Climbing is one of the most breath-taking of all outdoor activities: being up higher in the air than one has ever been, clinging the rock wall with just hands and feet, and working along with one’s own strength and athleticism. It is exhilarating, and that is why so many people love it and flock to places like Colorado and Salt Lake City each and every year. However, it would not be wise to ignore the dangers of climbing. Even with the best safety gear and in the best conditions, minor injuries can occur. Since many climbing locations are so far outside of urban centers, even minor injuries need to be treated right away. To this end, it is very important to carry a first aid kit when climbing, and to have a complete kit that holds everything one needs for on-site assistance to those who have been injured.
The first things that need to be in a good climbing first aid kit are for cuts and abrasions in the skin. One will want to have antiseptic towels. These need not be large and take up a lot of room; there are many small antiseptic towels that can be purchased and carried around, and they are often sealed so that one does not need to replace them if they are not used. One will also want to have Neosporin or some other type of antiseptic fluid along, in case the towels are not enough. There could be dirt or rock in a cut, and with that all sorts of bacteria and disease, so one wants to make sure that the cut is cleaned out properly. Along with those two things, one will want to have rubber gloves. This is just in case the cut is quite bad, as someone treating it will not want to get any blood on their own hands. Rock climbing leads to abrasions and cuts on the hands that can be there even if they are not noticed or very bad. This means that blood could transfer from one person to the other, something that should certainly be avoided as much as possible as it is within any sport.
The next things a climber would want are gauze and athletic tape. These can be used to patch up a cut after it has been cleaned out, providing a strong bandage that will not come off while the injured climber is making their way back to ground level. They have the added advantage of being able to help with ankle sprains. Much like when a football player rolls his ankle and is taped up on the sideline, a climber who has done so can be taped up to support the joint while they climb down. There is no need to risk further injury. A football player can often go back into the game on a twisted ankle, with a good enough tape job; a climber can likewise get back to the ground, where they can let the ankle heal.
A third thing to have along is Ibuprofen or some other sort of pain medication. Pain is very inhibiting when trying to do anything that requires extreme physical effort, so a climber may need to take it to dull the edge while they are transported or while they climb down to safety. This is also effective with headaches, which can be debilitating in their own way. The last thing a climber wants is to feel trapped at the top of a climb because of the pain of a headache or some other injury, so a small bottle of pain medication can go a long way.
There are many other things that could be carried, things such as tweezers, scissors, and moleskin. Climbers should make sure to have a complete first aid kit set up before they head out, because one can never plan for disaster, but only plan to fight it when it comes. If a climber has a first aid kit ready, they will not only be able to be helped if injured, but they will be able to climb in a relaxed and calm fashion, knowing that the circumstances that might arise have all been planned for accordingly.