Tired after a long afternoon of paddling into headwinds, I reached the mouth of Newnham Bay on Lake Kesagami. I made camp on a nice beach near where Kesagami Lodge stores there freighter canoes. I knew the lodge was closed for the season, but a boat not yet turned over told me someone was around. When I paddled up to the camp site, I heard a noise. Thinking it was a person, I called hello, I heard no reply. After climbing out of my canoe, I saw a caribou print on the beach. I’m pretty sure I had just scared away a caribou. I was mad at myself, who wouldn’t want to see one?
The last remaining blister on my burnt hand had finally popped earlier that day. My hand started feeling a lot better with the pressure of the blister gone. I broke out the first aid kit as it was getting dark, and began the daily routine of treating my burns. I needed to sanitize them, and change the bandages daily. Today I’d need special treatment because a blister had popped. Before leaving for the Kesagami, a Dr. prescribed me with some antibiotics, and told me to take them and call in an air evacuation at the first sign of infection. His sincerity was concerning, so I made sure I took the injury seriously.
Once I’d started preforming first aid on myself, a rascally little mouse kept running out from under the old freighter canoe I was sitting on. It was trying to steal my food, and I had to scare him off a couple times. It was only Day 4 of my solo trip, but to be honest, it was good to have some company.
Follow these steps to properly treat a burn:
1. Don’t pop the blisters. The fluid under the blisters is sterile. Popping them will only increase the chances of infection.
2. Once the blisters pop naturally, use a clean pair of scissors to cut the dead skin off of the burn.
3. Disinfect the burn. Soap and clean boiled water is as good a disinfectant as peroxide or alcohol.
4. Apply burn cream. I used a prescription ointment called Flamazine. It soothed the burns when applied.
5. Cover the burn. Use non-adherent dressings if possible. It’ll be a lot less painful to get the bandages off if you do.
6. Remove bandages daily and repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 until the burns are healed.
7. Duct tape works well to cover bandages and gauze once applied.