Whether you like foraging through thick forests or not, taking a CPR class and having an updated certification is always a good idea, because you never know when it will come in handy. Heck, you might even have to use it on a baby bear, so its mother will spare your life.
In the event that you or someone you’re with does get injured, the first thing to do is make sure the victim stays as calm as possible.
Panic and shock will only further complicate the situation, so keep them still, talking, and as relaxed as possible.
Offer water and a quick snack from your survival food storage to get the mind and body focused on something else, then immediately start contacting professional medical help, while you use the following tips in the meantime to help while the pros are on the way.
- Breathe, baby, breathe! If the victim isn’t breathing, now is the time for that CPR class you took to really pay off. While in the event of a heart attack, ever-changing guidelines now suggest to only focus on chest pumps, avoiding the breathing bit all together, it can still come in handy in the event of drowning or other breath-taking adventures.
First, elevate the neck and tilt the head back, and once in position, pinch the nose and blow into the mouth until you see the chest start to expand.
Continue breathing and blowing at the rate of about 15 blows per minute until they can start breathing on their own.
- Bleed, baby, bleed! There are an array of prickly, sharp, and downright razor-like objects in nature, so if someone gets a serious laceration, you need to know what to do.
First, elevate the wound above the level of the heart to slow the bleeding, while also wrapping it in gauze or even a clean shirt to apply direct and firm pressure, without being so tight as to cut off circulation.
- Break a leg! If someone sustains a break or fracture as a result of a fall, it’s always good to have a formal or makeshift splint available.
Position the splint so that it extends above and blow the adjacent joint, making sure to wrap it just tight enough to not cut off circulation.
Be sure to keep an eye on it, adjusting and retightening to keep it in place while you wait for or make your way toward help.
- Snake in the grass! It’s obviously best to keep your eyes open and on the path in front of you to avoid snakes in the first place, but if one does bite, try to get a picture, whether mental or real, so you know what kind of snake attacked you.
This will help medical teams identify potentially lifesaving anti-venom.
Once bitten, immediately position the bite below your heart level to slow the movement of venom toward your heart, and remove any bracelets, necklaces, rings, and such before swelling starts to set in.
These are some of the basics of outdoor survival skills, so whether it’s mental or an actual book, always have your wilderness survival guide with you.