Cougar Ridge

From Hiking Blisters to Dehydration: First Aid Essentials on the Trail

Sep 14, 2023 | Activities & Adventure, Capitol Reef National Park, Cougar Ridge Lodge, Our Blog | 0 comments

Nothing derails a fun outdoor vacation faster than a bad sunburn, hiking blisters, or a headache from dehydration. These and other common injuries and ailments can leave you feeling uncomfortable, or worse, land you in the hospital during your vacation.

Many common injuries can be prevented with a little preparation. Wearing a good pair of hiking boots that fit well and have been broken in ahead of your trip can put a stop to hiking blisters. Wearing sunscreen and reapplying throughout the day as you sweat can prevent a painful sunburn. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after Capitol Reef hikes and knowing the signs of dehydration and heatstroke can help you avoid a life-threatening situation.

But even if you’re prepared, things don’t always go to plan. If you find yourself with a cut or scrape or hiking blisters, having a first aid kit along with the right supplies can allow you to continue on with the fun rather than having to return to your hotel room.

If you’re planning to do some hiking during your stay in Cougar Ridge, keep reading. We’re breaking down the first aid essentials that you should have in your pack.

Bandaids and Bandages

The first thing that many people think of when they’re putting together a first aid kit is bandages. But before you grab a box at random off of your drugstore shelf, think about the types of wounds you might experience.

From tiny cuts that require just a simple bandaid to larger scrapes, burns, and more, you’re going to need a variety of shapes and sizes. And when you’re sweating it out on the trail, you’re going to wish you’d thought ahead and packed some waterproof ones as well. Your first aid kit should hold a variety of shapes and sizes of bandages to keep you covered no matter what happens.

A Store Bought or Homemade Blister Kit

Hiking blisters are rarely life-threatening. But they can be incredibly painful and quickly bring an end to your Southern Utah state parks or Capitol Reef hikes. Get one on your foot, and you’ll likely spend more time thinking about that than the incredible landscapes around you.

Unfortunately, wet socks, new hiking boots, sweaty feet, and lots of walking mean that hiking blisters are incredibly common, even for experienced hikers. Luckily, blister kits can help. You can either shell out around $10 on a store-bought kit, or make your own with just a few ingredients.

To make your own, you’ll need the following:

  • Duct Tape: Avoid carrying a big, bulky roll by making your own. Simply roll the duct tape around itself, skipping the cardboard center. You won’t need the whole roll, but bring yourself enough to wrap several times around each foot.
  • Antiseptic wipes, bandages, and antibacterial ointment: If you’ve followed the rest of this list, these items will already be in your DIY first aid kit!

To use your DIY kit on hiking blisters, you’ll first want to clean the area around your blister. When a blister pops, it rips your skin, exposing sensitive under-layers to the air and bacteria. Those antiseptic wipes will prevent infection. Follow them up with antibacterial ointment. This will help your blister heal faster. Next, cover your blister in a small bandage. Finally, wrap the area of your foot where the blister is in several layers of duct tape. The duct tape not only protects the bandage from slipping but also reduces friction between your foot and your socks and boots. This takes the pressure off and keeps the blister from getting worse or others from forming. 

You can also put your blister kit to use before hiking blisters occur. If you feel a pressure spot rubbing in your boot, simply use the last step, with duct tape, to cover the area and take the pressure off.

Antiseptic Wipes for Disinfecting Wounds

Tiny scrapes and scratches seem harmless enough. But the threat they carry has less to do with the scratch itself and more to do with what can get in. Infections can start in even the smallest of wounds and can be deadly. Simply slapping a bandaid over a cut without cleaning it first means that you’re leaving the wound exposed to any bacteria that may have been on whatever scraped you to begin with.

That’s where antiseptic wipes come in. Whether you’re planning an easy day hike in Southern Utah state parks or a multi-day trek on backcountry trails in Capitol Reef, these are a staple in any first aid kit. Pack more than you need, and use them to clean any wounds, no matter how small. When it comes to fighting infection on the trail, it’s always better to play it safe.

Other First Aid Essentials

Supplies for treating hiking blisters, bandages, and antiseptic wipes are all important items to have in your first aid kit. But there are a variety of other supplies you should pack as well, including:

  • Gauze pads
  • Anti-itch treatment
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antihistamine for allergic reactions
  • Safety pins
  • Medical tape
  • Tweezers for splinters
  • Extra sunscreen
  • Aloe for sunburns

Preparing for Hiking Blisters, Sunburns, and More

If you’re planning to take on some Southern Utah state park or Capitol Reef hikes during your stay in ridge resorts, having a first aid kit on hand is a must. Having this gear in your pack can help you prevent painful hiking blisters, sunburns, and more.

Ready to start planning your next hiking adventure at Cougar Ridge? Now is a great time to book your stay! When you book a stay of three or more nights before October 31, you’ll enjoy a 25 percent discount on your stay. Book today to take advantage of these savings.

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