As surfers we usually find ourselves in some pretty interesting and remote places that usually don’t have facilities that can treat minor or severe wounds at the moment an unfortunate circumstance occurs. The usual protocol is to get the injury stabilized and make your move to a larger populated area where facilities exist. This isn’t always the fastest or most convenient situation….it is the only one.
If you’re a seasoned surf traveler that takes the unpaved road, you most likely have a pretty thorough first aid kit as an insurance policy. Likewise, if you don’t usually travel off the beaten path, you have a first aid kit, but it may lack some essentials that could make a huge difference on how the injury is treated along with the outcome.
Regardless of what type of first aid kit you have, there is still a possibility that you have forgotten something and may need to pull a “Macgyver” with whatever is available to treat the injury. The following is a list of makeshift first aid supplies that may save your ass:
Surfboard Leash or Tie-Downs – Double as a tourniquet
Water Bottle – Poke a hole in the cap to use as an irrigation syringe
Duct Tape – Water pliable bandage to keep debris out of the wound when regular band aids won’t work(make sure to clean after your session). Also works well as first aid tape to adhere gauze pads to a wound or sprained ankle support wrap. The multitude of uses that duct tape has are pretty much endless.
Lime Juice – Disinfects a cut in case you left your povidone-iodine at home.
Raw Honey – Use incase you don’t have a disinfectant, honey works great as an antibacterial component (a last case resort if you either bring it with you or can find it in your locale).
Tampon – Blood absorber on a medium sized wound.
Dental Floss (unflavored) – Use to suture up a wound.
Credit Card/Driver License – Tweezer replacement to get out bee stingers and such.
Chapstick – For use as an impermeable water barrier on small to medium sized wounds to prevent infection.
Shirt or Towel – Make-shift bandage.
This is a “just in case scenario” in the event you don’t have a proper first aid kit or supplies are missing. Remember, always triple check your first aid kit before you travel. In the event that there is an unfortunate situation that occurs to you or someone else, you will be prepared.
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