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31

Obviously, what you decide to pack depends on your trip and the environment, but these are the staples I always bring along: Navigation: You always need to be able to figure out where you are and which way you need to head to get out. In my opinion, a map without topography isn't a map (unless you're on very flat land). GPS with extra batteries Local ...


28

There are different types of being stranded; there's "lost the trail an hour in" stranded, "lost the trail twenty miles in" stranded, and "broke a leg" stranded, just to name a few. Considering your question Multi-day Hiking -- Therefore I assume you have standard hiking gear and are not asking for that. Also assuming that you're not going to be nearby ...


26

The key is reducing friction. Duct tape can be a good preventative as long as you get it on before a blister forms. After the blister is there, it's harder to recommend as once you're ready to remove the duct tape, you might pull the blister along with it. Other options are to make sure you're wearing dry non-cotton socks. If you find your feet sweat a lot ...


25

If you are running long distances over multiple days with boots, packs etc., and you must complete the distance you should plan to pop a blister at the end of day, but then you need to be sure you add some sort of padding to replace the protection the blister is giving you. You also need it cleaned and sealed, so antibacterial cleaner, then compeed, fakeskin ...


19

My mother, who is a doctor, has always told me to let blisters be. Keeping them unpopped keeps them clean and sterile, and (if I recall correctly) the fluid in them actually helps them heal faster. If you're in the wilderness, you really don't want to pop them and risk infection. Even if you have antibacterials, a popped blister is likely to contact dirt and ...


18

No, it is not safe to use denatured alcohol for two good reasons: Denatured alcohol refers to a class of ethanol produced for industrial uses that has been "denatured" which essentially means "made undrinkable" by mixing other compounds that are toxic or unpleasant to humans. The thing is, you, as the consumer, have no idea what exactly was mixed in. ...


16

The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation says: Preventive Measures First, let it be said that there is no sure prevention. Necrotizing fasciitis has been known to be spontaneous. A bruise or abrasion are all the "opening" in the skin necessary for bacteria to enter. However, there are some things you can do decrease risk. The single ...


13

It depends on precisely how big the kit is. A couple other answers have covered bigger packs, so I'll mention what could be in a much thinner pack. If it needs to be flat and relatively small: Bandages. Alcohol wipes. Gauze pads. A flat pad of athletic tape*. One or a couple small packs of Benadryl Antibiotic ointment (the small, flat packs of stuff ...


13

Seawater is not itself sterile, in fact, it has all kinds of organisms. Salt in a wound is likely to hurt, and saltwater won't be a particularly effective antiseptic. With wound cleaning, it's always a question of trade-offs. It might be better to use less-than-sterile water to clean an extremely dirty wound if infection is otherwise inevitable. However, ...


12

Have you tried Dock Leaves? They're well known as a way of soothing Nettle stings and might help.


12

The concern is valid; your basic plan should be to stay calm and not increase your heart rate. If other options for evacuation are not available, slowly walking yourself out is the best remaining option. The bitten area can swell quite a bit, so remove nearby jewelry or clothing to prevent them from turning into tourniquets. If you have a pen you can use ...


12

Decide depending upon the impact that person has on the group and the event. If he/she is a crucial member to keep going, may be the group should agree to call it off, and decide to turn back or set up a camp, depending upon the supplies and the location. You'd never want to make someone walk back home is he/she is really in not a shape to sustain the ...


11

Boiling kills everything -- giardia, cryptosporidium, other bacteria, and viruses. 185F (140.6C) for a few minutes will do it, and boiling for one minute will do it. (Boiling is lots of big bubbles, not just a few small bubbles on the side of the pot.) Some people recommend longer boiling times at higher altitudes because water boils at cooler temperatures ...


10

I have lots of leeches in my (otherwise) lovely swimming hole which is in a creek just as it leaves a lake. I read up on possible leech deterrents and now I rub my exposed skin with just about any kind of skin cream and they all seem to work. Waterproof sunblock is my current favorite but I've also used Off (Eucalytus) and even ordinary moisturizer. I ...


10

The #1 remedy I use is good old fashioned Duct Tape. I will usually put a large strip around the back of my ankle every morning before putting my socks on, just as a precaution. It sticks well and allows your boot and sock to rub around without rubbing directly on the skin, causing hotspots.


