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Day Hiking with an ileostomy  

Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

I am a new ostomate (1 month since surgery) Yesterday I went on my first hike and of course if something could go wrong it did.  After 1 mile I had a blow out and needed to change my Hollister drainable one peace pouch.  It was about 35 degrees and the stoma paste was just this side of frozen.  The good news after struggling to get things changed I did complete the 6 mile hike.

What I am looking for is any recommendations about choices in appliances 1 piece vs 2 piece, closed vs open, supplies to make sure are in my backpack, and of course any tips and tricks that have been learned from the school of hard knocks.


Thank you in advance my goal is do what I told the surgeon before the operation is I want my life back and I intend to get there.😋

Robert and john68 liked
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1669

Hi and welcome to the Forum, Firstly can I say I really admire your attitude!! In answer to the question of appliance types yep their is bundles of choice out their. I have always went with a 2 piece from day one (convatec) for me a 2 piece is easy to put on, gas can be burped, and the bag alone changed to keep it fresh. All the brands have their plus and minus points and what may suit me may not work for another. Best tip I can give is keep things simple, use products to solve a problem not just cause they are their. A hair dryer is a useful part of my ostomy kit and this advice come from a bald guy :-D. Using it to dry skin after changing and warming up the wafer give a great seal. Always remember not to hot just warm. Healing after surgery is as much in the mind as the body and yep!! Life is for living.

ileostomy 31st August 1994 for Crohns

Robert liked
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 820

Wellcome,Mk. Thats great that you are hiking again and recovering your strength and getting your life back.

You will get better at this. Most of us have most of our blowouts in the several months following the surgery. You are still healing up and things change, so what worked last week, might not work anymore as your stoma may change size etc.

BUT there does seem to be a solution for most problems. 

Like John, above, I also highly recommend getting a small travel size hair dryer. Really helps to get a good seal on the appliance. Heat and dry. and also pressure seem to really help.

Try paying attention to what you eat before you plan on doing something physical. Like less food. Also keep the bag from getting too full. One person recently ( sorry I forgot who) said they take doggy poop bags with them that they can use to empty the ostomy bag in an emergency. Keep gas from building up  ( the use an Osto EZ vent helps with this). Support the whole thing with a belt or wrap or something. There are tapes that you can apply along the outer edge of the wafer too. These do not prevent leakage, but will delay a blow out hopefully.

The main thing, is to keep on getting out there and enjoying yourself. Get healthy again.

Onset of severe Ulcerative Colitus Oct.2012. Subtotal colectomy with illiostomy July 2015; Peristomal hernia repair ( Sugarbaker, mesh, laparoscopic) May 2017.

Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 947

Way to go MK...That is the right attitude onward and upward...preferably a good soiled incline! I had a situation one time where I had to pick the Granddaughter up at her elementary school. I was a stranger to the school so was not allowed to use a washroom when my stoma came racing to  full life after being quiet all day. I had to use several layers of dog poop bags together to empty my contents in. That and the Kleenex  pack in my cubbyhole. The bell had rung, and parents were walking by the car. No one noticed a thing. And I was able to keep it safe just barely under the corner of the rug mat until we got home. Grand was none the wiser. I was only going to be gone five min. and if I had pushed the limit the bag would have burst all over me, it was that full!  On a day trip to a Vancouver Island one day, I had not one thing with me as we went for a short drive. Same thing, bag ready to burst, I found a very out of the way tree and did what was required. If not for Kleenex and hand sanitizer I would have been washing in the very cold ocean that day. I have learned to carry a few things necessary enough to do the job, and fix, the rest once home. I carry the adhesive remover spray ( these are better then tying to squeeze the solution out of the wipes) I' m attached to my skin and my skin adheres well to the tapes. As Eric uses, I carry several of the packaged gauze pads to use to help clean the reside on my skin also. The skin barrier wipes, and 3 large ziploc type bags ( I think Hollister carries a dark one, they will send samples, check with coloplst also.) two zips in case I have to empty ( I double bag that) and save one for a quick change garbage collector, and I always carry five pouches with me. The five is the result of another story! Of course there is hand sanitizer on board as well. I also carry a sample pack of baby wipes, as plain as I can get them. You can find these in the travel sample area in your drug store. If you have trouble finding them, just put some from a big pack in a zip baggie to carry with you.  I figure a good couple wipes with a skin barrier wipe prevents any aloe vera or lotions from the baby wipe staying on my skin. I have always pre-cut 2 pouches, but I also carry a second pair of scissors and a good pen in the mix. Coloplast will from time to time have  free scissors...or they used to. It is worth it to invest in a second pair, though they cut something soft, they do get dull, so replace them from time to time. I also rely on the coloplast elastic barrier strips, C-shaped. They just give me the extra confidence to bend when weeding the garden. This has paid off several times. All this fit easily in another ziploc which can be used if need be. I have had my stoma since 2009 and I still have trouble regulating my output for when I have to be away from home and a washroom. It is worth it to watch as many of Erics videos as you can especially on the products he reviews. If you have not invested in the osto ez vent, considered doing so because you are an active person, they make loosing the gas so much easier and I have done it on the run too. Look back into forums here and read up on how to install them. I am on a very tight budget (I am 60 and widowed too early) but I make sure I buy these things. All the best to you! I first thought wow, a mile a month after surgery...he is doing well, but should not push it too much too soon. Then I read the rest of what you wrote. I imagine you were equally as active before your surgery. Good for you! Most anything you did before you should be able to continue doing.  Ask anything you like here even if you think it does not matter. Stay as healthy as you are and more!


Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3116

Welcome, mk5mod0!

It's nice to see a fellow hiker! 

My preference is always a two-piece with a drainable bag because it offers more flexibility if something goes wrong and it's easy enough to manage if my bag gets full. 

The cold is a big challenge for anyone, but I always try to make sure that the supplies I bring are kept in a container that will prevent them from freezing. That could be a simple, insulated lunch bag, or a more advanced, insulated mini cooler (depending on the weather). 

Regardless, I always try to keep a few spare changes of supplies, zip lock bags, and larger kitchen bags to help with appliance changes and/or disposal of soiled supplies.  Gauze pads over anything else - they absorb well, won't stick or break apart, and my insurance covers them ;)

Enjoy more amazing hikes!


Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~