Friday, July 22, 2016

7 Camping Tips That Will Save Your Back This Summer

Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA)

Summer weather is here! This means there are more opportunities to go outdoors and have fun. One activity that many of us look forward to in the summer months is camping. The fresh air, a well-lit campfire and a dip in the lake are difficult to resist. But preparing for camping is just as important as enjoying it. Be ready for the unexpected.
 
Camp grounds and parks allow us to enjoy a large variety of recreational activities, which is what makes it a summer favorite. Preparing and organizing packing ahead of time can help you manage the unexpected and tackle challenges as they arise. We want to help out all our campers this summer with some useful tips to follow before you load up the tent and strap your canoe on the roof of the car1: 
  1. Test your gear to ensure it works. Before packing materials in your vehicle, test your equipment to ensure it works and do so safely.
  2. Plan for activities. Plan your activities in advance to ensure that you have the right equipment and are physically ready for the challenge.
  3. Familiarize yourself with your upcoming campsite. Learning about the facility and what is available to you helps you prepare in advance for what to bring.
  4. Make a list and check it twice. Preparation is key! Make a list of the items that you may need, but consider what is truly essential. Packing extra weight can put a strain on your body, so be discerning and keep things light.
Like many other events in your life, camping can pose a number of risks to your musculoskeletal (MSK) health. Preparing for the challenges ahead can also help prevent potential injuries. If you plan on doing any activities during your camping trip such as hiking, biking, or running, it is a good idea to see your chiropractor in advance for tips and advice on how to physically prepare yourself when outdoors. Here are some tips to consider:
  1. Support your back. From packing to pitching the tent or while on a hike, keep neutral curves in your spine while keeping your core engaged and active. (See our blog on how to maintain good posture.)
  2. Mind the lift. Remember to bend from the hips and knees while using your legs to lift. Keep a neutral spine and use your entire body to turn. Pivot from your feet to move your body.
  3. Pack light. Carry only what you need, and avoid excess. This can help prevent fatigue and strain from packing, hiking, or even canoeing. Being a minimalist can help prevent injuries.
Are you going camping this summer? Perhaps you have some exciting summer adventures planned. We would love to hear about them! Tag us in your posts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag #CCASummer!

References

1Woodbury, Shari. “How to prepare for a family camping trip.” Family Share. https://familyshare.com/1926/family/how-to-prepare-for-a-family-camping-trip