Outdoor medicine is unique in that the only tools and materials available to you are the ones you carry in and what’s around you, so it’s important to be resourceful! Sometimes the most unlikely objects can become useful (even lifesaving) tools. Here’s a quick how-to to make a splint from a water bottle, ideal for arm fractures:
1) Cut off the top and bottom of the water bottle.
2) Cut the remaining tube down the side, creating the space the affected area will be placed in.
3) Pad the inside of the water bottle to help keep your patient comfortable. (Ideas for padding include t-shirts, rags, bandanas, even socks.)
4) Gently cradle the affected area in the splint and wrap with any fabric or cord you have on hand.
*To make sure you didn’t wrap the splint too tightly, make sure you can still feel the subject’s radial pulse, that their fingers aren’t going numb, and that they can still move their hand to some degree considering the injury. If the splint is on the subject’s leg, apply the same principles to their foot and toes.
Stay safe and have fun on your next outdoor adventure! ♥️