Hiking, Camping, Backpacking

The 3 First Aid Tips You Should Know Before Going for a Hike

Hiking is a gratifying activity in terms of the health benefits it offers and finally making it to the beautiful view you’ve been trying to get to. While the reward is great, it’s not an easy journey. Several factors can go wrong if precautions are not taken.

From getting lost to running into a path with bear trails, you’ll need to be on your guard at all times. As hiking rises in popularity, so do injuries related to hiking. While keeping a first aid kit is necessary, it is also essential to know some tips to ensure safety and minimize injuries. Here are some first aid tips you should know before going for a hike:

Treating Burns

When hiking, burns often occur. They can either arise from a campfire accident or spilled water from cooking at camping sites. Whatever the reason, it is first necessary to assess the burns and analyze their intensity. Check whether it’s a superficial burn that has affected the top layer of the skin or penetrated below the epidermis.

Use the palm rule to assess the percentage of your skin which is burned. Your fingers, palm, and thumb make up 1% of the skin on your body. Compare this to the area which is burned to assess the degree of burn. After that, use cold, clean water to wash the burn, apply an ointment or gel for instant pain relief, and cover it up with gauze to allow the area to heal. Avoid using icy cold water or ice as it can stop blood flow to the area.

Closing Wounds

Wounds are common from scratches or falls encountered during your hike. When a scratch occurs and there’s a gaping wound, be sure to clean it with treated water. Then apply ointment or an antibiotic gel to a gauze. Apply the gauze on your skin with pressure to stop any possible bleeding.


Soft Tissue Injuries

The most dangerous of all hiking injuries, soft tissue injuries, can occur when you get a sprain or fracture. This kind of injury often leaves you unable to move. A way to assess whether you can continue with your journey is to wrap a bandage around and try to soldier on with as many breaks as you need.

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