Staying Healthy on the Trail: Backpacking Health Tips

Backpacking is a great little hobby. It takes you to new places and is a wonderful way to relax. Additionally, all the fresh air and walking around can only be a good thing for your health. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore your health on the road. You shouldn’t be lowering the priority of keeping healthy while backpacking so here is some tips that should help.

The Key is Prevention

A lot of the health troubles that can plague you on a backpacking trip are preventable and that is the key to staying healthy. Start doing things that should help prevent you from getting sick. One of the more important things you should be doing is to wash your hands constantly. In the outdoors, there are germs all over the place, and they will make you sick.

The most dangerous thing that can happen to your health while backpacking is getting diarrhea, which will ruin the experience. The norovirus which causes it can be eliminated with simple hand sanitation. Hygiene is important on the road so always remember that.

Be Careful What You Eat

What you eat and where you are eating are both very important when you are traveling. If possible, you should always eat at a place where you are sure that they have a clean kitchen and always use safe ingredients. This may not always be possible and you might be cooking the food yourself. When cooking, you should prioritize health and ensure that you thoroughly cook everything.

Besides that, while it is tempting to fill yourself with junk food, you should be eating mainly healthy foods such as nuts and seeds for your backpacking. This ensures that you have the energy to travel safely.

water tumbler

Hydration Keeps You Safe

Another aspect of backpacking you should not forget is that you should be hydrating. While on the trail, you should have a full water bottle and drink from it regularly. Hydration prevents a dry mouth, helps lubricate your muscles and joints, and keeps you cool. The best choice is simple water. Ensure that it is clean and potable before you drink it. Additionally, some energy drinks might help keep you hydrated. Check on them first before consuming them but always have some spare water bottles to ensure you have a backup.

Get Plenty of Rest

Backpacking is very energy-intensive and puts a lot of strain on your body. At the end of the day, you should turn in and get some good rest. Ensure that you have a good place to sleep so that you get uninterrupted rest. This ensures that you will wake up fully energized the next day. Invest in a good sleeping bag so that you can be as comfortable as possible, no matter what the terrain. Additionally, you should go to the restroom before sleeping to ensure that you won’t suddenly wake up in the middle of the night.

Don’t Forget About Your Dental Care

A lot of people forget about dental and mouth care when they are on the trail. It can seem strange to worry about brushing your teeth while hiking but this is still important. Bring along an unscented and unflavored toothpaste so that you don’t attract any wild animals. Before you even go on a backpacking trip, you should consult with a dentist for a checkup.

They should be able to check if there is anything wrong with your teeth and gums. Professionals in periodontics would be a big help since you don’t want bleeding gums on the trail since that might attract animals, too.

Have a First Aid Kit

first aid kit

If your efforts at prevention fail, you should always have a backup plan. This is where a first aid kit comes in. While the usual set of bandages and antiseptics should be there for accidents, there should also be medications for common diseases. Over-the-counter drugs should be enough to keep you healthy until you get back to civilization. This means you should include painkillers, cough and cold drugs, and diarrhea medication. These are the most common conditions you might face. You can also pack antihistamines for allergies and antacids for stomach aches.

A healthy backpacker is someone who can handle the challenges of the road much more easily. Taking the time to take care of your health ensures that you can properly enjoy your backpacking experience. It also helps that when you come back from backpacking, you’re ready to go back to your ordinary life with no issue. Take the right precautions so that your backpacking experience will be great all the way.

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