First Aid

Canoe trips aren't particularly hazardous by their nature, but they do often remove us from close proximity to professional medical Trip participants should have training in first aid. care. For this reason, it is a good idea if someone (preferably several people) have training if first aid and CPR. Once we leave "civilization" there is nobody to rely on but ourselves. Proper training could mean the difference between life and death for one of the members of our group.

Despite this ominous-sounding warning, we usually find that the majority of medical issues which arise on a trip are very minor in nature. A reasonably equipped first aid kit will allow us to treat 98% of the problems which may crop up. We find that we hardly ever have to deal with anything more life threatening that slivers, blisters and diarrhea.

We do have to remember that just because a problem isn't life-threatening, it doesn't mean that the problem isn't a serious matter. A bad bout of diarrhea may not kill anyone, but being forced to pull over every half hour for a pit stop can ruin the trip for everyone, put you hopelessly behind schedule, and dehydrate the unfortunate victim.