Checklist for a Forest First Aid Kit

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Having a Forest first aid kit when you are hiking or camping is essential. If you end up in an unexpected injury or accident, you will be glad that you brought a complete kit for the outdoors.

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Imagine this. You are hiking in a forest area, you stumbled upon some rocks that cause you or others to trip and fall. A cut in the knee or some bruises might not seem a big deal at first, but when you add in some dirt that causes infection, things change.

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Or you might encounter bees or native (and poisonous) Australian plants along the trail. A bee sting or allergic reaction to a stinging plant might not be the best experience, but these can be easily remedied with first aid medication. 

Forest First Aid Kit

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Upon setting our foot at the campground, we tend to get excited and that burst in emotion makes us somewhat prone to those little mishaps, like scrapes and minor cuts. If you are like more than half of the population of Australia and the 5.5 million visitors who like hiking or bushwalking, you will want to make sure to bring forest first aid essentials. Be prepared for unexpected accidents with a well-stocked first aid kit. 

Forest First Aid Kit Includes

If you are looking for a complete checklist for a forest first aid kit, you found it.

According to The First Aid Course Melbourne, Forest first aid kits include useful first aid items that are proven invaluable to both individuals, campers, as well as to forestry workers and other professionals that work in the great outdoors. 

Adhesive bandages 

Stock adhesive bandages in different sizes on your kit. The type of material used in an adhesive bandage can protect the wound from bacteria, damage, and dirt, making the wound healing process faster and less disturbed.

Antibiotic ointment

A topical antibiotic is used to prevent and treat minor skin infections from small cuts, scrapes, or burns. This ointment is available without a prescription for self-medication. However, this is not recommended over large areas of the body. 

Antiseptic wipes

Antiseptic wipes are a single used item primarily used for disinfecting wounds or cleaning the hands. Each wipe is individually packed, making it easy to put even in small first aid kits.

Aspirin

Aspirin should not be missing in your first aid kit as it can be life-saving medication to an adult suffering from chest pain. If you or someone you know has new or unexplained pain in the chest area or may be showing signs of a heart attack, seek emergency medical help immediately. While waiting, chew a regular-strength aspirin.

Bandages

Bandages provide compression which made them invaluable in an injury. They can be used to immobilise/support knee and elbow joints and can also gold a dressing against a limb. 

There are different types of bandages but if you are camping or hiking, we recommend using roll bandages in your kit. 

Blanket

Hiking or camping during the colder season can cause hypothermia. Blankets can be used to prevent hypothermia in three ways

  • The space blankets make a great insulator in the cold
  • The airtight foil reduces convection
  • It prevents health loss caused by evaporation

Cold Compress

A cold compress or ice packs can be used to alleviate the pain of minor injuries such as bruises, sprains, cuts, and burns. They are an essential thing to have in a forest first aid kit in case of an injury. 

Hydrocortisone Cream 

This cream is used for temporary relief of itching associated with minor skin irritations, inflammations, and rashes. This is important especially if the forest you are planning to visit is known to having insects, spiders, and other bugs.

Gloves

Gloves, preferably non-latex, can be used for infection protection. 

Safety Pins

Safety pins are excellent tools to use for securing a wrap or bandage applied to a wound. They can also be used for splinter removal.

Scissors

Scissors can be used to cut bandages to fit wounds, as well as removing dressing so bandages can be changed. 

Sterile gauze pads

This is a basic tool in a first aid kit that is used to stop the bleeding and keep the wounds clean. It protects the area from debris and dirt that can cause wound infection.

Thermometer

The most accurate way of checking one’s body temperature is by using a thermometer. This tool can detect a significant change in your temperature that may indicate illness or maybe a signal that you require immediate medical attention.

Tourniquet

Tourniquets may be one of the most important things in your forest first aid kit. These are used as tight bands to control the bleeding by completely stopping the flow of blood to a wound. Tourniquets work only on arm and leg injuries and can’t be used around the neck and other sensitive body parts.

Tweezers

Tweezers are used for removing splinter, stinger, or tick removal

Think Prevention

While having the essential supplies for a forest first aid kit is important, it is also worth noting some of these tips from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Australian forests.

  • Plan and book your camping trip

Book in advance and familiarise yourself with the policies, rules, and regulations of the area you are planning to go to. Most Australian campgrounds now require booking in advance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

  • Safe camping

Bring hygiene recommended products such as water, hand soap, hand wipes, cleaning products, and toilet paper.

  • Campfires

All safety information for each park should be read and followed. Only light fires in designated areas and do not leave any fire, big or small, unattended.

  • Safe Cooking and Heating

Gas stoves and fuel burners are not recommended as they may result in fires. Cooking inside a tent or enclosed camping spaces are not allowed.

  • Pack essentials

Aside from your forest first aid kit, make sure that the following items should be in your pack:

  • Clothing (weather appropriate)
  • Compass
  • Food
  • Flashlight
  • Map
  • Space blanket or piece of plastic
  • Trash bag
  • Water
  • Waterproof matches
  • Whistle

Whether you are roughing it in a tent or planning a family outing in the forsests, there are many ways to make sure that your experience is safe and fun. Consider building your own forest first aid kit or buy from a local pharmacy and add a few items specific to your forest adventure.

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