As a keen runner and also an Outdoor First Aid Trainer, the idea of runners First Aid is of interest. And I thought it may be worth sharing my ideas, thoughts and simple advice.
When we venture off into the wilds or even to our local park we need to think how assessable we are to the emergency services and how long we may be left to battle by ourselves. I’m a true believer of carrying a phone even on road runs to get help either from home or the professionals if something goes wrong but as many of us know the signal is not reliable as we head out to our favourite trails.
I, like everyone else are keen to keep weight to a minimum but we have to consider weighing up safety and weight. I would like to offer the following advice on choosing what you need to carry with you.
When choosing and carrying kit you need to make sure it is assessable and easily found by others as it may be someone else helping you! I carry a cheap, bright, extra small dry bag with “First Aid” written on the outside. And use the following system to work out what to take.
Quantities will depend on distance as well as environment and how much you need to be self sufficient. But a simple way of working it out is to use ABCDE to decide what to take.
A – Airway – I would always take a face shield as a barrier as these are no very light weight and can help reduce cross contamination if you have to perform CPR on someone else.
B – Breathing – as above.
C – Circulation – Bleeding! – 1 set of gloves are a must and dependent on where I’m going I take some plasters and a large traumafix bandage (packs small, can use on small or large wounds) if you are taking a hydration pack this can be used to wash wounds otherwise you may need to improvise!
D – Damage – 1 x Bandage and some elasticated adhesive tape (will support sprains etc.)
E – Environment – 1 x foil blanket & make sure I carry a waterproof/extra layer, I pack a light, cheap torch too.
You will be surprised how small this will pack down and all of the content is widely available.
If you tend to end up leading others then the responsibility may fall to you but also as a cautionary trail when running in groups don’t take it for granted someone else is carrying first aid, have the conversation before setting out and share the weight.
Lastly, if you do a lot of wild trail running that is in remote areas where it will take a while for the emergency services to get to you. It’s worth getting some training for personal mortality and for others. Look for a Outdoor First Aid Course rather than a normal one as this will give you the skills to cope with remote settings. Look to www.itcfirstaid.co.uk for recognised outdoor First Aid qualifications, they have instructors country wide and a real insight into outdoor First Aid.