I broke my wrist snowboarding a few weeks ago and found out today I will be in a cast for my upcoming Yosemite trip. I'm not asking if it is a good idea to hike with a cast because I'm doing it regardless. I was just curious if you guys have any experience with hiking with a cast of some kind?
Well that sucks. I've cycled with a leg half-cast and have had a full arm cast but never just a forearm cast, so can't say I have hiked with one.
First challenge will be putting the pack on and off. Trekking poles would be dubious, although one will be fine. Various camp chores will be harder and the whole bathroom routine will be...interesting. But as long as you're not in pain you'll adjust and adapt.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I don't know if you're familiar with the father-daughter thru-hiking team of Balls and Sunshine from Salem, Oregon. While hiking the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania, Sunshine (age 12 at the time, I believe) fell and broke her arm. They took a few days off (relatives took them to the Hershey Medical Center, where they gave her a special weatherproof cast) and then continued, completing the trail (the next year, they completed the Triple Crown) Of course her dad did most of the heavy work for her.
If you use trekking poles, you probably want to use just one in your good hand. Mostly, you'll have the wonderful experience of trying to do everything one-handed. I hope you'll have someone with you to help out!
Does your physician know you're doing this? He might want to prescribe a different (i.e, more weatherproof) cast. If it's a plaster cast and gets wet, your arm will be toast.
Not quite the same thing, but two years ago my son participated as a re-enactor in the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, with a broken collarbone, 5 broken ribs and a few other lesser injuries, two weeks after a nasty fall from his horse and less than a week after collarbone surgery (which actually helped considerably). Of course he was subsisting on extensive pain medication. He took part in two battles (wearing a period-correct sling rigged up with the help of an orthopedic surgeon member of his cavalry troop) as "dismounted cavalry." (No way was he getting on a horse again until he healed up!) Joining the Federal infantry fending off Pickett's Charge on the third day involved several miles of hiking from the cavalry camp to the battle site and back again. If he made it through, you should be able to do your hike, as long as you can cope with being mostly one-handed. Let us know how it turns out!
Edited by OregonMouse (03/23/1503:22 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
I'm not worried. I've been in this for a few weeks now I just expected it to be off by now. I have not found too much trouble doing tasks. The potential for wetting the cast is my only concern. I will talk to my doctor and see what she thinks. I wouldn't miss out on this trip for anything.
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
When my son broke his arm last summer, the orthopedic doctor gave him a brace rather than a traditional cast, and it was wonderful. We could get it wet without issue and even remove it for cleaning. You may see if you're far enough along for something like that.
In 1955 I hiked from Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass in Washington with my left forearm in a plaster cast. As I recall, the trip took about a week because we were climbing a few peaks enroute. It definitely made life more difficult but I did have the (clumsy) use of my left fingers. I tried, unsuccessfully, to keep the cast dry so it got sort of soft in places as the trip progressed. At that time I was only a week or so from having the cast removed so didn't think there might be a significant downside to what I did. I still got chewed out by the doctor when I went in to have the cast removed. Not for the last time.