A Quick Guide To Camping Injuries

>  19 September 2016

Camping is one of our unique Australian dreams, where we combine our sense of adventure with our brilliant outdoors. And it's not just the retirees who love hooking up a caravan or stocking their RV - the Caravan Industry Association of Australia claims..

Camping is one of our unique Australian dreams, where we combine our sense of adventure with our brilliant outdoors. And it's not just the retirees who love hooking up a caravan or stocking their RV - the Caravan Industry Association of Australia claims that 85% of Australians go camping in their lives.

But any adventure carries with it an element of risk, and everyone from the camping rookie to the constant nomad will know that not everything always goes to plan.

The good news is that, with a bit of luck and some planning ahead, the old ache and scrape shouldn't put you off camping.

So when you're checking off that pre-holiday checklist, don't forget a camping-specific first aid kit, which should include all the normal band aids and bandages but also things like:

  • Gauze and cotton swabs
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Adhesive tape
  • Insect repellent and a bee-sting kit
  • Calamine lotion and antihistamines
  • Eye drops
  • Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Heat/cold pack
  • Tweezers and scissors

So what aches, scrapes and worries should you be planning for? Let's take a look at a few common ones:
 

Exposure

One of the main issues with camping is that you are exposed to the 'great outdoors' and the elements. So apart from things like insect and animal bites and stings, you need to be aware of risks like heat stroke, dehydration and frost bite.

This sort of exposure can leave you nursing sunburn and rashes, and the best protection from these sorts of things is prevention - so cover up. If you have a bite, allergic reaction or rash, wash the area and the clothes you were wearing and use an ointment on the affected area.

Burns

You'll probably be around fire and barbecues more than usual during your trip, so be careful and keep children away from those hot surfaces and flames.

Scrapes

Another common camping injury is the old cut, bruise or scrape caused by your exciting daily adventures. So if you're going hiking, it's a great idea to pack something that can clean and cover a cut so you can go on your merry way. For a sprain, use the trusty ice, compression and elevation trick, and possibly some aspirin or ibuprofen - plus potentially the prospect of a rest day!

Breaks

In the event of something a little nastier, like an obviously broken bone, hopefully you've packed some medical tape and you can stabilise the bone with a splint before seeking help.

Bites

If you're really unlucky, you might have to deal with a spider or snake bite. If you're worried dangerous venom might be involved, apply pressure with a bandage, immobilise the limb and call for help.

Can you think of any other great advice for those about to embark on an outdoors adventure? We'd love to hear from you.