Wilderness Survival

Build a Wilderness Survival First Aid Kit

A wilderness survival first-aid kit is very different from the kit you keep at home.  Add these five items so that you’re better prepared for wilderness emergencies. The items aren’t expensive and don’t take up much space, so there is no excuse for not having them with you. Being trained and prepared for wilderness injuries is crucial to survival.

Item #1- Malleable Splint
A SAM (Structural Aluminum Malleable) splint is an essential item for your wilderness survival kit. This splint is very compact and rolls up easily. It is made up of an aluminum center surrounded by foam padding. It can be bent and shaped to support a number of injuries like broken fingers or wrists. An important feature is that this splint can be cut easily with scissors to accommodate any size or shape.

Item #2- Moleskin
Moleskin pads are essential for keeping your feet safe in the wilderness. Not only can a blister ruin the fun of a hike but an infected blister can lead to a much more serious injury. Use scissors to cut a square that is large enough to address your need. Cover irritated spots that might turn into a blister, add a piece to a place in your boot that is causing discomfort, or place it over a broken blister after cleaning it.

Item #3- Angled Scissors
Don’t use just any regular pair of scissors for wilderness survival. Get a pair of angled scissors to include in your first-aid kit. These are the type of scissors carried by paramedics and they are tough on all kinds of materials. They’ll cut your Moleskin, all bandages, malleable splints, and clothing most importantly . Some injuries might require you to cut away tough clothing like denim and angled scissors will cut right through to give you access to the wound.

Item#4- Bandanna
A bandanna is frequently overlooked as a first-aid item. Keep a clean bandanna in your first-aid kit for making a tourniquet, extra bandage, or for cleaning wounds. If there is a wound that continues to bleed dangerously, use the bandanna to tie a triangle tourniquet above the wound to slow the bleeding. Tie it around the limb tightly and slide a solid stick through the tied knot to twist for extra pressure.

Item#5-Athletic Tape
You’ll have bandages and smaller gauze pads in your first-aid kit already, but the right kind of tape is essential for being able to continue moving after an injury. Use white athletic tape to keep bandages and moleskin patches in place so that you can continue moving comfortably. This white tape is easy to tear and cut and is made to stick well to skin.

A first-aid kit should be easily accessible in your Bug Out Bag as well as with you on any hike or camping trip you take. Take the family out to the drug store and build your own kit so that everyone knows what is inside and how the items should be used. Make sure your kit has a secure zipper and is compact enough to fit inside a waterproof bag. Train yourself and your family to practice proper wilderness safety.

 

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Jon Archer

Jon Archer

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