Camping and hiking injuries are more common than you'd think. When you're in the great outdoors, there are a lot of unpredictable things that can happen. However, being fully prepared and understanding your camping equipment, the trail, and nature can help prevent some serious camping injuries.
Before you embark on your hiking adventure, you need to make sure you've packed your first-aid kit. Your first-aid hiking kit should include extra sunblock, bandages, medicine, medical tape, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, and safety pins. Carry a Swiss army knife or a multi-tool with you so that you can easily cut up bandages.
Here are a few common camping injuries, how to treat them, and what you can do to prevent them.
Sunburn and Skin Issues
Nothing ruins a camping holiday more than an unwanted and painful sunburn. The most obvious answer to this is sunblock. Wear SPF 15 and reapply liberally every two hours to protect your skin from cancer-causing direct UV rays. Wear protective clothing, long sleeves, and sunglasses.
If you happen to contact poison ivy, you may experience an itchy rash that spreads to sensitive areas. You'll have to clean the affected area and sanitize your clothes if they've come into contact with it as well. Being able to identify different plants and leaves and taking the time to do so will prevent any unwanted skin rashes and ailments. You can take a hiking or adventure class for this, or simply do your research online.
Bug bites are the enemies of happy campers. From gnats to mosquitos, any kind of stinging or biting insect completely ruins the atmosphere. To prevent annoying bug bites, wear protective clothing with full sleeves. Wear insect repellent at all times, especially during the evening and nighttime. You can even wear a head net if bugs get too annoying, but generally, it isn't needed. Calamine lotion helps with bug bites, so make sure you're carrying it with you.
Spider or snake bites are much more dangerous. Apply an icepack, put a bandage over the wound, and apply pressure. Seek medical health immediately.
Ankle Sprains and Fractures
Your first-aid kit should include a medical brace that can help with any sort of sprain or fracture. Hiking on uneven trails that contain branches, slippery rocks, and mud can result in ankle sprains and fractures. You should invest in proper hiking gear and protective hiking boots that have a good grip. It'll help stabilize your steps and prevent slipping. You can also use a stick or a hiking pole for better balance.
Cuts and Bruises
Falling and tripping are all a part of the hiking experience. If you have a heavy camping bagpack that's stressing your back out and throwing your balance off, it's very likely that you'll slip and scrape your knee. Use a hiking pole to help reduce pressure on your knees and remain in balance. A good first-aid kit can quickly help treat any cuts and bruises on your skin, so don't worry too much. Keep your wounds clean and disinfected, but seek medical help if the wound is intense.
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