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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

First Aid Kit

Be safe, don’t leave home without it: a first aid kit

Camping requires a significant amount of time away from civilization and a lot of active time walking, trailing and enjoying all the glory of the outdoors.

However, wherever there is camp away from real-world conveniences, the possibility of needing some form of first aid – however little – is a necessity.

The following are a few tips and advice to pack that vital first aid kit when out camping.

First thing first, take lessons

Believe it or not, there are a lot of classes available that provide first aid lessons. There is a basic EMT or emergency medical technician course that one could take. However, for those who do not have much time, short lessons are available. The American Red Cross provides such courses.

Check your local community. Basic first aid lessons are generally inexpensive yet valuable once learned. Once such knowledge is acquired such a training could allow anyone to provide immediate care to an individual who is injured or sick.

Children could also be given basic first aid information. When camping with children, it definitely would not hurt if they are introduced to the first aid kit. Show kids the items inside the first aid kit, its purpose and when is the probable time it would be needed.

Older kids may also be pointed out certain situations wherein they could get hurt and what are the possibilities one should do when such a situation happens. A child who knows or has a basic idea of first aid will panic less once an injury or a slight emergency situation occurs.

First aid kit: what to pack and how

To better understand your first aid kit, do not forget to bring on a manual. The American Red Cross provides a good one.

Also, a small swiss knife is a very useful tool to bring out to a camping trip. An emergency blanket must be brought in too. Be aware that a blanket made of wool could get wet and after which may smell a bit bad. There are emergency blankets that does not weigh much and could be easily packed.

A razor blade may also be brought. This item is great for removing splinters. Another tool to bring into a camping trip is a magnifying glass.
Usually, this item is effective for starting out fires. You could also bring a match for additional convenience. But if bringing one, make sure that the matches you have are those that still light even if they are wet.

Another handy and useful item to bring is a handy mirror. Mirrors are useful especially when signaling for help. Of course, it would be better if you do not need to have a reason to use it other than for vanity.

A thermometer is another item that could be brought in a camping trip. Usually, the best thermometer is one that is similar to a small strip that is black in color and works the same way as a mood ring.

A cold pack is usually brought in a camping trip in order to prevent any exhaustion that is caused by heat. It could also be used to treat away burns, sprains, bruises, swelling, toothaches and headaches.

A water packet – the sterilized kind – usually containing about four ounces of water is an efficient and useful item used for water drinking and cleaning a wound. Fortunately, this item has a shelf life of five years.

For wounds, a medical tape should also be brought in. Also, try to pack in threads and a needle. Gloves, safety pin, scissors, eye dressing, band aid as well as a wrap bandage that is elastic.

For any injuries located in the shoulder or arms, a triangular bandage should also be brought in the camping trip. A gauze pad should also be brought in, and lots of it also. A bandage that is large and compressed should also be brought.
A wrap gauze should also be available when camping, wipes that are antiseptic, a lip balm (to protect the lips from the sun), and Neosporin (for kids with small wounds).

Meanwhile, for adults, a pain reliever like Tylenol should also be available. For children, a non-aspirin tablet should be available. Decongestants like Dimetapp is a good medicine to bring. Antihistamines are a great option for adults. For a hot camping trip, do not forget to pack in a salt tablet.

All in all, camping is fun if you are prepared for all the activities and experiences the outdoors will bring.

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