As a general rule, I was always taught that the deeper you go out in the woods- the more first aid you should bring. As a camper my first aid kits are simple, basic bandages, wound management, and medications. But as exploring hunting and realizing that there is a fair amount of risk involved in the hobby. I have managed to find some suggestions to advance a basic kit into a first aid kit suitable for hunters.
Flesh wounds are one of the more dangerous occurrences while hunting. From getting cut on rocks, or branches, to accidental knife wounds. These wounds can cause some serious pain, and depending on the severity of life-threatening outcomes.
In the case of more serious injuries, like a gunshot wound, your top priority should be stopping the bleeding, before going out in the wilderness I would suggest getting training in tourniquets as well. There is the myth that they are too dangerous to use, however- knowing that a victim of a gunshot could bleed out within 5 to 8 minutes puts the phrase “Life over Limb” to good use.
Also, when used properly tourniquets not only save lives but don’t always mean amputation. Most victims that receive help within two hours do not need to have a limb amputated.
On the topic of wounds, bandages are an important part of helping wounds clot up. Basic kits usually include a variety of band-aids. But with hunters needing to save as much space in their pack one thing that might be suggestable for smaller cuts and scrapes would be to invest in wound seal powder. This powder creates a simple seal that replaces a need for a typical bandage. Freeing up a lot of space within a first aid kit. However, it should be noted that pressure bandages, butterfly bandages, and gauze pads should still be within the kit.
Medications are a must when talking about first aid kits, outside of prescription medications and Epi-pens. I would add Electrolyte tablets, cough drops, afterbite cream, burn cream, a painkiller, allergy meds, and Orajel.
A multi-use pocket knife is vital to any hunters back, however- when considering wound care there is another vital tool that is not thought about nearly as often: A lighter. A lighter is a useful tool when paired with the knife in order to sterilize the knife, or any other tool if needed.
The other tool that is good to have in your kit is a water purifier, I like the Lifestraw because it is compact, easy to use, and it is affordable! The Lifestraw uses a hollow fiber filter that has holes smaller than bacteria and parasites, allowing it to trap 99.9% of all containments in the water. Giving you nice safe water to drink! You can check out Lifestraw by clicking this link here!
For the dogs:
A lot of hunters also have their animals with them. If you have your favorite hunting partner with you it is advisable to also carry needs for your furry buddy. These suggestions include pediatric Benedryl, buffered aspirin, and a travel-size bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide.
Surviving in the wilderness is also based on what you know and understand. There are several books that one can study in order to learn survival skills and for the brave- classes are also available in many different states!
My personal favorite book is “Survival Medicine & First Aid: The Leading Prepper’s Guide to Survive Medical Emergencies in Tough Survival Situations” by Beau Griffin as well as “The Natural First Aid Handbook: Household Remedies, Herbal Treatments, and Basic Emergency Preparedness Everyone Should Know” by Brigitte Mars.
Note: This post is NOT intended to be a final or complete guide, or to serve as a replacement for any sort of formal medical advice. Above all: review, refresh and remain prepared. Also, this post contains affiliate links.