For a hassle-free autumn hike

2022/10/13 Home Education and advice

For a hassle-free autumn hike
Daniel Abrego Lemus Daniel Abrego Lemus Physiotherapist

On September 23, autumn officially began. This season reminds us of the changes in color of the leaves and the fresh breeze that accompanies it. The autumn period is also a great opportunity to go for a hike. With more than 6000km of hiking trails, there are plenty of options for observing the splendor that nature in Quebec has to offer. However, it should not be overlooked that this sport involves certain risks for injury that we will try to break down with the help of these useful tips.

Have the right equipment

The right equipment plays a significant role in avoiding injuries while hiking. Here are some important points to keep in mind:
• Make sure you have a lightweight backpack that fits to your size. It is recommended that your backpack has a strap at chest level as well as at hip level to offload the lumbar region and give you better support. The backpack should not weigh more than 20% of the hiker’s weight so limit the items you bring on your hike!
• Make sure you have shoes suitable for the trail. If you tend to sprain your ankles easily, make sure to wear high-ankle shoes with rubber grip to better support them.
• Bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 2L of water for hikes lasting 2 or 3 hours.
• Do you bring snacks? Eating snacks will give you the energy to complete your hike.
• Do you use walking poles? These poles reduce the load on the lower limbs and will help you maintain a better balance, especially during the descent portion of the hike.


Start your outings gradually

As with any physical activity, it is recommended to go gradually to give your body a chance to adapt. The same goes for hiking. You don’t have to start with an expert trail for your first fall outing. It is also recommended to adapt your hikes according to your physical condition.

Take the time to move between your excursions

If you have a mostly sedentary lifestyle and go for a hike lasting a few hours, your body may sustain a few minor overuse injuries. Between hikes, it is recommended to take the time to do some physical activity or to walk before your next adventure. As your body adapts to being more physically active and your newfound love for outdoor hiking, you will be more prepared when you decide to try slightly more difficult outings.

Listen to your body

It can be easy to forget about our body and our level of fatigue when we gaze at breathtaking scenery. So, take the time to take breaks to give your body a chance to rest and refuel. It is much easier to stumble on the descent once your legs are tired from the first half of the hike. Another good tip is to take a break and stretch some key muscles that may feel tight. Most muscles of the legs, such as the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteals, and hip flexors, can use some stretching as they push through to complete your hike.



If despite these tips you experience pains that last for more than a week, do not hesitate to consult one of our physiotherapists who will take care of you. They will be able to evaluate your problem and be able to tell you exactly what you need to do to make sure the injury heals properly. Don’t let an injury ruin your enjoyment of exploring our beautiful autumn landscapes while hiking. See you out on the trails!

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