Emergency Planning for the Great Outdoors

The beauty of the outdoors lies in everything from its natural coloring to the smells, sounds, and the clean air that you can enjoy there when you visit. If you are planning an outdoor adventure, it's important to ensure that you are prepared for the time of year and the specific location that you are heading to.

That includes being prepared for an emergency. If something should happen to you while you are hiking or camping, there probably won't be help close by and having some things on hand can mean the difference between life and death. Here are a couple of ways to prepare for the worst.

Let Someone Know Where You're Going

Find someone you trust and let them know your itinerary. Tell them where you are going and provide a map that details the route. Let them know when they should hear from you and instruct them about what to do if you haven't been in contact for too long.

 

Pack a Bag

When you are far away from civilization, it pays to have some things on hand and, if you get stranded or injured, some of them could end up being lifesavers. Pack a bag that has things that you'll need in normal circumstances and don't forget to bring some things that will help you in abnormal ones. What to bring for emergencies-

  • Lighter or flint
  • Blanket- If you are camping, you should already be bringing a sleeping bag, which is even better. While having a blanket may seem superfluous if you aren't planning on staying out, it can really come in handy if you are stranded somewhere cold and would like to avoid frostbite.
  • Water Bottle (or several) - Dehydration can hurt or even kill you, so bringing a reusable water bottle and a good supply of water is key.  
  • Pocket knife
  • Compass- A compass is another critical piece of gear. If you know where you are relative to the nearest town, finding the right path and getting help will be easier.
  • First aid kit- This shouldn't only include Band-Aids, but should have gauze, alcohol wipes, iodine, sterile needles, gloves, scissors, tweezers, splints, bandages, peroxide, antibiotics, antihistamines, and several other items. In addition, consider having liquid stitches on hand for open wounds that you don't want getting infected and that you need to staunch until help can be reached. It is important that any medications you may need during your time outdoors are included in this kit, as well, in their original bottles. If you do require emergency assistance, the bottle labels will provide crucial information. Browse our collection for more OTC products that will cover all your needs. 

 

Some may approach the great outdoors as a great escape -- a chance to get away from the stress of their everyday lives and reconnect with nature and themselves. While this is a great mentality to have, it is also important to remember that the further your adventures take you from civilization, the longer it will take for emergency personnel to reach you, should something go amiss. It is for this reason that you should take great care when preparing and ensure that you have all of your bases covered.

Sources

Outdoor Activity Injury Statistics

Camping Related Burns Injuries

Wilderness First Aid Basics 

Dermabond