First aid kits may seem too dowdy and fanatical in hiking for people who want to live on the edge and be more adventurous. But the truth is, first aid kits are essential for all the right reasons during a short or long hike. Imagine being in the middle of nowhere and a headache sets in, or stomach cramps with more than one dose of diarrhea. And these can prevent skin infections and treat blisters and other medical emergencies on a hike. Carrying a first aid kit is not optional but a necessity in the wild. So what’s a few grams or pounds of extra weight when it means making your hike more enjoyable and comfortable in the great outdoors?
Here are the few essentials in First aid kits:
- Anti-inflammatory analgesic. These medications can be classified into two, aspirin and non-aspirin. Aspirins are blood thinners and anti-clotting effect which make these not good for wound related pain and bleeding. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are appropriate for this. Keep these medications in a waterproof plastic such as a ziplock to prevent from getting wet.
- Sterilized gauze, band aids and adhesive waterproof tape. These are essentials in covering wounds to prevent infections.
- Alcohol swabs. These are pre-cut and individually packed to prevent contamination.
- Electrolyte tablets. Bring a few tablets, four or five to replace lost essential minerals from excessive sweating and due to illness such as diarrhea.
Now First aid kits don’t look too weighty at all and will not occupy too much space in a pack. The point of hiking, aside from getting fresh air and exercise is to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors, and experience being out on a mountain and great heights. Don’t let minor ailments curtail your enjoyment, bring a first aid kit. It’s better to be sensible than suffer with a great view.
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