Ah the great outdoors! Summer is here! Let the camping adventures begin! Sitting by the fire with friends and family, roasting marshmallows, reading a good book, playing in the water, fishing at the lake, listening to the birds sing when you first wake up… sounds pretty great doesn’t it?

While there is no doubt that camping has all the right ingredients for a good adventure, the fun of it can be disrupted if you don’t take care of your back properly. For this month’s newsletter, we’d like to offer 3 easy tips (or perhaps reminders!) that you can use to protect your back and your mobility.

ONE: PACK SMART
Given the need to bring a little “home” to your campsite, it’s natural to overpack and want to squeeze your supplies into a small number of containers or boxes. The problem with this, however, is that the heavier those few containers get – the harder they are on your back.
You can protect your back by being selective about what you take and using more containers with less weight in them.

TWO: USE PROPER BENDING, LIFTING, AND CARRYING TECHNIQUES
Setting up camp can be physically demanding requiring lots of bending, lifting and carrying. As you set up your tent, carry supplies, make a fire and other activities needed to get set up, remember the importance of protecting your back by squatting down and bending at your hips and knees only. When you’re lifting, bring whatever you are going to carry close to your body and straighten your legs to lift it up. Using these movement techniques will help to increase your enjoyment and reduce distracting strains or injuries.

THREE: SLEEP WELL – INVEST IN GOOD BACK SUPPORT
Sleeping on the wrong surface can cause back pain that can take away your chance of having a good time. To maximize the possibility of sleeping well and feeling good in the morning, invest in a good air mattress and air pump. The investment you make can a real difference in your back health and the overall positive experience camping can provide.