Last weekend I attended a 2 day Outdoor First Aid course with Land and Wave . The course is part of a new initiative from Tough Girl Challenges and Land and Wave to support women in the outdoor adventure community and to increase the number of female role models and instructors in the adventure space.
I attended the weekend because I wanted to improve my personal skills. I recently came back from a trip to the Amazon, and at one point on a river trip we were 10 hours from any medical help. We had a member of the team with heatstroke and one with a very large insect bite, I wanted to help but was unsure how. We did have a first aider with us, but it made me realise that I should also know some basic first aid to help in these situations. As I travel more, I want to increase my basic first aid knowledge, improve my own first aid kit, and apply basic risk assessment along the way to try and limit the need of first aid in the first place. As a first responder you are there to assess, take action and monitor until the professionals take over. Your job is never to be the ultimate solution, but to assist and guide until the medical professionals take over.
Take A First Aid Course
To all my fellow female travellers: it is time to book yourself onto a first aid course. Give your first aid kit some love, check sell by dates, spend some money, and give it a total refresh – think of it as your mission ready power pack. It could get you out of a difficult situation and buy you some time when needed.
If you are travelling or are on an adventure, accidents will inevitably happen, so it is better to be prepared to help deal with a situation. When you need first aid supplies or help it will always be when the shops are closed, it is late at night, you are too remote, or travelling, you have had a long day, or there is a language barrier.
Accidents have a high chance of happening at the end to the day, when you are tired and the adrenaline has worn off. This is the time to refuel and be extra vigilant.
Before You Go On Your Travels:
- Work on your fitness to ensure you are fit enough for your intended trip – this will reduce the likelihood of injury
- Book an appointment with the doctor and get a health check including blood pressure
- Book a dentist appointment
- Get a spare set of personal medication and keep a copy of any personal medication and prescriptions with your travel documents in an online file
- Check that vaccinations are up to date
If you think first aid skills are not for you, here are a few reasons why they are important for a female traveller:
- Safety and Empowerment: Female travellers might sometimes find themselves in situations where they feel vulnerable due to unfamiliar environments or cultural differences. Having first aid skills can empower you to take control of unexpected situations.
- Healthcare Accessibility: In some regions, healthcare facilities might not be easily accessible or up to the standards that travellers are accustomed to. First aid skills can be crucial in providing immediate care while waiting for professional medical help, especially in remote areas.
- Cultural Considerations: In certain cultures, there might be specific norms or restrictions related to male-female interactions. Having first aid skills can be beneficial in ensuring that appropriate care can be provided without disturbing cultural norms.
- Solo Travel: Female travellers who are exploring on their own might not always have immediate access to help. First aid skills can provide a sense of security and confidence, knowing that they can manage common injuries or medical situations until assistance arrives.
- Understanding Personal Health Needs: Women might have specific health needs that could require immediate attention. First aid skills can help female travellers address issues related to menstrual health, urinary tract infections, or other medical concerns.
- Communication Barriers: Language barriers might make it challenging to communicate health issues to local medical professionals. First aid skills can bridge this gap by allowing travellers to provide basic information about their condition.
- Remote Locations: Adventure travellers might find themselves in remote where access to medical facilities is limited. First aid skills can make a significant difference in these situations.
- Assisting Others: Female travellers might encounter fellow travellers or locals in need of medical assistance. Having first aid skills allows them to be good Samaritans and provide aid when required.
What to put in your personal outdoor medical kit?
This is hugely bespoke and will depend on personal needs and environment. But this list gives you a good place to start to assemble your outdoor or wilderness first aid kit, which is a major part in your recipe for adventure.
First aid kit list: Veterinary tape, stitches, sports gel, antihistamine, upset tummy tablets, antiseptic wipes, pain killers, cold packs, heat packs, saline solution, tweezers, scissors, survival blanket, several pairs of gloves, antiseptic cream, thermometer and insect bite cream, candy, Vaseline, re-hydration sachets, cold sore patches, blister plasters, travel sickness pills, emergency dentist pack, mosquito bracelets (these are worth every penny), and a flashing torch. Plus, any personal medication.
