Camping is a great recreational activity where you can appreciate the beauty of nature and fully experience the adventure brought by unspoiled landscapes and terrains. It is an exhilarating escape from the monotony of city life. However, as an outdoor activity, it could also mean exposure to weather, animals and insects.
For this reason, safety during camping is as important as having fun. When packing for your trip, make sure that you prepare everything, including a handy first aid kit and safety gadgets. Sometimes, something as simple as using your best trekking poles during your hike could save you from a camping injury and a ruined weekend.
Here are 5 things that you need to do if you get injured while camping.
One of the common injuries sustained during camping is burn injuries. Remember to:
- Cool the burned area with running water for around 10 minutes until the pain stops.
- Remove jewelries and belt before swelling occurs.
- Do not pop the blisters. If it breaks, just wash it clean, apply an antibiotic or a burn ointment and cover with dressing.
- Protect the burned area by covering it with moist dressing or clean cloth.
- For severe burns, seek help immediately.
- Abrasions and cuts
You get an abrasion when your skin is rubbed against a rough surface. It is shallow and usually involves a wide surface area of the skin. Cuts, on the other hand, are deeper and tend to bleed more.
- If the abrasion or cut is dirty, do not wash it with water from the river or lake. There could be chemicals or bacteria present in these open bodies of water that could contaminate your wound.
- If the bleeding is severe, stop the bleeding first by applying direct pressure on the wound. You could also elevate the affected body part. This will reduce the circulation and subsequently decrease the bleeding.
- Clean a dirty wound with hydrogen peroxide or your own drinking water (make sure that it’s not contaminated) only after you have already stopped the bleeding.
- Apply an antiseptic solution to your wound, cover it with dressing, and secure the dressing with tape or bandage.
- Check in with your doctor for a tetanus shot
- Sprained ankle
An uneven terrain and a steep slope could easily make you lose your footing and twist your ankle. Sprain happens when your ligament gets stretched or torn. You will experience pain, swelling, bruising, and a limited ability to move your ankle.
Luckily, the steps in managing sprain are easy to remember.
- R – Rest. Do not move or put weight on your injured ankle if you could avoid it. Hop on your good leg and find a nice place where you can sit.
- I – Ice. Putting ice helps reduce the swelling of your ankle. The more swollen your ankle gets, the more painful it will be. Avoid putting ice in direct contact with your skin for this will be uncomfortable and even painful. Wrap it first with a towel. If you don’t have an ice bag, alternatives could be a cold bottle of beer or a cloth soaked in cold water.
- C – Compression. To temporarily immobilize and support your injured ankle, wrap it with an elastic bandage, making sure that it isn’t too tight or too loose. Applying it tightly will cut the circulation while applying it loosely contradicts the purpose of applying it.
- E – Elevation. Raise your injured ankle to the level of your heart. Keeping it elevated will reduce the pressure of blood flow and prevent further swelling.
A fracture is a break in your bone. Some fractures have obvious deformity in the bone while some might look straight but still present with pain, discoloration, swelling and limitation of movement.
- When you suspect a fracture, you should only think of one word: immobilize.
- Splint the affected area by sandwiching it between two straight sticks or anything similar, making sure that you don’t move the area during the application.
- If there is bleeding, cover it with sterile dressing.
- Keep the injured area as immobilized as possible and seek medical attention immediately.
- Snake bite
When you get bitten by a snake, the worst that you could do is to panic. Here are the things that you need to keep in mind.
- Check the bitten area for fang marks. If you can see two close puncture marks, the snake is likely to be venomous.
- Do not do the following: suck the poison out, cut into the injury, put ice, or apply a tourniquet.
- Immobilize the injured area and don’t move it unnecessarily. Doing so will increase circulation towards the area, causing the venom to circulate faster.
- Keep the bitten body part lower than the heart.
- Get medical attention immediately.