NOTE: Blog written as a result of fellow employee doing some pretty decent damage to his skull on a weekend trip 2 weeks back. Lots of blood involved, but he's okay now.
Okay kids, let's talk about Trail Safety for a bit, specifically First Aid. When you go off roading, you're trying to reach the most inaccessible, extreme places around. You're dealing with wilderness, heavy machinery, and factors unknown. The deeper you go into your adventures, the farther away you are from help. All this adds up to bad news if a serious injury occurs! Luckily, the old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," rings very true here.
First things first, you'll want to have a First Aid kit. Now, most First Aid kits include some gauze, a variety of Band-Aids, and some name brand painkillers. While this is good to have in your Jeep for day to day adventures, you'll want to create a more extensive kit for your off pavement trips. Keep in mind that you'll probably be trying to keep a wound under control until you can find proper medical attention, which could be hours away. The few 2"x2" gauze squares that come standard in most kits are great for a small scrape or cut, but if you've got a wound that won't stop bleeding you're going to go through those little guys quick! Clean towels kept separate from the rest of your gear are a great help (no, your oil rag will NOT suffice!). A large roll of gauze, scissors, and medical tape will make you a very happy camper. Also bring along some old t-shirts that have been washed. These can be ripped into long strips and tied on to hold gauze in awkward places.
More often than not, the scrapes, cuts, and gashes acquired on the trail will have some of said trail ground into them. So, unless you want to lose that limb, cleaning out wounds is of vital importance. Bring along a water bottle to be used strictly for flushing wounds. The large medical Q-tips and a bottle of iodine should definitely be in your First Aid kit. An ice compress in your cooler (again, keep it in a separate plastic bag so it's not filthy) will provide some relief for most injuries. Other miscellaneous items include ibuprofen or pain killer of your choice, tweezers, calamine lotion, antibacterial ointment, and latex gloves (powder-free).Please keep in mind that I am by no means a medical professional. This is just an idea of some of the things you'll need based off of first hand experience. You know your region and what types of dangers are most prevalent there. For example, if you live in a snake area, bring a snakebite kit! Common sense and caution are the best prevention, but injuries are sometimes unavoidable. Not being prepared, however, is a mistake that you can (and should) avoid!