Hiking is an enjoyable and favorable pastime for many reading this and beyond. Exploring the wonders of nature while staying fit and healthy is something that many of us enjoy doing. Citizens and tourists in the United States are spoiled for choice when it comes to hiking trails and national parks; there are around 423 national parks throughout the country, each abundant in its own charisma and natural beauty.
When choosing to go on a hike, it is very rarely a spur-of-the-moment decision. Planning where you are going and on what day is essential; you do not want to get caught out in stormy or unsafe weather. At the same time, you will need to consider what types of items you will need to take with you on your hike. This can include the likes of snacks, first-aid kits, and everything in between.
For the most part, you complete your hike relatively unscathed. You might come out with a bit of sunburn or a bug bite, but nothing too serious. That being said, several common hiking injuries can strike at any moment in your ventures. We would be right in saying that you want to know how best to treat or avoid them.
Read on to learn a bit more about these common hiking injuries, and head out on your explorations as prepared as possible:
If you are anything like us, this is the first thing you think about when considering the injuries or ailments you could pick up while on a hike. Blisters are caused by considerable and consistent friction between your skin and your footwear or socks. Generally speaking, they are relatively easy to manage but can become painful and irritated if ignored for prolonged periods of time.
When heading out on a hike, ensure the footwear you are wearing fits correctly and that you have thick socks on. Both these measures will minimize the chances of you picking up a blister while keeping your feet warm. At the same time, it might be worth taking along some blister plasters on your ventures to use in the event that you pick up a blister while out and about.
- Muscle Cramps and Injuries
Injuring muscles in any part of our body is easier to do than most people think, especially when out on a hike. We have all rolled our ankles once or twice and certainly sprained them in the process! Hiking throughout national parks and other areas of outstanding beauty can include walking along trails and paths that are filled with jagged rocks. Ensuring you go careful while hiking in these areas and taking your time in particularly rocky terrains.
At the same time, muscle cramps are incredibly common ailments to strike when out on a hike and can happen at any moment. While several underlying medical conditions contribute to muscle cramps, dehydration is one main culprit for causing muscle cramps, particularly when on a hike.
While we would feel confident that you are taking adequate amounts of fluids on your hike with you – especially in relatively arid areas – you should make an effort to take the same amount with you in any other climate too. Staying hydrated on your hike will minimize your risk of getting muscle cramps.
That being said, there are various other ways to know how to prevent muscle cramps while out and about in nature. Drip Drop compiled a helpful guide detailing all you need to know about preventing muscle cramps, useful for while on a hike and in other aspects of life as well.
Having enough fluids on your hike will not only minimize the chances of you picking up muscle cramps but will also ensure you do not become dehydrated. This takes us to the following section.
Many of us have experienced bouts of dehydration in our lives, even if we have not thought that was the case. While there are various situations in which one might feel dehydrated, going on a hike with minimal fluids is a sure recipe for this to happen.
Dehydration happens when your body is losing more fluids than what is being taken in; incredibly common while out hiking due to your body sweating and there being minimal fluids available in many national parks across the country. While nothing stops you from drinking from rivers and streams, you risk ingesting various bacteria that could upset your digestive system somehow.
To avoid becoming dehydrated while on your hike, ensure you have taken adequate amounts of fluids with you. Establish whether there are places along your route where you can refill your water bottles, including rest stops and other associated locations. At the same time, it is worth taking rehydration sachets and the like with you as well, to use at times when you or someone else might be experiencing symptoms of dehydration.
Acting swiftly in moments like these will ensure there is no lasting damage to your internal organs while ensuring you can continue hiking and enjoying yourself.
- Cuts and Scrapes
It goes without saying, but these are certainly the most common result of going on a hike. While you might not intend to pick up a cut or scrape, they are inevitable when hiking in areas that are filled with different terrains. Tripping and falling over rocks, tree branches and trunks, and other things are prevalent, even when as prepared as possible for a hike.
As mentioned previously, you should make an effort to take a first aid kit on your hike with you. Within this first aid kit, you should include various bandages and band-aids in different shapes and sizes. At the same time, it is worth having some antiseptic and antibacterial ointment on hand; this can be used to clean out your wound of any foreign bodies, like dirt and gravel.
While this guide has detailed only a handful of the common injuries from hiking, we hope it has given you a better idea of what to expect when heading out and about. No matter where you intend to go or at what time of year, make sure to be as prepared as possible. Without worrying about handling any injuries, you are free to enjoy yourself and take in all that mother nature has to offer!