Fishhooks. It sounds brutal, but the thing to do if you get a fishhook caught in your flesh is to push the barbed end through your skin and cut off the barb. Then pull the debarbed hook out the same way it went in, wash liberally with antiseptic and bandage carefully to keep dirt out. Get to a doctor the same day for antitetanus shots. It is wise to take them before setting out on your trip; then, in the event of accidents, you'll only need a booster shot.
Poison ivy, oak and sumac. The best prevention is still to stay away from the stuff, although a successful preventive poison ivy vaccine will soon be on the market in shot or pill form (ask your doctor about it). If you think you got in contact with one of the poisonous plants, immediately scrub exposed skin with laundry soap and running water. If blisters form, use a zirconium ointment for a day. When blisters open, there is danger of secondary infection, and your doctor may want to use antibiotics to prevent this. The antihistamines will often alleviate itching.
Bee, hornet, wasp and mosquito stings. Good defensive measures are mosquito netting while you sleep, smoke screens and liquid insect repellents, like 6-12, applied to the skin. If swelling and itching is confined to site of bite, apply paste made of ordinary baking soda and water. If swelling or hives develop in other parts of the body, rush the sufferer to a doctor.
Sunburn. A good antiburn oil or ointment, like Skolex cream, applied before you go out in the sun, and a little common sense about acquiring a tan by slow degrees are the best ways to avoid painful sunburn. Remember, you can get a bad burn even on an overcast day. If skin reddens and swells, avoid using soap on the burned area and apply soothing oils, calamine lotion or ointment. If fever occurs, consult a physician.
Mushrooms. Unless you are an expert, it's best not to eat any that are growing wild. Remedy in case you do and find yourself in trouble: induce vomiting (mustard and hot water are good) and carry patient—don't let him walk—to a doctor at once.
Ticks. Pull them off your body with tweezers, then drown or burn them. The important thing is not to squash them; this releases the microbes from their bodies.
Snakebite. Apply a tourniquet above the site of the bite, but not so tightly that you stop flow in the arteries, releasing it for one minute every 10 or 15 minutes. Cut through the skin, making several incisions in vicinity of bite, between a quarter and a half inch long. Apply suction to incisions, preferably with suction cups, but if none are available, suck with your mouth and spit out poison. Carry patient to doctor at once.
HOW TO LIVE WITH DANGERS OF THE WILD
POISON OAK (WESTERN)
POISON OAK (EASTERN)