Backpacking is a growing recreation. Thousands of people, every year, saddle up and set out on isolated trails to appreciate the beauty of nature and to meditate in its serenity. Backpacking is essentially free, but is a great way to break away from work and take a break from the mundane, everyday routine. However, when exploring the wilds of nature, maintaining one’s health is of the utmost importance. Hikers are always reporting backpacking-related accidents that could have easily been prevented, had the hikers been more prepared. By taking along the appropriate products, you can ensure personal safety on your next hiking adventure.
Below is a list of five of the most important products to keep your health strong while backpacking.
When walking through the beautiful forests of a national park, backpackers often neglect basic hygiene routines they normally practice every day. Keeping clean hands, washing the face, and cleansing open wounds are as important on a backpacking expedition as they are anywhere else. Certain pathogenic bacteria can live in heavily wooded or tropical regions that your immune system is not regularly exposed to. Infection risks increase when exposed to pathogens on a hiking trip because the immune system may already be weakened from overexertion. It is imperative to use hand-sanitizers, soaps, hydrogen peroxide, and other sanitizing agents to prevent disease contraction.
When walking for long periods of time, the body becomes dehydrated at accelerated rates. Areas that people like to backpack (mountains, forests, etc.) often exhibit conditions that drain fluids from the body such as humidity, heat, and altitude. Without proper hydration, the body begins to malfunction and dehydration can quickly lead to blackouts, heat strokes, and even heart attacks. An adult male should normally drink about three liters of water per day, but when backpacking for several hours in inclement conditions, this number jumps to four or more liters of water daily. When sweating, the body also loses precious electrolytes necessary for the body’s metabolic processes. Drinking fluids with carbohydrates and electrolytes will replenish the nutrients sucked from your body.
3. Sun Block
Skin cancer is caught by unprotected exposure to the sun. Additionally, if skin is exposed to the sweltering sun for extended periods of time, severe and painful burns will occur. High proof sun block should be applied on the face, neck, arms, legs, and any other areas of skin exposed to the sun’s UV rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with an of 30 or greater.
Dirt and sunlight will dry out the skin, and dry skin can crack, leaving breaks in the skin’s surface. These skin breaks are painful and may permit pathogens to enter the body, causing local infections. Having moisturized skin is an important safety precaution that can prevent nasty, painful sores and infections. Regularly apply moisturizing lotions on the hands, face, and any other areas that become dry.
Walking for several hours with extra weight on your back proves arduous on the feet. A backpacker’s feet can succumb to a host of conditions such as blisters, sores, and chafing. These result from the continuous friction of the foot’s skin under moist, sweaty conditions. A gold standard for preventing blisters and chafing while backpacking is the application of powder to the feet or other susceptible areas of the body (i.e., the armpit). Talcum powder and cornstarch are effective means of keeping high-friction areas smooth and blister-free.
Byline: Ryan Trenal suggest visiting www.bodyglovehawaii.com to plan your next exciting trip.