How to prepare a first-aid kit for your next hike?
Hiking is a great activity and one of the best ways to explore nature. It can be gratifying but also poses some risks. A first aid kit should always be included in your backpack when hiking, especially if you are going on longer trips. The contents of a first aid kit will vary depending on where you are going and what activities you will be doing while there. However, here is a list of medical supplies that should always be included.
A small backpack
The backpack is the main item that you need for your hike. This will store all of your essentials, including the first-aid kit and other things you need to take on your hike.
- It should be lightweight, with a waist strap, so it stays stable on your back.
- It should have multiple pockets to organise small items like pens and snacks.
- The backpack should also have a built-in rain cover to protect it from rain when hiking through wet terrain or inclement weather conditions.
Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
Bandages are used to cover wounds and prevent infection. They can be made of cotton, paper or plastic. Different sizes of bandages are needed for other parts of the body, such as larger ones for legs and smaller ones for fingers. Store them in a cool, dry place.
Adhesive cloth tape
Bandages and tape are helpful for many things. But if you’re spending time outdoors, adhesive cloth tape is one item that should be added to your first-aid kit. It’s not surprising why:
- It can secure a splint. If you’re injured and need to stabilise an arm or leg, adhesive cloth tape can help keep it in place until help arrives.
- It can secure a tourniquet. If a sharp object and bleeding have injured someone won’t stop, adhesive cloth tape can compress the wound to slow blood flow and prevent severe injury or death from blood loss.
It can be used to treat several different injuries. For example, it can treat skin infections and minor cuts and scrapes. It’s also helpful in treating burns when they occur (a good tip: don’t pop the blister). And finally, you may use the antibiotic ointment for any insect bites or stings you get while hiking.
Antihistamine (for allergic reactions)
You’re probably familiar with allergic reactions, but just in case you aren’t, they are sudden, unexpected and potentially life-threatening. In an allergic reaction, the body mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as harmful and attacks it. This can cause symptoms like swelling of the lips and mouth, difficulty breathing or swallowing (anaphylaxis), and skin rashes like hives or welts on your body.
Aspirin, or non-aspirin pain reliever
Aspirin is a pain reliever that helps reduce fever, inflammation and blood clotting. Aspirin makes the blood thinner, so it’s less likely to clot. An anti-inflammatory reduces swelling, redness and pain in an injured body area.
Instant cold compress
An instant cold compress is a small, rectangular bag filled with chilled gel. It can be used to alleviate pain and swelling after an injury.
At first glance, the only benefit of using an instant cold compress is not to spend time or money on buying-packaged ice packs. However, there are numerous benefits associated with using it over traditional ice packs:
- An instant cold compress doesn’t need to be refrigerated before use as other ice packs do; it stays cool for up to 20 minutes after being removed from its packaging, making it more convenient for hikers who may not have access to refrigeration in remote locations.
- Another benefit is that this pack has no metal parts and won’t rust if left out in damp conditions overnight. It makes them suitable for outdoor environments where condensation could otherwise cause damage over time (such as during camping trips).
With these tips on medical supplies, you’re well on your way to being prepared for any emergencies that may come up during your next hike.