A small group of local campers in the Washington state area are trying to launch a nationwide campaign to encourage campers and hikers to consider adding manuka honey to their first aid kits. This might sound as if it is something some sweet craving, candy loving camper came up with, but it is really something that could save people’s lives.
“Manuka honey can be used for medicinal purposes”, said Tom Hughes. “If you experience a cut or scrape while in the wilderness, you could have just a few minutes to clean and disinfect it before some harmful bacteria makes its way into your body. Applying manuka honey to the wound can clean and disinfect it.”
The group of campers and hikers, known as WA Love to Hike and Camp, has been using manuka honey as part of their camping trips for several years. The honey is packed into tiny jars that are sealed tightly with several layers of tape to avoid spilling or breakage while camping through the wilderness.
“It is surprising that so many people don’t know the healing qualities of manuka honey”, said camping and hiking enthusiast Tina Summers. “I take the approach that if you are enjoying nature and walking around in it, you should be using a natural approach to healing wounds, and that is what manuka honey provides.”
WA Loves to Hike and Camp saw the healing powers of manuka honey firsthand on a trip last year. While hiking through the foothills of Mount Rainier, a fellow hiker fell and cut a 3-inch gash into his leg. The group immediately placed manuka honey onto the wound, bandaged it up, and proceeded to try to get the hiker to the nearest medical facility.
“When we arrived at the medical facility doctors were amazed that the wound wasn’t infected”, said Tina Summers. “The doctors kept asking us which one of us was a doctor, because they seriously thought only a medical professional could have cleaned out the wound like it was.”
WA Loves to Hike and Camp hopes to raise awareness that just a small dab of honey could end up saving a hiker or camper’s life. The group has reached out to national hiking and camping organizations in hopes of being able to share their story.
“If a small jar of honey could save your life”, said Tiffany Sanders. “Why wouldn’t you carry it around? I just don’t want people dying from infections and bacteria when they shouldn’t have to. That is all.”