Backpacking Accidents

A backpacking trip is a fun and unique way to experience the sights, sounds, culture and people of any country but is often reserved for the more enthusiastic traveller. If you have chosen to backpack, your greatest tool is being well informed on potential hazards and accidents that can befall any traveller, especially a backpacker.

Accidents when backpacking cannot be avoided altogether but minimising the risk of an accident will prevent a trip to the emergency room. From walking on tarred roads to hiking down steep hills or participating in extreme sports, a fall is probably among the most common accident that any backpacker will face. Traveller's diarrhoea from contaminated food and drink, dehydration and sun stroke are other common illnesses that may befall a backpacker although simple measures and a good survival knowledge will prevent these accidents.

Backpacking alone is never advisable even for the more adventurous traveller. Apart from falling prey to criminals, backpacking with a partner or group ensures that you have familiar person should you need any assistance in the event of an accident. Understanding the local language and warning signs or using the services of an experienced guide is important in order to prevent accidents from known natural hazards. From poisonous insects and snakes, to unstable land, snow and rivers, extremes of weather and toxic plants, a medical emergency can quickly arise without a good knowledge of the landscape and natural dangers.

A heavy backpack, long treks across various terrains and sleeping under the stars may not be every person's preferred method of travel but it definitely offers a unique travelling experience. While an accident may be unavoidable even for the more conscientious backpacker, accessing the necessary services will make a difference between immediate and quality care or languishing in a poorly staffed health care facility. Most accidents may result in minor cuts and scrapes with little or no need for medical attention but a more serious accident could mean a trip to the emergency room or even hospitalization.

Travel insurance is essential for any backpacker and a comprehensive plan will cover you for any eventuality, from minor accidents to more serious injuries. The cost of a local doctor or hospitalization for a few days can be exorbitant, even in a developing country. With a comprehensive travel insurance cover, you can rest assured of quality services and specialist care at no extra cost should you fall victim to a backpacking accident.