Always in the backpack, even for a short hike of a few hours, the first aid kit must be regularly checked. The basic contents can deal with several small problems, or in the event of a more serious accident, help the first aiders while awaiting the emergency services.
What should you put in the first aid kit for a 1 to 2 day hike, on paths that aren’t too far away?
To treat a cut: the most important thing is to wash it with water thoroughly (flask, stream) and possibly with soap. Disinfectant only works on a clean cut. Cover it with sterile compresses that can be held on with a self-adhesive bandage then see a doctor upon your return. Also plan for small individual plasters for blisters and a pair of small scissors.
For various illnesses: Paracetamol for pains and fevers, Loperamide for diarrhoea, Domperidone for sickness and vomiting. What’s more, it is always useful to have with you: a mobile phone (in a little watertight plastic bag in case of rain), some cereal bars, sun cream, toilet paper, safety pins, a knife, a survival blanket, a headlamp, a whistle, a candle and a lighter, a compass and a small piece of string. This should all be kept dry in a small watertight plastic bag.
For major accidents or when you are unsure: call 15 (in France).
Article written with the Mountain Doctors Association (France). For more information: www.mdem.org