Hiking Strategies with Chronic Pain

During the last couple of years, I developed a few strategies that help me when I hike, and for life in general:

– If you have to stop all the time, you are hiking too fast. (Applies especially in climbs…)

– Take many breaks. Contradicts the previous one, but these stops are voluntary and permit you to enjoy your surroundings.

– Be grateful. All the time. Thank your Guarding Angel, Nature, etc…

– Don’t carry dead weight. That also applies in your life.

– During breaks, I will take my time to stretch as if after a workout.

– Mindfulness is an awake type of meditation that becomes very useful. I recommend you read about it and results come with practice. I especially like the body-scan method and use it to identify specific pain sources that I can try to manage. It is also useful for relaxation, and also doable while walking.

– Self-hypnosis and relaxation are great to doze off and relax. When I get into that “zone,” I can tune out the pain signals a bit. It is kind of hard to do at the beginning but with practice it gets easier. Sometime the pain is too loud, however…

– Minimize medication. I use only vitamin I and acetaminophen, but I do not overuse since it can be hard on the liver. A small dose of caffeine also helps.

– Keep your mind occupied. Hike, concentrate on your camp chores, meditate, write your daily notes, etc.

I am sure I will add more as I hike.


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Comments 2

  • Ruth Morley : Apr 9th

    Excellent list! I admire you for living life as you wish to.

    • Sly the Navigator : Apr 9th

      Thanks Ruth, it took a 10-year process though…


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