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