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Outdoor Survival - First Aid

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Outdoor Survival - First Aid


Your basic first-aid kit should contain, at the very least:


  • Sticky plasters
  • Bandage
  • Cotton wool
  • Safety pins
  • Headache pills
  • Upset stomach pills
  • Anti-septic cream
  • Sun cream
  • Pair of tweezers

You can buy compact first aid kits, although sometimes it's better to put your own kit together, as this allows you to choose items specifically for your needs. Another important item to take though not first aid related, is a needle and thread. It's surprising how often things start to fall apart at the most annoying moment. You can purchase tiny emergency sewing kits very cheaply; in fact mine is from a Christmas cracker and even contains a couple of spare buttons! Another must have item for "just in case" is string.

Mobile phones - note of caution:

Don't rely on it. Nine times out of ten, my mobile phone hasn't been able to pick up a signal in remote areas and even in not so remote areas. It would be devastating to reach for your phone thinking it's about to save you and see the dreaded "no signal", so please keep this in mind.


Now on to some more serious stuff and basic ways to deal with them for if you can't get medical help:

Broken Bones:

Try not to let the ends move. If they are in a bad position then try to set them correctly. Make a splint with a piece of wood, but avoid putting it directly onto an open wound. Then wrap the whole thing together, maybe with cloth or even tree bark!

Strains and Sprains:

Raise the injured part and keep it raised to reduce swelling.


Raise the injured part and apply pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops. This usually takes about fifteen minutes. In extreme cases, you can use a tourniquet tied above the wound. However, be very cautious with this method and make sure you loosen the tourniquet approximately every twenty minutes to allow some blood flow.

Healing wounds:

Keep the wound dry and covered. Clean seawater is good for cleaning out wounds. When the skin around the wound loses its redness, this is a sign that the infection has gone.


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