How to make an emergency bandage
It is impossible to carry every kind of bandage you could possibly need in your pack if you are on a hike. That means you may have to improvise and use what is to hand if you find yourself out in the wilderness with a wound to dress.
With any open wound, the first priority is to stop the bleeding and protect it from infection. If you ever find yourself out without any kind of bandage, there are alternatives you can use that you may not immediately think of.
Other wounds, such as sprains or breaks can also benefit from being bandaged, and there are many ways to make these quickly and easily without having to carry around a full first-aid kit. Here is a quick guide to creating a bandage from what you have to hand in your back-pack.
Making an emergency bandage
If you have no fabric, paper towels make an excellent alternative to bandages. You will need something clean to place directly onto the wound, but after that, you can use this paper and tape method to secure the protective covering in place.
- If possible, use some gauze to act as a dressing for the wound. If you don’t have any gauze, use a paper towel instead. Unlike tissue, this will not stick to the wound. Another alternative is piece of clean fabric
- Find some kind of sticky tape. Any type will work as you only need to use it to hold the dressing in place.
- To dress the wound, cut or tear the gauze or paper towel into the best shape and size for the wound. It will need to cover the whole of the wound and have some material left over around the edges. Before applying the dressing, make sure you clean the wound with an antiseptic wipe or fluid or simply with clean water. Place the dressing over the wound.
- Stick the tape firmly over the dressing to hold it in place. If the wound is bleeding, you may need to apply some pressure to it to slow down and stop the loss of blood.
Other types of bandages
TRIANGULAR BANDAGE OR SLING
Triangular bandages need to be clean, but not necessarily sterile, as they won’t come into close contact with open wounds. A triangular bandage can be used as a sling or as a tourniquet along with a piece of cane, the shaft of a screwdriver or another tool that you may have available. This makes them versatile and useful.
To make a triangular bandage, all you need is some kind of strong material, preferably cotton. Simply cut a triangle with a base of around 55 inches and sides of around 40 inches out of the cloth. You have your multi-functional triangular bandage.
Elasticated bandages are useful for holding splints in place and supporting sprained ankles. The easiest way to make them is to cut the cloth to width you need from the legs of some old stretch jeans. You can use a sewing kit to make the tubes of cloth the right, and fairly tight fit around an arm or a leg.While the above hacks will help you in the case of an emergency - there is no great adventure companion than a pair of Ridgemont Outfitters hiking boots. Shop the range here: