Outdoor Education: How to Make a Birch-Bark Splint

Pat Aitken for PE Update.com

You're on an outdoor education trip and a student breaks an arm. Fortunately, bush-savvy leader that you are, you can make a splint from materials available to you in the deep woods.

Or, even if nobody is hurt, you could construct a birch-bark splint to give your students a demonstration on resourcefulness in the bush.

How to Make a Birch-Bark Splint
You'll need a birch tree as big around as the broken arm or leg.

Making a Birch Bark Splint
Making a Birch Bark Splint
Remove a piece of bark long enough to cover the part of the arm or leg that's injured.  Line the inside of the splint with dry sphagnum moss (or similar cushioning material) and bind the splint with string, bandages from your first aid kit, duct tape or spare shoe laces.

Your makeshift splint will support your student comfortably until you can get him/her to medical attention.

1. Jim Duff, Pocket First Aid & Wilderness Medicine (Mini Guide) , Cicerone; 2nd edition, 2012.
2. Bradford Algier, Wilderness Gear You Can Make Yourself, Collier Books; 2nd printing edition, 1974.

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