Hiking is an intensive outdoor activity that requires a lot of physical energy. Both your interior and exterior body parts are put into constant movement and exercise. As a result, you are easily susceptible to injury of one form or another. This is not a must-happen rule. However, it is always good to be prepared if injury or any other complication was to occur during hiking. Here is a list of must-have first aid items that help contain incidents before getting proper medical help.
Joint sprains and muscle pulls are quite often in hiking trips, especially when a steep slope is concerned. Most sprains and pulls are mild and would easily heal with the correct self-care. Having an inflammatory ointment keeps the area of affliction from swelling therefore also reducing the amount of pain.
Bandages are the holy grail of any first aid kit. They help in almost all sorts of injuries including broken or dislocated joints, sprains, bleeding wounds etc. a bandage is usually used as a binding gear to keep injured bones intact in order to contain the damage. However, bandages can also come in handy if there is bleeding involved. Wrapping up an open wound helps in reducing the chances of a bacterial infection.
Whether you have stepped on a thorn, got cut by a branch or fell on gravel, the open wound has to be sanitized before it is covered. An antiseptic liquid such as methylated spirit helps clean the wound incurred during the hiking trip. Some antiseptics also help dry out the wound by stimulating the clotting effect, therefore, reducing any excess bleeding. Make sure to cover all cleaned wounds to avoid any further infections.
Where there is an injury, there is bound to be a pain. Having some painkillers during your hiking trip will help the patient cope with the discomfort before getting medical help. You might also get headaches from fatigue or hunger and painkillers will greatly help.
Water has a lot of soothing properties. Aside from preventing dehydration that happens more often than not in hiking trips, water can also act as a cooling agent. During incidents of nosebleeds or sprains, cool water helps balance the body temperature, therefore, releasing pressure and with it bleeding and swelling respectively. Water is also important for cleaning wounds before applying sanitizers.
Other first aid items necessary may be specific to certain individuals such as inhalers for those with respiratory complications and Epi-pens for those prone to allergic reactions.