Backpacker magazine consults NOLS Wilderness Medicine Curriculum Director Tod Schimpelfenig on how to prevent and treat the 10 most common hiking injuries and illnesses. Based on years of data collected on NOLS courses, the top 10 medical incidents that occur in the backcountry range from blisters to abdominal pain and allergic reactions.
“In the backcountry, anything can go wrong at any time. Unfortunately, ‘anything’ is hard to prepare for. We dug into the numbers from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) database of medical incidents to figure out what you really need to worry about out there. Here’s how to save your trip—and maybe even your life.”
The top 10 hiking injuries and illnesses identified in the NOLS database include sprains and strains; abdominal pain; allergic reactions; nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; toothaches and chipped teeth; frostnip and frostbite; flesh wounds; blisters; cuts and scrapes; burns; flu-like illnesses; genito-urinary issues; and broken or dislocated bones.