Getting Sick On The Hiking Trail? – (What To Do About It?)

Hiking is an increasingly popular activity for both the whole family and competitive athletes.
You can hike all year round, but depending on the season and the weather, you have to take into account the different difficulties on the trail. But what about if you’re getting sick on the hiking trail? All sorts of things can happen to us on a hike, from a cold or cuts to food poisoning. So it’s a good idea to be prepared for all eventualities when you set off.

So what to do about it, getting sick on a hiking trail? Depending on what happens to you, it’s a good idea to carry a first aid kit, basic medication, or plasters. Even if you’re in good shape and properly prepared, you can’t always avoid mishaps while hiking.

What to do if I get sick while hiking?

During a hiking trip, various random situations may happen on the way. Not all of them can be avoided, but it is worth preparing for them, at least to a minimum extent. It is important to take a first aid kit with you, which will contain the most necessary items, as we cannot predict any unfortunate accidents. Our basic equipment should include, among other things:

  • 2-3 ordinary bandages, 1 elastic bandage,
  • A bandage with a dressing and a regular
  • Hydrogen peroxide or saline (in ampules)
  • Disinfectant (e.g. disinfectant swabs with alcohol)
  • Disposable gloves (latex)
  • Remedies for stomach upsets and colds
  • Painkillers (paracetamol, pyralgin, etc.)
  • Insect repellent (preferably with sufficient repellent)
  • Strengthening agents (glucose, glucardiamide, Isostar, sweet tea)

All these important accessories should be included in the so-called tourist first-aid kit, which we should always have with us whenever we set out on a trip, regardless of whether it is a hike in the mountains or other terrain. In this article, you will find information on how to prepare for a winter hike and how to immunize your body against illness, but for that, we have a great article about “How Cold Is Too Cold to Hike? – (Is It Safe?)“.

Getting sick on the hiking trail?
Getting sick on the hiking trail?

What can go wrong on a hike?

Hiking is usually a safer sport, but it all depends on the distance you want to cover, the time of year you choose, and the terrain you are hiking in. The right clothing and accessories, such as a first-aid kit, can help in the event of an unpleasant incident during a hike. Whether you get sick on a hiking trail is not entirely predictable, as these are random situations, and some of the more common situations are:

  • Foot burns and corns, happen on long trails, which is why proper shoes and socks with good quality materials are so important. It is important to have the right plasters and accessories in your first aid kit to avoid wounds.
  • The sciatic nerve, admittedly this is nothing terrible, but only a natural reaction of our body to too much and prolonged exertion. However, during a hike lasting several days, especially on uneven terrain, it can be a real nuisance.
  • Food poisoning can occur at the least opportune moment, sometimes drinking water of not very good quality is enough to have stomach problems. This is why it is so important to take enough water with you and avoid drinking water from streams or springs of any kind.
  • Fainting and light-headedness, most often occur when you are not well-rested or after not having eaten enough. Our body needs large reserves of energy and water during a hike, and these should be replenished regularly. It is important to remember to replenish electrolytes and calories, something sweet is also a good option.
  • Various types of skin cuts or even fractures. When hiking, cuts, abrasions or fractures can occur, and it is important to dress and disinfect the wound or immobilize the broken limb. If possible, get off the trail or call for help.

Depending on the terrain you are hiking in, you may encounter a variety of situations ranging from minor injuries to poisoning to fractures. However, whether you’re getting sick on the hiking trail also depends on the weather, the route, its length, and the preparation itself. We should also observe the rules of hygiene and make sure that the water we drink is of good quality and replenish the calories burned.

What do you need to do if you fall ill on the trail?
What do you need to do if you fall ill on the trail?

What do you need to do if you fall ill on the trail?

When going on a hiking trail, there are some important rules to remember that can make the difference between getting sick on the hiking trail. Winter hiking also requires special preparation, equipment, and a good immune system. Not all hiking situations can be foreseen, but it is worth preparing for them. If you are an amateur hiker, you must know these few safety rules:

1) The most important rule in the mountains, or any other difficult terrain, is to use common sense and caution – when we stick to this rule, we should avoid most dangers.

2) Let’s keep assessing the route, the weather, our abilities, the difficulties on the trail. It is not a shame to withdraw from a route if we find that the weather conditions or our health are bad.

3) Have a contingency plan for a quick descent in case of bad weather or ill health of any member of the group.

4) Inform your relatives or hosts of the planned route and time of return.

5) Avoid hiking in the rain or immediately after it rains – Wet rocks and stones become slippery which can cause slipping and consequently a nasty injury.

6) Install the “Rescue” application on your phone or any other application available for smartphones, which can help you to call for help quickly in case of an emergency.

7) Before going out, check the weather forecast – It is becoming more and more accurate, which will allow you to better adjust the time of your hike or to prepare the necessary equipment.

Of course, the rules of safety and common sense should always be in the first place, regardless of the distance you want to travel and the terrain in which the hike itself is to take place. Proper preparation and a healthy approach can have a very big impact on what you get sick on the hiking trail and what to do about it.

In summary – Getting Sick On The Hiking Trail?

We already know the dangers and problems that may befall us during hiking. And whether you’re getting sick on the hiking trail depends on several things. Above all, it is important to be well-prepared for the hike itself, to follow the safety rules and common sense. When you are properly prepared, for a stressful situation, you will know what to do about it and solve the problem quickly.

If you are starting to feel bored by your ordinary hikes then make sure to check out our new article about “Does Hiking Get Boring? – (How Long Will It Last)“.