Caveat: This episode does not demonstrate a proper ankle wrap, which requires some basic first aid training and materials. In contrast, it demonstrates doing the best you can with limited knowledge and whatever you might find in your backpack, or maybe the trunk of your car. This is consistent with principles of basic self reliance, but not necessarily good medical practice.
There’s a lot wrong with the scenario in this video.
- Hiking alone. It’s best to have a buddy when you hike, bug out, or travel in general. But life happens.
- Inadequate first aid kit. A good first aid kit for a hiker or hunter should include some basic materials for what is, after all, the most common injury in athletics and outdoor activities — a sprained ankle. That would be some stretch bandages and cloth tape, maybe an ankle compression sleeve, and even a Sam Splint.
- Twisting your ankle in the first place. Slow down, watch your step. But again, life happens.
- Walking on an injured ankle. If you twist your ankle, use RICE to recover — Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Here I’ve demonstrated what to do to give some support if you must move on, but this is a desperate situation. The pain will increase, and the injury will be aggravated. You’ll eventually have to stop. But if you must move to a safe location, know how to give your injured ankle some support.
Here is a video that demonstrates the proper way to bandage an ankle in preparation for strenuous activity. Bear in mind that this is a tight wrap that is expected to come off again immediately after the activity. It’s too tight to leave on all day — your toes need circulation! Also, this is wrapped to protect a recovering ankle — the swelling and pain have gone, but it’s still weak. But the actual method of taping is still good for supporting a fresh injury.
Helpful Links for Sprains and Strains
Mayo Clinic — excellent, concise description of RICE method.
Family Doctor — First aid kit basics, in case you want to put together your own first aid kit