Outdoor Medical Emergencies Require Camping First Aid Kits

By: Gary Colvin

"Be Prepared" - That's the motto of the Boy Scouts. And as an Eagle Scout, former Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, and camp staff employee, I can tell you: when you're outdoors, you MUST be prepared for every contingency! That's why the experienced outdoor types (like myself) will tell you: whenever you head outside for camping, hiking, or wilderness adventures, you had better take a camping first aid kit.

But your first question may be: "Why can't I just use the first aid kit that I have at home?" I'll tell you right off: that won't work. How come? Because outdoor adventures can cause outdoor medical emergencies - like broken bones, frostbite, or snakebite. And typical home first aid kits just don't have the supplies that you will need for those situations. You need one that has been specially stocked with all the supplies you will need there.

And that reminds me: if you have a child or grandchild in Scouting, or one who goes in for wilderness excursions or survival camping, why not give them the gift of outdoor safety by buying them a good-quality first aid kit? It isn't just marketing hype - these kits have been known to save lives!

Of course, good camping first aid kits should be well-stocked. For sure it should contain more than just antiseptic towelettes, burn cream and band-aids! These kits should include such things as a variety of bandages (including some for bandaging large wounds), adhesive tape, finger and leg splints, ace bandages, tweezers, scissors, snake bite kit, vinyl gloves - and also a comprehensive first aid guide.

The first aid guide, by the way is critical. It contains vital information on the proper treatment for wounds, handling poisoning cases, burns, animal bites, broken bones, drowning, treatment of the unconscious - many topics. If the guide supplied in your kit is not very good, buy a separate guide and keep it with your kit.

Here's a good tip: Buy one of those sturdy metal fishing tackle boxes (the ones with the fold out trays) and stock it with the items that you will need. This would make the perfect camping first aid kit for a scout troop or for family use.

Some other items to consider for your camping first aid kit: How about some pain and fever reducers (like aspirin or Tylenol)? A pre-paid cellular phone is also handy to have at times, in order to contact medical authorities or emergency assistance. Water purification tablets, emergency matches (in a waterproof case), thermal blanket and handheld GPS device can also be added to round out your kit.

One final note: once you have your kit assembled, make sure to inspect the contents at least once or twice a year. Remove any expired medicines, and replace any supplies that have gone beyond their shelf-life or that have been opened or damaged (opened or damaged items are no longer sterile). And as you use the supplies, make a note to buy replacements. You don't want to wait until you are in an the middle of nowhere, in the midst of a medical emergency, to find out that you are missing something!

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Author: Gary Colvin writes about camping, the outdoors and Coleman Camping Stoves Learn more aboutFolding Camping Trailers by stopping by his website.
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