitis. See a doctor if the pain persists.
Slipping on a trail can cause a lot more than skinning your knee. You can end up with knee injuries or sprained ankles when falling on uneven ground. The best prevention is to watch each step you take carefully.
Skinned knees and elbows may not be the most severe injuries when hiking, but they can turn into severe injuries when not treated. Not looking on the ground makes for the no.1 cause of skin injuries. Tree roots and loose rocks can make you slip and fall, so the branches scrape your arms, face, neck, and legs.
We know you will pack your first-aid kit, but it’s best that you carefully watch where you step. Put on long pants to reduce the risk of scrapes and bumps on your shins. Similarly, protect your arms with a long sleeve top.
The best way to prevent insect bites is to apply insect repellent when hiking near water and any area with biting insects. Always carry adequate emergency medicine if you have a severe insect allergy. Prevent insect bites by wearing long pants and a long-sleeve top too. Make sure that insects don’t have room to get underneath your clothes.
You don’t need to be a healthcare professional to know that the best way to prevent sunburns is to apply sunscreen. You should apply sunscreen even on a cloudy day before starting your hike. Do it frequently while hiking and make sure to re-apply after you get wet in the rain or you get sweaty.
Chaffing isn’t an injury per se, but it can definitely become annoying when hiking. Wearing long sleeves won’t help much, and the best way to prevent it is to choose the best active underwear over your cotton briefs. Look for underwear made of synthetic nylon or wool. If the discomfort is terrible, you may use somebody’s powder to reduce the risk of chaffing. Remember not to swim in saltwater when hiking because the salt residue will make the chaffing painful.
Headaches are tricky because they can have various causes. Again, the most common cause of headaches when hiking is dehydration. If you lay down and the headache improves, dehydration is the cause for sure. Needless to say, you should drink water. Have some salty snacks instead of electrolytes to alleviate the headache. Avoid peanuts, peanut butter, and chocolate because they can aggravate headaches.
If lying down doesn’t help with your headache and standing up alleviates it, hyponatremia might cause it. It means that you have drank too much water and need to increase the electrolytes, sugars, and salts in your bloodstream. Have a break and get a salty snack. You should also urinate and limit the water intake for the following hours. Add electrolyte powder to your water for the rest of your hike.
Drinking too much water can cause a stomach ache. If possible, avoid drinking too much water and have a small snack to help water go through your body.
Some people develop stomach aches from heat so avoid the problem by taking a break in the shade. Make sure to use a filtration system (tablets, personal filter straw) before drinking water from a creek or river.
When hiking, the blood flows efficiently. However, if you notice that your hands get swollen, you should loop your thumbs into the pack straps. The idea is to place them higher than your heart. It will stop the centrifugal force that pushes too much blood into your hands. Using hiking poles will reduce the risk of hands getting swollen.
Constipation / Diarrhea
Talking about your upset stomach doesn’t make for the best topic, but it’s a significant problem to cover. An upset stomach doesn’t just ruin your outdoor adventure, but it can turn into a medical emergency if left untreated. Add the physical effort of the trail food diet, and you get to understand why your stomach may have a hard time when you hike.
If you’re hiking and end up with diarrhea, dehydration is the most common cause. Stay hydrated to avoid dehydration and cook your food thoroughly. A bacterial infection from not cooking your food or drinking infected water can cause diarrhea.
A hiking diet is the most common cause should you deal with constipation and physical and mental stress.
Healthcare professionals recommend drinking around 8oz water every few miles. If you hike in the summer, drink the same water amount every 30 to 45 minutes. You don’t need to feel thirsty to keep the water flowing into your body. Get a backpack with a hydration bladder, and make sure you always have water on you. You will know that you have enough fluid when your urine is light yellow. If you don’t feel to urinate, it means that you’ve eliminated all the drank water through sweat. However, you still need to drink water to re-hydrate.