You could also consider a pop-up shelter as they are super handy, can be packed in the top of your rucksack and can ensure warmth and a place to manage any first aid incidents.
Bonus Hug Kit: This kit is a little different, it is a kit to make you smile and bring back your mojo. This is for when you have a sense of humour failure, need cheering up, are home sick, or have just had a pants day!
- Hair band: to remind you to bounce back (also handy for a windy hair day and keeping clothes rolled up)
- Sachet of honey: this can be a total sweet treat at the end of a long day
- Chocolate bar: to release endorphins and give you some energy
- Photo of loved ones: Say hello, give them a wave. and tell them about your day.
- Tealight: to light up a dark day (I always carry one of these when I am travelling – they are super handy)
- One playing card: to remind you to play the hand you are dealt – we all know it is your ATTITUDE that counts!
- Tea bag: a cuppa can lift your spirits anywhere in the world. I once had a cup of black tea at 4 am in a Thai jungle – it was the best cup of tea ever!
- Emergency love heart sweets: to remind YOU that you are loved and that YOU can spread the love too!
Photo 1: using a pop up shelter as a emergency stretcher
Photo 2: practicing CPR on the hillside
What next? Is your First Aid Kit Mission Ready?
Find a course and book it, and then wherever you are in the world you have a fighting chance to manage a personal situation or buy time for a more serious incident until the professional arrive.
- Land and Wave – Give them a call to find out dates for next First Aid Course
- Tough Girl Podcast
- Join the Tough Girl Tribe
Bonus Safety Tip:
Download the App What Three Words. It is brilliant for identifying locations around the world – it will ensure that you location is pin pointed to a 3 metre sizes square anywhere on the planet!!
Maps, Tides and Weather Apps need to be your new best friends, get these wrong and things can go pear shaped very quickly.
#womenintheoutdoors #toughgirl #outdoorkit #outdoorfirstaid #dorset #adventurefirstaidkit #outdoortraining #medkit #medkit #outdoorfirstaid
My very first adventure was on a Tall Ship called The Sir Winston Churchill when I had just turned 18.
I have loved adventures ever since. Although I still get seasick 30 years on!
I would describe myself as an everyday adventurer. I try and squeeze adventure into my every day from walks, swims and runs to film, podcasts and books. I am always on the look out for communities to connect with and adventures to be found.
I have just hit 50 and my adventure journey has changed so many times over the years, from a 20-year-old canoeing and sailing instructor, to a Mum with young children teaching them to embrace the outdoors through camping, building dens and cooking on open fires, to a mum of young teens when we surfed, coast steered, climbed Ben Nevis and swam in the North Sea!
My boys are in their late teens now and are slowly flying the nest, it is here I find myself now, ready to embrace the next stage of my adventure journey.
Embracing my new found freedom and loving being outside, I am ready to do some exploring!
My adventure journey has included Moonwalks, marathon walks along Hadrians Wall and the South Coast, firewalks, abseiling down castles, coast steering, a cross country ski marathon in the Arctic Circle, a wing walk and training in an Environmental Cold Chamber at the University of Sussex at minus 20!
I have just come back from running a 1/2 marathon in Greenland – the biggest and most extreme event I have ever taken part in. This Arctic adventure has definitely left me with a fire in soul for more adventures.
This year I am off trekking in Peru, visiting the Amazon Rainforest, hiking around the Isle of Wight and organising a mega sea swim for over 500 “mermaids” to celebrate International Women’s Day.
When I am not on an adventure I am working with my beautiful VW Camper Van called Daisy on photo shoots – if you want you or your business to stand out from the crowd then its time to book a branding shoot with Daisy.
Photo Shoot Dates: Private shoots also available on request
Check out The Big Mermaid Dip for International Women’s Day in Brighton 2024 – March 11th – Watch out for March 2024 Dates