No one wants to get injured, especially right at the start of a season. But unfortunately accidents happen and people sustain all kinds of injuries on the slopes, from minor sprains and sunburn to head injuries and serious fractures. Read on my post to learn Travel Insurance Essentials and Why You Should Be Insured.
You owe it to yourself to be prepared and ready to deal with any injury you, or your friends might sustain, and going on a first aid course is a really good idea. First aid courses teach you about safety, assessment of wounds, what to do if someone has fallen from a height or has a head wound, what to do about burns, cuts and scrapes and how to resuscitate someone. In an ideal world you’ll never have to put that knowledge into practice, but if you do find yourself in an emergency situation it’s vital that you know what to do – it could be the difference between life and death.
Keep calm and get the first aid kit out
Knowledge is just one part of being prepared. However, you also need to have the right kit on you to treat injuries, stay warm and get help. Lifesystems have first aid kits designed for various activities, and for skiing or snowboarding, or any other snowbound pursuit the winter sports kit is the ideal choice. Equipped with all the essentials you would hope to find in a first aid kit this one also has a thermal blanket, sun cream, hand warmers and scissors. In the case of a broken bone, when you’ll need to be airlifted off the mountain, these items will all come in handy.
If you’re not sure whether it’s broken or not, but you want to fashion a makeshift splint, the scissors will allow you to cut away any clothing easily, and there’s also paracetamol and ibuprofen in the kits for pain relief (UK only). There’s a thermometer, so you can check whether someone is verging on hypothermia, and blister plasters to relieve the pain of chafed feet. It’s not the most compact kit, but if you’re going off piste or you’ll be some distance from help then it’s worth making room for it.
Off-piste or Backcoubtry skiing, specific aid kit
If you’re out camping in the snow and therefore have tents and all the kit you need to stay warm then the mountain kit is ideal. It has everything you might need, as found in the winter sports kit, but instead of a thermal blanket you have glow sticks, duct tape and paramedic shears. You can treat the same range of injuries as with the other kits, but with a focus more on hiking and mountaineering rather than snow sports.
Essential Medication to bring with you
If you take medication for any health condition make sure you pack a few spare doses in your first aid kit, just in case you get stranded anywhere and have to await rescue. It’s also worth making sure at least one person in your group has first aid training before deciding to leave for anywhere remote, and that your first aider is someone who can stay calm in a crisis – it’s no good knowing first aid if you freeze up when the time comes to use it.
Always check your first aid kit (and your travel insurance) before embarking on an adventure, as painkillers may be expired, you might only have one plaster left, and in some parts of the world it can be hard to find replacements at the last minute. If you know you, or one of your party, is susceptible to getting blisters, or a dodgy stomach, then pack extra items to help deal with these incidents as they happen. – you can never be too well prepared.