How to Treat Burns in the Wilderness
Knowing what to do with a backwoods burn can secure your survival
Burns are one of the most painful injuries you can be subjected to, and in the absence of proper medical care – they can be even harder to handle. These heat-caused injuries are a likely wound when you’re working around a campfire. So when a pot of boiling water spills down your boot or you place your hand on something red-hot, you need to know what to do. Hopefully, you won’t ever have to deal with a backwoods burn, but here are some tricks to help out if you do.
1. Cool It Down: When burns aren’t too severe, applying cool water or a cool wet dressing can bring immediate relief to the burn victim. If the skin isn’t broken, this compress could be made from raw creek water and a bandana (or whatever else you have available). If the burn wound is open, use sterile water and dressings to reduce the risk of infection. Don’t cool burns that span large areas, since this can chill the body.
2. Keep It Covered: The tender skin of a burn should be protected. A dry non-stick dressing is the most recommended covering for burns, if you have some in your first aid supplies. If not, use ordinary dressings and bind them lightly in place with gauze. Should they stick to an oozing burn, moisten them with disinfected water to make removal easier.
*3. *Treat For Pain:** Over-the-counter pain medication is a great thing to carry in your kit, and it can ease the pain of a burn. Ibuprofen or other pain relievers should be taken as soon as possible to take the edge off your patient’s discomfort.
4. Stay Hydrated: Any burn will steal moisture from the body, and large burns can cause dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids (with electrolytes added) in the event of a burn. This will replace lost water and promote healing.
Do you have the supplies in your first aid kit to handle a burn injury? Please let us know by leaving a comment.