Going into the winderness with a big sharp knife, firestarting tools, a gun, and pleny of ammo so you can play with sharp sticks, fire, and other neato things without the skills to use them is almost asking for an accident. Make sure you a first aid kit with you and the skills to use it. When journeying into the wilderness it’s important to carry a first aid kit along with the knowledge to use it. It’s always a wise investment to take a first aid course, and you can even find free course in your community.
Here’s a few tips for a wilderness first aid emergency…..
First, check if the casualty is in any danger, or will put you into a dangerous position by helping them. Avoid moving a casualty with unknown injuries, unless there is a greater danger in leaving the casualty where he or she is. If necessary, make the area safe, but put your own safety first. Do not move anyone with a suspected neck or spinal injury, unless difficulties in breathing make this necessary.
1. Check breathing
Check that the airway is open and the casualty is breathing. A person who is unconscious has no control over their muscles, therefore, their tongue is the single most common cause of an airway obstruction. The airway can be cleared by simply using the head-tilt/chin-lift technique, see the figure. This action pulls the tongue away from the air passage in the throat.
The Recovery position
Place an unconscious but breathing person in the recovery position- Place the casualty on his or her side, with their uppermost leg at a right angle to the body. Once again, do not move anyone with a suspected neck or spinal injury. Support the head by the hand of the uppermost arm. Tilt the head back to ensure that the airway is clear.
Stop any bleeding. All types of external bleeding, such as open wounds, are treated in the same way- Squeeze together the sides of the wound. Apply direct pressure to the wound with your fingers, or preferably a sterile dressing. In an emergency, an article of clean clothing will do. Lie the casualty down and lift the wounded part above the level of the heart. This slows the bleeding. Bandage the wound firmly but take care not to cut off the circulation to the area. If you suspect that an injury may have caused internal bleeding, the most important thing you can do is to prevent shock from occurring. Urgent medical attention is necessary.
Shock is a condition of general body weakness, and is present in all cases of accidents, to a varying degree. The shocked casualty may feel weak, faint, giddy, anxious or restless. Keep the casualty warm and quiet and give all the reassurance you can.
Wilderness first aid kit
Do not forget to bring your own Wilderness First Aid Kit. Make sure you know what your kit contains and how to use the materials for effective first aid. A good idea is to add an easy-to-read basic first aid instruction book.
Please keep in mind that the information presented here are only general guidelines. There’s no way I could ever possibly cover everything in this article. My intention here is to get your mind thinking and headed in the right direction.
For real medical training TAKE A WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER COURSE!!!! Also, please consult a physician, or take a first aid class at a minimum before attempting any of this.
Creating a small first aid kit is simple and easy. Every home, kit, and vehicle should have it’s own basic first aid kit. You can make one yourself by using simple items that you can find at nearly any store. Using a quart or gallon size zipping storage bag. Label your bag. You can even add a piece of the reflective tape to make it easier to find if you drop it or are looking for it in a dark pack. Include the following items:
- Adhesive bandages: A few of each size will do. Pack mostly the 1″ since they work well for blisters. Bandages that are foam instead of fabric offer more protection for blisters and can still be used for other first aid.
- Antibiotic first aid ointment.
- Benadryl or other antihistamine: Emergencies are not a good time to have an allergic reaction.
- Epi-pen if you have been given one by your doctor for severe allergies. They’re usually willing to write prescriptions for several so you can keep several available.
- Prescription medication to last a day or two in a well-labeled container. If your medication changes, you need to update your kit. Be very specific when labeling describe the pill (or whatever), the dose, and what it treats. Don’t forget an asthma inhaler if you are an asthmatic. You may be walking and air quality could be questionable.
- Pain killers, such as aspirin. Look in the travel/trial size section of stores for small bottles.
- Ace bandage: is great for rolled ankles or can be used to immobilize a limb.
- Latex or vinyl gloves (if you are allergic to latex) are a must. You could be around injured people or need to treat someone with your first aid kit.
- Anti-bacterial hand gel for cleaning up.
- Wash cloth or hand towel: can be used for clean up, wiping a sweaty brow or signaling.
- Find a travel/trial size of saline solution (or contact lens rewetting solution) and include it in your kit. Flushing eyes may be necessary for contact lens wearers or for anyone in dusty or polluted air. It can also be used to irrigate a wound.
- Assorted gauze or other first aid items. You can use additional quart or gallon size plastic storage bags to keep items dry and organized.
Aesop’s fable has been rewritten and retold hundreds of times, each time making an example of the grasshopper’s foolishness and applauding the ant’s forethought. It’s worth retelling again here.
There once was grasshopper and an ant who lived in a beautiful meadow, plentiful with seeds and food. All summer long, the ant toiled, scuttling around the meadow collecting leaves and twigs for her home and food for her pantry. The grasshopper, instead of building his emergency preparedness supply, sang and danced through the meadow, living only in the moment and mocking the ant for worrying too much about the future. The warm sun soon dissipated and the harsh winter weather quickly approached, covering the meadow in snow and burying all of the once-plentiful food. The grasshopper found himself alone, cold and hungry. He sought out the ant, knowing she would have food. He begged the ant to let him in, to allow him to partake of her food and warm himself in her home. The ant scoffed at the grasshopper, reminding him how hard she had worked that summer to prepare her supply, while he had played. The ant slammed her door in the grasshopper’s face, leaving him to face the cold and his consequences.