10

Wilderness medicine protocols taught by the major Wilderness First Aid / First Responder training companies (and subsequently adopted by most outdoor organizations) are fairly standard and quite clear about wound management in the back-country. The standard accepted practice for treating a wound is: stop the bleeding - usually possible via direct ...


10

You could do a lot worse than strip them and get in a sleeping bag with them, and indeed this used to be instructed as standard first aid for hypothermia. However, as far as I'm aware this has now changed and the recommended approach is to construct a 1 person thermal burrito / hyper-wrap. It's done as follows (content taken from the alpine institute blog!) ...


10

First, this answer is not a substitute for proper training. I recommend taking a class in Wilderness First Aid or higher to be better prepared for things like treating hypothermic people. Second, hypothermia is a term that tends to have different connotations with different people. Sometimes what people call "hypothermia" is just a very cold individual, or ...


9

Hartley (and Phil) pretty much have it covered, but I'd add a couple of things. A bothy bag - basically a quick emergency shelter for 4-6 people that packs down nice and small High energy/sugar foods - mars bars, peanuts, jelly, energy bars etc Also, it's a little over the top, but we take emergency cards that you fill out with vital information like the ...


9

This article (*) gives a good summary of the efficiency of boiling as a method for making water safe for consumption. In particular, Table 2 provides a summary of the temperature and time required to kill various micro-organisms. Sterilisation of water (killing all living containments) is not necessary to make water safe to drink. For example, boiling may ...


9

Part of the reason that people don't die from snake bites is because they take the proper precautions. And while the bite of an adder isn't likely to kill you, it could make your return trip much more difficult. One thing you do not want to do is to try and suck the venom out, or try and wrap a tourniquet around it. These will stop your bodies native ...


9

I will share what they told me when I was on a one month group-organised trek through the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. This is what the leader / group medic did. If you are going to end the trek soon, don't bother the blister. However, if you know that you will need to abuse that part of the body over the next days, and you know the blister is going to ...


8

Just additional two cents, but don't underestimate the visibility of a green laser pointer at night. In survival situations and with light fog, a green laser pointer shooting up in the sky will make your position extremely clear. For the exact same reason, don't use it with airplanes around. They hate that, and you will be found and prosecuted.


8

When bitten by a rattlesnake: keep the patient still. keep the body part/limb bitten below the area of the heart. do not constrict blood flow, remove jeweler, other articles of clothing, accessories that might restrict blood flow. get to a hospital as fast as possible, if at all possible. do NOT cut the bite and attempt to suck the venom do NOT apply a ...


8

I have suffered pretty badly from these on a couple long hikes. Here's my best suggestions from my experience: If at all possible stop hiking for a week (I know the scenario you set up precludes this ). Assuming for the rest of these you have to keep going: Whenever you stop, lie down with your feet up. If a cold stream is nearby, sticking your legs ...


8

You don't want to immobilize a dislocated shoulder. You really need to fix it. Even if held at just the right angle and not being jostled around, a dislocated shoulder hurts. After a while the muscles will tighten, then start spasming periodically. Then it really hurts and it becomes much more difficult to get it back in. There are some dangers in ...


8

As for the reason why it is risky: You cannot know if the guy you want to help has any disease that can be transferred via blood contact, such as HIV or Hepatitis. Already small wounds in your own skin –you might not recognize it as a wound at all– might be enough to transfer the disease, therefore it would be quite risky to just stick your hand into any ...


8

Polarized sunglasses, as with other type of sunglasses may not block enough UV to be considered safe. From WikiPedia: for adequate protection, experts recommend sunglasses that reflect or filter out 99-100% of UVA and UVB light, with wavelengths up to 400 nm. Sunglasses which meet this requirement are often labeled as "UV400. In other words, ...


7

Botulinum toxin is particularly tough, as is Bacillus cereus. B. cereus is more likely found while camping. For a good reference see: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/poison.html But your goal is not so much to kill everything as reduce the level to the point where it does no harm. The dust you breathe, the things you touch, and (yick!) the ...


7

Bring a wilderness first aid guide! Even if you have training, it could save your life if you're the one injured and someone else is trying to take care of you with your own kit. Here is a list of things I would have in pretty much any hiking first aid kit. There are other items worth considering for kits, but I consider these to be the minimum. Wound Care ...



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