SheJumps Wild Skills programming has developed over the years, but one thing remains consistent: Providing essential skills for youth to practice in the outdoors. Wild Skills day and overnight camps all have an element of survival and first-aid practice, which include what to do if you, a friend, or a stranger gets hurt on the trail.
You have to work with what you have sometimes. Through other Micro Ventures content this summer, you’ve learned to build a shelter, call for help, and how to make a sling. Below is a guide on wound care in the wilderness, including a way to practice the skills at home by making fake blood and practicing tending to fake wounds.
Adventure Ready Brands is committed to foundational outdoor education and empowerment for young girls through donations to the SheJumps Wild Skills programs. We’re excited they are collaborating on our weekly Micro Ventures content.
Caitlin from Adventure Ready Brands shares important steps in wound care with and without first-aid supplies.
Note: Below contains steps to help you when away from your physician or closest hospital. If the wound is severe, please speak to a medical professional.
Micro Ventures, a free digital program to engage all ages in outdoor-related activities. Stay tuned for a different "Micro Venture" each week.
Wound care with first-aid kit
First, we go through the steps of wound care if you have first-aid supplies with you. Adventure Medical Kits offers various first-aid kits to take with you on the trail.
Wash your hands.
Put on gloves for cross contamination if helping someone else.
Assess the wound.
If there is bleeding present, elevate the body part.
Apply firm, steady pressure using a clean bandage until the bleeding has stopped.
Once bleeding has stopped, clean the wound.
Rinse the wound with clean water to reduce the risk of infection.
Wash around the wound or use an antiseptic wipe.
Remove all dirt and debris from the wound with tweezers. If you can’t remove all debris, seek medical attention.
Apply antibiotic ointment to the clean wound.
Dress your wound with gauze or an adhesive bandage.
It’s important to change the dressing once a day or if it becomes wet or dirty. Don’t forget to watch out for signs of infection, looking for redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth or swelling.
Wound care without supplies
Below is an alternative method to cleaning a wound when you don’t have access to any first-aid supplies. Get creative and look at the items you have in your pack.
Work with what you’ve got.
Wash hands using the water in your water bottle.
Rinse the wound and bandage the wound.
You can use any items found in your pack, like a clean shirt, socks, or bandana.
Use the clothing as a make-shift bandage.
Duct tape works well as well to secure the cloth over the wound.
Return to your car. If you choose not to carry a first-aid kit with you in your backpack, consider leaving supplies in the car. That way if the wound is serious, you can treat it before your drive home.
Now it’s time to practice your skills before you’re out in the wilderness.
Make fake blood
Knowing how to make fake blood allows you to practice at home with friends and family.
Red food coloring
Fake blood directions
In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of water and ¼ cup corn syrup to make the substance runny.
Add 4 drops of red food coloring and mix.
Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, ¼ tablespoon of cocoa powder and stir.
Not red enough? Add more food coloring.
Now you’ve got fake blood to practice wound care with!
Make a fake wound
Engage your first responders with true demos on treating fake wounds. Follow the below steps to set up a scene you might come across in the wilderness.
Red food coloring
Fake blood (see above)
Directions to make a fake wound
Squeeze glue into a bowl.
Mix in red food coloring with toothpicks.
Add cocoa powder to darken.
Separate toilet paper into single layers and tear into pieces.
Dab fake wound area with glue.
Arrange toilet paper pieces on top of glue.
Shape sticky toilet paper to look like a wound.
Sprinkle cocoa powder around the edges to darken.
Finish with fake blood to make it look super gross.
Now that you’ve got a super rad fake wound it’s time to play with it. Practice your first-aid skills by cleaning and bandaging.
WARNING! Playing pranks with your fake wound can be traumatizing for your family members and roommates. Do so at your own risk.