When going on a hike being prepared for any emergency is important, but not carrying a heavy load is also something to consider. Being a prepared hiker means having some experience, knowledge and having some sort of fist aid training is a definite bonus.
Being prepared can mean the difference between any life and death emergencies. There are some excellent pre-made first aid kits on the market, some you can make up your own, or alternatively you can take out the unnecessary items for your personal hiking needs.
- Hand sanitizer – for when there is no water source nearby
- Lip balm and sunscreen – for protection against sunburn
- Duct tape – if you discover hotspots on your feet cover these with duct tape or moleskin to prevent blisters
- Latex gloves – in case of having to deal with blood or other body fluids
- Pain relievers – tablets to help with pain and reduce swelling
- Anti-diarrhoea pills – these will help for an upset stomach
- Antihistamines – these come in liquid or tablet form and are helpful for any allergic reactions
- Electrolytes – or hydrations salts can help if you have over exerted yourself and may have dehydration. These come in gel, tablet or powder form. The electrolytes will replace any lost salts to the body and also help with hydration if you are not able to keep any food down. Remember to stay hydrated, drink lots of water and you can avoid any dehydration issues.
- Bug repellent – these can come in sprays or wipes and will avoid irritating bug bites
- EpiPen – these will help you be prepared for any type of allergic reaction and can even save a life
- Plasters – a few different sizes for different size cuts and wounds
- Butterfly bandages – these are great for deeper cuts and will help pull the skin together
- Medical tape – this is for holding bandages together and in place
- Antibiotic cream / ointment – this will help keep any infections under control by keeping the wound clean and assists with the healing process
- Burnshield – just in case of any burns you can use a burnshield, which is a gel dressing that can soothe the burn and help to keep it cool. The shield will minimise damage to the skin and help the wound to heal quicker. It can be used for children and is safe for facial burns.
Extra First Aid Items
- Safety pins – these are helpful for many things, keeping bandages fastened or for slings
- Tweezers – small tweezers can be used for removing splinters and ticks
- Always remember to also pack in any personal medication such as blood pressure meds or insulin.
- Weather blanket – an emergency may happen on your hike and you may find yourself stranded outdoors for longer than anticipated. An emergency blanket is usually made from mylar which helps to keep a body temperature at the correct level and prevents hypothermia from occurring. This is especially important to have if you are hiking in colder areas.
If you have never done any first aid courses or you are a bit rusty there are some great online courses, and just like online betting sites they are packed full of useful information, or you can opt for a wilderness first aid course.