First Aid Skills Everyone Should Learn

8 First Aid Skills Everyone Should Learn


Having knowledge of basic first aid skills could save someone’s life or your own life. These skills are easy to learn and recall in emergency situations. Basic skills like CPR, setting a splint, stopping bleeding in dire situations, are important life skills.

1. CPR

Perhaps the most well-known, and most important first aid skill—CPR. Learning CPR is very simple, it takes about five minutes, and it could save a life. CPR is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation—it provides artificial ventilation that can preserve brain function, blood circulation, and breathing in a person. In an emergency situation, knowing how to perform CPR is invaluable.

2. Heimlich Maneuver

If someone is choking, the Heimlich can dislodge whatever it is that is blocking their airways to save their life or prevent potential brain damage. Typically, a person who has had their airways cut off has about five minutes before brain damage occurs.

3. Set a Splint

If you are far away from help and someone in your group has suffered a broken bone, you’ll need to set a splint. If the injury is not set before moving the injured person, it could get worse and cause excessive pain. A split can be set with household items or with a stick and clothing if you out on the trails or in the mountains.

4. Stop the Bleeding

When you’re in a situation where someone is bleeding excessively, it’s important to stop the bleeding. The injured person could be bleeding from a main artery or vein, in which case they could bleed out in 10-15 minutes. Stopping the bleeding could be a matter of life or death. Learning how to make a tourniquet is simple and extremely helpful.

5. Treat a Burn

There are three degrees of burn injuries and treating each degree is different. First degree burns really just need topical remedies and loose gauze. Second-degree burns will be blistered and a little swollen. Run it under cool water, then treat similar to a first-degree burn. Third-degree burns are classified by whitening of the skin, blistering, and numbness. These burns should be treated by a doctor.

6. Spot a Concussion

Concussions are dangerous and require medical attention. After a blow to the head, you should check for symptoms like dizziness, pupil dilation, coherence, etc. If left untreated a concussion can have long term effects on the brain. Seek medical attention if there are any signs of a concussion.

7. Support a Sprain

Sprains are common injuries. The sprained joint should be wrapped with an ace bandage and elevated until a doctor can take a look at it. Usually, the best treatment for sprains is R.I.C.E.—rest, ice, compression, elevation. If a sprain is not properly taken care of it can cause long-term cartilage and tissue damage.

8. Sutures and Stitches

Hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where you need to perform stitches, but you never know. You may find yourself in a situation where you need to closure up a wound before getting medical help.


The Three C’s of an Emergency and the Three P’s of First Aid

Three C’s of an Emergency and Three P’s of First Aid


It can be difficult to think clearly in the midst of an emergency. Training your brain before you find yourself in a high-pressure situation may help you save a life or potentially help someone in pain. There are three basic C’s to remember—check, call, and care. When it comes to first aid, there are three P’s to remember—preserve life, prevent deterioration, and promote recovery.

The Three C’s of Emergency


Check means checking for anything unsafe. If the emergency is surrounded by danger, assistance may be needed. Rushing into a scene without taking in present dangers may lead to more harm for yourself or others. For example, if there a car wreck happens in a high traffic area or there is someone in need of help in a fire, you will need to seek assistance. Check the scene before entering it. Take the evolution of the scene. Next check if the victim is breathing. You may need to give specific care such as CPR.


In emergency situations, it’s important to call 911 immediately. As a first responder, act right away to get help from professionals. Inspect the scene, gather needed information—check for breathing and pulse from any victims, and any other helpful information. Provide correct information for local authorities and get them involved as soon as possible.


After checking the scene and calling for help, provide care until medical professionals arrive on the scene. Monitor the victims breathing. You may need to stop bleeding or perform CPR. Follow the circulation-airway-breathing of first aid.

The Three P’s of First Aid

Preserve Life

As a first responder to any situation, your first priority should be to preserve life. You may need to perform CPR, stop bleeding or take other action to preserve the victim’s life. Start with C-A-B—circulation, airway, and breathing. Asses the quality of the victim’s circulation, adjust if needed. Ensure that the victim has no blocks to their airway and that they are breathing. The goal is to prevent the condition from worsening in any way.

Prevent Deterioration

Do what you can to keep the victim in stable condition until medical professionals arrive. The goal is to prevent the condition from worsening and prevent any potential further injury. This may mean moving the victim to a safer location, applying first aid, stabilizing them, or just staying with the victim and providing comfort.

Promote Recovery

After you’ve done what you can do with first aid treatment, your job now is to promote recovery. This can be done by encouraging confidence, providing comfort, attempting to relieve pain, and so on.

These tips and tricks for emergency situations and first aid will likely differ based on your specific situation. But remembering the basics of what to do may help you save a life or prevent further pain. Know these simple steps before you find yourself in a situation where it’s hard to think clearly.


Most Common Injuries that Happen on the Trail and How to Deal with Them

Most Common Injuries that Happen on the Trail and How to Deal with Them

Injuries like wounds are shocking certainty when hiking or when you’re on the trail. It’s therefore important to know the most common injuries that happen on the trail and how to deal with them.

You need to know some basic first aid when venturing into the outdoors. You should have adequate supplies in your backpack that can tackle any eventuality. Knowledge of how to identify various injuries and conditions is also very important.

Snake Bites

Snakes bites vary in severity depending on the type of snake. The best things you can do are to cover the wound with a dry dressing, do not flush it with water, and position yourself so that the bite is below the level of your heart, if possible. Do not attempt to remove the venom or apple ice, seek medical attention as soon as possible.


Do not walk on frostbitten toes or feet. Gently warm the area in warm (not hot) water. Frostnip, most common and mild form of frostbite will not permanently damage the skin. If the skin starts to turn white or pale, it is entering later stages of frostbite—seek medical attention immediately. Do not start to treat frostbite and then expose it again to the cold.

Sprained Ankles

The best way to treat a sprained ankle is RICE—rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This may be a little trickier on the trail, but if possible, take a break. Get yourself off the sprained ankle and elevate it for some time before continuing. If you don’t have ice, cold water may also work. As for compression, wrap the ankle in any cloth that you may have available. Once you get home safely, exchange your cloth from an ankle brace or compression sock.

Allergic Reactions

In cases of an allergic reaction, use an EpiPen is available, tale an over the counter antihistamine if available, and call 911 if necessary. Remove yourself from whatever is causing the reaction as soon as possible.

Broken Bones

If you experience a broken hone on the trails, create a splint or tourniquet using stick or small piece of wood and some cloth. You could you a clothing item if needed. Stabilize the wounded area and get medical attention as soon as possible.


Perhaps the most common ailment found on the trails—dehydration. You may be experiencing dry mouth, a headache, a weak feeling, dizziness, nausea, or a faint feeling. If you suspect dehydration, stop in a shady area and drink water immediately. Severe dehydration could need hospitalization.

Poisonous Berries

Did you or a member of your group eat some suspicious berries? Call poison control or 911 immediately.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke or heat exhaustion should not be taken lightly. Place the person in the shade immediately and have them drink water. Apply a cold damp cloth to the skin. Do not continue to hike. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention.

Deep Cuts

In the case of deep cuts on a hike, clean out the wound as best as you can. Rinse out the wound with clean water. Apply slight pressure with gauze and then bandage. Cover the wound and seek medical attention if needed.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is common in hikers. When you ascend too quickly, your body doesn’t have time to adjust to the pressure change in the air. The symptoms usually include dizziness, headaches, muscle aches, and nausea. If you suspect altitude sickness, turn around and descend. Seek medical attention if needed.