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How to Treat a Sprained Ankle While Hiking

One of the worst things that can happen while hiking or camping is getting an injury that simple first aid can’t take care of. You might be miles away from civilization and need to treat it, then walk back to where others can help you. Here are some ways to treat a sprained ankle or hand sprain while hiking or camping.

how to treat sprained ankle while hiking

How to Treat a Sprained Ankle While Hiking

I will admit it I am not the most coordinated and when I am out hiking I usually hurt myself in some way. Have you ever had an injury while hiking or camping? Here is some information on how to treat a sprained ankle while out in the woods.

R.I.C.E. treatment

RICE is going to be the most common suggestion because it is what helps the most. When you are out on a hike or camping, you can’t really get to a hospital or urgent care right away. This is why RICE is so important. It helps to reduce the swelling and pain before you are able to safely get somewhere for proper medical attention.

RICE can be used for an ankle sprain, wrist sprain, strain, and other soft tissue injuries. Here is what this stands for:

  • Rest
    First you want to rest the joint or ligament that was injured. If you sprain your ankle, you need to sit or lie down immediately to get weight off that part of your body. Otherwise, it is going to just continue hurting worse.
  • Ice
    Next is icing the area, if it is available to you. Use anything that is cold, whether it is an ice pack from your cooler, or even snow on the ground if you happen to be doing a winter hike. If all you have is a nearby lake with cold water, collect some, put it in a bucket, and put your foot inside.
  • Compress
    Compressing the sprained ankle or foot is next on the list, which is going to help reduce the swelling. If you have anything you can gently wrap around it, it will reduce swelling a lot and start to help with the pain. This is important to do before you start walking to get to the end of the trail or find help. Even some plastic wrap can work if you didn’t bring anything else with you.
  • Elevate
    You need to rest and put the limb higher than where your heart is. This elevation also helps to reduce inflammation and swelling, and will encourage the healing process.

Try to find help without walking around on your own if you can. Call out for help or use your phone to call someone.

Learn How to Put Together a Natural First Aid Kit here!

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