So you’re planning an adventure to get away from it all for a few days and get back to nature. You’ve got your boots and clothing – check, got your tent & sleeping bag – check, got your food and water – check. As you’re feeling satisfied that you have been properly organised, maybe for the first time ever, does it cross your mind to remember to pack a first aid kit? For many of us – probably not. After all, you’re healthy, relatively fit and might only be camping in the British countryside, which seems pretty tame compared to other parts of the world. But events can change in seconds and in an emergency out in the wilds, first aid can suddenly become the most important thing in the world; whether you have a kit or not could quite possibly mean life or death.
Yes, you can buy first aid kits that are already put together neatly in a little bag for you, but chances are, it either has things in it you don’t need (tongue depressor anyon) or on the flip side, is missing vital things that you do need. So what exactly do you need to take on your adventures or even just to have on standby in your car for those intrepid days out? If you are a parent of small children you will totally understand that day trips are routinely a matter of survival!
Here are some essential items to start off your kit:
Tweezers: the only tool for pulling out thorns, splinters, ticks and insect stingers.
Anti-Histamines: a mild allergic reaction is uncomfortable, a severe one is life-threatening.
Anti-Diarrhoea Medication: enough said.
Saline/Sterile Water: for cleaning and flushing out wounds, also to rinse foreign objects out of eyes.
Plasters (assorted sizes): to keep the small ouchies clean and covered.
Adhesive Dressings (assorted sizes): to keep the bigger ouchies clean and covered.
Gauze, Bandage & Tape: to cover more serious wounds. Bandage & tape can also be used to support joint and bone injuries, such as sprains and fractures. Bandage can also be used as a tourniquet.
Wound Closure Strips: Because you’re unlikely to be able to suture wounds (trust us, leave that to the experts unless a life really depends on it), this is the next best thing until you can get qualified medical attention.
Scissors: for cutting bandages or clothes if necessary.
Foil Blanket: to retain body heat when in shock or hypothermic but also effective against wind, rain, cold and heat.
Antiseptic Wipes & Ointment: those skin wounds need to be cleaned before being covered.
Pain Relief: self explanatory really. Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are pain relievers and reduce fevers, but it’s worth noting that only ibuprofen has anti-inflammatory properties.
Hand Sanitiser: because out in the wild you’re unlikely to have soap and much clean water handy.
First Aid Information Cards: so that you know what to do and can focus when you are in panic mode.
Of course this list is by no means exhaustive – there is much more that can be included. It depends on the nature of your trip or activities, ages and fitness levels involved and what injuries or health problems might arise as a result, so you will need to add or adapt your kit according to your own needs. Whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities and prove that you truly are a Wild Survivor!
Interested in developing essential skills to survive any situation? Have a look at our exciting range of Bushcraft & Survival Courses now and find the ideal course to unleash your inner survivor!