Hiking is generally a safe pastime but there are certain situations that can cause injuries when hiking, and it is worth being prepared to avoid accidents.
Be aware of the terrain as slips, trips and falls are one of the most common ways hikers have an injury. Be ready for when you have to stay out as a result of injury from your fall. Have enough kit to stay hydrated, warm and dry.
Due to the danger of injury from falls, trips and slips you should refrain from hiking alone to avoid being stranded. Often trips, falls and slips happen when coming downhill. Slippery rocks and wet leaves can also cause a decrease in stability so make use of hiking sticks or poles.
Heat-related including dehydration
On a hot summer afternoon you can end up suffering from heat exhaustion. If you feel the following symptoms when hiking, it is likely that you are suffering from the condition:
Taking rest, eating and keeping hydrated is the best solution. Heat stroke is an extremely dangerous condition and can lead to confusion and lack of consciousness; cooling down the victim as soon as possible is vital in this case.
To avoid these conditions pace yourself, rest, try to plan your hike out of the hottest hours, drink lots of water and take food.
To avoid sunburn apply a block half an hour before you go out and reapply every couple of hours. Wearing a hat to protect your face and light layers to cover the skin is also helpful.
At night or at high altitudes the temperature can drop and cause the body to cool with it. This can lead to confusion, poor judgement and in extreme cases hypothermia can cause unconsciousness and death.
To prevent this have warm clothes available in layers and keep dry with good waterproof and wind-proof jackets. Keeping hydrated and avoiding alcohol as well as eating regularly will also help.
Blisters may not be as life threatening as some of the conditions mentioned here but can be extremely painful on a long hike. To avoid blisters, wear good quality boots that are a good fit. Break in your shoes if they are new by wearing them around the house. Quality of socks is important as they will help against rubbing that causes the blisters. Have plasters available to treat blisters when they do occur
Insect bites and stings
In an area where there are lots of bugs, near water for example, it is a good idea to wear repellent. Don’t go near bee or wasp nests and if you do get bitten use a pain reliever.
If you are injured on a hiking trip and it is someone else’s fault then you can claim for compensation, and calling Accident Advice Helpline, on 0800 689 0500, should be your first step in the process.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice