What First Aid Skills Do You Need To Know For The Trail?

One of the primary reasons people go hiking and camping is to escape the frantic urban and suburban worlds of their daily life. Getting away from civilization and spending time in nature, surrounded by wild animals and crickets.

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what are some common trail injuries

More Things To Know About What First Aid Skills Do You Need To Know For The Trail

Of course, when you're outside of society, you don't merely get away from the traps of modern life. You also forego advantages such as hot and cold running water, air conditioning, and easy access to medical care.

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Most outdoor enthusiasts are well prepared to make the first two sacrifices, but nobody gets enthusiastic about how far away the nearest emergency room is. Here's what you should know if the worst happens and you need to treat injuries on the trail.

what first aid skills do you need to know for the trail

Always Have A First Aid Kit On Hand

To treat any accident, the first thing you'll need is a first aid kit. Here's a quick checklist of everything you should bring on the trail:

  • Wipes With Antiseptic Properties
  • Ointment With Antibacterial Properties
  • Adhesive Bandages
  • Butterfly Bandage
  • Gauze Pads
  • Sterile Nonstick Pads
  • Surgical Adhesive Tape
  • A Roll of Gauze
  • Ace Bandages 
  • Treatment for Blisters
  • Insect Sting Repellent
  • Compresses, Both Hot and Cold
  • Antihistamines
  • Tweezers With a Fine Point
  • Safety Pins

We're also presuming you have hand sanitizer and a knife, which are both required for any outdoor adventure. Now that you're properly outfitted, you're ready to confront the dangers of the woods.

Common Trail Injuries and Their Treatment

What we're talking about here is first aid. We will not instruct you on how to do an emergency tracheotomy or limb amputation. We're talking about how to bandage yourself or your camping friend sufficiently to go to a skilled medical practitioner. That's why it's called "first" help rather than "best" aid.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the most common ailments you're likely to encounter on the field.


Sprained ankles might not be the most common hiking injury in the United States, they're certainly in the top three. Nothing ruins a trekking weekend quite like an ankle sprain. But if it does happen, there's an easy term to remember: RICE. This abbreviation means:

Rest - You just wounded yourself, so get your weight off that sprained ankle. If you must hike out, give yourself at least a few minutes and try to find a stick – or a friend – to lean on if at all feasible.

Ice - Ice your injured joint with a cold pack from your first-aid kit. Ideally, you should do this for 20 minutes every hour, but do your best under the conditions.

Compress - Wrap the Ace bandage over your ankle or knee tightly. You don't want your toes to turn blue, but a great tight wrap can keep your tendons from swelling any more than they would otherwise.

Elevate - Keep your sprained joint elevated higher than your heart while you're not obliged to be upright. As a result, blood flow will be reduced, and inflammation will be reduced.

Bone Fractures

First aids on bone fractures are just temporary solutions. If you or one of your trekking companions fractures a bone, get medical assistance immediately. However, in order to get out of the woods as quickly as possible, you may need to conduct some first aid.

To brace a broken limb, wrap several robust sticks with paracord or tape to form a splint. Things are considerably easier if you're traveling with a tent; you can use the tent poles as an emergency splint.

Bee Stings

Look for the stinger of a honeybee or bumblebee, then extract it with tweezers and apply insect bite spray to minimize swelling and itching. If you were stung by a wasp or a hornet, there will be no stinger left behind, so simply use your bite spray and you'll be OK.

If someone in your group has a known severe allergy to bug stings, they should always take an epi-pen with them. If you have an epi-pen with you, be sure at least one of your hiking companions knows where it is and how to use it.

Food Poisoning

Even the most seasoned outdoor enthusiasts can be swayed by some delectable-looking berries or the dubious leftover camp food that's still hanging there in the morning.

The most important thing to do if someone in your group has food poisoning is to stay hydrated. Diarrhea and vomiting can produce a significant loss of fluids, therefore it is critical to keep a supply of fresh water on hand.

Always pass your water through a working charcoal filter before drinking or cleaning wounds. If your filter fails, you can boil all water before drinking or cleaning wounds.

These are the top first aid skills for hiking and camping trips that you need to know to stay safe. A little prevention goes a long way.


camping skills, first aid