When planning for a trip, you are mostly likely preoccupied with your itinerary, budget, and your checklist of things to bring with you. However, you must not overlook the importance of injury prevention. It may seem like a buzzkill to think about injury as you look forward to enjoying your trip, but it is always beneficial to be prepared. Below are a few tips on first aid preparedness and injury prevention.
Wilderness Survival Basics
On any adventure in the wilderness, everyone should carry a first aid kit as well as some basic outdoor tools, such as matches and water-purifying supplies. The better prepared you are before you leave the safety of your home, the higher the chances are that you will return to your home in the same condition as you left it. However, being prepared isn’t just about having the right tools; it is also imperative that you learn some outdoor skills and tricks that can keep you safe and alive if you are ever to become lost, hurt, or stuck in the wilderness.
How to Find and Purify Water
Anyone can go days without food if necessary, but you can’t survive for long without water. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are out of water, it is important that you find some right away. In a worst-case scenario, you could drink water straight from a stream or lake, but that puts you at risk of getting sick from bacteria or diseases brought in by animals. If you are not in a desperate situation, you should always purify the water before consuming it. The easiest way to do this is to boil it. If you aren’t going to carry the proper implements to boil water, then consider bringing a filtration or purification pump as well as purification drops or tablets. It takes a little time to purify water this way, but when you need drinkable water, these tools are real life-savers.
How to Make a Stretcher
Accidents happen everywhere, and the wilderness is no exception. If you ever find that you are with someone who has gotten hurt and cannot walk, you may need to consider building a stretcher to carry them to safety. The quickest and easiest way to make a stretcher is to use sticks and clothing. The toughest challenge is also your first job, which is to find two sticks that are both long enough and strong enough to form the outside of the stretcher. Once you have sticks that will serve that purpose, take jackets, vests, sweatshirts, or shirts and place them over the sticks, creating a long enough area for your patient to lie safely while you carry them out.
A bone can break at any time, and you should be prepared with what to do so that you don’t make the situation worse. First, stop any bleeding. Apply pressure, or use cloth to create a tourniquet. If a bone is visible, do not try to push it back into place. Use sticks, tape, clothing, or whatever is available to gently create a splint to support and protect the injury. Keep the injury elevated, and apply ice if available. Then, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Bug and Animal Bites
Bugs and animals naturally inhabit the wilderness, so it should be expected that you will encounter them. However, that doesn’t mean that you want to get bitten by them or catch a virus or disease they may carry. The best way to avoid bug bites and prevent illness is to use bug repellant. However, if you do get bitten by a bug, there are products that you can get from the drugstore to help treat it. Other than mosquitoes, flies, lice, and fleas, you need to watch out for ticks, which can embed themselves in your skin. Ticks must be removed quickly and completely before they bury themselves in the skin. Bees, spiders, and scorpions are other bugs to watch out for, as they are more venomous. If you are bitten and notice swelling or redness, circle the area with a marker. If the area continues to enlarge outside of the circle, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Typically, animals are not going to run up to you and bite you: If you don’t try to touch any wild animals, you should be safe. However, if you do happen to get bitten, clean and bandage the wound and see a doctor right away. Animals can carry rabies, and you will need to be vaccinated. Snakes are different because they will bite even when you weren’t trying to touch them. They are not always easily seen, and in an act of defense, they could reach out and strike you. If you are bitten by a snake, try to notice what kind of snake it was and whether it is venomous or not. Poisonous snakes typically will leave two distinct puncture marks. If the snake is poisonous, clean the bite area, restrict the blood flow to the area to prevent the venom from flowing through the rest of the body, and consider using a medical suction device to remove the poison. Seek medical help as soon as possible.
This article is lifted from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.