Written By: Patricia Bessey
Camping is a great way to relax and enjoy nature, but the wilderness is not hazard-free. It’s important to know, before setting out on any adventure, how to respond in the event of an accident.
Be Prepared for Bites and Stings
Knowing how to treat a bee sting is an important tip with special emphasis on allergies. Know before heading out if anyone is allergic to bee stings and have the appropriate medication on hand. In the event of a sting to someone without allergies, it is important to have tweezers to remove stingers, alcohol to cleanse the area, and a painkiller for discomfort relief.
Tweezers are also handy for removal of ticks. Be certain to retain the tick’s body once removed so it can be taken to the doctor upon returning home. Many medical professionals will test the ticks for Lyme disease so the unfortunate victim will know if they’ll need to seek additional treatment. Insect repellant for all people and dogs included on the trip will help to keep away some of the pests, as will insect repellant-style candles and torches. Placing these around the camping area will eliminate many biting insects.
Campfires are entrancing and fun, but they can be dangerous. Be prepared for potential burns by having antibiotic salves, gauze, and bandages on hand. Make sure to keep the affected area clean and covered at all times while in the woods. If there is any sign of infection or if the burn is larger than an average large bandage, seek medical attention immediately.
Sunburns can also be dangerous. The best tip is to avoid them by wearing a sunscreen with a high enough SPF and to reapply frequently if swimming or sweating heavily. Otherwise, aloe is the best heat quencher for sunburn. Apply aloe generously and keep skin covered to avoid further sun damage. Any blistering should be covered and left alone. If the blisters break, cleanse gently, apply an antibiotic cream, and cover with a bandage.
Broken Bones and Cuts
Aside from certain horrific injuries, it can be difficult to ascertain if a bone is broken or if it’s just a sprain or exceptionally painful bump or bruise. It’s better to err on the side of caution. Have bandages and know how to apply a splint to the injured area. Learn how to stop or slow bleeding from cuts by applying pressure or tourniquets if necessary.
Know the Area
Every terrain is unique as well as having different species of wildlife and insects. Be educated about these dangers. Dress appropriately, have plenty of water, or a water purifying kit. Know the signs of dehydration, hypothermia, and shock. Be aware of poisonous snakes and insects and know how to avoid them. Pay attention to the weather and take any storm warnings seriously.
Above all, know the basics. Be able to read a map and a compass. Stay on trails or within marked areas, and remind children to do the same. Have on hand, and use, safety gear such as lifejackets, flashlights, and appropriate footwear. Know how to do the Heimlich maneuver and CPR. Know where the closest help is and how to reach them. Be aware of the wilderness skills and limits of everyone on the camping trip.