Is it just us, or does the air feel a little crisper than usual? Hooray – it’s fall! Here in beautiful Alabama, one of our favorite ways to enjoy the season (besides football games, hot chocolate, and pumpkin spice everything) is to take a long hike through the golden-orange woods. Read on for tips about hiking with a prosthesis!
Before you set off down your favorite trail, make sure you talk to your prosthetist about your plans. You’ll probably want to stop by and have them check the fit of your prosthesis, as well as ensure that everything is working the way it should be.
It’s also good to be certain that your prosthesis can withstand the activity you’re about to participate in; some are made to hold up under tougher conditions than others, so a pre-hike prosthesis checkup is definitely in order!
Supplies for Hiking with a Prosthesis
Depending on your amputation and your level of physical fitness, you may want to wear or bring the following things:
- Appropriate Footwear. Supportive, lightweight shoes are a must for hiking! If you are a leg amputee, your sound limb will endure a lot of shock during your hike, and a good shoe can help absorb some of that shock.
- Chafe Guard or Barrier Cream. With temperature increase and sweat production comes friction, and even if your socket fits perfectly during everyday activities, hiking can create new pressure points due to the uneven terrain.
- Adjustable Trekking Poles. These can help with balance (which can be tricky, given all the roots and rocks in your way!) and with power/braking assistance as you go up and down hills.
- A Multi-tool with Allen Wrenches. Ordinarily, we really do not advise you to adjust your prosthesis on your own – but if a bolt works its way loose on the trail, the ability to tighten it up might be the only way you can walk (as opposed to hop) back to your car!
- A Friend. While a solitary walk in the woods might sound appealing, the last thing you need is for something to happen that leaves you stranded – alone. Choose wisely and take a friend along. After all, a hike is more fun when you share it with someone else!
Need Advice? Call BioTech!
Here at BioTech Limb and Brace, we specialize in answering questions and meeting needs. Limb loss is a life-changing experience, but it certainly doesn’t have to mean that the fun’s over! Contact us if you’re looking for ways to recognize all your new possibilities. We’re always here to help!