It is a fact that some backpackers can damage their backs by carrying a load that is too heavy. However, whilst backpacking with a bad back may not seem too attractive, for the serious backpacker giving up their beloved hobby is far worse. There are some key things which you can do if you are thinking about continuing with backpacking despite having a bad back. Some of these might help to ensure that your back is not further damaged and indeed may even help you to overcome your injury.
The first consideration is to learn the art of packing light. This is a popular topic, and you will find many resources are available in how to pack light. You should do your research and learn every trick you can on lightening your backpacking load. Note that packing light does not necessarily mean leaving things behind. It is possible to pack everything you need, if you learn the right way to pack light.
The second aspect you might like to consider is to commence some back exercises. Simple back exercises such as stretching can really help to strengthen the back. For the best advice on appropriate back exercises you should speak to your doctor. He or she should be able to advise you on exercises that will work best for your condition.
There are also ways in which you can alter your technique that help relieve strain on the back and make you more comfortable. For example, poles can be a useful tool for those with an injured back. Poles can shift the weight from your back to your upper body. By using them, you can feel great relief in the back area. It is important, however, that you learn how to properly use poles.
Another factor you could look at is to adopt certain ways of stepping that can take the pressure off your back. A local backpacking organization or club may be the best place to help you learn these techniques.
Backpacking with a bad back can be achieved. It is really important, however, to take it slow and not push yourself too hard. By using some or all of the methods described above, you should find that backpacking is easier and less painful.
The most important point to make is that not all back injuries will be helped with this advice. You must keep in mind that you should stop and see your doctor if your back pain persists or worsens despite trying everything to alleviate the problem.
Brian McGregor is a backpacking enthusiast and author. You can read about his latest ebook on backpacking and backpacking magazines, including six free backpacking gifts at backpackingtime.com/backpacking_magazines.htm
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