First Aid Tricks Every Hiker Should Know

by | Aug 19, 2022 | Nature & Travel

Hiking is a fun and amazing activity. It offers an opportunity to experience nature, from the radiant sunshine and fresh air to eye-catching views of the countryside, and exercise our bodies. However, things can change in the blink of an eye and what started as a fun activity can become a nightmare.

For these unforeseen and unplanned situations, every hiker should have a couple of first aid tricks in their arsenal. In this article, we will teach you some of them.

Let’s start!

Clean the wound

If you’re hiking and you, or someone that’s with you, suffers a deep scrape or cut, clean the wound first before you take any other action. If you neglect to clean a wound and choose to bandage it instead, you would be increasing the likelihood of an infection, which may worsen the situation.

By the way, ensure you use clean, safe water to wash the wound. Ideally, you should have antibiotic ointment. Apply this after cleaning. Finally, dress it in gauze or bandages until you can get to a hospital for further treatment.

Learn the difference between heatstroke and sweating

As a hiker, you should know the difference between heatstroke and sweating. This is important as it will enable you to identify when one or the other is happening and take appropriate measures.

Naturally, you will sweat when you’re hiking and this does not pose any danger. However, heatstroke is a different story as it can cause major damage to our organs – kidneys, heart, and muscles.

If you feel the following way while hiking or observe these signs, we advise you to get urgent medical help:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry or clammy skin
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Rapid breathing
  • Confusion, seizures, or slurred speech
  • Headache
  • Flushed skin

If you encounter somebody on the trail with these symptoms, we recommend you find a shade and get them under it. Then, take every measure you can to reduce their body temperature. You can remove the extra layers of clothing on their body, spray them with water, fan them, or even have them take a dip in a body of water if there is one nearby.

Learn to identify concussions

Concussions are usually not dangerous; however, because of the odd ones that might result in a major and threatening health situation, you should be mindful of every concussion.

If, while hiking, someone hits their head, we advise you to keep a close watch over them and observe how they act. While it is normal to experience a little headache, anything more might point to a bigger problem. If the person loses consciousness for a few seconds, experiences temporary confusion, and has amnesia, you should have them rest a bit and then take them to see a doctor when you get to town.

If, on the other hand, the person has prolonged unconsciousness, serious headache, and experiences long confusion or amnesia, you should get them to health personnel immediately.

Learn to identify dehydration

A common occurrence on the hiking trail is dehydration. Fortunately, it is a problem you can easily solve. If you feel dizzy, light-headed, or stumble on a flat surface while hiking, chances are that you’re dehydrated.

In such an instance, we recommend you take a seat preferably under a shade. Then, slowly drink water until you feel better before you continue your hike.