Hiking Safety: A Beginner's Guide to Injury Prevention and First Aid blog image

Hiking Safety: A Beginner's Guide to Injury Prevention and First Aid

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out on the trails, accidents happen, and being prepared is essential to enjoying your next trek. When you are off the beaten path, having what you need handy can make a huge difference, especially since you will not have immediate access to medical attention out in nature.

Mishaps on the trails can be mild, like a blister from your new boots, or extreme, like a trip and fall with a broken bone. Be ready for anything to keep yourself, your hiking partners and others you may encounter on the way safe.

Bug bites or allergic reactions to something you eat or touch are common. If you treat the reaction quickly with a topical or oral antihistamine, it should be minimized, allowing you to continue or seek help.

Tripping over tree roots and slipping over wet rocks can lead to sprains. Wearing good, supportive boots with traction and using poles for support can help prevent issues. Keeping an eye on your surroundings and changing out worn-out gear is always a rule of thumb.

Weather conditions can really affect your trip. Make sure to check ahead of time to be prepared with the right type of clothing and layers to adjust as the temperature and daylight changes. Hats protect you from sunburn, eye glare and bugs from hitching a ride in your hair. Extra socks can be helpful if you stumble into unexpected water or a blister forms and you need to adjust the friction.

Scraped skin is common in the wilderness, where protruding tree branches and terrain might be slippery or slide out from beneath you. It is a good idea to keep extra water, antiseptic wipes or lotion, and bandages on hand. When skin meets rocks, rocks always win.

Dehydration and fatigue can sometimes be unexpected. The heat or taking a wrong turn, adding unexpected miles to your trip, can really affect everyone differently, especially when you add altitude to the equation. Pack an extra snack and water in your pack, and leave some extra at your base for when you return.

Packing a backpack for a hike is a finely orchestrated event. You want to have what you need but also want to add as little weight as possible so you are not lugging heavy items for miles. Consider having a smaller travel first aid kit with a few essentials and leave heavier emergency-type items back in the car or the camp, especially if you are only going out for the day. You should include plenty of snacks, water, extra socks, a jacket and a hat for your pack. Also, remember a knife or multifunction tool, a whistle, a navigation tool, and a first aid kit.

A collagen powder or sheet is one of the most versatile items you can add to your pack for unexpected skin injuries. Clean the area with some water and antiseptic wipe to remove debris. Collagen is applied directly to cuts, scrapes, surface burns or open blisters to help stop mild bleeding and encourage the body to heal by providing the body with a boost of bioactive components to encourage the wound to close. They are simple to apply and then need a simple cover bandage on top for further protection from the elements.

A well-stocked first aid kit can make a significant difference in managing injuries on the trail. Make sure your kit includes:

  • Bandages of various sizes
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antihistamine tabs or lotion
  • Tweezers (for splinters or ticks)
  • Scissors
  • Pain relievers (like ibuprofen)
  • Blister pads or moleskin
  • Instant Cold packs
  • CPR face shield

Hiking is an adventure that offers incredible rewards, but it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected. You can stay safe on the trails by knowing how to prevent common hiking injuries and having the right gear for interim emergency care. Remember, safety comes first. Make sure someone knows where you are headed, and do not hesitate to turn back if conditions become challenging or someone is injured. Your hiking adventures can be enjoyable and safe with proper preparation and a positive mindset. Happy trails!

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About Human BioSciences

Human Biosciences, Inc. is a global biotechnology company specializing in collagen-based products for wound care management. Dr. Manoj Jain founded HBS in 1990 with Kollagen™ technology, pioneering advanced wound care with native non-hydrolyzed Type -1 bovine collagen in its purest form. Celluheal is the latest over-the-counter collagen product line, including Cellufil® Collagen Powder and Cellusheet® Collagen Sheets, because all wounds matter, even the ones you are take care of at home.

For more information, visit: www.humanbiosciences.com
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