The One Unexpected Item Hikers Traveling Should Never Go On A Trip Without

When hiking, there are some things seasoned hikers just can't live without. For some, it's comfortable shoes; for others, it's having bear spray and lots of water. But whether you've been hiking mountain trails all your life or you're just starting out, the ache your body feels afterward is the same. Sore shoulders, back muscles, calves, and most definitely your feet are common side effects of an epic hike. Heck, you might even lose a toenail or two on a hike if you really take your feet through the ringer!

If your tender tootsies are really getting banged up and you just can't find the right kind of relief, travel experts are extolling the virtues of this one little hack that will relieve the pain — and take up almost no space in your backpack. In fact, you can get this hack at any sporting goods store for cheap. Have you ever considered that a small golf ball might be the solution to your foot pain from hiking? Cris Hazzard who runs The Hiking Guy travel and hiking site, says he uses a golf ball every morning to relieve his foot pain, writing, "It hurts and it doesn't make a lot of logical sense to me, but it worked the best." Hazzard is definitely on to something, because physical therapists agree with him.

Golf ball therapy can iron out your pain

Physical therapist Peter Allan Schmitt says golf ball therapy is a great hack for relieving pain in the foot. Speaking with USA Today, Schmitt noted foot pain is caused by tissue inflammation known as plantar fasciitis, so putting a golf ball (or even a tennis ball) under your foot and rolling it back and forth can do wonders. "You're going to find there will be several sore spots on your foot, especially at the metatarsal head and in the midsection of the foot through your arch because that's where your fascia is," he told the outlet.

Whether it's a golf ball, a tennis ball, or your ball of choice, those lightweight and small items can also work on the rest of your body, not just your feet. Fit Beast Club reports that "golf ball therapy can be a practical solution for those who frequently experience muscle knots, stiffness, or chronic back pain." To effectively use a golf ball on your back without the ball dropping, we love this short and sweet Facebook video by Musica Humana Therapeutic Massage, where a golf ball is put in a tube sock and then slung over the shoulder, allowing the user to put pressure between their back and the golf ball as they press against a wall without the ball falling to the ground.