Bumps, Scrapes, and Bruises

I’m not proud of the fact that I’ve broken bones or gotten big blue bruises doing the things that I love to do in the outdoors. Of course, I avoid injuries…but I sometimes get beat up despite my efforts to remain safe and unbroken.

I’ve been mountain biking more lately, and the slow-speed crash was the culprit that got me on a recent trip to Fruita, Colorado. I saw the rock that I knew I’d hit. So I slowed down. But then I couldn’t get my foot out of my pedal fast enough. I tilted sideways. Slowly. Then–bam!

I landed on my side, and my left arm and knee took most of the hit. But since I was still moving–ever so slowly–I slid just enough when I hit the ground to fill the scrape with dirt and sand. I felt resigned, like I wanted to lie down and go to sleep in that spot, but my partner was beyond shouting distance, so I got back on my bike and kept pedaling as the blood began to ooze from my gritty wounds.

Luckily, we had a first aid kit with us, so we were able to clean up the scrapes and get them protected from the elements. Even so, I felt a little bit like a wimp when I wanted to turn around and go home, even when I later cleaned the wounds for a second time and saw the nasty blue bruises that I’d hide for the next two weeks under long-sleeved shirts and ankle-length pants.

Want to know more about how to clean abrasions in the outdoors?
Check out the article I wrote for the About.com Survival Skills website:
“Clean and Care for Abrasions in the Backcountry”
Follow these steps to keep minor scrapes and cuts from becoming a major problem when you’re in the outdoorsclick here to continue reading

Photo credits:
Photos © Traci J. Macnamara.

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