On a recent day hike in Sicily I arrived back into Palermo and realized my fingers and hands were swollen.
I had spent the day cleaning up trash on a local mountain. It was a hot day, at least a hot day for my Irish head.
The above photo is a quick example of how my fingers and hands looked. It mightn’t look too extreme but it’s a strange sensation, akin to pins and needles.
Unrelated but if you’re interested about my hikes and cleaning mountains in Sicily, check out this video:
What Causes Swollen Hands When Hiking?
There are plenty of causes that could be unique to each person such as your sodium and electrolytes levels, your blood pressure or circulatory issues.
Of course, it goes without saying that if the swelling persists after your hike then consult a doctor but for the average person having your hands swell during or after a hike isn’t something you need to worry too much about.
How to Prevent Fat Fingers and Swollen Hands When Out Hiking?
I hike a lot so when I got a swollen hands in Sicily I was quite surprised. I had to think what had I done that was different?
And, really, it’s was very simple. I usually hike with two trekking poles. On this day hike, I didn’t.
So usually when I hike both my hands are elevated to at least waist height and usually my arms are at an incline too; meaning the blood can’t pool in hands.
That is the simplest solution: Hike with trekking poles!
Here are some of our favorite trekking poles if you need a pair.
Besides hiking with trekking poles or just elevating your hands every now and then. Make sure you drink plenty of water but the ideal drink would be an electrolyte solution. Many hikers use NuuN tablets, these can just be dropped in your water and taste great too.
Hiking in heat also increases the chances of getting swollen hands.
Not much you can do to control the temperature but if you know you’ll be hiking in heat maybe make sure you have poles and/or electrolytes with you.
Getting fat fingers and swollen hands after a hike isn’t something to be alarmed about, it happens to plenty of hikers out there. So keep hiking and if in doubt just bring your poles.