Hiking is a lot of people’s favorite pastime and for a good reason. Your body gets physical and mental benefits from hiking regularly. However, hiking is not always sunshine and rainbows.
When you always hike, you’ll notice that you encounter things often. Here are eight of the most common hiking problems and how you can prevent or solve them.
Your body is doing a lot of work, especially on longer hikes. Some hikes will take you up to altitudes or will make you hike under the intense rays of the sun. In both situations, they can make you sweat, which means that you’re losing water. If you’re not careful, this can lead to a bad case of dehydration.
You should make sure that you don’t sweat more than the sweat you produce during your hike. Otherwise, you’ll find your performance during the walk affected by the lack of water in your system. You may start feeling dizzy, or fatigue will set in quicker.
You shouldn’t only drink when you’re thirsty. See it to that you keep yourself hydrated during the entire hike.
Fatigue is a difficult challenge to overcome. After all, a hike can be mentally and physically exhausting. Once it sets in, it will be difficult to fight off, so you should avoid fatigue as much as possible.
When you get fatigued, you’ll find that your backpack is more cumbersome than it should be, and it’s harder to move.
The best way to avoid fatigue during a hike would be to have adequate rest. Sleeping is the best way for your mind and body to get the rest it needs. Aside from rest, your body also needs sources of energy. Thus, you should eat well and have meals with plenty of calories to give you that energy you need for a grueling hike.
Your feet will often experience blisters when you go on a hike. The reason why you may be getting blisters can vary. It can be because of ill-fitting shoes, keeping your feet wet, or having dirty feet. All of these can cause blisters. Therefore, you should address them during your hike.
One way to do that is to ensure that you break in a pair of hiking boots before you wear them for a harder trek. Also, don’t wear hiking boots that are too tight that air can’t pass through inside. You should also take breaks and let your feet breathe once in a while. While you’re at it, you should clean them as well.
When you’re hiking up and down heights and a variety of terrain, your feet and legs do most of the work. Of course, this means that your knee joints are also going to suffer when you go hiking.
Your knees have to struggle with balancing your weight as you hike on various trails. This can cause knee pain when you’re not careful.
The more you walk on knee pain, the harder it becomes for you. The best way to prevent knee pain in the first place would be to invest in the right trekking poles.
Trekking poles will help you spread the weight around more so that your knees aren’t doing most of the work.
You should also be aware of your limits when hiking. Although you should test your limits to improve, you should still listen to your body. Gradual success is always a success.
When you’re hiking, there will be moments when you experience your feet or joints starting to get sore.
As a hiker, you should be more mindful of your trade tools, which would be your feet. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see the sights or reach the heights that you could have if you took care of them.
Wearing proper-sized shoes is a must. You should also avoid overpacking when you hike. The weight of your pack will affect your feet. You should also pamper your feet when you’re on a break.
You should also be conscious of your posture while hiking. That’s because it can affect your feet’s condition.
Exposing yourself too long under the sun can damage your skin. Hence, you need to protect yourself against it.
One of the most common skin damage is sunburn. Sunburns can be sore and painful to touch. Luckily, you can prevent it by wearing sunscreen.
You can also wear sunscreen on a cloudy day. That’s because the clouds will not stop the UVA and UVB rays from penetrating your skin.
It is crucial to prepare for allergic reactions when hiking. It does not matter whether you have a pre-existing condition or encounter a plant that triggers an allergic reaction.
Bring your medications with you for the hike, no matter what.
Do your research on the area where you’ll hike. Look at what problematic plants you should avoid, and wear long sleeves and pants to prevent brushing against them.
Acute Mountain Sickness
When you’re climbing up high altitudes, you should prepare for acute mountain sickness or altitude sickness.
The key to avoiding AMS is to slow down your ascent so your body can acclimatize. You might also want to get pills that address altitude sickness.
You should also call it a day when you start getting AMS, as it will only worsen if you continue. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Much like anything in this world, hiking comes with its set of struggles. From body pains to altitude sickness, there are concerns that you’re going to need to plan for so you can finish the hike.
When it comes to these hiking problems, prevention is still better than a cure. Therefore, make sure that you prepare for these beforehand so that you are better able to handle them.