Mountain biking can be a messy and accident prone business and so carrying something for trailside wound washing is essential. Here are a few tried and tested ideas.
Maybe it’s a bit of mud or a fly that has flicked into your eye or a gashed leg caused by your pedal (ouch!) or chainring. We would agree with you that wearing cycling glasses can reduce the risk of objects in eyes, but problems still occur sometimes.
For foreign bodies in eyes the best treatment is irrigation and dirty wounds need the same. Basically, it’s all about getting objects out and wounds clean! For wounds this reduces the risk of problems further down the line and also allows a clean surface to then apply a dressing.
So, it is essential to carry some cleaning tools for the job. One option that really works is to carry some vials of saline in your first aid kit. This kind of thing. They are convenient, cheap and sterile before opening. They also produce a really directable jet of water ensuring the liquid gets to where it is needed.
But maybe you don’t have something like that with you or the wound needs more washing to clear out all that mud or gravel? The answer lies in your water bottle or hydration pack.
We like having drinking liquid with added electrolyte/hydration tablets as much as everyone else. But having a supply of clean drinking water along on every ride is really useful too. Now you have the perfect option for rinsing out wounds thoroughly or swishing that agonising mud from your friend’s eye. Of course you always need to get the balance between hydration and wound cleaning, but you get the idea.
Often we carry a smaller drink bottle of water on our bike and a separate hydration pack. Options such as the Osprey Hydraulics system with hydration tablets added works a treat. Every trailside wound washing box is now ticked.
Getting proper training is also key to coping with trailside emergencies. One of our legendary one day or two day Outdoor First Aid courses might end up being the best money you’ve ever spent! Also, for more ideas on what to carry in your trail first aid kit please check out our First Aid Kit Ideas blog post. Happy riding!