It is not uncommon to read about rescue teams saving hikers from dangerous spots. Frequently, this is due to a lack of proper preparation on the side of the walkers. They were not prepared for the weather conditions, didn’t have a map or the necessary trekking gear. On the other hand, sometimes accidents just happen. But if we don’t follow some basic prevention guideline we may create a higher risk probability.
In Explorandes we have some useful tips to avoid accidents and injuries when trekking in Peru.
1. Know the trail
You should read about the trail you want to hike. Know the difficulty level, unique challenges, gear needed, terrain conditions, wildlife in the area, etc. All of this is necessary to prepare well and to know what to pack. In addittion, always stay on the trail. Don’t try to make shortcuts or find your own way cutting through woods because it can create a dangerous situation.
Also, never try to trek too fast. If a trek is supposed to be completed in 5 days, complete it in 5 days. Reducing time by walkig faster in uneven and difficult grouds can cause sore muscles, blistered feet or aching joints.
2. Be Fit and well nourished
It is very important that you are both physically and mentally prepared for your trek. Do some workouts or go running before the trek. Take care of medications, getting ill during a trek is the worst. If you are unwell, let others know, don’t keep it to yourself.
Make sure you are well hydrated. Take enough water and food to keep you with all the necessary energy. Taking alcohol or other toxicating drugs before or during the trek might seem fun but avoid them.
3. Know the Weather
The best way to get yourself into trouble is to ignore weather. Nowadays we have better and better technology to be informed about weather changes. Make sure you read them carefully and always be prepared for worsening of the conditions predicted.
4. Avoid common injuries
Follow these few tips on how to prevent common hiking injuries. This way you will complete your big adventure.
- Knee pain
Regularly stretching your quads and hamstring muscles can minimise tension on the joint, a common cause of pain. Also, hiking with hiking poles is extremely helpful because allow for a better distribution of weight with each step.
Unfamiliar terrain and inclines add more stress to footwear. Choose sturdy shoes that fit well and wear specialised hiking socks.
- Twisted or Sprained Ankle
Wearing the appropriate boots with ankle protection is a good place to start. Beyond that, carrying a hiking pole or some kind of stabiliser will help you balance your steps. If you need to take a seat, be sure to elevate the injury. Know how to make a proper ankle brace and take a rest day if you can afford it to let the swelling subside.