As a prepper or survivalist, you’re definitely going to need to build skills that most other people do not have.
You’ll need to learn self-defense, firearm handling, camping and many other skills. One of the most important skills you need is first aid knowledge.
First aid is more than just applying a band aid on a small cut or washing a scraped knee in running water. Important first aid skills may mean the difference between life and death. Many of the preppers and survivalists I know think that it’s more important to know self-defense, outdoor survival skills, firearm handling … and sure, all of those things ARE important. But first aid? It tops the list of things to know.
In this article, we’ll look at five first aid skills everyone should learn.
They’re vitally important.
You may wish to find a place close to you that offers first aid training classes conducted by professionals. You may even choose to get certified… but for now, let’s look at the five skills.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
The is probably the most famous first aid technique in the world. You’ve seen it a hundred times in the movies when someone is on the verge of death and the hero gives breathes into their mouth and pumps their chest a few times till they cough and come back to life. The famous kiss of life.
The question is… Do you know how to do it? There is a technique involved.
You’ll have to clear their airway first. You need to know the timing, where to place your hands on the chest and how to press. You’ll need to know how to seal their mouth and blow air into their lungs.
That’s a lot of info to process and that’s why it’s best to learn it from a trained professional. CPR is a life-saving skill that you absolutely must know.
Stopping heavy bleeding
You need to know how to apply direct pressure on wounds till they clot. If you have a product like QuikClot Sport, it will be very helpful. Depending on what type of bleeding you’re seeing, you’ll need to respond accordingly.
If you see blood coming out in spurts, that’s arterial bleeding and you really need to apply hard, continuous pressure on the wound to get the blood to clot. It may take a while.
Stopping the bleeding is not enough.
You need to know how to clean the wound with sterile water and dress it with gauze and adhesive tape too. The goal is to keep the injured area clean and dry so that it can heal.
Read next: Creating a Natural First Aid Kit
The Heimlich maneuver
Extremely useful if someone is choking on food.
You’ll need to grab them from behind just below the ribcage, ball one of your fists up, and cup that fist in your other hand. Pull your arms towards you in an upwards motion beneath the ribcage. This will force air up the esophagus and pop out whatever food or item that’s blocking the airway.
It’s different if you’re dealing with a small child who is choking. In this case, you flip them upside down and thump firmly on their back. Years ago, I used this technique to save my eldest son’s life after someone handed him a hard candy.
Again, though, get training from a professional so that you don’t end up doing more damage while trying to save a life!
During a crisis, if someone is wet and cold after getting caught in a flood they may get hypothermia. This can also happen if you’re bugging out and the climate is cold, and you have insufficient clothes to keep warm. While prevention is the best measure, should hypothermia set in you need to know what to do.
You need to dry the casualty and move them to a warmer area where they can slowly get used to the warmth. Do NOT make them take a hot shower. If the hypothermia is bad, do not move the patient. Try and warm them where they are.
There will never be a time when you regret learning these five vital first aid skills!0