First Aid Kit

Returning to the woods then check your kit

As many archers come out of lock down and clubs start reopening after weeks, in some cases months of closure, I expect people will be getting their arrows and bows ready.

Can I ask you to spare a moment or two and think about other elements in your archery kit.

If you carry a water bottle, then are you sure it’s clean? It might have been left unused for weeks? This makes it a great breeding ground for bugs!

Do you carry a first aid kit on your bet or maybe in the car?

Whether camping, skiing, hiking or enjoying field archery I always carry a simple first aid kit, either in my day sack or on my quiver belt. It’s nothing fancy, just a simple kit you can pick up from most outdoor stores with a few extra items, I’ve added over the years like antiseptic cream, spare micropore tape, antihistamine cream, dehydration sachets, etc. Though I have had some formal first aid training thanks to Forest Knights course, I’m no medic. There have been times I have patched a few people up and found it amazing how few people carry such a kit. It’s one of those things you hope to never have to use but am glad to carry.

I have a larger kit in the car with a couple of thermal blankets, survival bags, bandages etc. all in a dry bag.  As it has been said sometimes you hope for the best but plan for the worst. If you check out the Forest Knights site they offer advice on what is useful to include.

Since it’s the start of the summer, (even though the temperatures have dropped), I would have normally already been to the 3d championships. I use that event as a timely reminder to check, replace and refill the kit. It’s worth checking to make sure everything is within date as sterile dressings, antiseptic wipes, etc. have a limited shelf life. You might want to check you have antibacterial hand sanitiser and gloves haven’t perished.

Some outdoor stores sell a refill pack for first aid kits, which is a good simple means by which to restock. One addition to the kit is a tick card, which is a small credit size card with a magnifying glass and simple prongs to help you remove a tick, though I have also got a couple of pairs of tick tweezers too as I have found the cards prongs not that good.

There has been a number of articles in the news about the spread of ticks and the increase in the number of reported cases of Lymes Disease. Lymes Disease is a potentially serious condition and here is a link to a recent BBC news article and another on the dangers of tick bites

Stay safe and thanks for reading.

First aid with the Forest Knights

Forest Knights logo

Forest Knights

Normally when you undertake a course or when you spend time learning a new skill, you will want to start to practise it at the first opportunity, using this new knowledge as soon as possible. You might even be looking forward to the opportunity to try out your newly acquired knowledge. So there is a degree of irony that despite undertaking the first aid course run by Forest Knights I hope I never have to use the skills they taught, as it would mean someone’s been hurt.
Forest Knights offer a variety of courses and duration not just focusing on first aid, with details available on their website ( This was to be a one day course focusing on injuries that are likely to be encountered on a field archery event from slips and trips to more serious injuries. It had been organised by our archery club (Briar Rose Field Archers) for interested members.
Back in the 80s I’d done a Saint John’s ambulance course and yes I am that old, thank you. Over the years I have at times had to use this knowledge so it was good to have this update.
Normally the course would comprise classroom and outdoor activities but due to the truly awful weather that day, the outside elements of the course were moved indoors, much to the relief of all present. I think we would have ended up soaked to the skin and in need of medical aid ourselves. Despite this, we covered lots of practical elements.

The course covers a huge variety of topics, from bandaging sprains, to recommendations for contents in club first aid kits. All the time presented in a professional and engaging manner. As with any active learning activity, there are periods when you have to get up and do things, with both Beth and Wayne taking it in turns to roleplay various injuries.
One thing that struck me when looking back at the course, for this review was how it made me realise just how much your trainers really know about the subject matter along with how much they managed to cram into the time available. Covering the skills we might need and still taking the time to ensure we were understanding the steps and the why’s of why it’s information that is good for you to know.

Undertaking such a course makes you realise how there are some simple tips and advice that can make a huge difference. One great tip was how to fold and use a survival bag in such a way as to make it easier to cover an injured person without causing them more injury. A simple thing but could make a huge difference when trying to keep an injured party sheltered quickly in poor conditions.

Personally, I would encourage everyone to undertake some form of a first aid course as in my view it is better to know something and not have to use the knowledge than need the knowledge and not have it in an emergency. Having said this I still hope I’m never in a situation where I have to use it as it means someone’s hurt.

Thanks for reading.