Moving an Injured Person When SHTF


( – Ever been camping with friends or family and imagine “What if something bad happens? What should I do?” How would you react if something did happen? Camping, hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities can be a lot of fun — but can also become very dangerous very quickly.

Imagine this: You and your friend are out camping deep in the woods miles from even a road or trail. The trip has been great thus far and you only have a few days left, so naturally, you decide to go on a little adventure. The two of you are hiking alongside a ravine when your friend slips and falls down into the ravine. You yell for them, they don’t respond, and you now fear the worst has happened.

How Bad Is It?

If you have reception, the first thing you should do is call for emergency services before you climb down (you are more likely to get a call out here than down in the valley). After the call is made, or you find you cannot get reception, you need to climb down and assess your friend’s injuries.

Once you reach them, make sure their airway is open, check for broken bones, bleeding or any kind of serious injuries by visually assessing them and gently feeling along their limbs for any protrusions. If necessary, perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

If you suspect spinal trauma, you need to be extremely careful about moving them. If they are conscious, an altered mental state can be a sign of head or spinal trauma. Other signs of such injuries can be loss of bladder control, pain in the head or neck, numbness, weakness, and paralysis.

Normally, you would not want to move anyone with a spinal injury, it is better to stabilize them and call for emergency services. If you have no choice but to move them, as they are in immediate danger, keep their head and neck supported in a straight line while you do so.

Moving Them Out

In this scenario, your friend is unconscious but still breathing and you do not believe they have a spinal injury. You weren’t able to get a call out, so it is up to you to move them to safety. You’ll need to make some sort of sled or stretcher to transport your friend… at least until they wake up.

If hiking out of the valley isn’t an option, you need to get them out of the ravine. You can accomplish this by standing at the base of the ravine’s side with your friend facing you. You’re basically going to act as a harness for them. Clip them or fasten them to you in some way to make sure you don’t drop them. You can do this by creating a harness out of the rope, weaving it around the chest or hip area, so the rope takes the bulk of the weight without damaging any limbs.

Slowly and carefully start to climb up the ravine. It’s not going to be easy. Make sure to keep good footing and not rush anything. Take breaks if needed as it will do no good to wear yourself out. You’re going to use all your energy to make sure your friend makes it home safe.

Once at the top of the ravine, carefully set your friend down, typically on their side with an arm under their head to support the head. Using your rope, you can make a stretcher. From the middle of the rope, lay it down in a zig-zag pattern making the area one foot wider and one foot longer than your friend. Using Clove Hitches, attach each end of the rope to each of the loops to create the sides. The remaining rope should be fed through the loops on each side. You can also use some small logs to help strengthen the sides.

Another option is to lay them on a blanket or a tarp and use it to drag them. Grab the end of the material with both hands and use your forearms to cradle their head as you move. Make sure to pull with your legs and not your back, injuring yourself here will only make the situation worse for both of you.

In a worst-case scenario, you will be forced to carry them yourself. To do this, you can use a fireman’s carry to transport them to safety.

You’ll have to move them until they either wake up and are possibly able to move on their own, or until you can call for or find help. In these situations, you should always try to call 9-1-1 first before moving them. If you can’t contact emergency services you will have to make the choice of whether they should be moved or not.

Have you ever had to move an injured person? Reply to your email and let us know your story, we would love to hear from you!

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