Today’s topic for the Hunting Public is S-A-F-E-T-Y and I don’t mean that stupid 80’s song “Safety Dance”!
I want to discuss safety as it relates to first aid and to get more specific compact first aid kits that every hunter or avid outdoors woman or man should have in their backpack!!
There is no excuse not to be prepared….lets face it most of the time when hunting you are alone for some period of time and God forbid something bad should happen to you that would require some sort of first aid.
So I will unpack this article in the following manner:
- Hunting Safety Basics
- First Aid in General
- Essential First Aid Supplies
- Best Compact First Aid Kit for your $$
- Wrapping it up (conclusion)
So take a seat and listen up!
Hunting Safety Basics
I think it goes without saying (but I’m gonna say it anyway) always, always let someone know where you are intending to hunt or hike in the woods to the best of your ability spell it out for them what time you intend to come out of the woods. Its just good common sense to let someone within your hunting party or camping / hiking group know your intentions.
This can save a lot of valuable time should you become injured / disorientated or just plain lost …this will allow your hunting buddies to narrow the search for you should you NOT exit the woods in a reasonable amount of time. Better yet if you have use of two-way radios bring one with you (if you do not have cell phone coverage).
If you have the ability to attend a basic CPR or some sort of outdoors emergency class do it! This could mean the difference of a challenging day in the field or a potential disaster. I would also go on to say have some basic knowledge of first aid and how to render it to others as well as yourself. Have some knowledge of what sort of animals you could encounter on your adventure mainly the animals / inspects and plants that can cause you harm and pain like poisonous snakes / biting inspects and poison ivy etc. and how to avoid them all together.
If you are an avid outdoors man or woman inevitably you will encounter Mother Nature to some degree and it will be more reassuring to yourself if you have some knowledge of what you could be up against….so be prepared.
First Aid in General
Having some general knowledge of first aid will go a long way in determining the outcome of an accident or mishap in the field. Knowing what sort of bandage to apply to what sort of wound or what ointment to apply to an insect bite it extremely helpful.
Also a good understanding of what types of medication can be used to treat certain symptoms like benadryl and aspirin / ibuprofen etc. Knowing how to bandage a wound or set a splint is helpful as well, how to stop or minimize bleeding is an essential skill to acquire. Knowledge is power so with that in mind take some time before every season to brush up on your first aid skills and knowledge once again being prepared will make a huge difference.
Essential First Aid Supplies
The basis of this article is centered around “compact” first aid kits knowing good well a standard sized first aid kit will have more medical supplies and will be more productive when treating an injured person. So I suppose that you can actually “customize” your first aid kit for your day in the field depending on what you intend to do (i.e. Hunting / hiking / fishing etc.).
So the items listed below are only “basic” supplies keeping in mind you can add to the list as required:
- gauze sponges,
- band-aids & butterfly bandages
- prep pads
- allergy ointment
- antibiotic cream
- nitrile gloves
- duct tape
- space blanket
- medical tape
- scissors & razor blade
Best Compact First Aid Kit for your $$
I have been caring a compact first aid kit for the past 25 years or so in my backpack and in this case fanny pack / belt and the brand I have used for so long is the “I GO” brand Hard Shell Mini Compact First Aid Kit (pictured below) this compact kit can slide easily in your backpack and is light enough to stick in your fanny day pack or belt for that matter.
It has all the essentials to at least address minor cuts / bruises and inspect bites (see pic below) its hard shell case keeps the contents from being crushed should the kit get shifted in your backpack and you sit on it (trust me I’ve done it). I will also add to this section that I also keep a larger fully stocked medical / first aid kit in my truck the thought being here if I can address the issue in the field and safely make it back to the truck I can then use the materials in the larger more extensive medical kit to complete the necessary treatment required.
Wrapping things up……..
Being prepared is paramount when in the field alone. This knowledge and training will at least give you a “fighting chance” should something go wrong on your trip or hunt. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid encounters with animals / inspects and plants that could harm you.
In closing, I hope this article at least at a minimum gave you something to think about as it relates to the safety of your well-being as well as those of others………
Happy Hunting Hilljackers