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Backpacker Magazine – November 2009

The Ultimate First-Aid Manual: Environmental Threats

As much as we try to protect ourselves from extreme elements, sometimes the elements hedge even our greatest efforts. Here's what to do when Mother Nature wins.

by: Buck Tilton, Illustrations by Jackie McCaffrey


LEARN MORE
The Ultimate First-Aid Manual
Wilderness Medicine Institute cofounder Buck Tilton boils down a lifetime's worth of experience into 62 tips

Photo Tutorials: First Aid Center
From splinting a broken leg to duct taping a bloody wound, the BACKPACKER First Aid Center is an invaluable resource for backcountry first aid.

Sunburn
Recognize Hey, we've all been burned (remember when you fell asleep after skinny dipping?).

Treat Cool the skin with cold water, apply a moisturizer, take ibuprofen for pain and inflammation, drink plenty of fluids, and stay out of direct sunlight. If blisters form, consult a doctor when you return.

Heat Exhaustion
Recognize Fatigue, thirst, nausea, dizziness, and heavy sweating while out in a hot environment are signs that the body's core temperature is dangerously high.

Treat Have the patient rest in the shade and drink water, a sports drink, or a diluted sugary drink (add an electrolyte tablet from your first-aid kit). Spray or splash water on him, or place cold packs on his neck and groin.



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