Travel

First Aid Tips Every Outdoor Enthusiast Should Know

First Aid Tips Every Outdoor Enthusiast Should Know
Written by Kayla Beirne

Pack smart when you head out on your next outdoor adventure. Be prepared for any bump or bruise along the way as you traverse the rugged Sierra.

Every hiker, biker, and angler has sustained at least one injury on their many adventures. Next time you head out, keep a first aid kit on hand and make sure you know how to use it. With these first aid tips every outdoor enthusiast should know, you’ll be ready to face any harm that may come your way.

For the Hiker

The best hiking trails guide you through diverse terrain and offer both the majestic views of the Sierra and healthy opportunities for exercise. But still, all that up-and-down topography carries with it a risk of tripping and falling.

You can treat a skinned knee with a cleaning solution like hydrogen peroxide and a clean bandage. What do you do with an open wound, though? Keep clean clothes on hand to clamp on the wound and control bleeding. Sterile gauze and rubber gloves will help you keep wounds clean and prevent infection. A wound that gushes blood needs immediate medical attention.

Tick bites are unfortunately common among avid hikers. Keep a good pair of tweezers in your first aid kit, along with antibiotic ointment. When you pull a tick off of yourself, you should take a quick photo of it for identification purposes, then kill it.

For the Cyclist

Much like the hiker’s first aid kit, the cyclist’s kit needs to contain the basics: clean bandages, sterile gauze, alcohol wipes, and antibiotic ointment. Minor cuts and scrapes happen to everyone, especially if they love outdoor activities.

Should you tip over and fall, having an ice pack will be crucial for immediate pain relief and swelling control. If you don’t have an ice pack, cold water will suffice. Plan for bruises and sprains—just in case!

The most important component of your first aid kit is a fully charged cell phone. If you sustain a serious injury, such as a fracture or a head injury, you’ll need to call for immediate medical attention.

For the Fishing Enthusiast

Before you head out for a relaxing day on the water, check your first aid kit. The essentials should be there, including bandages, gauze, and ointment. But watch out for slightly different injuries. On a fishing trip, you work with small, sharp, non-sterile objects. You should exercise caution when handling fishhooks and know what to do when injured while fishing.

If you puncture your finger on a hook or bait knife, let it bleed for a second or two before flushing the wound with clean water. Keep an eye on any cuts or punctures you sustain on your trip. Even if something looks small, it may be wise to schedule a tetanus shot.

Every outdoor enthusiast needs a fully stocked first aid kit in their backpack before going on an adventure. Use that first aid kit properly, depending on the type and severity of the injury. Also, don’t forget your phone! These first aid tips every outdoor enthusiast should know could save a life.

About the author

Kayla Beirne

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