Perfectly equipped – even for an emergency
Outdoor School Süd: See and practise first aid yourself
In an emergency in an impassable or remote area, a standard first-aid course is more or less useless. Here an unconscious person cannot simply be put into a stable position on his side and the arrival of the emergency services awaited. If necessary, bleeding has to be halted, open bone fractures treated and shock conditions overcome. A special first-aid course for emergencies in the wild can help you to recognise risks in advance, treat injuries appropriately and sometimes even save lives.
Special outdoor first-aid courses, as offered, for example, by the Outdoor School Süd, deal in depth with emergencies in the wild and help participants to keep calm and apply first-aid measures efficiently. Peter Oster from the Outdoor School Süd emphasises that the knowledge and practice obtained from a standard first-aid course often fail to help in the wild. At the Outdoor School Süd, the focus is on practical application and practice instead of pure theory. Course participants are sometimes fetched from their lessons to help in a dramatic emergency, staged by the workshop instructors, who not only paint on realistic wounds but also behave as if they really had been bitten by a grizzly bear or injured while chopping wood. “When someone suffers an open bone fracture, it really looks as if the bone is exposed”, says Peter Oster when talking to TATONKA, “and the ‘patients’ don’t start laughing in the middle either. In this way, participants get used to stress in an emergency and are still able to take action, even if a patient is screaming and bleeding. Injured people may even have to be carried over rough and smooth, sometimes for a significant distance.”
Keeping calm in a critical situation, acting rationally, even under shock and with fear of contact, and providing the best possible first aid – these are skills which participants in first-aid courses take with them on their expeditions into the wilderness. “You have to remember that hours or even days may pass before a rescue service arrives,” says Peter Oster. “You learn, for example, how to splint a bone fracture yourself and are not left with statements like ‘Leave him until the emergency services arrive’.”
First-aid sets for outdoor use
During outdoor events involving a lot of movement or on lengthy hikes, it is the weight of equipment that decides whether you are facing a challenge or are over-exerting yourself. But however light and reduced your equipment may be, there is one thing that a backpack must always contain, namely a first-aid kit. Here too, the old adage applies: As little as possible, as much as necessary. Only the question is: what do I need for my very personal tour? The criterion here is not the purpose but the length of the tour and size of the group.
In close co-operation with the Outdoor School Süd, TATONKA has developed first-aid kits for use in the wild. They are perfectly designed for different tour lengths and group sizes and contain the major items required for first medical care on the spot. TATONKA discussed with Peter Oster, Director of the Outdoor School Süd, what is essential in emergency equipment and how the TATONKA first-aid kits differ from other customary emergency bags. “The first-aid bags contain selected products which are really useful in an emergency. They do not include, for example, a gauze bandage, since it is not sterile and does not have a wound compress, so could not be effectively used in an emergency. The first-aid dressing in the kit, on the other hand, consists of a sterile elastic gauze bandage with a stitched-on wound compress. Another example is that the triangular bandage is made of cloth not fleece. So it does not tear if it is used to carry an injured person and it can absorb water to cool burns. Another great benefit is that the bags already contain the necessary equipment, so that the owner does not have to think about what to take with him and how to pack it in the bag. The first-aid info sheet included in every first-aid kit gives first-aiders instructions for emergencies – since the bag alone does not help a patient.”
Here is an overview of the TATONKA first-aid kits