First Aid for Camping

First aid for camping trips should be at the top of your packing list. Proper preparation is essential to the success of your camping adventures.

You have probably written many lists of what to take. You have your clothes picked out and your meals planned.

But are you prepared to deal with camping injuries that might occur during your vacation?

A basic knowledge of first aid will give you the confidence you need to enjoy your camping trip.

Here are four possible situations that you might encounter on a camping trip.

First Aid for Camping: Dehydration

Dehydration is caused by either not drinking enough water or by losing too much body fluids. This is much more common in the summer months, but any type of strenuous exercise can cause dehydration.

There are actually three levels of dehydration.

# Heat cramps: Symptoms are a dry mouth, headache, muscle cramps, heavy sweating and extreme thirst.

# Heat exhaustion: The symptoms are extreme sweating, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and skin that is moist and cool . The victim may also have chills, cramps and may vomit.

# Heat stroke: This is the most serious type of dehydration. The subject may be unconscious. He is no longer sweating and looks very flushed. His pulse will be very rapid and he may exhibit mental confusion.

The first aid for all three situations is fairly similar. Put the victim in the shade and try to rapidly cool him off. Pour cool water on him, and try to get him to drink as much warm, not cold, water as he can.

In the case of heat exhaustion and stroke, it is recommended that you elevate his legs. Heat stroke is very serious and he should receive medical help immediately.

Family Camp Site

First Aid for Camping: Sprains

A sprain occurs when a joint is suddenly stretched beyond its normal range of motion. The symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising and the inability to move or bear weight on the injured area.

The appropriate treatment for a sprain is summed up in the acronym RICE.

R = Rest the injured area. Do not put any weight on it.

I = Ice the swollen area. Leave an ice pack on for 20 minutes and then off for 20 minutes. The longer you can do this, the quicker the swelling will go down.

C = Compress the sprained area. Use an elastic bandage to do this.

E = Elevate the sprained area, above the level of the heart if possible.

First Aid for Camping: Cuts, Scrapes And Burns

Cuts and scrapes are inevitable, especially when children are involved. If someone cuts himself or gets a scrape, thoroughly wash any foreign matter from the wound.

Then apply an antiseptic ointment to the injured area, and cover it with a band aid. If it is too large for a band aid, use a gauze pad and fasten it with surgical tape.

Burns may occur when you are cooking over the campfire. That's why it's better to cook your meals on a Coleman Road Trip grill and save the campfire for marshmallows.

If you do get burned, pour cold water over the affected area. Apply burn cream, but do not cover the burn with oil or butter. This just traps the heat. If the burn is more severe, get medical help immediately.

Insect And Snake Bites

Whether you are hiking in the woods or just relaxing at the campground, it's important to remember not to approach wild animals.

Pull out your Nikon 8 X 42 binoculars if you want a closer look. It's not so easy to avoid insect bites. They are a lot more common than snake bites, but it's good to know what to do in either case.

Snake Bites

# If you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by a snake, contact emergency first aid immediately.

# Keep the bitten area lower than your heart.

# Wrap an elastic bandage, starting closest to the heart and wrapping away from it.

# The bitten area may swell, so it is best to remove any constricting clothing or jewelry.

# Do not try to cut and suck the venom out. This does not work and may introduce infection.

# Take a picture of the snake if you can. This will help the doctor in determining how to treat you.

Insect Bites

# Perhaps a spider has crawled inside your Coleman 3 Room Tent and you have been bitten. A paste of baking soda or meat tenderizer and water, placed over the bitten area, will draw the poison out.

The same treatment works for bee stings. If you have an allergic reaction, a medicine like Benadryl will help reduce the symptoms.

# If you are bitten by a tick, remove it with tweezers. Ticks burrow their heads into the skin and you must remove the whole tick.

Grab hold of it with the tweezers, as close to your skin as you can. Apply a smooth steady pressure. Don't twist it. Just pull it straight out. Make sure you have the head. Always check yourself for ticks when you are outdoors. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, which can make you very sick.

Education and preparation will enable you and your family to deal calmly with any of these four camping injuries that you may encounter. Now that you know some basic first aid for camping, you can enjoy your camping trip with peace of mind.

Author Bio: Stephanie lives near the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, where she has enjoyed many hiking trails. She has a website, Always Outdoors that has information on outdoor activities. She also reviews outdoor products.

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