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First Aid Kit for Outdoors: How to Use It Effectively

First aid is essential for outdoor activities.

Having a well-stocked first aid kit is important for outdoor activities, especially in remote locations where medical care may be scarce. As a medical professional with over a decade of experience, I recommend including necessary medications and items specific to your own and your group’s needs.

BASIC FIRST AID KIT CONTENTS

First Aid Kit
Photo By: Roger Brown

There are a variety of first aid kits available for purchase, including those designed specifically for outdoor use. Here are the most common items found on the kit.

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It is important to tailor your first aid kit to your individual needs and preferences, and to regularly check the medicine and supplies to ensure that they are not expired or damaged.

Amazon First Aid Kit

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Check Price: Surviveware Premium First Aid Kit

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Using Your First Aid Kit in Different Situations

ASSESS THE SITUATION

Like picking the right line when off-roading, assess the situation first and determining if a medical emergency exists. It is important to send someone for help while providing first aid to the injured person.

HANDWASHING / WEAR GLOVES (P.P.E.- Personal Protective Equipment)

First Aid Kit
Photo by: Ivan Samkov

To avoid the transmission of infection, it is crucial to clean your hands and don protective equipment, particularly when handling bodily fluids like blood, before administering first aid.

Treating Different Types of Injuries

CUTS – A type of wound that is caused by a sharp object, such as a knife, or piece of glass.

ABRASSION – A type of wound that occurs when the skin is scraped or rubbed.

STEPS

  1. Stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound with a bandage or gauze.
  2. Rinse the wound thoroughly with water to remove any foreign objects or debris.
    If soap and water are available, use them to clean the wound.
  3. Pat dry wound with clean gauze and use triple antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  4. Cover wound with clean dressing or gauze.

BURNS – Burns are a type of wound caused by heat, chemicals, or radiation. The treatment for burns varies based on the severity and location of the burn.

STEPS

  1. Cool the burns by holding it under cool water or running water for 10-20 minutes. (Do not use ice,
    this can irritate the wound).
  2. Remove any object from the wound such tight clothing, watch or any jewelry
  3. Apply triple antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  4. Cover the wound with clean dressing or a gauze.
  5. Administer pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
  6. Make sure to check for any sign and symptoms of infection, especially in a long duration trip.

STINGS – Type of injures that cause by insect, such as bee, wasp, hornet or scorpions.
In some cases, stings can also cause allergic reaction.

STEPS

  1. Rinse the wound thoroughly and removed any debris or foreign object. Use soap and water if available.
  2. Remove the stinger if it is still in the skin. Do not use your fingers, use tweezers that is provided by the first aid kit. Use any flat object, like a card or knife and gently removed the stinger.
  3. Apply an over the counter hydrocortisone cream to help reduce swelling.
  4. Some first aid kit have insect sting relief pads.
  5. Take pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
  6. Watch out for any sign and symptoms of allergic reactions.

SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTIONS

Signs of a severe allergic reaction to watch for include difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling of the face, lips, and tongue.

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Get Your EpiPen Carrying Case Here

Epinephrine Injections

If you are prone to severe allergic reactions, it is essential to carry epinephrine injections with you. You need a prescription.

SPRAIN – The acronym R.I.C.E. is often used in the treatment of sprained ankles and stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Photo By: Kindel Media

STEPS

  • RRest – Avoid activites that put weight or pressure on the injured ankle
  • I – Ice – Apply cold compress or Ice to the injured ankle for 20-25 minuets, several times a day.
  • C – Compression -Wrap the ankle with roll gauze or elastic bandage to provide support and compression
  • E – Elevation – Elevate the injured ankle above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.

FRACTURE – A broken bone.

Photo by: Roman Apaza

STEPS

  1. If bleeding is present, treat bleeding injury first by applying direct pressure to the open wound.
  2. Immobilize the arm or leg by splinting it to the body.
  3. Apply Ice to the injured area to help reduce swelling.
  4. Administer pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help managed the pain.
  5. Seek professional medical assistance.

A first aid kit can help treat minor injuries, prevent infection, and stabilize an injured person until professional medical help is available. We’ll see you in the trails.

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