Getting injured is never fun, but it can be even scarier if you don’t have immediate access to medical attention or proven first aid. If you find yourself in a situation like this, it’s good to know the basics of how to treat injuries naturally. There are still some things you can do to help your injury, even when you only have the things you brought with you or whatever is available in the wilderness. In this post, we’ll share all of our best tips for making the most of these tricky circumstances. By the time we’re done, you’ll be well-versed in how to treat injuries in the field.
Ways To Stop The Bleeding
When you’re dealing with a bleeding injury, the first thing you’ll want to do is assess the severity of the bleeding as quickly as possible. If the wound isn’t bleeding heavily, then you can probably get away with simply cleaning it with any unpolluted water source. Your next step is to find the most hygienic, absorbent, and soft material to place on the injury. If you have paper towels, they would work great for this. However, if you only have the clothes on your back, you can use a piece of your clothing. You can use tape or another torn piece of clothing to secure the fabric.
If the wound is bleeding heavily, you’ll need to do something to stop the blood loss. Start by elevating the wounded body part above the head, if possible. Then you’ll want to keep pressure on the area that’s bleeding. You can make a tourniquet out of a piece of cloth or a belt (if you have one). This is a critical step that you’ll want to complete while waiting for help to arrive.
How To Handle A Broken Bone
A broken bone can sometimes seem more intimidating. But don’t worry – you’re not completely helpless, even if you’re out in the field/wilderness alone. Our first suggestion is simple: don’t attempt to realign the broken bone. You might see people do so frequently in movies, but it’s extremely dangerous to do if you aren’t a medical professional. Broken bones are very sharp, so if you attempt to reset one on your own, you can end up making things worse by lacerating blood vessels or muscles.
The best thing to do in this situation is to stabilize the bone. You can create a makeshift splint out of anything sturdy that you have available – a jacket, stick, trekking pole, sleeping bag, tarp, etc. To reduce swelling, try to stabilize the bone in a position where it’s raised above the heart. If you have some, applying ice or cold compresses can also help lessen any swelling that may occur.
Dealing With Burn Wounds
Since burn wounds retain a lot of heat on the skin, the most important thing you can do is try to cool down the area as much as possible. If the skin isn’t open, look for some cool, clean water to clean the burn with. If you come across a cool river or stream, you can submerge the wound in it. If it’s a small burn, you can wrap it in a moist cloth or bandana to help cool it down. However, if it’s a severe burn and the skin has broken, you should use something dry to cover it. You’ll also only want to use sterile water and dressings if you have access to them.
MacGyver Hacks For First Aid
To recap, let’s go over the tips we gave you for creating makeshift first aid materials. These are what we like to call “MacGyver hacks” – and while we hope you never have to use them, we still want you to be prepared for any situation you may end up in. Use these tips if you find yourself needing to know how to treat injuries naturally:
- If you need to stop a wound from bleeding, a piece of cloth can be used as a bandage.
- Tourniquets can be made out of items such as cloth or a belt.
- Stabilize a broken bone by creating a makeshift splint out of a jacket, stick, trekking pole, etc.
- Cool down a burn by wetting down a bandana (or other cloth) and placing it on the wound.
With these helpful, natural treatment options, we hope you learned something useful. Being able to treat an injury on-site might just make the difference for yourself or someone you love. We hope we've help you feel prepared, ready to help yourself or another member of your group in an emergency.