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Tips & Tricks that may help prevent you from serious bodily harm incase you fall down

Michael aka Mac

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Michael aka Mac

One of the many dangers of winter is the slippery ground beneath your feet.  Not all ice is created equal. Black ice is hard to notice and has caused many injuries to hikers all over the world. In the end though, nothing is 100% effective to prevent you from falling and that 1 % is all it takes for you to trip and hit the ground. There are several articles of gear that I would like to mention that can reduce some of the trauma that you will incur when falling.

Spiked Cleats: There are spiked cleat boots and shoes and spiked cleat slip-ons, both use tiny metal spikes or nails that grip the ice while you are walking. One of the biggest downfalls of spiked cleats is that it will destroy hardwood floors and tiles and rugs. Slip-on spiked cleats on the other hand can easily be taken off.  These slip-on cleats can be purchased at any sports shop or online at places like Amazon and LL Bean.

Reinforced padded gloves:. These gloves have cushioning in the palms area with strong tear resistant fabric.  The cushioning in the palm area with reduce the shock to your hand when hitting the ground and the tear resistant fabric will protect your hand from lacerations.

Pants with padded knees: Just like the gloves above, these pants have a tear resistant padded feature for your knees and will prevent laceration to your knees when falling.

Trekking Pole: Trekking poles are particularly useful in winter time. They have a snow catch attachment for the bottom of the pole and the rubber bottoms can be taken off to reveal a spike like tip that is perfect for piercing through snow and ice to get a good secure footing for your pole and for yourself. Although these are not a 100% guarantee that you wont still find yourself falling, so if you begin to fall remember to let go of your poles and brace yourself for what is coming next.

The Judo Roll: This is a martial arts technique where as you are falling down, you start to twist and turn so that you end up rolling into the fall. When a person falls smack down on their face, in a matter of speaking of course, their impact to the ground is focused on the points of impact. Therefore if the first thing that hits the ground is your hand or knee for example, the majority of the force (weight combined with gravity) of the impact is directed on that initial body part touching ground. By rolling into the fall you have a greater surface area (spreading the force of impact throughout a larger area) while at the same time the rolling continually transfers the impact across your body.

Think of it as a car's breaking distance. It takes longer for you to stop if you are driving 50 mph then 25 mph The heavier your vehicle the longer it takes to stop. The force of impact driving 50 mph is more then the impact of 25 mph. Since energy cannot be created nor destroyed it has to be transferred. By rolling you are transferring the energy of the impact from a large single impact to  several more smaller impacts thus reducing a huge amount of force on your body. Think of it as having a large jar of pennies. If you dropped a penny at a time on your foot until the jar is empty  your foot would be undamaged, but drop the whole jar of pennies on your foot and say goodbye to that Big toe.

Just a handy tip: Never walk with your hands in your pockets.  This is a sure way of landing on your face in the even you fall, or a severe concussion if you hit your head.

 about the author                                                                                                                                                                                                             Michael aka Mac, (his Trail name, short for MacGyver), is a Survivalist and outdoor enthusiast with over 40 years of experience in the great outdoors. His background is in engineering & physics and he brings this knowledge into his gear inventions and outdoor experiences.  Now Michael aka Mac, when he is not in the wilderness, spends his free time as a professional outdoor Survival writer, a Freelance Gear Reviewer of Outdoor Gear & Gadgets, an Outdoor Wilderness Survival Blogger,  and teacher of outdoor non combat survival skills.

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