First Aid Precautions
One thing that should be at the top of any back country travel checklist is a personal first-aid kit, or a selection of medical supplies to meet emergency medical needs. What you should take will depend on who you are, where you are going and how long you will be staying. Consult your family doctor about these and any other suggestions and additional supplies you may need. We would suggest the following minimum items be considered:
- Ace bandage
- Burn ointment
- Chap stick
- First aid tap
- Foot (blister) pads/powder
- Gauze compresses
- Salt tablets
- Sharp knife
- Suntan lotion
Keep in mind that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun which will burn you is stronger at higher elevations and are most intense in tropical, snow and water environments. Wear protective hats and other coverings when in the sun. A natural suntan which has been obtained slowly helps protect you from sunburn, however, the kind of tan you get from a bottle doesn’t.
When you buy a commercial sunscreen product look for a SPF (sun protection factor) rating on the package.
- SPF 2 to 4 = Minimal protection for people who rarely burn and tan easily and deeply.
- SPF 4 to 6 = Moderate protection for people who tan well with minimal burn.
- SPF 6 to 8 = Extra protection for people who burn moderately and tan gradually.
- SPF 8 to 15 = Maximum protection from sunburning for people who always burn easily and tan minimally.
- RECOMMENDED – SPF 15 or greater = Ultra protection from sunburn, offers the most protection which permits no sun tanning for people who burn easily and never tan.