First Aid Preparations For Your Next Family Camping Trip
By Rodney Whittle

Your getting ready for your next camping trip, there are many things that come to mind when you are making your to do list. Air out the tent, make your grocery list, get maps, check out the attractions around the area. Generally, you think about the fun stuff! But one of the best things you can do to prepare for a great camping trip is to prepare for a safe camping trip. You need to think about first aid. You need to have a safety and rescue plan for every likely emergency scenario that could come up in an outdoor environment. Let's approach the subject of camping first aid with three E's.


Start with a good first aid kit. You can buy one or just put together your own list of essentials. There are many good web resources for putting together a kit. One tip is to make a larger first aid kit that you keep in the car. A tool box full of various bandages and medicines will be great for camping beside your car. But it is also essential to have a kit that you can take with you while backpacking or day hiking. You won't want to lug the first aid tool box with you! So you will need to put together only the essentials for your hiking first aid kit.


Next, discuss a list of what if scenarios with everyone on the trip. Good campers and hikers have thought about what to do for prevention of accidents and rescue from emergency situations. A good first aid course is the best education for this type of training. Many community agencies like the YMCA or the Red Cross offer first aid courses all through out the year. Children and adults alike need to have thought out what to do when they are lost, facing bad weather, suffering from insect bites, hanging around campfires and a whole host of other potentially dangerous situations. You would never want to ruin your trip with being morbid, but you might consider playing a "what if" game in the car on the way to your destination and discuss what to do if a first aid or emergency situation should occur.


No one wants to go looking for an emergency situation, but you can do several things to gain some experience with first aid before you actually need it. As a parent, if one of your children experiences a minor injury that you plan on taking care of yourself let the other children in your family watch and help as you administer first aid. This should only be done with the permission of the other child and in appropriate circumstances. First aid courses as mentioned above generally take a hands-on approach to training and provide opportunities to learn about bandaging, CPR and other procedures. Finally, if you have first aid experience look for opportunities to point out things to avoid during the trip to those traveling with you. Try not to be annoying though, no one likes a know it all!

For a good camping first aid quiz that teaches while you take it visit Be safe!

Rodney Whittle enjoys the outdoors and maintains a web site that maintains a database of campgrounds and national parks and features articles about family camping and other outdoor experiences.

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