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Most Common Hiking Problems And How to Avoid Them
Published: Dec 27, 2020
Even if you are prepared and have packed everything you need, you should know about the precautions, and problems that a hiker encounters. You can't just say that since you brought a first-aid kit with you, you don't need to worry anymore. You should also prepare for potential problems, and practice before you hike.
Common issues when hiking include dehydration, fatigue, blisters, altitude sickness, and shoulder pain. These can be intercepted by doing warm-ups, sleeping, rehydrating, and eating. Some common mistakes include hiking in intense heat, hiking without a companion, and off-trail hiking.
This is just a sneak peek of the problems and mistakes that a hiker faces. In this article, we will be focusing on the troubles and their prevention when hiking. We will also talk about the different mistakes that some hikers make without knowing it can lead them to a negative aftermath.
Common hiking problems and how to avoid them
Some of the most common problems that hikers experience include (but are not limited to) dehydration, fatigue, arch pain in the foot, blisters, altitude sickness, and knee, low back, and shoulder pain. These can be avoided by stretching, applying preventive measures, sleeping, rehydrating, and eating properly.
Here's how to prevent the following common hiking problems from happening.
When traveling under the heat, we tend to be thirstier than usual. Apart from the exertion of our muscles, we are also sweating. For this reason, we should drink plenty of water to quench our thirst. Dehydration will likely be experienced in this condition.
You can take oral rehydration solutions, or to prevent thirst, you can just drink water bit by bit on every break you take when hiking.
You will feel drained and tired if you are experiencing fatigue. It is advisable to prepare your body in fitted condition before you hike. Yes, exercise can bolster your capacity, but sleep can aid you gain this strength.
Water and food are essential too. So, have enough rest, and eat well before you go. Remember to take breaks if you feel tired when hiking.
- Arch pain in the foot
This can be felt at the bottom of the heel or arch. What we can advise you is to sufficiently stretch your feet. This will aid your feet be in a good state for traveling for an extended time.
From our small research, blisters appear because of heat and friction. If we are traveling for a long period of time, our feet are exposed to surfaces that cause them to rub or lead to friction. To avoid this, you can put blister tape on the affected area before you hike.
Blisters also pop out when you are using trekking poles. So, you can put wrist straps to prevent these from appearing on your hands.
- Altitude sickness
This happens if you hike to a higher altitude too fast. We advise you to check up with a doctor on what medicine you can possibly take if you experience this before you go hiking. If you know your limits, try to slow down, and reduce your hiking time to deter the consequences.
- Knee pain and swollen hands
The most common problem that a hiker encounters. In this kind of activity, your knees and feet serve as the main driver in all of the traveling aspects. We suggest you use trekking poles. It will work as another foundation, and will support your knees.
Trekking can also help you treat swollen hands by twisting them in your hands.
- Shoulder pain
It occurs if your backpack's weight is not properly distributed in your body. Meaning that your shoulders are all stressed and compressed, which causes you to feel pain. To prevent this from happening, we suggest you pack your things properly by layer, and tighten the straps, so that the weight will be dispensed correctly to your hips and body.
- Low back pain
It occurs if you sit for a long time. We suggest you warm up and stretch before you go on a hike. Aside from stretching, it is recommended to be physically fit and in good physical condition when hiking.
Common mistakes that hikers do
There are common mistakes that some hikers are not aware that they are practicing. These include hiking in extreme weather conditions, drinking inappropriate fluids, packing junk foods, wearing jeans and slippers, off-trail hiking, and hiking alone.
Hiking in extreme weather conditions
To be specific, during hot seasons. If you expose yourself to intense heat, you will not only experience dehydration, but it can lead to more dangerous effects. Take note of the season where the temperatures are most likely to increase tremendously.
Another factor to consider for your hike is the time of the day. Early in the morning and after sunset can ensure you cooler temperatures.
Drinking inappropriate fluids
Hiking will surely result in you being thirsty, as you are employing a lot of body exertion throughout your adventure. So, drinking plenty of water can help you recover the fluids you lost from your sweat.
While water is the best option to choose, sodas and other sweet beverages are not advisable to take on a hike, as they can dehydrate you.
Wearing jeans and slippers
Not only these, but also outfits made out of cotton fabric. The first thing that will bring you the inconvenience of these is the weight. Packing these outfits will be adding an extra load to your backpack. Another issue is that jeans will not allow you to move smoothly and easily.
Finally, slippers and flip-flops lack full coverage of your feet, and thus cannot protect them.
Wrong choice of food
We prefer you to bring trailer snacks and other nutritious food that can give you strength while hiking. Remember that this activity needs a strong and wide endurance to keep on going. Therefore, packing junk food is inadvisable, as it can only contribute salt to your body.
If you are not knowledgeable of the place, it is better to avoid hiking off-track. Apart from the fact that it can depart you from the right way, it is possible that you'll get injured, or worse, fall. You can also damage the plants and any living beings in the surroundings, as you are walking against them.
Hiking without a companion
From our perspective, and even based on the advice we got from professional hikers, you shouldn't hike alone. There will be no one to help you if accidents happen. That's why it is really advisable to go with a partner, group, or at least to inform someone that you are going to hike. It will help them know where you are going. And also, don't forget to tell them about the possible range of dates you'll be out.
Hiking is not just an all-time enjoyment. There are numerous things that you need to bear in mind before, meanwhile, and after you engage in this activity. Knowing the problems ahead of time can help you know how to prevent them, and how to be prepared for the remedy you can use or apply.
Also, be attentive to the common mistakes that most hikers unnoticeably enact, but which are usually newbies' errors. Just by knowing these essential factors, you can avoid accidents and injuries, as you go on with your hiking escapade.
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