We humans are not born grasshoppers but our socity turns us into one. It is easier to join the swarm of grasshoppers and with all the modern conviences of life avaliable at the flip of a switch it’s easy to assume that switch will always work and life will always go on as usual. We must WORK to become ants, to prepare. That word, WORK, is why more people do not prepare, second only to the fear of being ostracized by their friends and neighbors. Most of us would rather assume things will contine as they are than pick up a shovel and start a garden.
Whether a disaster occurs today or 20 years from now, you need prepare your family for natural disasters, financial crisis or other situations by preparing now. One way to do this is by visiting emergency preparedness stores. You can get alot of ideas just by reading their sales magazines and checking their websites. The Ready Store, Shelf Reliance and Emergency Essentials are quintessential emergency preparedness stores where you can purchase food storage and survival equipment for your basic needs.
So what are the basics every person needs? Let’s look at the Rule Of 3′s. These are the 3 essentials of life and how long you can live without them on average.
- Air – You can live 3 minutes without air
- Water – You can live 3 days without air
- Food – You can live 3 weeks without air
Some other things to consider….Without proper clothing and shelter we can die of extreme tempertures. Without fire to cook our food and boil our water we can become very sick. Without a way to protect ourselves from danger we can be killed. Without proper first aid we cannot heal ourselves.
Store water and food just like the ant, but remember we need a little more. Preperation is key to survival.
As I write this Hurricane Irene is blasting up the east coast on a path that you don’t see too often. People who have never experienced a hurricane are going to be hit and most of them have no idea what to do. If you are in the path of Irene or any hurricane for that matter here are a few things you should know.
If you live on the coast board up your house with plywood and go inland. Don’t even think about riding it out. Do not go to a FEMA camp unless you have no other choice. You will be much better off if you can stay with a relative or rent a hotel that is out of the storms path. Don’t plan on coming back for 2-3 days (longer if your house is damaged). Make sure you have important papers such as your home owners insurance policy. Take as much ready-to-eat food and water that you can carry and having a Garrity Power 3 LED Crank Flashlight can be helpful. If you are not staying with a relative your biggest prep item during a hurricane is money. You will need enough to eat out for several day, to pay for a hotel and to put gas in your vehicle. $400-$500 should be enough unless your home is damaged and you cannot return for several weeks. In such a case most home owners insurance policies will reimburse you for all of your expences but this can take months and you need the money now.
If you live farther inland and plan to stay then make sure your house is secure and get your supplies ready. Plan to be without power, food and water for up to two weeks. You will need at least 2 gallons of water per person per day. If you live in a house your hot water heater will have about 40 gallons of water in it. Hook a short hose to the bottom drain and put the water in containers. The rest of your water you can store in 5 gallon buckets or plastic 55 gallon drums.
You’ll need a way to cook and have a fire. This can be done outside on the ground or in a charcoal or gas grill. Just remeber to store enough gas or charcoal to last at least two weeks and a lighter or box of matches. After your water sits for a few days remember to bring it to a gentle boil in a pot with a lid before drinking. This will kill any harmful bacteria and freshen the taste of the water. For emergencies I like to keep a 12″ Portable Grill handy at all times. It beats cooking on the ground any day and it can be fueled with charcoal, sticks, pine cones, or whatever you can find. You can also buy prepared food bars such as Datrex 3600 Emergency Food Bars. These are great becuase you don’t have to cook them and they are super portable. Each food bar has a self life of 5 years and provides enough calories for 3 days.
Next on the list is food. Look for easy to prepare foods that make very little mess. You’ll need at least 2 weeks worth as your local grocery store will probably be closed or the roads blocked off. Some good foods to stock up on are Ramen soup, rice, beans, canned tuna, mac and cheese, and canned pasta. These are all cheap, plentiful, and nutritious. If you hate all these foods that’s fine. Don’t buy what you won’t eat no matter how cheap it is. Just look for foods that can be dumped in a pot and heated and don’t plan any five course meals. try to provide 3 square means a day with at least 400-500 calories each meal.
You’re also going to need a Garrity Power 3 LED Crank Light and a 12 LED Hand Crank And Solar Powered Lantern. The American Red Cross Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio is also worth it’s weight in gold (don’t even think about waiting it out without one!). Don’t forget your cell phone either. Chances are you will still be able to call your family and let them know you are ok and the Red Cross radio also comes with a cell phone charger to keep it all juiced up. Also make sure you stock up on a few 3″ pillar candles. You’ll need 1-2 for each room you use the most (living room, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom). A 3″ pillar candle will burn for days before going out.
Last but not least is a Adventure Medical First Aid Kit. Never underestimate nature or the situation you are in. Having a simple first aid kit can save your life or maybe even your neighbors. Just like the emergency radio, don’t plan on bugging in without a first aid kit.
You have to keep your wits about you in situations like there. Your best bet is usually to get out of the path of the storm but if you’ve made up your mind that you’re going to stay then be prepared. There’s simply no excuse for not being prepared for a hurricane. Make sure you beat the crowds to the store as food, water and emergency supplies sell out quickly. Stay away from doors and windows and make a “base camp” in the interior of your home. With a little bit of preparedness you can make yoursel much safer.