Hiking is a great socially distant activity for people of all ages and activity levels. With the wide range of hiking trails throughout our region, you can easily find a good fall hike for your family.
But beware! There’s risk for common hiking injuries such as twisted ankles and uncomfortable blisters. Let's take a look at the most helpful tips for preventing these common injuries while you're hiking.
1. Wear long sleeves and pants
By wearing clothes that cover most of your body, you can avoid bringing your uncovered skin in contact with plants like poison ivy and poison oak. About 85% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy, so it's a good idea to avoid coming into direct contact with it. The coverage will also protect you from scrapes and cuts that may happen along the trail.
2. Wear shoes that fit correctly
What you wear on your feet is just as important as the rest of your hiking outfit. Wearing hiking shoes that fit make exploring more comfortable and will help prevent blisters.
Blisters occur when there is friction between your skin and an object, like your shoes or socks. The friction causes fluids to collect between your irritated layers of skin and swell, eventually tearing open and causing pain. Ouch!
If it's not too painful, try to avoid popping or draining blisters. Leaving the skin intact helps protect from germs and promotes faster healing. Otherwise, blisters can become infected and require a trip to urgent care.
3. Pack the essentials
When you head out on the trail, be prepared for anything. Pack your bags strategically so that you have everything that you'll need for the day, but not so heavily that you'll be weighed down during the hike. Don’t forget plenty of water, healthy snacks and a small first-aid kit.
Your first-aid kit should have supplies such as band-aids, antibiotic lotion, gauze and bandages so that you can provide treatment for minor injuries at any time. You'll also want to bring sunscreen and bug repellant to prevent sunburns and bug bites.
4. Know where to find the nearest urgent care
When you go on a hike, be sure to know where to find your closest Indigo Urgent Care clinic. If you or anyone in your family gets a minor injury along the hike, you can relieve stress by knowing where you’ll go and that our team can help. Indigo Urgent Care locations even have onsite X-ray, in case you need it.
Going on a hike is a wonderful way to experience nature and get outside with your family. Be prepared so you can enjoy the trails and create memories that will last forever!