A trip in the wilderness can have various situational hazards that are not normally encountered in urban settings. Wild animals, rockfalls, icy surfaces, and bad weather are some life-threatening hazards faced in the wilderness.
Wilderness first aid addresses potential hazards in areas where emergency medical services (EMS) are not readily available. In this post, you will learn about important wilderness first aid tips to adequately address different types of medical emergencies.

1. Bleeding

Most types of bleeding can be stopped by elevating the wound above the victim’s heart and applying pressure on the area. You should always wear gloves to avoid contact with the blood. Consider stocking three or four pairs of gloves in the first aid kit to deal with multiple injuries.

In case the gauze becomes saturated with blood, you should add more gauze on top. Do not remove the existing gauze as it will result in more bleeding.

Also, in case you are having trouble applying pressure to the bleeding area, you should make a pressure bandage by placing gauze over the bleeding area and wrapping it tightly with a bandanna. However, don’t wrap the bandanna too tightly. There should be enough space to slide two fingers under the wrap without difficulty.

2. Snakebites

Snakebites should be treated appropriately. There are many folklore remedies such as ice-water immersion, suck-and-spit, tourniquets and others that have not been proven to be effective. What’s worse is that they waste precious time.

Every second counts when a person is bitten by a snake. Here are some tips for victims who have been bitten by a snake.

  • Get out of striking distance of the snake, which is roughly the size of the snake’s body
  • Examine the snake while remaining within a safe distance. Consider taking a picture of the snake with your phone or digital camera.
  • Secure the bitten body part with a splint so as to avoid unnecessary motion that can result in the spread of venom. Make sure to allow enough space for swelling within the splint.

Contact the nearest medical facility to get appropriate antivenom. This is important as there is no other remedy for a snake bite.

3. Cuts and Puncture Wounds

Jagged edges and sharp tools can result in cuts and puncture wounds when camping in wilderness. You should not take any cut lightly and immediately apply first aid to avoid an infection. You should clean the wounded area by washing with a disinfectant and then apply a bandage. This will prevent the risk of an infection.

4. Know about CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training is important before embarking on a wilderness adventure. You should get CPR training to learn how to assist a person who has drowned or suffers a cardiac arrest. Learning this skill is important as it can potentially save alife in case of a medical emergency.

In the end, you should make sure to put together a well-stocked first aid kit. Consider including important items such as bandages, disinfectant, sting ointment, Benadryl, gloves, and tweezers. Always check that you have all the important items before heading out on a wilderness adventure.