Protecting Your Spine When Backpacking Around The World

Protecting Your Spine When Backpacking Around The World

Did you know that many of our injuries are the result of the biomechanical misalignment of the body? This results in problems like back pains even among adults. What can be considered alarming is that conditions like back pains is becoming more prevalent in children and teens. What can you do to protect your spine when backpacking around the world? Here are some things to consider.

Being Prepared.

A contributory factor to the cause of severe back pains is the use of overweight backpacks. This cannot be taken for granted considering that it can have a negative impact on your spine. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the United States, over 7,000 people are rushed to the emergency room every day.

Based on statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 3.7 million Australians are suffering from some form of back problems. This is an alarming 16% of the population for the year 2014 to 2015 alone. So when backpacking around the world, here are things to consider:

  • Get to know the trail – obviously, you will encounter different trails around the world. Getting to know the characteristics of the trail based on the specific season you are planning your trip will help you gauge whether you are fit enough and have the right skills to proceed with your trip. Some trails will be more difficult to manage when the weather is less than ideal.
  • Proper footwear – by knowing the trail or terrain you will encounter on your trip, you will be able to use the proper shoes and socks combination. Not only will this help you avoid getting blisters, but having the proper foot support will lessen the possibility of putting unnecessary strain on your back.
  • Right backpack – a pack that is specifically fitted to your type of body also lessens the strain that it exerts on your back, neck, shoulders, and hips. This holds true regardless of the weight of the pack you are carrying. A pack that comes with a hip belt lessens the weight placed on your shoulders and back. Remember to never overload the pack.
  • Endurance and health – although backpacking around the world is extremely fun and enjoyable, it is necessary to have the right endurance and health before you go on the trip. Part of the preparation is building up your endurance, flexibility, strength, and balance. Stretching before you go on hikes will also protect your body.
  • Dehydration – regardless of the weather, it is always a good rule of thumb to be properly hydrated when you backpack around the world. Carrying enough water and keeping your body hydrated is also one way of staying away from injuries and protecting your spine.

Protecting Children

Regardless whether you are planning to take your child on your backpacking adventure or not, it is important to protect them from the back pain trend currently experienced by youngsters. The problem arises from the uneven weight that these youngsters carry in their backpacks including the improper way of using it, like just having it hang on one shoulder. Why do we see so many children carrying heavy backpacks to school experience back pains?

The cause of the pain experienced by 60% of these students can be attributed to the weight of the pack. In a study done in Italy, it was discovered that the average child has a pack that is equal to 39 pounds being carried by a 176-pound man or a 132-pound woman carrying 29 pounds.

This affects youngsters because they are forced to alter their posture just to balance the heavy pack on their backs. Many are seen leaning forward from the waist with their shoulders round and head in front of the body.

When the backpack hangs on one shoulder, there is a tendency to lean towards the opposite side to balance the weight. If the same posture adjustment is adopted when backpacking around the world, this will put stress and pressure on the spine joints including the discs located between the connected bones of the spine.

Why do we need to protect the spine? In case you haven’t realized it yet, the spine protects the nerve system of the body. When subjected to frequent injury, the nerve system becomes irritated resulting in headaches, neck pain, and back pains. On the long term, these conditions may become permanent.

Most doctors would agree that the chronic neck and back pains experienced by both children and adults is due to the improper posture that puts a stress on our spines. As the improper posture becomes the norm, the chronic pain will be carried from childhood to adulthood.

What to Do

With the aim of protecting your spine when backpacking around the world, what can you do to avoid back pains? According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), prevention can be done by:

  • Ensuring that the weight of the backpack should be maintained at 5 to 15 percent of the body weight. This should be strictly observed for children. The heavier the pack, the more you are prone to lean forward to support the weight and stress your back.
  • The bottom of the pack should not go beyond 4 inches from your waistline. When the backpack hangs too low the weight on the shoulders increases and travels to your back and spine.
  • Choose backpacks with individualized compartments to effectively balance the contents. Bulky and pointed objects must always be stored as far away from your back so that it will not injure you.
  • Getting the right backpack size will help protect your spine. There is a tendency to carry more items when there is plenty of room available. This makes the pack heavier and exerts more pressure on the spine.
  • There is a reason why backpacks have 2 shoulder straps – so use them simultaneously to avoid muscle and neck spasms including lower back pains. The wider and more padding the straps have, the better it is.
  • Adjust the shoulder straps to ensure proper fitting for both young and adult. Loose straps can cause pain and spinal misalignment.

As you prepare for your trip, it is important to have a full grasp on the need to protect your spine when backpacking around the world. If you need advice for staying spinally-fit in Australia, let Complete Chiropractic help you today. Make the call!

Some People Are Betting To Fund Their World Travel!

The only bet that never loses, is the one that involves a bet on the stupidity of punters. Human beings remain a gullible collection of bipeds, despite all that scientific invention. It seems we never give up on that dream of that bag of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is probably why so many of us still believe in a god and some sort of heaven. Religions have been cashing in on the naivete of human beings for millennia. If we want to believe in something we will not let any facts or contradictory evidence get in the way.

Some People Are Betting To Fund Their World Travel!

