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.
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.
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! But 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.
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.
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:
Here's a sample list to get you started:
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