Since August is almost over, summer beach days, water sports, and warm weather fun are about to be just a memory until the next summer, unless you are from a warm state or country. Luckily for me, I live in Kansas City, where it’s the perfect time of the year for a hike in the great outdoors!
Image courtesy of blanscape at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Before heading out on any hike, be sure to check with your prosthetist. You’ll want to ensure that your fit is perfect for your desired level of activity, that all components are working as they should be, and that your overall prosthesis is fit for the challenge.
What to Bring
Depending on your amputation level and interface, you will want to bring a few things along to help you with this hike experience – especially if it is your first one.
First of all, bring a friend or several to join you on your hike. A friend provides safety in numbers, as well as someone to share the scenery and the fun!
Bring a good set of adjustable hiking poles, especially for hiking in rugged terrain. These help with both balance and even assistance with creating power while ascending, and breaking while descending.
It is important to wear proper foot wear. In this case a pair of lightweight, supportive shoes is best. The bottom of the limb takes a lot of force with extreme activity. A good set of shoes can help decrease some of the shock on the body and the limb. After all, if you only have one ankle, you obviously don’t want to injure it!
Always carry good quality prosthetic socks of a couple different plies. This is a crucial element when volume management is required, especially during high activity.
For more information about Knit-Rite soft socks, please visit our website.
Have a small container of chafe guard or barrier cream handy. This can be used to manage specific points of friction that may occur once temperature and sweat levels increase. Socket fit may be fine on a day-to-day basis, but hiking on uneven surfaces can create a lot of different pressure points that may not be present during normal daily activities.
Bring a small Allen wrench or any other useful tools for adjusting your prosthesis. While making your own alignment adjustments is not recommended, having the ability to tighten a bolt that may somehow have worked its way loose may be the difference between hopping and walking back from the trail.
And here is my personal favorite one – don’t forget all-time favorite fix it item: duct tape. We all know that there are 101 things duct tape can fix, and a prosthesis can be one of them! Whether it’s repairing a suspension sleeve that is torn on rocks, an unexpected broken foot or even an emergency suspension method, duct tape can get you out of a jam.
Image courtesy of Yongkiet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Finally, remember the important things that all hikers should carry with them; such as a sturdy back pack, all important water and perhaps a nutritious snack for the trail.
Enjoy Fall season and don’t forget to safely hike and explore!