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Surviving Winter Adventures – The Importance of Medical Kits



Adventure medical kit

As outdoor activities continue to grow in popularity, it is important to be prepared. This is even more so when considering outdoor activities in winter. While the rate of injury might be considered low by some standards—between two and four injuries per one thousand days of participation—one never knows when an accident might happen. It’s part of the unpredictability of accidents and injuries. Adventure medical kits can be just what you need to properly treat any injury. 

Winter Outdoor Activities

While most people think of skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in the winter months, camping should also be considered. Cold weather camping has risen in popularity over the last two decades. With better and better gear to help campers stay warm, many are now enjoying a different side of the camping spectrum. 

When camping it is important to be prepared for the following:

  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Scrapes and Abrasions
  • Rashes
  • Broken Bones
  • Sprains
  • Contusions

A well-stocked adventure first-aid kit can make all the difference in the world. It should have all the equipment necessary to treat all of the above injuries.

Contusions and Sprains

Considered a soft tissue injury, contusions and sprains can be quite painful and debilitating. It’s important to properly treat them to ensure long term effects are minimized. It can be harrowing when trying to deal with these while camping and hiking or participating in sports activities. All sports medical kits come with the appropriate tools to treat those injuries. The proper method to treat this type of injury is by following the PRICE protocol. 

The PRICE acronym stands for the following:

  • Protect 
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation


It is important when hiking, camping, skiing, and snowboarding to wear protective gear to minimize the chances of severe injury while participating. This can be helmet and properly adjusted bindings. It is also important to be physically able to participate in those activities. It is also important that once an injury occurs that the activity is stopped. A simple sprain or contusion can become something far worse if the activity continues.


Until the swelling is eliminated, it’s important get adequate rest. This means to stop all but minimal activity. 


While those who have suffered soft tissue injuries may rely on anti-inflammatory medication to help cut down on the swelling, there are other options. One of the best is applying ice. Cooling the area of a soft tissue injury can not only relieve pain but also significantly reduce the amount of swelling. Ice should be applied in twenty-minute intervals for the best results.


Applying pressure can help prevent swelling. This is one reason why if someone suffers an ankle sprain it is important to leave the shoe or boot in place. The compression will diminish the swelling. Another way to maintain compression is by using an Ace style bandage. It is important to wrap in an upward direction toward the nearest joint for the best results. Remember to not wrap the area too tightly, circulation should still flow freely.


Raising the injured area above the heart will decrease the amount of swelling. 

Cuts and Abrasions

Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts can incur minor head and face injuries. Adventure medical kits come with everything needed to properly treat the cuts and abrasions.

  • Stop the Bleeding by Applying Pressure
  • Wear Gloves or Wash Your Hands to Lower Infection Rates
  • Clean the Wound
  • Dry the Wound
  • Apply a Sterile Dressing

What Should a Basic First-Aid Kit Contain?

While each kit comes with variations of the same type of medical supplies, at the most basic level, they should have:

  • Bandages in assorted sizes, also Ace bandages for wrapping
  • Butterfly closures, sterile dressing pads and dressings, gauze and adhesive tape
  • Tweezers and scissors
  • Cotton swabs, antiseptic towelettes and lidocaine cleansing cloths
  • Plastic sealable bags, gloves (non-latex), micro shield mask for giving CPR
  • Burn ointment, triple antibiotic ointment, PVD iodine 10% solution, aloe vera gel, and hydrocortisone cream
  • Oral rehydration salts, antihistamines, and pain relievers 
  • Duct tape
  • Thermometer
  • Malleable splint

While these are vital to any adventure first-aid kit, there are other items that can prove important as well. Those include a good light source, extra blankets, and a space blanket for warmth in extreme conditions. 

Also, the first-aid supplies need to be housed in a rugged container that is waterproof. There is nothing worse than opening the kit only to find the supplies waterlogged and unusable.

It is also important to make a concerted effort to check and re-check supplies before and after each trip to ensure it is restocked appropriately. While it might seem like a lot of stuff to carry in addition to other equipment, but these items can literally save a life. No matter what your adventure might hold—skiing, hiking, camping, tubing, and snowboarding—it is vital to have a properly stocked first-aid kit.

In Conclusion

For over thirty years, Sands Canada has been providing the best Adventure Medical Kits Canada available. The line between adventure and sports has become blurred as extreme sports have become more widely accepted. That’s why Sands also provides the highest quality sports medical supplies. Reach out to us to find out more about or medical supplies and equipment. We work with first responders of all variety and are more than able to meet your adventure medical kit needs. Reach out to Sands Canada today.