Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » sore throat after long backpacking trips?

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Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F - M

Locale: norcal
sore throat after long backpacking trips? on 08/14/2013 22:50:10 MDT Print View

I've noticed that my throat is sore/dry after I come back from long trips of 15+ miles per day.

This weekend it was REALLY bad.

It almost feels like I have a cold.

Anyone else have the same issue?

What did you do about it?

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
Re: sore throat after long backpacking trips? on 08/15/2013 00:00:17 MDT Print View

yea.. my remedy is to create as many new nonsense threads on BPL as I can.. very soothing

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: sore throat after long backpacking trips? on 08/15/2013 06:13:57 MDT Print View

Mouth breather, or allergies? Other than that never heard of this,

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: sore throat after long backpacking trips? on 08/15/2013 07:30:08 MDT Print View

Post nasal drip + cold, dry air maybe. LOL at Jason G ; ).

Edited by jshann on 08/15/2013 07:30:41 MDT.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
dry air on 08/15/2013 09:15:35 MDT Print View

Same thing happens in airplanes. I think it's the dry air. Solution is to breathe humidified air at lower elevations---or get out of the airplane.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F - M

Locale: norcal
Re: Re: sore throat after long backpacking trips? on 08/15/2013 09:21:24 MDT Print View

I breath through my mouth...

If no one else has heard of it I'll just talk to my doc... most of these things are common so maybe it's just me.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: dry air on 08/15/2013 09:26:36 MDT Print View

Yup dry air, plus at least partly mouth breathing. Prolonged exertion in low humidity gives me a painful sore throat. Don't have much experience at altitude but the little I do have suggests higher elevations exacerbate the problem.

ETA: Hard candy or throat lozenges help. Honey too, if you ever take it.

Edited by spelt on 08/15/2013 09:37:38 MDT.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"sore throat after long backpacking trips?" on 08/15/2013 10:34:19 MDT Print View

I know any time I'm out overnight and it's chilly (and in Alaska, that's most nights even in the middle of summer) I wake up puffy and hoarse with a runny nose. It's been a while since I've done more than a weekender and I can't recall now whether that went away after a few days or not. In your case, it sounds like it doesn't show up for a few days.

Chad B
(CenAZwalker) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: dry air on 08/15/2013 12:55:10 MDT Print View

"Prolonged exertion in low humidity gives me a painful sore throat."
"mouth breathing"
I would agree with this.

"ETA: Hard candy or throat lozenges help. Honey too, if you ever take it."
Honey works wonders for a sore throat. Just ask my grandma.

Edward Jursek
( - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
sore throat on 08/15/2013 23:18:32 MDT Print View

I have the same thing happen to me. Not sure why, but it happens pretty consistently.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
sore throat after long backpacking trips? on 08/16/2013 18:07:48 MDT Print View

Does it matter whether you breathe through your nose or your mouth?

Yes it does.
Nature gave us a filtering system called a nose. The nose helps to regulate the volume or air we breathe. The nose cleans, warms and humidifies the air preparing it for the lungs. The mouth can do none of this. If you breathe through the mouth there is a drying of saliva leading to an increase of bacteria in the mouth and throat which can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and sore throats

Google search .(1.3 SEC)

peter vacco
( - M

Locale: no. california
Re: sore throat after long backpacking trips? on 08/16/2013 21:45:02 MDT Print View

and if one is not already in fantastic shape, yes, it will happen.
just as if one is starting out a new (and brutal) workout regime, it's going to be a few weeks before you feel like you don't have a "cold".
new to distance running ? ? = same thing.
Frank is probably right, in it's being bacteria.
i don't know the mechanics of it, but a really good romp + not being in stellar condition = fun and a sore throat.

once you are in decent shape, and you are making enough horsepower to hurt yourself, and beginning to enjoy it, that is when you will be loading your system hard enough to make your throat hurt. it's all good.
it happens reliably enough that i keep a bottle of listerene in the car to deal with it. (helps a great deal to hit it early)

i ordered your e-myth book.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: sore throat after long backpacking trips? on 08/18/2013 00:21:59 MDT Print View


My experience. When hiking with a buddy, we talk A LOT, catching up. If he is in the lead, then he stirs up dust and as I'm blabbing I'm also inhaling a lot of fine trail dust.

At the end of the day, do you find that you have black dirty booger mucus in your nose?
it dries up the throat, coats it with trail dust, mouth is open, talking a lot, the friction irritates and inflames the throat. It's not an infection, but the dryness and friction could strip away the slime that coats the throat, which usually protects.

I also notice that when I'm in the lead, and my buddy is following, no inhaled dust for me. Throat is fine.

Solution is to:
1) keep your mouth closed or wear a bank robber bandana over your mouth.
2) talk less
3) don't follow the trail dust too close
4) if you must follow close and talk, then regularly take tiny sips, gargle, to rinse the throat dust accumulation.

Edited by RogerDodger on 08/18/2013 00:25:07 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Yer drinking gear on 08/20/2013 20:19:07 MDT Print View

Bacteria on your hose mouthpiece, bike bottle spout or bottle top will eventually give you a sore throat. Turkey hunters have this problem if they don't sterilize their mouth calls after use.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: dry air on 08/20/2013 21:03:20 MDT Print View

Spelt nailed it. I have the same trouble at times too. Aggravated by allergies that plug up my sinuses and force me to breathe through my mouth.