There is always a possibility of some risks when you are outdoors. A wide variety of injuries can happen as you simply can’t predict the outdoor environment. You have no control in such situations and hence, you cannot be 100 percent prepared for the outcomes. However, you can always mitigate the risks by preparing yourself with diligence and prudence. This becomes more important when you are travelling in a group or with your companion. The last thing you would want is your friend lying in front of you needing medical help and you standing there with no clue what to do.

You cannot expect to find a medic during the hike. Hence, to have the basic medical knowledge is invaluable. You need to familiarise yourself with the basic injuries on outdoor trips and the ways you can deal with them. Here is a guide to prepare you for the outdoor emergencies and essential first aid tips.

  • Initial size-up

The priority after an injury has occurred is to ensure that there is no further danger. Scene size-up is checking the surrounding to make sure that it is a safe place to stay. Identify the nature of injury and if you need to move somewhere else. Establishing the safety of the injured is more important than reaching out to the injured. Remember, you can only help your friend or colleague if the surroundings are safe for you too. Otherwise, you will end up getting injured instead of helping your friend.

  • Remember the ABC’s

The most critical aspect in the wilderness scenario is to remember the ABC’s - airway, breathing and circulation. Go to the injured person and make sure the airway is open and they are breathing. Also, check that the circulation is good. Airway and breathing should be checked simultaneously by kneeling beside the patient and placing your ear above their mouth, looking at their chest at the same time. An obstructed airway must be opened.

The tongue of the unconscious person should be moved up manually to open the airway. Orient the head for optimal breathing. Give mouth to mouth if the breath is missing and CPR if the pulse is absent.

  • Dressing the wound

Trauma is a common injury during hiking. You must have a plan of action whether it’s a small cut or a serious laceration. Small cuts and scrapes can be treated the same way you treat them at home by cleaning the wound with sterile solution, applying some ointment or cream and finally dressing it. However, for deeper cuts, the process is a little complicated.

You need to observe the wound and check for any debris or dirt. Remove it very carefully and then clean the wound. If there is any bleeding, stop the bleeding first with the help of glue tapes, medical tape, etc. Let it hold everything in place and let the wound heal. The last step is to apply a sterile dressing or a bandage.

Lastly, keep a first aid box always in your backpack. You never know when you might need it.