Nature Escapes

Pack a Wilderness First Aid Kit and be Ready for Scraps, Falls, Bites, Bugs ...




Jungle habitats are tough on the body. Packing a wilderness first aid kit is just a smart move when you want to keep the adventure going instead of retreating for treatment for minor or major medical problems.

Being outdoors with the elements means that you risk exposure to extreme weather, snake bites, leeches, hiking accidents, hazard trees, rock fall or maybe an unpleasant encounter with a wild animal.


Rainforest Snake Jungle Leech

Dealing with medical situations in the real jungle is quite different than handling an urban jungle emergency. First, professional medical care is nowhere in sight, unlike towns where you are only minutes away from a clinic or hospital.

Deep in the jungle, a victim is hours away from help. When someone is hurt in the wilderness, the care provider must attend to prolonged medical needs, face environmental hazards and rely on limited equipment. And these conditions may persist for only hours or possibly days.

  • Try to get some basic first aid training to treat mishaps and emergencies in the jungle.
  • Be aware that wilderness medical care requires extended attention in less than ideal surroundings.
  • Tropic heat conditions tend to make medical matters worse, so give immediate and constant care.


Wilderness First Aid Kit: Basic Principles of Outdoor Care

Getting back to nature is all about lifting your spirits, feeling free in unconfined air and testing your inner Tarzan or McGyver. That's great, go for it! Leech BiteBut when the jungle vine snaps or your hands bleed from bamboo punctures, you'll need some ointment and bandages.

Even with minimal knowledge you can really do more than you think to diffuse an emergency. Of course the more experience and training, the better, so take advantage of available first aid courses and instruction.

Let's cover some basic principles of nutrition and hydration to be aware of to ease your pain in the jungle. And for those harrowing circumstances when injuries are severe and evacuation may be days, not hours, a survival mindset conquers panic and fear.

Nutrition Your body works overtime in the jungle. Keep it running with proper fuel and water. Low energy levels translate into high risk scenarios whereby the body suffers from exhaustion, weakness, cramps or dizziness. Don't be a drag on your jungle party, eat and drink often to replenish your stamina.

Pack a few energy bars or trail mix (gorp) into every jungle journey. Never wait to trail's end because you'll always fall behind in getting enough fuel and fluids.

Hydration Water requirements double or triple in the jungle compared to the 2 liters needed on a normal office day. Get into the habit of drinking small amounts throughout the day by keeping water bottles full and handy in outside pack pockets.
Survival Mindset Prepare yourself mentally to overcome hardships and discomfort. Fear increases adrenaline and attention to deal with dangers, but it must be harnessed to avoid panic.

Panic attacks are destructive, waste energy and screw-up thinking - all breaking down one's spirit. You must focus your mind to analyze and deal with the situation and concentrate on tasks to get you out safe.

In the wilderness, eating right and drinking often help prevent accidents and illness. Well-nourished bodies equate to stamina to stave off infection, hypothermia, diarrhea, burns, bites and cuts, and wounds.

Increase your calorie intake to keep up with higher energy demands: probably twice the fuel needed compared to a regular working day.


Wilderness First Aid Kit: Essentials for Outdoors

You explore the jungle to expect the unexpected, so you'll never anticipate or kit out for every problem. Prepare a first aid kit to get you through most of the minor mishaps and some of the major ones.

Jungle Spider

The key criteria to consider are: the number of people participating; how many days will you be in the jungle; and carrying enough supplies for 8 to 12 hours before reaching a clinic.

Whether it's a day trip to a rainforest waterfall, a backpacking excursion in the highlands or a whitewater rafting romp, load up a wilderness first aid kit first with all the essential items in each category. And keep it stored in a waterproof pouch with easy access on outside pockets:

  • Bandages
  • Blisters and Sprains
  • Burns and Bites
  • Eye, Nose and Throat
  • Sunscreen
  • Instruments
  • Minor Wounds
  • Accessories


  • Here's a sample list to get you started:

  • Elastic bandages
  • Non-adhesive sterile bandages
  • Moleskin and Blister pads
  • Anti-fungal cream
  • Benadryl tabs
  • Ibuprofen tabs
  • Lomotil tabs
  • Tiger balm
  • Insect sting relief
  • Motion sickness tabs
  • Adhesive tape (water resistant)
  • Sterile eyewash and eye pads
  • Sterile scalpel
  • Safety pins
  • Surgical gloves
  • Syringe and needle
  • Sterile saline solution
  • Membrane dressing
  • Iodine wipes
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Superglue
  • Vaseline gel
  • Small knife
  • Scissors
  • Survival blanket





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