First aid is about treating minor injuries, providing temporary aid for major injuries until care can be reached, and determining which is which and how urgently medical care needs to be obtained. Questions regarding temperature-induced conditions such as frostbite, hypothermia, and heat stroke are ...

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3answers
1k views

What to do if a team member falls sick?

Recently I fell ill whilst car camping and it made me consider the situations when not around amenities. In addition to this I recently was part of a four man, one dog team climbing Snowdon and one of ...
9
votes
2answers
121 views

Do polarized sunglasses protect against UV?

My eyes are sensitive and tending towards cataracts. I'm told to avoid the Sun's UV, but many polarized sunspecs don't mention UV. I'd appreciate it if someone knows the answer.
12
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2answers
250 views

Should one run (or walk) back to civilization if bitten by a rattlesnake?

From what I understand the most important thing to do when bitten by a rattlesnake is to get to a hospital. I often go on hikes where I am a few hours walk from civilization at the midpoint of my ...
10
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2answers
172 views

Is saltwater antiseptic?

On some occasions you don´t have anything to desinfect wounds, for example during a (short) walk along the beach. If you cut yourself or have a an small wound that needs cleaning, would it be wise to ...
3
votes
3answers
161 views

Where should a band be tied to stop bleeding from wound?

I asked this question on Biology.SE but they directed me toward this site. Suppose a leg is wounded (either from a gunshot or a knife) and there is significant bleeding. We see in movies that a ...
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2answers
200 views

Is it really that unsafe to touch a stranger's wound?

I am about to participate in a first aid training workshop. Before I do so, I am supposed to pass an online first aid course. While going through the course, I came across this section about applying ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

What is the recommended wilderness first aid treatment for a scorpion sting?

I'm going to be doing some backpacking in a desert environment state park. In the event that someone in my party is stung by a scorpion, what is the proper first aid? Note that we may be in a remote ...
10
votes
2answers
475 views

What should I do for a dislocated shoulder?

Under the assumption that I'm far enough out that I need to hike out on my own, and that I have someone who can help... what is the best way to immobilize a dislocated shoulder for a long hike out of ...
8
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1answer
431 views

Can body-to-body rewarming be used as a last resort treatment of hypothermia?

All of the arguments I've heard against using this method assume that you have adequate supplies for alternate rewarming methods. If you literally didn't, and it appeared they were going to freeze to ...
14
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1answer
3k views

Is it safe to use denatured alcohol as an antiseptic?

A lot of hikers carry denatured alcohol for cooking. Is there any risk to using it as an antiseptic for cuts and lacerations?
8
votes
3answers
421 views

Is there a large difference in WFA (Wilderness First Aid) programs?

I am looking at taking a WFA (Wilderness First Aid) class and there are a couple of outfits in my area offering it. Namely, SOLO, NOLS, and The American Red Cross. I have heard nothing but great ...
7
votes
5answers
103 views

What can I use to label my medicine tubes?

For my first aid kit, all of the medications are repackaged. I use nalgene snaptop vials like these. I have found that even permanent sharpie marker rubs off fairly quickly when hiking. I can ...
12
votes
1answer
131 views

How do you best treat a turned ankle in the back country?

Possibly the most common injury I see when hiking with groups is when someone turns or rolls their ankle. Assuming that access to a vehicle is not feasible, what is the best way to deal with the ...
8
votes
2answers
383 views

Preferred way to wrap someone with Hypothermia?

So I know How to treat hypothermia. That question and answer, however, do not address the old recommendation I have heard a 100 times of strip them down and get in a sleeping bag with them. Is that ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What can an injured person in the outdoors do to prevent infection by flesh-eating bacteria?

Perhaps you've heard about Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old adventurer who contracted a flesh-eating disease after getting injured in a zip line accident over the Tallapoosa River. She's already lost ...
11
votes
1answer
441 views

How to treat shin splints while backpacking

It's been a couple of years since I last had bad shin splits but I can still recall how painful they can be. I was able to heal them before mostly with a couple weeks rest. If the pain came back ...
6
votes
1answer
841 views

How to reduce pain of wasp stings

Assuming I am not allergic, or showing signs of allergic reaction, what's the best way to treat multiple yellow jacket (a type of wasp) stings in the outdoors while hiking/backpacking? My key concern ...
31
votes
5answers
12k views

Should you pop a blister?

When I'm home running or on a day hike, I prefer to pierce the skin as soon as a blister forms and drain all fluid from a blister to reduce the pain and further irritation/inflammation. In this case, ...
8
votes
4answers
561 views

How could I treat scrapes outdoors without a first aid kit?

Say I'm hiking outdoors and I get a scrape. I've forgotten my first aid pack, or already used up the appropriate supplies. Is there anything in the wilderness I can use to sterilize and perhaps cover ...
8
votes
5answers
365 views

What are some effective ways of reducing itching from a mosquito bite?

There are a lot of options for trying to prevent mosquito bites (DEET on skin, permethrin on clothing, mosquito nets while sleeping, etc.), but what about after you get bitten? What is the most ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

What essential items should go in a small first aid kit?

Another question asked what survival equipment should be carried in an emergency kit. But very little was about medical or first aid supplies (band-aids, gauze, tylenol, moleskin, etc). What items ...
12
votes
1answer
194 views

How long is too long to suffer from constipation in the back country?

Quite commonly, due to the barrage of newness the body experiences on an outdoor outing (new sensations, new exercise habits, new diet, etc) the body can stop the system up while it tries to figure ...
5
votes
1answer
495 views

What should I do if I'm stung by a scorpion?

What should I do if I'm stung by a scorpion? Is the venom harmful to humans?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake?

You should obviously avoid rattlesnakes if at all possible. But if you do get bitten by one, what should you do? What supplies can be brought ahead of time to allow for the best treatment, and what ...
8
votes
1answer
591 views

What to do if you're bitten by an adder?

I've heard that while adder bites are venomous the number of people who have died from them are extremely low. If you're on a trek and you're bitten is it safe to continue for a couple more days ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I avoid leeches?

The last time I was attacked by leeches I thought I'd taken enough precautions such as pulling my socks over my trousers and avoiding walking through particularly wet areas or long grass but I still ...
9
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4answers
3k views

How do you stop blood-flow from a leech bite?

Although leeches are relatively harmless, and you are not likely to bleed out from a bite, the blood stain on your clothes can be off-putting to your hiking buddies. Is there any effective way to ...
13
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4answers
4k views

Can any waterborne pathogens survive boiling?

I know that boiling does little to break down chemical contaminants or heavy metals. But I'm unsure if it kills all microbial life. Are there any waterborne illness-causing ...
45
votes
5answers
1k views

What are essential items in an emergency kit?

What are must-have items in an emergency kit for a multi-day hiking trip?
14
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6answers
317 views

How should I treat poison ivy?

If I'm struck by poison ivy, what should I do? Is there a way to suppress the itch?
20
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3answers
2k views

How do I treat hot spots and blisters when I have no moleskin?

A few times I've been out walking or backpacking and have no moleskin with me. Sure enough, my boots start giving me blisters. How can I prevent or treat hotspots and blisters without using ...