So, when I hear about some people betting to fund their world travel, I am naturally suspicious about the veracity of these claims. There are Facebook pages, apparently posted by anonymous poker players playing their way around the globe via their winnings. No proof is offered to back these spurious claims up. Matched betting is another, supposedly, sure fire way to beat the system and fund your free and easy travelling lifestyle. This is betting for and against the same result with bookies and the exchange to cover your bet.

Matched betting, in the twenty first century, is dependent upon all these offers of bonus bets provided by the online bookmakers. In the narrative provided as proof by one blogging punter I researched it took five days to generate a hundred pounds. At that rate working for a living becomes an incredibly lucrative alternative. Beating the system with a mathematical sure fire thing remains a dream that fascinates many at some point in their lives. The easy way will always appeal at some juncture in time.

Gambling demands time and attention; it is something more suited to a number crunching algorithm than a feeling human being. World travellers live on the periphery of the communities they visit and it is this tenuous connection that may make something like gambling attractive to them. When people are more plugged into their community, through friends, family and employment, it is less likely that gambling will play a large part in their lives. Heavy gamblers hide their real inclinations to the people around them, when they are in the grip of an addiction to gambling. Lies and hidden behaviours are all symptoms exhibited by problem gamblers. World travellers escape the notice of their peers and connections back at home. Don’t believe the bullshit stories about gamblers who beat the system!

Aesthetic Tourism: Top World Destinations

Aesthetic tourism is an ugly business, to coin a bad joke; of course, that is only my opinion. It is all part of the middle-class quest to live and look like celebrities and the very wealthy. Aesthetic tourism (god knows who came up with that moniker) is travel motivated by destinations offering cheaper cosmetic surgery, in the main. Most usually, these are countries located closer to the third world than the developed nations. Asia and South America are continents commonly visited by tourists seeking cheaper medical procedures, hopefully carried out by competent medical professionals.

Aesthetic Tourism: Top World Destinations

Stories abound about people journeying in search of a smaller nose and returning minus their looks and health. One of the things that makes medicine much more expensive in the west is all that medical insurance. Medical tourism involves putting your trust in the hands of cosmetic surgery trapeze artists without the safety net. Getting your teeth fixed, capped and whatever else in Thailand, may be considerably cheaper than your local dentist, but if things go wrong I know where I would rather be. Australia has some of the best dentists in the world, and the great majority of dentists are extremely well trained and equipped.

The bargain hunter will always seek to bag big game in the exotic realms of places heavily populated with poor people and loads of corruption. They will employ tunnel vision or blinkers to focus on their own needs and be blind to the overall injustice happening in that country. Tourism of all sorts feeds in lands like this, with relatively wealthy westerners swanning about amid the poverty and declaring, “isn’t it charming!” It takes great ignorance, on their part, to look the locals in the eye and smile with benign insensitivity at their circumstances.

Aesthetic tourism is not travelling to distant lands to look at beautiful things. It is travelling blind to these places, with only a concern for what they hope to see superficially in the mirror. It reminds me of the evil queen in the Snow White story, asking, “who is the fairest in the land?” Even that name sounds suspiciously racist to my adult ears. In the twenty first century the evil queen and Snow White would be getting boob jobs done in Cuba and India. Their smiles would be whiter than white; and all that dentistry happened in the Cayman Islands or Malaysia, I am sure.

Dining Under The Stars: Backpacker Fine Food Preparation

Experiencing the great outdoors, traditionally, involved skimping on the gourmet gastronomic side of things. Camping around the fire was about cans of beans and, maybe, a strong mug of tea. Today, this is not always the case, with dining under the stars: backpacker fine food preparation a tasty new surprise. Where there is a will, there is a way, as the saying goes. Clever cooks have been adapting their repertoires to the basic camp kitchen and the open fire. What results is not only fine food, but the very best of what really fresh produce can offer.

Dining Under The Stars: Backpacker Fine Food Preparation

The roots of cooking are, of course, in the ancient world, where the elements of fire, water, earth and air were at their most basic manifestations. Whatever style of cooking, slow or fast, outdoor backpacking in the wild need not mean tinned slop and processed foods. What is required is the know-how and the ability to adapt to a more primitive setting. There is nothing quite like the joys of flesh, whether fish, fowl or beast, cooked over coals in an outdoor environment. The taste of really fresh food, eaten under the stars, after a day of exercise from bush walking and/or canoeing is exquisite.

Lateral thinking is required when the chef is adapting his, or her, menu to the simple expressions of fire available when camping. The truth of the matter is that human beings are heavily influenced by custom and tradition when it comes to cooking and eating. We like to repeat what our forefathers and mothers did, when it comes to things like cooking, camping and eating. Adaptation is often seen with sceptical eyes, when considering what and how we cook. Remember it is all a great adventure.

Home comforts need not be left behind with our other cares and concerns when we travel outdoors on holiday in the wild. Going bush does not have to be a culinary sacrifice, when backpacker fine food and dining under the stars is on the menu. Utilising the ingredients in the environment, where you are traversing, is another special experience. Whether it be the natural vegetation, game and produce, this can be a stimulating taste sensation to enjoy on the hop in the great outdoors. Indigenous foods can be an exciting new discovery for tourists to partake in, whilst visiting their lands. It does involve the guests not being too squeamish and stretching their envelope when it comes to their palate. Witchetty Grub anyone?