3 Most Common Injuries for Bali Travelers


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Frequent motorcycle injuries experienced by travelers such as fractures, bleeding and fatal death.

Due to many travelers who are just learning to drive a motorbike go straight to the highway. For example, in rural areas where the road is damaged, it will become a trigger for accidents.

Riding a motorbike in Bali is commonplace for many foreigners, even for those who never drive motorcycles in their own countries. Most of them rent motorbikes in tourist areas like Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud.

This came to the attention of Bali Police after they recorded four deaths of foreign motorcyclists in the first four months of this year. Riding a motorbike abroad is different than in Bali. In Indonesia, vehicles located on the right side of the vehicle are on the left.

Don’t worry now the police have followed up on this incident such as checking Caucasians whether they already have a driver’s license, and the police always patrol the places where accidents often occur.

Besides driving accidents in Bali travelers also often experience accidents while climbing the mountains and surfing.

The first thought when it comes to hiking injuries is of course ‘prevention.’ Injuries are an unfortunate inevitability of hiking. It’s therefore important to not only know how to prevent them, but also how to treat them. And try as you may, it isn’t always possible to prevent every single thing in life, with certain risks and an element of luck factoring into the equation while hiking.

As such, at least two people in your hiking party need to know some basic first aid when venturing into the outdoors. You should have adequate supplies in your backpack that can tackle any eventuality. Knowledge of how to identify various injuries and conditions is also very important. Likewise you’d do well to understand how to best prevent and mitigate common ailments and accidents.

The most common hiking injuries are:

  • Blisters
  • Sprains
  • Cuts
  • Hypothermia
  • Hyperthermia
  • Dehydration
  • Sunburn
  • Bug Bites

Blisters are one of the most common hiking injuries and are caused by friction between your skin and ill-fitting socks and/or footwear.To prevent blisters from forming, ensure your sock doesn’t slip up and down when you walk. Your hiking boots should fit tightly to prevent your foot from moving around or rubbing against the inside. However, they shouldn’t be too tight either, and should allow for a little extra wiggle room if you like putting on thicker socks, or two pairs, for winter hikes. Furthermore, your boots should be broken in at least somewhat before embarking on your journey. Nobody recommends picking up a new pair at your local outdoors store and immediately hitting the trail.

Keeping your feet dry is also important in preventing blisters. To this end, ensure that you have two or three spare pairs of socks so that you can change them if you happen to step in a bog hole. And it goes without saying, but make sure you have those spare pairs adequately waterproofed inside your pack as well.

How do I treat it?

If you do get a blister (it happens to the best of us), you may want to act quickly to prevent any unnecessary discomfort, and to stop the blister from getting any worse.

If you have a sterilised needle at hand, pop and drain the blister. Apply disinfectant and then wrap it up with a bandage to minimise the risk of infection. Personally I wouldn’t recommend peeling and cutting the skin away just yet, although there are differing schools of thought surrounding this practice. It’s unlikely that you will have a sterilised needle while you’re hiking. Don’t try to pop a blister with anything that is unsterilised as you will risk the wound getting infected. Instead, use a blister plaster or wrap it tightly with a bandage to avoid any further irritation through friction.

Everyone has their own preferred method of blister treatment, with some of these extra options doubling up as preventative measures as well. For example, many people also use moleskin, corn pads, medical tape, duct tape, wearing two pairs of socks at once, wearing woollen socks and using petroleum jelly or vaseline. By the way – vaseline is also very useful toward preventing and treating chafing while walking long distances. Finally, for certain routes some hikers can easily get away with trail runners and sneakers. High-lacing hiking boots are inherently stiff and not always 100% necessary. Perhaps this is for the more experienced walker out there, but it is one way to have a more comfortable journey in terms of preventing blisters and lightening the load on your feet.

The most common type of sprain to occur whilst hiking concerns the ankle.

