The Houston Chronicle has a piece on hiking and fishing first aid that includes this nifty tip:
Cuts and scrapes can be especially nasty in warmer climates, such as ours, where germs thrive and can’t wait to find their way inside our bodies. Whether you’re fishing at the beach, sailing on a lake or hiking through the forest, there are microscopic bacteria that can, if given the chance, take you out.
First priority with nicks and dings is to clean the wounds thoroughly. Even a single grain of sand or speck of dirt can harbor dangerous bacteria, Weiss said, and merely soaking a wound has “no therapeutic value.”
Instead, flush wounds generously with pressurized streams of water. If necessary, you can fill a plastic bag with clean water, poke a small hole in a corner and squeeze the bag gently to create an irrigation source.
Just one more opportunity to wonder what on earth we’d do without Ziplock bags and duct tape.
Soaking a wound has therapeutic value if the wound has had any time to dry. As it softens the tissue, and loosens the dried blood along with any attached material, making the wound is easier to clean.