On a beautiful, brisk Saturday morning you and two friends decide to go for an overnight camping trip. The weather was going to be bad, but now the sun is out, and you feel like spending time outside.
You just grab a few things to take with, because it is only one night, you don’t need much. Just the essentials.
You get to the camp site, set up quickly and decide to go for a long hike, as it is still early in the day. You grab some water and a few snacks and off you go, not giving a thought to anything possibly going wrong.
And then, in a second, a few hours into the hike, your friend steps on a loose rock. He slips and falls down a rocky patch into a ditch.
There are cuts, scrapes and bruises from the fall on his arms and legs, his ankle is already swollen, and you are not a 100 % sure just how hard he hit his head, but the bump on the side of his face tells you that it definitely happened.
You are three hours from the campsite, with very little supplies and it’s going to be dark in less than the time it will take you to get back. And it just started raining.
This is exactly how quickly “just a quick hike” can turn into a very serious situation. Because even thought this sounds like just a bout of bad luck, this is how many news headline and rescue mission stories starts.
Here are three important tips to keep in mind for your next trip to help you in a situation like this:
Tip Number 1: Basic Supplies
There is never enough to say about the importance of being prepared for any situation. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst” is a good saying to always keep in the back of your mind when getting ready to go on an outing, even if it is “just a quick hike”.
Consider the following:
- the terrain and location you will be in. Is it very dry with little water around, a highly overgrown area with lots of water, rocky, hilly or flat?
- the distance from diminutive care and rescue services and how to, if it’s an option, to get in touch with them
- how long do you plan to be out for and what is the weather forecast over that time.
- animals, insect and plant species native to the area. Pay close attention to especially those that can be harmful
The above should help you to pack and prepare for your adventure. For example, if you are going into a hot, dry area, you’d want to take more water possibly, than when you are going into a forest area where natural water sources are more readily available. Or packing more sunscreen when there is not a lot of natural shade or a waterproof jacket in very damp areas.
Also, as part of the basics, consider what to bring with you as part of basic emergency care. When considering what fist aid kit to take with you, think about the following:
- your own level of knowledge and skill
- diseases, animals and insects particular to the area to be mindful of
- the number of people you are packing for
- pre-existing illnesses of anyone in the group
You can buy pre-packed first aid kits, but here are a few things to add to the kit. Make sure that you understand the use and application for each of the items in the kit.
Some extras to add to the first aid kit: (over the counter medication)
- Anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medication
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Cortisone Cream
- Antibiotic ointment
- Rehydration solution
And a few other items that might come in very handy:
- a multi-tool
- a headlamp
- duct tape
- needle and thread
- dental floss
- safety pins
- Sam splint
- Emergency shelter or blanket
Of course, these are the very basics you might need, and this is for shorter trips. Make sure to adjust the list of items according to the length of the trip and how rugged or remote the area you are going to be in, is.
Hopefully, you will never need these tips, but all of it is an essential base of knowledge to have in a situation where small mistakes or non-action, could have rather serious implications.