Do you own and carry a First Aid Kit?
Are you carrying a First Aid Kit when you leave for an outdoor adventure?
The beginning of the new Fall season is always a good time to reset my “outdoor activity” programs. The long, hot summer is over and a new season is upon us.
The Fall season brings River Fishing, Hunting, and Photography into play. This also includes lots of Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping. The temperatures begin to fall and the days and nights become a lot cooler.
For me, every new season is a time to reassess and re-organize my “gear”. If you are like most outdoors people, you suffer from varying degrees of “gearhead syndrome”.
Fear not, there is hope for you and your illness.
While most outdoor activities are very gear specific, one item that should never be excluded is the First Aid Kit.
A Real Life Event!
A few days ago, I was River Fishing for Chinook and Coho Salmon on the Chilliwack/Vedder River. The day was warm and sunny and a real pleasure to be on the river. Surrounded by mountains that had just received a dusting of snow, it was hard to imagine a better way to spend this late summer day.
Sometimes, when I river-fish, I line-up with the group, along the bank, and trade fishing stories when the fishing is slow. Other times I like to wander up or down the river to study this season’s river topography. This method produced 1 Pink Salmon, however, they cannot be retained in this river, at this time, this season.
Further upstream, I managed to find a deep hole that was literally alive with these Pink Salmon fish. I could see 100’s of these Pink Salmon in this hole and try as I might there was no way these fish were going to bite. Five other fishermen stopped by and all left like me, with no tight lines!
The fact that these fish were not biting, and not being able to keep them anyway, soon had me on the move again. I love Hiking, and if there is no reason to sit or stand still, I am soon on my way. I like to cover lots of water and this is actually good steelhead training and preparation.
Half a mile of riverbed and riverbank walking brought me to an enthusiastic and very energized group of fishermen. As I made my way upstream, I saw a beautiful Coho and many large Chinooks that had recently been caught.
Eying the group, I quickly spotted my friend Don, … a calm, patient, and easy to talk to “kind-of-guy”. Don was a little less relaxed than normal and I asked him why he didn’t seem to be his usual self?
He said, … “you just missed a very ugly accident”. Someone had just broken their eyeglasses with a fishhook that had dislodged itself from a big “Spring” Salmon. The tension on the line shot the hook straight into his eyeglasses and broke the eyeglasses.
This, unfortunately, left pieces of glass in his eye. This had happened only minutes before I arrived.
While I have no statistics on this type of accident, (unset hook coming towards your face/eyes) I am hearing of more and more instances of this. These 10 to 20 pounds+ fish are quite strong and powerful, and feeling the bite and setting the hook, is an art that separates the good from the great.
This is not a fishing seminar but a warning about fishhooks coming towards your face and eyes. Leaning the rod slightly away to the left or right will give you a scare but usually miss your pumpkin!
ANOTHER good reason to wear SAFETY GLASSES!
Would you have known what to do?
Falls, tumbles, or a fishhook in your hand always gets a few chuckles, but this was much more serious. Nobody wants to see anyone lose an eye!
If you had been there, would you have known what to do?
Yes, I would have! … in reply to Don’s asking.
I am not a Medical Doctor and for this reason, I will not describe the required procedure in this blog. Further to the above, I would not comment on an injury from 2nd-hand knowledge. I trust you appreciate my position on this matter.
This is an excellent reason for anyone to want to learn First Aid.
Don was a bit surprised to hear that I had taken First Aid courses from St. John Ambulance.
What should you do first?
If you don’t own a First Aid Kit and have NOT taken a First Aid course, this must become a very high priority on your list.
What Type and Size of First Aid Kit should you carry?
The size and type of First Aid Kit are determined by the size of your group (number of people) and your distance to the nearest medical facility or hospital.
Do you need training in First Aid?
This is an easy question to answer. The answer is … of course you do!
No one is born “hardwired” for First Aid.
Imagine that the above incident had happened to one of your friends or a family member.
How important is First Aid training when it hits home?
Where can I get this training?
In Canada, where I live, St. John Ambulance offers excellent, professional training in First Aid throughout the year. There are always courses available.
St. John Ambulance has been providing for the health, safety, and quality of life of Canadians for over 125 years.
St. John Ambulance offers comprehensive, first aid and CPR training programs for the workplace, the home, and the community.
These courses are available in:
- pre-hospital and healthcare
- CPR and AED
- Emergency First Aid
- specialized industry
- family, children, and youth
- instructor development
- Pet First Aid
- and many others.
How much will this training cost?
Costs vary with different programs and levels of training. Contact your local chapter and inquire.
Do not procrastinate on this one. It could mean saving a life.
Time spent learning First Aid training is never wasted.
A small First Aid Kit is preferred for short excursions and EDC on your person when Hiking, Fishing, Camping, or Hunting. Purchase a small and rugged pouch that is not too big so that you don’t leave it at home or in your vehicle.
Its contents can be modified to your needs and preferences. Cheap scissors and tweezers should always be upgraded. You don’t need 25 small bandages. Get superior quality Elastoplast-types. Same goes for pads and tape.
With time and training, you can build yourself a First Aid kit that you will be proud to show your friends.
Include a small manual and don’t forget to protect against water damage, and don’t forget to check it often to maintain your supplies in good order.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about First Aid Kits and First Aid Training, please do not hesitate to leave them in the space below. I will do my best to answer them all in a timely manner.