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Hiking Injuries

Hi Guys!

My name is Sophia Martin and I am a 4th year Industrial design student from Massey University Wellington, New Zealand.

I am doing my major research project on Hiking/Tramping Gear.

I want to know if you have had a hiking injury before? (this could be from a sprain to being rescued or even lost).

What experience you've had and what gear you you wearing and what you could of done to prevent this?

If you could email me(if you want to be anonymous) or post on here. I would love to hear your experience and feedback about current gear.



Hi Sophia,

There are several things you may want to take into account before doing a survey like this if you want your results to be more useful.

Your question is a bit too open ended, which will require you to be subjective in deciding what you want to take out from each story.... and will likely end up in more than a few fallacies arising from cause/effect relationship misappropriations.

I would use one of the many online tools available to generate a more focused survey.

Many people have suffered injuries while in the outdoors ranging from blisters, to broken bones, or death... the latter you dont have to worry about as they are unlikely to complete your survey ;)

Perhaps set a time frame for injuries to narrow it down, or allow people to discuss multiple injuries. One recent, and perhaps one "major" or outlier injury regardless of time frame.

Ask people to rank severity, and then give them a chance to rank to what level environmental factors, gear performance (or failure), failure to prepare, or pure happenstance came into play. Then offer an option for a brief description of the gear used which is being blamed to some degree for said injury.

A survey will likely result in more people participating, giving you a broader sample size, and ultimately more validity.

or you can just ignore my suggestions :)

Hi @TJ1984

Thanks for you suggestions. I think thats a much better option and will hopefully post one up very soon!

I have been around a few injuries over the years.  Most common are burns are camp fires, blisters, sunburn, and a few sprains.  I have seen two people cut their feet with axes.  I have had a guy bury a fish hook in his hand. I broke my femur in 2007 and was given a 50/50 of making it to a hospital which was many hundreds of miles away.

Equipment and protective gear can help with the simple things. For sprains and broken bones people need to understand first aid. Carry Ace bandages and duct tape for making splints. Do not kids or people using alcohol anywhere near an axe.

Sophia, go to the Arthur's Pass website where you can find SAR reports going back a few years. Most of the injuries are leg and ankle due to falls. If you've ever been down there you know what the terrain is like. I don't have the link, but you can find it with Google.

Arthur's Pass is in the Southern Alps on the South Island of NZ if the rest of you are wondering what I'm talking about. It's notorious for bad weather and trail conditions. Very easy to get lost or fall if you aren't paying attention. I spent a few days there in a hut waiting out a bad storm many years ago. The hut system in NZ is a real life saver, btw. Nothing like a nice warm hut with a fireplace or stove. Few of them are fancy, but they are far more comfortable than a tiny tent.

While searching, I came across a story from 2004 about a tramper using UL gear who died while solo in the Mt. Aspiring park. The story focused on his gear, lack of notice to friends of where he was going and lack of experience in NZ (he was from the UK). You can find it in the June 2004 issue of New Zealand Wilderness on the NZ Mountain Safety Council website.

Hey Tom,

Just had a look at the website and the reports. This is great! And I will also look into that article. Definitely appreciated!

Not all "hiking injuries"will trigger SAR.  One can splint an uncomplicated arm fracture and get to a hospital unassisted, unlike the same fracture in a leg.  On the other hand, not all SAR "victims" are injured; many are lost or merely delayed.

For people that frequent remote country, especially climbers, mountaineers and horse people it is worth considering outdoor emergency air insurance. My mule wreck cost me $8,000 out of pocket in addition to the $7,000 paid by the insurance company.

People love the Spot devices, or a satellite phone can be a life saver in the outback.

In the old days it was much riskier. I remember coming off a horse and rolling under him when I bailed off uphill.  The lead rope got stuck under his bung hole. We were 40 miles from the trailhead and did not even have a cell phone.  Luckily I could get back on and ride out.


January 17, 2021
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