There you are, moving quickly along your favorite trail. It’s been a few days, and you feel
like you’ve really hit your stride. But then you get a pain in your foot or another extremity. A cramp? Something
worse? Often it goes away, but sometimes it doesn’t. What’s up?
The above scenario has happened to me. Walking for a long time, I’ve had an experience when I got some odd numbness
in my feet and fingers. I shook it off, but it turns out that this phenom has a name:
According to this article, a study in The
Journal of Wilderness & Environmental Medicine found that over a third of backpackers hiking seven or more days
experience “paresthesias”. It is described as tingling, burning or prickling sensations. Chances are if you feel these
things while hiking you’ve got paresthesias…or gonorrhea (if that latter, I urge you to be less friendly with the
wildlife). It is usually temporary, and will go away. If you want to learn even more, read the piece.