Risk in every sport is like spice in cooking. Without a little flavor in sports, the result is bland. We are more likely to try something new every time.We start and sharpen ourselves a little more than yesterday. Taking a risk is overcoming the fear and moving from not knowing to learning something. It’s a wake-up call and the epicenter of joy. Mountain Biking, like any other sport, comes with its own set of dangers. Accidents do happen, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. So every rider’s bag should have at least a basic kit of first aid while riding a mountain bike.Whether you ride in a big group or solo, accidents might occur without anyone’s consent. So it is very important to be prepared while you are riding. So in this blog we’re gonna go through the essentials that you should have on you, and then, if you’re looking to do bigger excursions, of what extra things you should have available in your first aid bag. Now don’t forget, these are just a few essential items for your first aid pack, but if you really want to learn how to use them properly, and be a qualified first aider, then book yourself onto a first aid course in your local area.
Now, first aid kits don’t have to be heavy, clunky briefcases that you see dotted around schools and offices. You can actually get them in any different size, but all of them will contain a few key essential items. Now, you can choose to buy your own first aid kit pre-made for you, and there are plenty of brands on the market doing some really good ones. However, the downside with these is that sometimes they can come with items that you don’t actually need, and they take up valuable space and weight in your backpack. So, you can always make your own, it could be a little bit cheaper, but this way you get to tailor it specifically for your own needs.
First up, Adhesive bandages, or plasters. Now, cuts and grazes are really common in mountain biking, and some of the small ones should still be treated as an open wound, so you want to get it protected and covered by something like hansaplast. That will prevent any other dirt or bacteria getting in, and can/reduce the risk of getting an infection. Now, adhesive bandages come in a variety of sizes for you to choose from, so it’s good to have an assortment in your first aid pack. Now, for larger wounds, adhesive bandages just won’t do, so you need to get yourself some gauze, which is essentially clean cotton wadding that absorbs and protects and covers an open wound. Now, this can also come in a variety of different sizes, so be sure, again, to have a few different ones in your first aid pack. Now, to complement this, a roll of bandage. So this will work, wrap around the wound with the gauze, and keep it in place. Now you can tie it off to keep it firm, but don’t tie it too tight.
Now, having a clean pair of latex gloves in your first aid pack is essential, and this is because you don’t want to contaminate any wounds, whether they’re your own, or someone else’s, and it also means that you get to keep all the sterile dressings, that you have in your pack, clean when you’re using them.
(Photo by Himalayan Medics)
Common mountain bike injuries usually involve your arms. Now, this is because, when you crash off your bike, you automatically just put your arms out to protect your head and your chest from falling to the ground, so it’s quite common for wrists, elbows, shoulders, collarbones, or to take a big hit, so this is why having a good triangular bandage in your first aid pack is quite an essential for us riders. This bandage is a triangular piece of cloth that you can wrap around to keep your arm close to the chest. However, if you don’t have one to hand that’s fine, because you’re probably going to have an inner tube in your pack, and an inner tube works just as well.
Now, there are just a few dry essentials that make the foundation of your first aid pack, but if you’re gonna be doing longer days out, or multi-day excursions, then there are a few more items that you should really consider packing as well. Now, having a good pair of medical scissors is quite important, because if you have excess gauze or if you need to cut an adhesive bandage to fit a wound, then those scissors are perfect for the job.
Mountain biking, forests, trees, dirt, grit, grime, you’re gonna get some kind of splinter or subsurface matter into your skin, so, tweezers. They are great to have in your first aid pack.
If you want to add a little extra security to your adhesive bandage, or if you’ve got it in an awkward place where it keeps lifting up, then get yourself some microporous tape to add into your first aid pack as well. Now, if you don’t have any microporous tape on you, you can use electrical tape and duct tape, which is something most of us will have on us anyway.
Now, if you’re gonna go on a full adventure and I mean you’re gonna be out in the wild, days on end, in the middle of nowhere, and far away from quick medical aid, then you’ll want to get yourself a couple of extra things that could literally save your life.
Now, in addition to all these items, you can tailor it for yourself by adding any medication that you will needing or the one that your doctor has prescribed to you, whether that’s antihistamines, hay fever tablets, ibuprofen, epi pens, add them into your pack, because it is for you, essentially. Now, once you have your pack together, and it’s all completed, and you’re happy with it, make sure it is in a waterproof pouch. Something like this, which is quite sturdy plastic, and then you can add this one into another pouch, a bit like this, which is brightly colored, and quite small, but make sure it is easily accessible in your backpack.
Now, this first aid kit is really for taking out on the trails in your backpack, so it’s a really good idea to have a more comprehensive kit in the car, waiting for you when you get back there, and another one at home as well. These first aid items are really just to get you down the trail, and to a health care professional.