No one wants to stress about safety every time they go hiking. The whole point of going on a nice long hike is to enjoy the great outdoors, breathe in the fresh air and connect with nature around you. This can be pretty hard to do if you’re constantly worrying about what could go wrong.
The trick to avoiding this is to make sure you’re prepared with the essentials before you head on out. This is why having a first aid kit is important. The good thing is, once you stock your kit you don’t need to worry about it (aside from restocking it from time to time). Just make sure you take it with you whenever you hit the trail. This way, you’ll be equipped when accidents do happen.
If you’re still worried, maybe brushing up on your first aid skills is the next step to easing that anxiety. To learn more about first aid, check out reputable training companies like Australia Wide First Aid or other similar organisations in your area.
Hiking can be so good for you and is thought to have many health benefits such as lowering risk of heart disease, improving blood pressure and boosting bone density. To feel these benefits make a difference in your life, just hit the trail – but do so safely by being prepared.
Here are 13 essential first aid items you’ll need on your next outdoor adventure:
Tweezers are great tools to remove splinters or to get rid of ticks.
Gauze pads are used to cover up wounds. They’re a must-have as they can help cover up any open wounds to stop them from bleeding or to keep out dirt and bacteria. Often when accidents occur out in nature, infection is the most dangerous complication that could happen when you get injured on the trail.
Used to clean up wounds, antiseptic wipes are very essential. They can help get rid of dirt and debris from cuts and grazes or even bigger wounds. They also work to lower the chance of infection by helping kill off any bacteria near and around the wound. They’re a godsend when you’re away from clean running water.
If you’re in a bad situation where you or your hiking partner has suffered a deep laceration and you won’t have the means to stitch up the wound, then butterfly bandages can help to temporarily close any gashes.
Simple, effective and very necessary – Band-Aids can cover up scratches, grazes and small wounds and protect from any dirt or debris from getting into the wounds.
Moleskin tape or bandages
Moleskin tape can be used to hold bandages in place and even prevent blisters in hands, behind the knee or around your feet and ankles. Blisters are actually the most common hiking injury most people experience on a trek, due to rubbing, chaffing and excess sweating. Two feet is the recommended length you can pack to save on space.
Loperamide (eg. Imodium)
Your body can be affected by strange things when you’re out on the trail. Eating something bad, getting an infection or just being dehydrated can cause sickness and diarrhoea. Loperamide (sold under the brand name Imodium – among others – in Australia) can help relieve the symptoms of diarrhoea. Ensure you take the recommended amount as advised by your pharmacist to ensure you don’t take too much and cause the opposite effect of constipation.
Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication that helps relieve pain and inflammation that has something to do with fever, sore muscles and joints, bites, stings, toothaches and more.
Lip balm, Vaseline or zinc oxide
No one likes the feeling of dry, chapped lips or having to deal with chaffing. Not only can lip balm can provide your lips with moisture, but it can also help prevent chaffing in hot spots such as between your legs, under your arms or on your shoulders. Zinc oxide can also help to protect your lips from sun damage.
Many people use baby powder to dry out sweat on your skin and any undergarments. It’s also great to use on your feet after a long day in hot and sweaty boots.
Safety pins can be used for so many different things, including fastening a bandage, holding together any clothing tears or secure a DIY sling.
Claritin or Benadryl
These two medications are used for allergic reactions or symptoms of hay fever. They can help stop swelling and itching after bee stings, poison ivy encounters and other insect bites.
Latex gloves and hand sanitizer
These can come in handy when dealing with open wounds to protect both you – if you’re injured – or whoever else you might be tending to. These are essential because they also help deter any infection from occurring due to bacteria entering an open wound.
Hiking on the trail can be a dangerous activity, especially if you’re not prepared. By packing all the first aid essentials for your hike, you’re ensuring that you and whoever you’re with are safe from any possible harm. That way you can focus on reconnecting with yourself and Mother Nature.
Got any other first aid tips? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.