Common Camping Injuries and How to Treat Them

Going on a camping trip on your own or with others can be a great experience. Although the outdoors has its good points, you are also open to injuring yourself in minor and severe ways. When planning for a day (or maybe more) in the outdoors, it is important to be prepared for possible injuries that may happen while camping. Never forget to pack a first aid kit when preparing the gears and equipment necessary for your trip. But remember to put safety first, after all, prevention is always better than cure.

Weather Induced Injuries

  • Most of the time weather can be hard to predict and it plays a big role in one’s camping experience. Of course it’s necessary to read the weather report before the trip. 
  • Frostbite, heat stroke, and dehydration are just a few dangers that campers need to be careful of. 
  • Proper preparation is the best way to avoid these illnesses. Make sure that you have appropriate clothing gear for the weather and are prepared for sudden weather changes.
  • Pack enough fresh water. Drinking plenty of fluids is essential to keep you healthy. It prevents the chances of heat stroke and dehydration. Pack enough fresh water for drinking purposes.

Snake and Insect Bites

  • Let’s hope mosquitoes are the worst of the insect or animal bites you receive. A snake or spider bite can be cause serious physical damage and end your camping trip early if you don’t properly treat it. 
  • In the case of a snake bite, immediately apply a bandage or gauge over the bite. Keep the area of the bite wound clean. If the bite is on your arm, hold your limb below your heart to slow the spread of venom. Seek medical attention if the wound worsens.
  • Planning for mosquito or other less harmful insect bites isn’t as drastic. Pack insect repellent and don’t be afraid to wear it 24/7.
  • Pack plenty of matches and other fire-building supplies. The smoke from a campfire will fend off insects and bugs.

Poison Induced Skin Rashes

  • Your skin can suffer in the wilderness.sumac, and oak can cause rashes that will irritate your skin and cause blisters. Familiarize yourself with these different poisonous plants so you’ll be able to recognize and avoid them.
  • Clean the rash with clean water. Isolate or clean any clothing/accessories that also came into contact with the plants. Make a mental note to yourself about what these plants look like and remember to avoid them. Prevention is the best treatment.
  • Protect your skin with sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen and hats protects your skin from sun burn. Sun burn contributes to dehydration. If you are sunburned or feel light headed, find a spot of shade that you can rest in. Drink plenty of water, and avoid exposure to sunlight. Aloe Vera can be used to treat sun-burnt skin.

Sprains and Fractures

  • Twisted ankles and twist sprains are two extremely common injuries that people endure while hiking on rough terrain. It is important to keep a ice pack or bag of iced peas for situations like these. Holding a cold object near the injury can help prevent swelling and speed up recovery. If you have a twisted ankle, limit the amount of waking you do to not aggravate it. If possible, use a splint and medical tape to immobilize the injury.
  • If you happen to fracture a bone then it’s a good thing you packed a sling with lots of medical tape. Make a splint with a stick or long piece of wood, rolled up newspaper, or blanket. Immobilize it in whatever way possible. You can tape the limp to a splint or if it’s an arm injury then that sling will be useful.

Open Wounds and Cuts

  • When you scrape your knee or cut yourself, you may think that blood loss is your biggest problem. While limiting blood loss is important, it is crucial to clean the wound so it does not get infected.
  • You should always have a First-Aid kit with you while camping or hiking that includes bandages, medical tape, cotton swabs, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol, and bacitracin. Even if you do not have access to these materials, the least you can do it wash the wound with water. Hydrogen peroxide provides the disinfectant to sterilize your wound. For some wounds, it is best to use cotton swabs to apply the fluid. Then cover the wound with bacitracin to help it heal. Finally, secure it with bandages and medical tape.
  • When it comes to First-Aid, it is better to be safe than sorry. While it would be ridiculous to carry a hospital in your backpack, make sure that you have water and basic medical supplies with you at all times. It goes without saying that if the injury is too severe for you to handle yourself, seek professional medical treatment immediately.
Preparedness and knowledge in performing first aid are essential for every person whether or not they are going camping. Having an adventure in the outdoors is fun, but don’t forget to apply safety measures. Have a safe camping everyone!

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