I have recently scratched my skin near the knee. There was some bleeding, but I didn't hurt anything vital. I am planning a long weekend-hike (starting 4 days after the injury).

When I bend the knee while walking, I am disturbing the injured skin. I don't know how that will feel during the hike. What can or should I do to minimize pain and any possible harm?

  • 3
    If the 'scratch' is so extensive that 4 days of care does not close it up, it isn't a scratch. And remember that abandoning the planned hike and returning early is always an option.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 10 at 14:58
  • 2
    'Tis but a scratch! Commented Jan 10 at 15:09
  • 3
    You might want to have a doctor look at it if your scratch is still bothering you after three days, so before you are leaving.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 10 at 17:54
  • Sounds more like an abrasion rather than a scratch. SE sites in general can't provide medical advice - legal liability and not being your physician so can't assess the problem sufficiently. That being said, the general treatment for injuries of this sort is keep it covered, take pain relievers as required (beware that these can mask other injuries, such as joint pain from limping) and monitor site for signs of infection (redness, swelling, hot to touch, pus, fever etc.).
    – bob1
    Commented Jan 10 at 19:32
  • It's important to keep it clean while you're away, if the skin hasn't healed by then - which it should have done at least partially. I've found ambulance dressings for more effective than anything adhesive near joints that are in constant motion, especially if you're sweating (for example when I've come off my bike and have to finish the ride or even just ride home). But if it's actually painful that suggests rather more of an injury
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 11 at 12:01

1 Answer 1


Of course, it depends on the specifics. On a general level, here are some points to think about:

  • During hiking, you don't really bend the knees that much. It's only the steep parts where you need to bend the knee to sharp angles.
  • If you need to bend the problematic knee for one step, you can usually make an additional small step, and then use the other leg for your high step.
  • Trim your clothes to prevent rubbing. The weather here is warm enough to not require long pants, so use pants which don't cover knees. If it's too cold for that — I don't know.
  • Of course, as mentioned in comments, have a reasonable plan to bail from the route (like always, but more probable in these circumstances).
  • Doing non-hiking activities is surprisingly annoying! Try to wear or remove boots without bending a knee. Try to enter/exit a sleeping bag. Possible but annoying.
  • This is general information and useful, but it does not tell us how it worked out (still+1). Did you feel the need to see a medic or doctor before you left, were you able to finish your hike as planned?
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 17 at 18:50
  • No and yes. The general feeling is that it's mostly inconvenience but not dangerous or severely limiting. The route was 50 km in 2 days.
    – anatolyg
    Commented Jan 17 at 19:29

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