Outdoor hobbies and activities are a great way to relax, unwind, and escape from the stresses of daily living. However, even the most seasoned outdoorsman wouldn’t leave the comfort of home without making sure they have a first aid survival kit should something unexpected happen. For lovers of extreme sporting likes white water paddling, which has gained infamy as one of the most dangerous outdoor activities, having a first aid survival kit that is equipped to deal with some of the unique aspects of the hobby is even more essential.
In this article, we will go through the basics of building a white water first aid kit so that the next time an opportunity to take to the water comes up, even a newcomer to the hobby will be well prepared for every eventuality.
Make It Light, Easy to Carry, and Waterproof
Whitewater paddlers often travel light as the hobby is extremely taxing on the body and requires the upper body strength to navigate treacherous waters as well as the stamina and strength to be able to handle portages should the river become too dangerous to paddle. For this reason, white water survival kits need to be light and easy to carry, either in a backpack or in the kayak or canoe itself, or they risk being left behind and inaccessible should an accident occur. If a kit cannot fit into a backpack, ensure that you have some way of fastening the kit to the boat.
As most survival kits contain medications and other items that are sensitive to water, kits should always be contained within at least one waterproof layer. This layer also needs to be highly durable and tear-resistant to avoid potential mishaps.
Include Medications and Medical Equipment for Multiple Issues
When putting together a kit, ensure that the medications that are included don’t just help for pain or inflammation. Aside from medications like Ibuprofen, survival kits should also include antihistamines for the treatment of bug bites, glucose paste for the immediate relief of a blood sugar crash, at least one type of cortisone cream for relief from itching associated with bug bites or contact with a poisonous plant, and antacids, anti-nausea, and anti-diarrhea medication for any stomach issues.
Keeping a small stock of good quality first aid equipment such as an oximeter, splints for fingers, and other useful medical equipment can also make a huge difference in a life-threatening situation. Websites such as Rapid Rescue, a leading wholesaler of medical emergency equipment, carry a huge range of different medical supplies, many of which could prove essential in a paddlers’ first aid kit.
Some Basics You Should Always Include
All first aid kits should include at least one container that can be used to purify water and then carry it should a rafter or paddler need to replenish their water supply.
Basic hygiene items like gloves are an essential addition to any wound care kit, which should always be a part of the survival kit, to prevent the contamination of wounds as well as to ensure that the person giving first aid is not exposed to infection while they are treating another paddler’s wounds.
Other essentials include a flashlight, matches, duct tape, water purification tablets, a knife or cutting implement, as well as a space blanket. Paddlers should always have a checklist of the items that should be in their first aid kit so that they can check their kit is still intact before leaving for any outdoor trip.
This list is by no means comprehensive, and the needs of one paddler may not be the same as the needs of another. Different environments also present different challenges to paddlers, so adventurers must always do their research before they embark on any adventure.