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The last two weeks have been busy, balancing work, family, making new gear, dehydrating food and a final thru-hike shakedown on the Superior Hiking Trail with an amazing group of women.
I plan to post on our trip prep soon, but am starting with an update on my previous post about Hiker’s rash. It’s neck and neck with Make your Own Ultralight Backpack for most popular spot on the WP Blog as of today. As odd as it may be to write about your rash on the internet…by putting it out there, I’ve realized that this is a condition that affects a lot of people, without much medical info on treatment or prevention. Sharing has been encouraging and has also dispelled my fears about it.
As I mentioned on my previous post: I AM NOT A DOCTOR and ANYTHING that I share here is only based on my personal experience and you should consult your physician for ANY medical issue….NOT this blog.
Just to be safe, I did have some official testing done by my primary care doc to rule out any underlying health issues during a regular visit. All tests came back negative…so, thankfully, it’s not anything more serious.
I posted a question on a couple of Facebook groups I’m in, looking for anyone who had Hikers rash and had successfully dealt with it for consecutive days hiking or backpacking on the trail. Typically, I take a day to recover whenever I have had it, so I was a little worried about it showing up on a long trip.
I received close to 200 responses ranging from “oh, that’s what that is”, to switching to drinking only ionized water and changing my socks or laundry soap. A health reporter from The Duluth Tribune interviewed me for a story and published this helpful article with more information on ‘exercise induced vasculitis ‘ from a local nurse practitioner from the area. Hope it helps shed some more light on this annoying medical condition!
The most encouraging advice was from a couple of Thru-hikers who had this condition and told me that their rash resolved itself on the trail over time and with regular leg soaks and antihistamines. Whew! I was starting to get a little concerned that this would affect my comparatively short 2-3 week hike. That’s what I needed to hear.
In addition to the remedies in my original post, here are some of the suggestions I’ve tried since or will be filing away for future reference:
- Soak legs in cold water ASAP and frequently during hiking breaks.
- Elevate elevate elevate. I now try to to get my legs up after a long hot hike, or during breaks.
- Don’t stand around, keep moving or elevate!
- Apply Aloe Vera Gel. This may or may not work, cold water is better
- I think compression socks help, just make sure they are not SUPER tight and that they breathe.
So, today, I’m not on the trail, camp or in my cubicle. I’m babysitting another dehydrator full of food and taking this opportunity to slow down a little and be exactly where I know I’m supposed to be.
Enjoy this last month of Summer and keep those boots (or shoes) dirty!