Anyone who takes to the land for a hunting expedition must be aware of proper first aid preparedness and procedures. While the chances are low that you’ll shoot your hunting partners or vice versa, there is a strong possibility that one of you might twist an ankle, get stung by a bee, come in contact with poison ivy or encounter some other health or safety related problem. Let’s take a look at the first aid steps that every hunter should take before heading outdoors.
Educate Yourself On Safety And First Aid
Every hunter should consider signing up for a first aid preparedness course with the local EMT, Ambulance or Paramedic service. There are also Red Cross first aid, CPR and other safety related courses available in most areas. To find out the offerings in your area, head on over tohttp://www.redcross.org/services/hss/courses/.
Hunters should develop emergency prevention strategies before outings in order to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Always hunt on solid ground and terrain that you are familiar with to avoid missteps and getting lost. Advise friends and family of exactly where you’ll be hunting and how long you plan on being there. If you are hunting with others and plan on separating, establish pre-determined rendezvous points where you will meet at specific times.
Essentials To Pack
Aside from bringing along food, water, sunscreen and extra clothing, be sure to pack a compass, a GPS enabled device and/or a walkie talkie. Bring along any medications that you take on a regular basis or any medical equipment that you might need during the day like an asthma inhaler. Most importantly, bring along a first aid kit. You can purchase a first aid kit at most outdoor sporting goods outlets and department stores. Be sure to pick out a kit that is comprehensive and well stocked. Don’t go for the small and simple kits created by companies that make band-aids.
The Necessary Contents Of A First Aid Kit
A proper first aid kit will have thin latex gloves to protect you from blood or other fluids when you can’t wash your hands out in the wilderness. There should also be SAM style splints that can be applied to different parts of the body. These splints can be trimmed and molded on the spot to fit any body site and they can be re-used as well. Every hunter should also be concerned with re-hydration. If you lose your way or hurt yourself in a remote location, you might be away from others for hours or even days. You’ll become dehydrated but if you have sodium and glucose on hand in the form of Oral Rehydration Salts or Kaolectrolyte, you’ll be able to retain your fluids.
A first aid kit wouldn’t be complete without gauze pads, hydrogel dressings, peroxide, wound closure strips, elastic bandages, tincture of benzoin to help bandages stick, alcohol swabs with Lidocain and super glue for the skin, commonly called second skin. This will help to seal cuts and also provide a barrier between the heel and the sock/sneaker to prevent blisters. Your first aid kit should also contain Tylenol for pain relief, Benadryl to manage allergic reactions, a fever thermometer and a variety of instruments. There should be scalpel blades to cut away blisters, a knife to remove bee stingers, a needle and thread to patch up gear and safety pins and tape to repair torn clothing.