It’s Time To Get Back To The Basics
Depending on how crazy you are, hiking never really stops in Colorado, but whether you’re one of those year-round-mountain crazies or just looking to climb your first 14er, there are some basic first aid tips everyone should know. So if you’re not familiar, keep reading! We want to pass along a few tips that’ll keep you a little safer out there.
First and foremost, we’ve got to mention hydration. Many who visit Colorado don’t realize the effect altitude has on the body. You can be the king or queen of your cycling class in Chicago, but once you get to altitude all that changes. The decreased amount of oxygen in the air will cause you to breathe more rapidly and lose water. Experts say that your normal body fluid loss may be 2x greater than normal at altitude. So always, always bring more water than you think you’ll need.
The next tip we have is if you’re allergic to wasps, bees, or other insects bring your epi-pen and educate other members of your party how to use it. Lots of Colorado’s trails have little to no cell service, not to mention that first responders need extra time to get to you on the trail.
Okay, now for something a little less serious: minor cuts and scrapes. If you happen to fall on the trail and begin to bleed, wash out the wound with some drinking water, and dress it with fresh gauze (alcohol wipe or antiseptic cream can be used as well). Don’t use stream water or any pools of standing water, these can contain bacteria that’ll infect your wound.
Sprains. Many of Colorado’s trails require thoughtful footwork, and that means we’ve all sprained our ankle at least once on the trail. If a sprain occurs lean on a friend or use a walking stick to help you off the trail then remember the RICE method — rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
And as always be mindful of the sun, the weather, and don’t ignore your body if you feel hot, dizzy, or tired.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any tips for us? Let us know in the comments below!