When we ask people why they’re completing First Aid training with us, often they’re keen campers or hikers and want some wilderness First Aid advice in case something should go awry when they’re possibly hours or days away from help. The risks are magnified when you’re in dense bush and a location without a mobile signal. Not to mention the creepy crawly bugs, spiders and snakes you should watch out for.
Many of the same principles of regular First Aid apply here, for example always follow DRSABCD, but you will need to keep top of mind what is more likely to happen when you’re out and about. A sound knowledge of survival techniques and the procedures for contacting medical assistance become especially important. We’ve prepared an overview of the top wilderness First Aid tips for you.
One of the most common First Aid situations you will encounter is bites and stings from spiders, snakes, and other insects. Follow this quick treatment guide:
A few considerations:
How to avoid a snakebite:
Trekking for hours is enough to give feet in even the most worn-in shoes blisters. You don’t want to let a blister derail your trip; they are painful but can be managed.
You will need to immobilise a suspected fracture with broad bandages to minimise any movement, which will greatly reduce pain. You can use anything rigid or long enough to immobile the joint, such as tent poles or a rolled up sleeping mat.
When you’re managing a casualty and possibly awaiting medical assistance, monitor the casualty’s fluid intake so they don’t become dehydrated. However what you do will vary depending on the type and severity of their injuries. Follow this guide:
Place adhesive tape over the area and lift it off, orIf something has caught into your skin from a bush or grass and is still attached:
Then reduce pain or irritation by:
130 bushwalkers get lost and need to be rescued each year. If you get lost or separated and can’t find your way back to your original route:
Carry an appropriate first aid kit for the outdoors. Make sure it contains plenty of the following:
If you’re going somewhere near the coast you may want to also pack some vinegar.
Be sure to store your kit in a waterproof bag or backpack so the contents stay intact and sterile. Some good options if you don’t already have a kit is this compact camping safety kit or this larger caravan and camping kit.
We hope you never need to use this tip, but if you are ever in the wilderness and need to be rescued, these are the best things you could do:
Being able to manage injuries in a remote area with skill and confidence may just save a life. Help could be delayed for a day or more, and transporting an injured person for medical assistance can be a prolonged process. In such circumstances, skills learnt through First Aid can prevent complications and help with a speedy recovery.