Editor’s Note: A contribution for Caitlyn Bell to The Prepper Journal.
Injuries are a part of life! Adventure and injuries are two sides off the same coin and what we mean, you will understand right after your first trip. They say when you begin with something new, you will fall but what matters is how you get up again and move ahead with greater courage! The same thing implies to adventure sports and outings. And well! What is a trip good for, if you do not have injury marks telling stories of your fantastic time and exemplary courage! Injuries can happen anywhere, anytime, during any circumstance and you really cannot do much about it. You may cut your hand from the very slicer which you use daily in the kitchen! But let’s keep ourselves focused on one aspect and that is the amazing, full of fun trips that we can make to places which challenge us and satisfy our adventurous soul!
Adventure trips are not just confined to trekking. Canoeing, river rafting, scuba diving, deep sea diving, bungee jumping, rock climbing and many more such activities happen all around the globe that fall under the category of adventure sports. If at times you choose to spend some time living in camps and employ the natural ways of sustenance, that is also an audacious endeavor of another kind. Whether you are going out for a solo trip or a group adventure, you are always suggested to make your preparations well and always carry a survival kit with you. This kit must always contain a good knife along with other essentials, like a signaling whistle and mirror.
You must also carry a first aid kit with you that includes-
- the major medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, paracetamol, cough syrup,
- pain relief spray,
- Cotton and scissors
- Oral antihistamine
- hand sanitizer,
- ice packs,
- alcohol wipes,
- non latex gloves
- 1% hydro-cortisone cream
- A triple antibiotic ointment
These are the basics for first aid along with any other ointment that you may remember. First aid is the first help that you can provide to your team member before you get any professional medical help so it needs to be complete and precise. But, when a situation arises, you must first know what you are doing with all components of your medical kit and analyze the nature of the emergency.
Let us learn about some of the medical conditions that need to be identified properly first before administering first aid.
Cuts and scrape – if you are out on a trip that involves a lot of physical activity, then there will occur. In many instances when you will get cuts on your body parts, maybe on hands or on legs, you will not notice them immediately. Most of the times you will not even know how and when you got a cut. You only realize it later on when all of a sudden you feel a slight pain or burning sensation on your hand or leg! It is crucial to deal with cuts carefully as they are prone to develop an infection which can prove to be much more harmful.
Burns – campfires are one of the most fun element of a camping adventure. Sitting around the fire in blankets with the right kind of music, food and people, can become of the most memorable part of your trip. But what if a member meets with an accident with the fire and encounters burns on the body. Not only this, in more severe conditions, when you choose to cook on your own while on a trek or in a camp, things are more complicated. It is not just fire that can cause burns! You may spill hot water accidentally or oil or any other mishap may happen. During any burns condition, you must know the source so as to give proper treatment. Treating burns properly is more complicated than it sounds. Cleansing and bandaging the area and applying an ointment to discourage infection are the right first steps, but recognizing the severity of the burn is just as important. Any burn, that is more severe than a first-degree burn requires immediate professional attention.
Swelling in limbs – this is a very frequent and common problem which can occur with anyone during a trek. There are a myriad reasons of swelling. At times, swelling can happen due to excessive water retention, maybe due to fatigue, some inflammation may also be a reason for this or at times an insect bite which may have worsen can also be a reason of swelling. If you are already suffering from a joint problem, then also you may suffer from swelling. You see, there are so many reasons for one medical condition. In case your legs swell while you are on a trip, then before taking any first aid help, it is important for you to figure out what is the actual reason of the swelling in the limbs. All the above reasons have different ways to be treated so it is imperative to make sure of the cause of swelling first.
Insect/bug bites – it is impossible to avoid these. Trekking or camping in the open means you are a free treat for insects and bugs. Generally there are swamps of bugs and insects and there are different kinds of these which can sting anytime and you not even get to know immediately until and unless you happen to see a red mark or a blister out of nowhere. Sometimes these small creatures are poisonous or maybe the carriers of harmful diseases so it is better to be loaded with repellent creams for a healthy trip. As always, clean the area gently and cover it with an ointment and a bandage and keep an eye on it. People have allergic reactions to some common pests and these are a real and immediate medical emergency.
Fractures – honestly, one must be scared of these. If something as serious as a fracture happens, you must disable the area – immobilize it, wrap it and if it is a compound fracture, bone protruding through skin, address the bleeding immediately and get professional help at the earliest. But most of the times, in case of a hairline fracture, you are not even sure if there is a fracture at all, these are often diagnosed as sprains, even by doctors. If you experience immense pain or experience difficulty in moving any particular part of the body, you must first try and confirm if there is at all a fracture or not before giving first aid. You might not always know the exact reason of the fracture and the actual location of the fracture.
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