The Anatomy of an Outdoor First Aid Kit
Most people think that the camping gear list consists of essentials such as tents, sleeping bags, first aid kit a good camping stove, coolers, pots, and pans, eating utensils, food, toiletries, and other personal hygiene items. This is true. These things are all you need to have a great camping experience. However, one of the most overlooked, yet most important, items to have on your camping gear list when planning a camping trip is the outdoor first aid kit.
Most people think that the regular first aid kit they have at home is good enough. On the contrary, there are many missing items in a home first aid kit that could mean the difference between life and death. Additionally, there are certain accessories that are not part of a pre-stocked outdoor first aid kit that one should consider adding to their arsenal. In this article, I intend to go over those essential items that make up the anatomy of an outdoor first aid kit.
In addition to the usual band-aids and ointments, there should also be splints for the occasional broken bone or sprain, ace bandages, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers for extracting debris out of wounds such as splinters, sterile gloves, a snake bite kit (very important) and a first aid guide. The guide is an extremely important part of your camping gear list, especially in life or death situations.
If you do not know what you’re doing, you can kill someone. It is a good idea to go over the guide before going on a camping trip. This way, you can become familiar with it, so when it becomes time to use it, you can quick-reference it without taking the time to look at the table of contents. That extra minute wasted could be detrimental to the person needing your help. Also, if the guide provided in your first aid kit is not that good, buy a better one to replace it.
There are items that are not part of a pre-stocked first aid kit that is also essential and should be added to your life-saving arsenal. An extra cell phone should be with the first aid kit. If the injuries are serious enough, 911 can be reached and the patient can be admitted to a hospital.
Sometimes, boiling water to purify it is not enough. Therefore, water purification tablets should also be in there. There should also be some kind of handheld GPS device for finding your way if you are lost. However, if you are good with a compass, that will suffice. Aspirin and other medications you may need matches in a waterproof container and thermal blankets are other items that will have to be purchased separately and added to your kit.
Last, but not least, it is important to take proper care of your outdoor first aid kit. It should be inspected regularly. Any items that are used are no longer sterile and should be discarded and replaced. Attending to a wound with unsterile instruments can be worse than not attending to the wound at all. Any medications that have reached or passed their expiration date should also be discarded and replaced. While they will not hurt you, expired medications have diminished or lost their potency and will not help you. It is important that you replace everything that you discard.
In conclusion, the anatomy of an outdoor first aid kit (what you put inside it), is very important to survival in the wilderness. The first aid kit is the most important item on anyone’s camping gear list.