How to Deal with Common Health Issues During a Bikepacking Trip: Dehydration, Sunburn, and Saddle Sores
When embarking on a bikepacking trip, it's important to be prepared for the physical demands the journey will have on your body. Three common health issues that can arise during a bikepacking trip are dehydration, sunburn, and saddle sores. Here are some tips and advice for dealing with these issues to ensure a comfortable and healthy trip.
Dehydration can happen quickly during a bikepacking trip, especially during hot weather. Symptoms of dehydration include nausea, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your ride. It's recommended to drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day. Additionally, avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can cause dehydration.
Biking for hours in the sun can result in sunburn, which can be painful and uncomfortable. To prevent sunburn, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 before your ride and reapply every 2 hours. Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeve shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. If you do get sunburned, apply aloe vera gel or a cool compress to soothe the skin. Avoid further exposure to the sun until the burn has healed.
Saddle sores can happen due to the prolonged pressure on the perineal area while biking. They can be painful and even lead to infection. To prevent saddle sores, invest in a comfortable saddle that fits you properly. Wear clean, moisture-wicking cycling shorts and avoid riding in wet clothes. It's also important to take frequent breaks to shift position and relieve pressure on the perineal area. If you do get saddle sores, clean and dry the affected area and apply an antiseptic ointment. Consider taking a break from biking until the sores have healed.
By taking these preventative measures and addressing any health issues that arise during your bikepacking trip, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable ride. Remember to listen to your body and address any concerns promptly to avoid complications. Happy biking!