What to do in a Hiking Emergency


It’s a perfect day to go hiking. The sun is out, there’s a cool breeze and you’ve gathered your loved ones for a day of fun on the trails when suddenly, something goes wrong.

It could be anything — an ankle twists, a foot slips off a difficult trail, a snake comes across your path – but you can prepare for these medical emergencies while hiking.

Victoria ER wants you to have fun and be safe while adventuring into the great outdoors. We’ve listed a few tips for dealing with medical emergencies that can occur while hiking and how to best prepare for them.

Build a first aid kit

You can buy first aid kits, but they’re often not equipped well enough for hiking or too costly. Making your own first aid kit allows you to tailor the contents exactly to your needs. Most kits include basic protection and medicine, like ibuprofen, gauze, antiseptic and bandages, but you should add other items. Consider including some of the items listed below.
• Multi use tool or pocket knife. A scalpel is also useful.
• Trauma scissors, which have blunt ends to protect someone if they need clothes cut away from a wound.
• Irrigation syringe to clean out wounds before receiving proper treatment.
• Paper and pencil to record temperature, symptoms, pulse and other useful information while treating someone in the wilderness.

Bring blankets and stay hydrated

If you become lost or break a bone that renders you immobile, waiting for an emergency team to reach you may take longer than a week. It’s important that you’re protected from the elements during this time. If you’re exposed to sun during the day, cover yourself with the blanket and create a makeshift tent. To prevent yourself from becoming hypothermic, make sure you’re shielded from wind and rain beneath the tent. Proper hydration will ensure your body is replenished with vital nutrients such as electrolytes.

Tell people where you’re going

This is an incredibly important precaution and one that has saved many lives. Unexpected weather, including mudslides and rain, can cause trails to become more dangerous than usual and you could easily slip and fall. It can take days for loved ones to figure out something’s gone wrong and even longer for emergency teams to reach you. Providing a basic itinerary of your plans and checking in with ranger stations whenever you pass them could potentially save your life.

While you can’t plan for a medical emergency, research can better prepare you for these situations. Victoria ER encourages our patients to take charge of their safety and take the necessary precautions for their summer adventures. Let us know some of your tips and tricks for handling emergencies!

 Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Victoria ER or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.