You should never head out into the wilderness without proper first aid equipment. Keep a first aid kit and hygiene products in the car or in the top pocket of your backpack so you can take care of minor scrapes and stings, and freshen up when the day's adventures are over. Your mates will thank you for it...
Any outdoor activity carries with it a degree of risk. Climbing rocky faces and hiking rough and bumpy terrain is so much fun, but every now and then, a misplaced step, or a loose bit of rock leads to a fall.
In those situations, it’s great to be confident that you came prepared, just in case.
There is a huge number of different types of first aid kits available, ranging in size and the number of useful products they contain. For hiking and climbing, you are going to want to take a first aid kit with you that contains some specific items capable of dealing with the kind of injuries hikers and climbers are susceptible to.
We’ve pulled together a basic list of some common outdoor injuries and what you can expect to find in your outdoor first kit to help deal with them at the site of the incident.
Note: This is basic advice only and does not constitute comprehensive professional first aid instruction.
In this case the first thing you will need to do is clean the wound to help prevent infection down the line. Your first aid kit should contain saline solution which will sterilise the wound before you apply a bandage to help stop any bleeding and protect the wound. Try not to use gauze and this can damage the area when removed later. If it is just a small graze, a quick clean and an adhesive bandage will do the trick.
First thing is to call 000 for help. Next, you will need to immobilise the limb so that further damage does not occur and to help reduce pain and swelling. Your first aid kit should contain a number of triangular bandages that can be used to create an effective sling.
Australia and many other countries around the world are well known for their poisonous snakes. Hopefully it never does, but snakes do bite hikers and climbers if they feel threatened.
A pressure bandage is designed to be applied firmly over the site of the bite, and the entire limb which has been bitten. The most important thing is to call 000 and immobilise the injured person completely, lying down, breathing slowly. Venom travels in the lymphatic system, so the best way to slow its progress around the body is to stop moving!
Don’t try and suck the venom out, this does not work. Don’t clean the wound, emergency professionals can use the venom at the site of the wound to identify the snake and use the correct antivenom if necessary. Learn more from the professionals at St John Ambulance as go through the steps to managing a snake bite
It’s a pretty common thing, slipping on loose rock or at an awkward angle and straining your ankle or joints. Climbers are susceptible to straining ligaments because of the immense force they put on them.
Follow the acronym RICE used by St John Ambulance to recover effectively.
R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression
E – Elevation
Your first aid kit should have a compression bandage that can be applied to help provide support to the muscles and ligament at the site of the injury.
Hikes and climbs can be pretty long some times. It’s imperative that you wear sunscreen with a high level of UV protection the whole time you are in the sun. Sunburn is nasty, and leads to other problems like dehydration and sun stroke.
Keep yourself clean, not only to ensure your buddies want to keep hanging out with you, but also to reduce the chance of infection if an accident should occur.