Easy Steps for a More Comfortable Hike


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Few things are as invigorating a hike through the great outdoors. It’s wonderful to get out into the fresh air for some exercise, but be mindful of some things that can interfere with your comfort while trekking. A little preparedness can help make your expedition more pleasant.

Bug Bites

No matter how remote the area you choose to explore, you’ll never be truly alone. Crawling and flying critters are everywhere, and many are looking to make a meal out of your ankles or other exposed skin. Even when you try to protect yourself ahead of time with repellent, you’ll likely find you’ve gotten a few bites or stings as you trek. When you’ve come under attack, you’ll be glad you were prepared by having natural bug bite relief in your backpack. If you reduce the itching, pain and swelling right away then you can soothe your skin and continue your hike in comfort.

Blisters

Insect bites are inevitable, but blisters needn’t be. To prevent them, choose hiking boots that fit properly and consider wearing two layers of socks. A thin liner sock made of synthetic material can wick away perspiration, and an outer woolen sock will provide cushioning while also reducing moisture. You’ll want to act quickly if you notice discomfort rather than trying to soldier on. You should stop, remove your boot and socks, dry the area and apply protection. Moleskin, bandages or medical tape are all good options to cushion your skin and prevent further abrasion. If blisters do form, it is generally best to let them heal on their own since draining can lead to infection.

Cramps

While bugs and blisters might seem like minor nuisances, experiencing cramping while hiking may cause major pain. Hydrating before, during and after a trek can go a long way toward preventing these painful spasms. For the best protection, be sure to include sodium in what you drink. Just a half teaspoon of salt diluted in a quart of water can keep your muscles from bunching up and cramping. Sports drinks often contain an adequate amount, so they may be the easiest liquids to bring along to prevent attacks. Eating salty snacks like trail mix can also head off spasms.
Don’t let nuisances like bug bites, blisters and cramps get in the way of enjoying your time in nature. By being prepared for these troubles you can have a comfortable and safe hike every time.

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