Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by Trent » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:25 pm

Reading all these replies,,,, there's a couple of thing to be aware of, "injury wise".

First of all, if you're "solo" in the backcountry and have a misfortune, break an ankle, get AMS [cerebral or pulmonary edema] or something, you're going to be a "permanent fixture" there unless you have some sort of "communication" with the outside world. I carry a sat phone [Iridium] and a NOAA 406 mh rescue beacon. I've tested the sat phone in some very remote areas,,,, it's always worked.

The Park Service's "emergency" phone number [Sequoia / King's Canyon], to be used only if there's a true emergency, is 559/ 565-3195. While this may seem paranoic, consider that you may run across some other person in distress. The "Spot" things don't always work in the backcountry for some reason.

Secondly, if you have to be flown out [helicopter] be aware that they are [the Sheriff's Department, Park Service, etc] going to send you the bill. It ain't cheap, figure on $10,000 or so.

The answer to this is "Global Rescue" insurance 617/ 459-4200 []. The deal is that if you are more than 160 miles from your "home base" [your residence] they will cover the cost of your "rescue", the cost of getting you to the hospital, and if need be the cost of getting you all the way back to your home. From virtually anywhere on the planet. It does not cover your actual medical expenses, just the rescue and transportation part.

I've got it, just hope I never have to use it.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by calipidder » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:41 pm

A few weeks ago I was barely able to finish a race due to a stress fracture in my foot (was setting a PR for four miles when I stopped to 'stretch out the cramp in my foot' and couldn't take another step, hopped for the final two miles - fun times). It hasn't healed as fast as I'd hoped so I've just cancelled next week's planned 8 days of peak bagging out of Miter Basin. I've been in a pretty crappy mood since the injury, especially now that I've cancelled the trip that I've been planning since January, but reading through this thread has me grateful that it's nothing worse. I'll be off my feet a few more weeks, and hopefully back in time for my Labor Day trip into Horton Lakes (Basin and Tom, here I come). It's really killing me to miss this time of year in the Sierra, though. :cursing:

Anyways, like some others here I am fortunate that my on-trail injuries have been of the bumps and bruises variety - nothing requiring early exits or evacuations. I once went on an overnight snowcamp when I was coming down with "just a mild cold - the fresh air will help". 24 hours later, after an unpredicted storm (3 ft instead of the 2 inches in the forecast), breaking trail through fresh powder and shoveling our car out of the snowpark, I was curled up on the passenger seat in a delirium. By the next morning I was suffering from bronchitis and a double ear infection. Every time I want to go to the mountains with the comment "I'm not feeling great but the fresh air will be good for me" my husband reminds me of that trip.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by maverick » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:39 pm

Lostcoyote wrote:
how about you maverick?
you started this topic but haven't chimed in with any cuts and bruises yet - hehehe.
Have been very fortunate/lucky to not have any type of cut, bruise, sprain or break.
Hope I did not just jinxed myself. :(
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member:

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by JosiahSpurr » Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:30 pm

JosiahSpurr wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:31 pm
THE WORST ONE was altitude sickness, even mild HACE or mild HAPE, [.....] Saturday night I tried to sleep somewhere above Pear Lake. I threw up everything the first 2 or 3 times then continued to throw up during the night for about a grand total of 5 pukes. I couldn't sleep. Maybe I had a headache, but don't remember. I may have been dehydrated. On Sunday I practically crawled back to my car, [.....]
So, eight years after writing that, I remember the feeling of fluid in my lungs, like, taking a deep breath, and, instead of the usual unnoticeable flow of air, the weird sound and feeling of a rumbling sensation in my lungs. Didn't write that 8 years ago, maybe in order to forget that part. The other missing piece of the story was the realization, after the throwing up stopped, the knowledge that I had to descend to lower ground, immediately. I packed up, and took off, before dawn, if I recall correctly.

To add to my original list, I've spent two cold nights,

ONE, on Avalanche Pass, reaching it at the end of the day, in the snow, and becoming disoriented in an area I've been in several times before. Everything felt like it was happening in slow motion, with only part of my mind able to process the simplest things, with gratitude to be in a tent and about to go to sleep. Was that the time I chose to revisit a favorite area, south of Bubbs Creek, after speaking with a Ranger, who suggested going north, instead, because the south-facing slopes were warmer with less snow? Was that the time I got back to Road's End, and found a sheet of paper on my windshield, asking to let them know if I knew anything about Larry Conn? (About the time he was heading up, I was holeing up in Montecito- Sequoia Lodge, because of a forecast of a snow storm).

TWO, again Avalanche Pass. I dumped a bunch of equipment near the pass, to lighten my pack for an ascent up the extremely long, and pretty wide, too, talus slope that runs up to the top of Sphinx Crest. Well, I left the pack, on a large downed tree... went up the talus and turned around before reaching the Crest, and didn't find that pack until I returned one week later. I probably spent a few hours going up and down the talus, looking for that one dead tree, with a pack on it..... then near sunset, I booked outta there, scooped up the random pieces of gear I left near the Pass, and started booking down the trail, in November, I think. Luckily, I was able to get some sleep rather than be up all night, shivering, next to a creek crossing and huddled into the tightest space I could find under a huge downed tree. Ah, youth.

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Re: Injuries Suffered During Backpacking Trips

Post by chulavista » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:25 pm

Patellar tendonitis...lots of pain at first then healed within a few weeks.

Achilles tendonitis...little pain at first but I can't seem to get rid of it. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

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