Treating Wounds in the Wild

Treating Wounds in the Wild

Treating Wounds in the Wild


In the wilderness, things can be very unpredictable. That is why it is important to be prepared. One of the first steps towards preparation for going out in the wild is your first-aid kit. There are various techniques you can perform to treat an injury in the wild if you forgot to properly pack your first-aid kit.


Cuts or gash are quite common out in the wild. To treat them you first need to clean it. Clean water is obviously the primary option but if you do not have access to clean water then you can use urine. Urine will clean the injury as it is sterile but remember that you still need to disinfect the cut or gash.

Cactus Bandage

This is obviously only applicable if you are in the desert. The prickly pear is a kind of cactus which contains both antiseptic and astringent qualities. You will be required to cut a pad of the cactus, peel it and rub it on your flesh. You can then bandage it over the raw flesh giving it protection and helping it heal.

Ziploc Bag

When it comes to deep wounds, you need to irrigate them. A ziploc bag comes in handy as you can fill it with sterile water and poke a hole with a needle to squeeze water through it.

Pine Sap

Pine sap works great as an antiseptic. Easily apply it on to your wound. The easiest way to find pine sap is by popping the pimple like lumps on the tree. The antiseptic oozes out once this is done.


After cleaning and disinfecting the wound, you can stitch it together with superglue. In order to do this, you need to hold the edges and glue over the top while also gluing 5mm around the edge. Give it time to dry. If you feel you need to re apply it do so.

Ian Campbell Ian Campbell is the founder of Love the Backcountry and a long time lover of adventure travel. When not writing about the backcountry, he can typically be found hiking, backpacking and camping in the mountains and looking to lay his head beneath as many trees as he can find.