Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Carry a first-aid kit for your feet, ankles

When hiking, your feet are your most important piece of “equipment.” After all, injured or sore feet means you may not be able to walk, or doing so will be extremely painful and only further aggravate the injury.

While you should always hike with a general first-aid kit, making sure you have items in it specifically to treat your feet is a good idea, especially if heading deep into the wilderness.

Items you should include in a first-aid kit for your feet include:
Adhesive bandage – To cover blisters and cuts
Alcohol pads – For cleaning an area before applying bandages to it
Antibiotic ointment – Place over blisters and cuts to prevent infection
Cotton swabs (such as Q-tips) – Use to apply antibiotic ointment
Gauze – For applying to sprained or strained ankles
Extra pair of dry socks – In case your feet get wet
Ibuprofen – Relieves pain following an injury
Mole skin – For placing over blisters
Nail clippers – For trimming hangnails
Resealable plastic sandwich bags – For storing medical waste created during treatment
Safety pin or gauze tape – For holding gauze together
Scissors – A small one can be used to cut bandages into place
Sewing needle – For lancing blisters or helping to remove splinters
Soft padding – Place over a sprained or strained ankle, with gauze securing it
Tweezers – For removing splinters

Always carry out any waste created during a medical treatment. This might include used cotton swaps, the plastic covering of an adhesive bandage’s sticky parts, and excess, cut-off gauze.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.