Health & Hygiene

Backpacking and hiking both require a high degree of self-sufficiency when it comes to taking care of yourself in the backcountry. This includes fitness, preventive physical “maintenance”, injuries, and therapies to keep yourself in top shape for the trail and off it.

Hiker’s Jock Itch: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

Great Balls of Fire!

If you’re experiencing a persistent chafing sensation in your groin that won’t go away, you may have jock itch (tinea crusis) a fungal infection  similar to athlete’s foot, common to hikers and backpackers (both male and female) that causes persistent itching, burning, cracking, and scaling of skin in the genital area. Backpackers …

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Broken Bones, Hypothermia and a Bee Sting

How to Make an Improvised Splint

The most important thing you can bring on a hike is knowledge. Scenario You and a buddy are hiking through the woods and you come across another hiker who’s lying on his back below a huge boulder and moaning. What should you do? Backcountry Medical Assistance You have a couple …

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HikeGoo Blister Prevention Cream

HikeGoo Logo

HikeGoo has proven to be highly effective in preventing blisters and calluses for hikers using a wax-based lubricant that prevents blisters and protects your feet from moisture. Rick and Carl, the founders of Foot Kinetics, developed HikeGoo after trying almost every other blister prevention product available. Scientists by training and …

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Good Samaritans on Mt Washington

Tuckerman Ravine, Mt Washington

I took part in a rescue effort last week on Mt Washington, trying to revive a man who collapsed on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, we believe from a heart attack. There were about a dozen of us altogether, performing CPR and assisted breathing for nearly 2 hours until Gorham EMS …

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Over-Pronation for Hikers and Trail Runners

< Over-Pronation Defined Simply put, over-pronation is an excessive or poorly timed pronation which is part of the regular stride. Pronation is when the foot rolls inwards and the arch compresses as part of your normal walking motion. Pronation is necessary for shock absorption to transmit forces up and down …

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Managing IT Band Syndrome

it-band-syndrome

One of my chronic hiking health issues is IT Band Syndrome. It flares up when I carry a heavy backpack for long distances and is one of the main reasons why I try to keep my pack as lightweight as possible. The IT Band (also called the Illiotibial Tract) is …

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Camping Towels

camping-towel

The main reason I bring a camping towel on a backpacking trips is to wipe down the outside of a wet tent or shelter before packing it away for the day.  It’s a neat little trick to cut down on extra water weight and leaves you with a drier shelter …

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Ibuprofen: Vitamin I

Vitamin I

  Ibuprofen (trademarked at Advil or Motrin) is so popular amongst hikers and climbers that it is often called Vitamin I. Ibuprofen is an over the counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory that can speed recovery during training or the main event. Muscle pain caused by inflammation can occur as a …

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Best Backpacking Toilet Paper

paper-towels-as-tp

The best toilet paper for backpacking is a paper towel. Regular toilet paper just doesn’t stand up to the humidity. I like using Brawny paper towels: they’re scored down the middle of each sheet, so it’s easy to tear off a half sheet. When I pack my toiletry kit for a …

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