Prevention of this is simple: good hiking boots with sturdy ankle support and taking care and caution when placing your feet on uneven ground. Hiking poles are also a good option due to the extra stability they give you whilst walking. As I said in the last point regarding blisters, it is only ever advisable to wear sneakers or trail runners if the trail permits this safely without unduly increasing the risk of sprains, of course.

How do I treat it?

Sprains are part and parcel of hiking, no matter how cautious you are.

Follow the RICE procedure should spraining occur while out on a hike:

  • Rest – Take any weight off of the sprained ankle immediately as this could do more damage to it.
  • Ice – You probably won’t have an ice pack with you to treat this hiking injury. There are three things that you can do to replicate this step instead:
    • Use packed snow to cool the injury.
    • Submerge the ankle in cold water, such as a river or stream.
    • Soak an unneeded t-shirt and wrap it around the swollen ankle.
  • Compression – Apply compression using an elastic bandage or another unneeded t-shirt. Make sure that circulation isn’t impaired by the bandage being too tight.
  • Elevation – Raise the ankle above the injured person’s heart.

You will eventually need to start walking again to get home from the trail. Use walking poles to create a makeshift splint to stabilise the ankle and get help from your hiking buddy to hobble down the trail.

Hypothermia is one of the most serious hiking injuries. Preventative efforts should be made such that you never get to the treatment stage. Hypothermia is the cooling of your core body temperature.

You can take many steps to prevent hypothermia, including:

  1. Plan your hiking trip properly, allowing for sheltered or semi-sheltered rest stops instead of halting in the open wind and elements.
  2. Know your route so you aren’t stopping and checking your map too frequently.
  3. Use equipment and wear clothing that is suited to the weather that is forecast.
  4. Keep yourself dry as much as possible.
  5. Keep your backpack and its contents dry.
  6. Ensure that at a bare minimum, you have 100% waterproofed spare warm clothes within your backpack.
  7. Pack an emergency shelter such as a tarp, ‘hootchie’ or even a ‘bivvy’ bag if you intend to travel on routes where distances between permanent shelter points are particularly long.
  8. Include a space blanket (tin foil sleeping bag, effectively) in your first aid kit if you are hiking during winter, in a region subject to blasting tempests or in a climate prone to sudden, cooler weather and rainstorms.
  9. Bring a high visibility vest or similarly bright marker panel with you in case you need to signal to emergency rescuers in poor visibility which is associated with colder weather.
  10. Have a flask of warm drink, such as hot chocolate or something else sugary, and keep your hunger levels low to ensure that you have enough energy.

How do I treat it?

Recognising hypothermia is the first step.

Do this through following the ‘umbles’ – stumbling, mumbling, fumbling and grumbling.

The person may stop shivering – this means that their body is shutting down and no longer reacting to the extreme cold they are feeling. Call mountain rescue immediately.

Ensure the person’s clothes are dry. Get into a survival bag (sleeping bag or space blanket) alongside the patient so that your body heat warms them up.

Give the patient a hot drink to warm them up. If it gets to a stage where the person loses consciousness, every effort should be made to warm them up as they now only have a 50-50 chance of survival at this point.

Surfing is a safe sport, but like in sports or other physical activities, injuries can occur. Surfers constantly come into contact with water and their boards, near sandy or rocky obstacles.Waves are the nature of surfing, and run as a whole from small lappers to large walls of water. Accidents can occur at various surfing sizes, how do you minimize the risk of injury?

First of all, if possible, exercising before surfing is a long way to get a fit body to knock and move muscles and joints suddenly. This can help you avoid things like lumbar sprains, cervical damage, dislocated shoulders, knee and ankle injuries. Fractures can also occur when the body comes in contact with hard surfaces with too much strength.

The most severe wave injury is caused by a surfboard (67%). The fins, nose, tail and rails can hit your head, eyes, lips or ears and that means pain and blood. So, whether you go out or kick the waves, think of the surfboard as a weapon, and handle it carefully. Lacerations can be avoided by good protection, and also by practicing risk avoidance, especially near the docks or on coral breakers. Risk can be managed. Stepping into the red zone doesn’t make you a hero.