By Jeff Sheppard 03 Jul 2021 no comment 685 Views

Last week we gave you five tips to protect your musculo-skeletal system when you’re out camping in your tent, RV or cottage.  But did you know that what you pack can affect your back?  These tips will help you choose what you need and carry it properly.

Select your gear wisely.

Make a list of what you need and check it twice.  Depending on how remote your campsite is, you might not be able to drive to town for something you forgot.  And do you really want to spend your time driving into town when you could be relaxing and having fun?

It’s just as important not to bring too much.  If you’ve got a whole bunch of things you don’t need, you’ll be doing a lot more lifting, bending and carrying.  You’ll be straining your back for no good reason.  It’ll also be harder to fit it all in the car for the drive home.

This is equally true for any vacation where you are taking luggage.  The less your luggage weighs, the less your risk of strain or injury hauling it around to the airport, train station, or in and out of cars.  Take only things you’ll use!

Learn about the campsite before you pack.

If you know what facilities are available on site, you will be better prepared for what to bring.  For example, there’s no point in packing electrical appliances to a site with no power.  If you can rent a canoe from the campground, you might want to leave your kayaks at home.  If a cabin comes with a stove included, you won’t need to pack your Coleman.

Plan your activities.

Having an idea of the sorts of activities you’d like to do while camping will help you decide what you need to bring with you, and what can stay at home.  For example, if you’ve got badminton, lawn bowling, and croquet, pick one instead of bringing all three.  Or, if you think you’ll be too busy hiking, swimming, fishing, and boating, maybe you don’t need any of those games.  Think realistically about what you’ll have time to do.

One exception:  make sure to pack something that you can do indoors if it’s raining, like a card game or collection of ghost stories.

Lift and bend properly.

When you’re setting up the campsite and unloading the car, remember to lift and bend properly.

Keep your back straight and bend at the knees.  Hold objects close to your body.  Don’t twist your body when you’ve got an object in your hands.

Ask for help if the object is heavy, bulky, or oddly shaped.

If you’re working on the ground – hammering in tent pegs or starting a fire with tinder and kindling – get down on your hands and knees instead of bending over awkwardly.

Plan to arrive well before sunset.

Setting up a campsite is a lot harder in the dark.  Give yourself time so you’re not racing to get everything done before sunset.  Pace yourself and take breaks when you need to.

Come see us if you feel sore.

Even with the best preparation, you might still get a few aches or a little stiffness.  It’s easy to overdo it when you’re having fun in the summer sun, travelling long distances, and sleeping in unfamiliar places.

If you’re a little tender when you come back from camping, call Sheppard Chiropractic Centre at (506) 635-8182 or (506) 847-7172.  We would be happy to help you out.

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