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What's In Your First Aid Kit?

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What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby InsaneBoost » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:18 am

I've looked around and found one thread that kind of answered my questions, but not fully. I'm looking to create my own first aid kit, as I think it can a) be done cheaper and b) I can keep things I will need, as some of the pre-made kits are said to have useless things?

What does everyone have in their first aid kits? What do you put everything in? Waterproof? Should I be looking at making more of a hybrid first aid/survival kit?

Thanks



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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby dave54 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:47 am

A small flask of single malt Scotch. What else is needed?

All seriousness aside -- what kind of cuts/scrapes/injuries have you had in the past? That is a good place to start.

We all have seen those kits so comprehensive they have everything but an MRI machine. Those are not needed. My kit has an assortment of bandaids, small bandages, some antiseptic tubules, and a small assortment of nsaids, cold pills, etc.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby rlown » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:53 am

pretty much what Dave said. Mine fits in a quart ziplock. And duct tape. can be used to secure a deeper wound.

It's also about what is not in a kit. Take the Red Cross courses on CPR and basic first aid.

http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/pr ... -first-aid
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby paul » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:28 am

band-aids
moleskin
ibuprofen

in a sandwich size ziploc
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby InsaneBoost » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:38 pm

dave54 wrote:A small flask of single malt Scotch. What else is needed?

All seriousness aside -- what kind of cuts/scrapes/injuries have you had in the past? That is a good place to start.

We all have seen those kits so comprehensive they have everything but an MRI machine. Those are not needed. My kit has an assortment of bandaids, small bandages, some antiseptic tubules, and a small assortment of nsaids, cold pills, etc.


I honestly have never had anything bad. Just your typical cuts on sticks/branches and what not. My worst would have been in Yellowstone when I was trying to get a nice shot of a Bull Elk and when I came down on the other side of a fallen tree the branches cut me pretty good.

Never have had broken ankles, sprains, etc, but also don't want to assume that won't happen and be left without something needed either.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:50 pm

Based on personal experience I think it's very important to have a small tube of Neosporin plenty of band-aids, gauze wrap, medical tape and a suture kit. Experiencing extreme lacerations in remote locations that you may need to change bandages at least twice a day and sow up a wound is highly possible.

After tearing my finger open and having to ration my first aid supplies and then bum some off others I learned to carry more. I also have a finger that is no longer straight because I did not sow up the wound.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby rlown » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:33 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:
After tearing my finger open and having to ration my first aid supplies and then bum some off others I learned to carry more. I also have a finger that is no longer straight because I did not sow up the wound.


You could have sutured all day and your finger would still not be straight. Sutures are mainly for surface wounds in the field, and you either got infected or it was near a knuckle and you caused other trauma.

I do applaud the inclusion of a suture kit, but you also have to be willing to use it. Agree with the Neosporin as well. On that topic, I watched my dog being sewed up (I like to be involved). I found this to give tips. even though it's a vet pdf on suture, it applies: http://vpr.utsa.edu/files/larc/Principl ... turing.pdf


InsaneBoost, just because nothing has happened doesn't mean it won't. But don't go overboard. Take a class first, and that'll help you out immensely planning for the unplanned. Example, my ace bandage can be used in multiple situations (sprained ankle, wrist sprain, sling, or even for addition to splint support).
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby dave54 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:12 pm

At some point you start making tradeoffs. The more stuff you carry 'just in case' the heavier and bulkier your kit. You start balancing probabilities against convenience.
It is possible you may be so injured your only recourse is to stabilize yourself, stay put and wait for the cavalry, but how likely is that?

Not everyone in the group needs to carry a full kit either. If you want a more complete kit, divide it up so no one person is carrying the whole thing.

Also -- go through the gear you normally carry anyway and look for things that can double duty. Clothing becomes large bandages and slings, socks and duct tape can be used as an ace bandage, etc.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby limpingcrab » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:23 pm

Tape, triple-antibiotic, pain pills. Seems like most of the other stuff is redundant if you have those three.

Oh, on trips a week or longer I carry some antibiotics and have needed them twice. Once for an infected ingrown hair and once for strep-throat.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby oldranger » Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:26 am

Combine the advice from Dave54 and daisy and that would be my advice.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:43 pm

You could have sutured all day and your finger would still not be straight. Sutures are mainly for surface wounds in the field, and you either got infected or it was near a knuckle and you caused other trauma


Possibly but my finger will still flex if I push it straight and I can tell there is now an excess amount of flesh in that area. At the very least I should have immobilized the finger straight since as a result the large gash had to fill in with new flesh and I believe that is why it cannot push itself all the way.

Now the finger I damaged on Kaweah Pass is a different story. After a year and a half it still is not 100% and I get pain from it is pushed certain ways.

In the end that is how my first aid kit is built. I start with the basic one man kit (water proof which is important!) and remove some junk In it and add extra bandages disinfectant and sowing materials. I'd like to add some pain killers and antibiotics to it but I don't have access to those.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:52 pm

If you take a suture kit, I think getting some hands-on training would be advised. I certainly would not want it to be my first time at this, one handed, while I was hurting and maybe in horrible conditions too! There also is a limit on what you can do on yourself, particularly if it is your dominant hand that is injured. Obviously you cannot reach the back of your head, if you were to fall and cut your head. I would be more inclined to consider sutures if in a group of people where the injured person is not the one doing the procedure. It also would be good to know when sutures help and when they are not a good idea.

Suturing also closes the wound so that infection can be worse than if you left it a bit open. I have pretty successfully used butterfly bandages to close a cut. These do not break the skin so no new infection is added. They leave the wound open enough to drain. Definitely, a re-opened cut can cause extra scar tissue. I would splint a cut if needed just so I would not accidently open it.

Another approach is simply to butterfly a cut and then get out to the closest trailhead and get to some professional medical help. If I had a major cut to my finger, I do not think I would just go forward on my trip.

Off this specific topic - What you are really doing most with first aid is stabilize the injured. Even if you push the help button on your PLB, YOU have to stabilize the injured. What an injured person can quickly die of is 1) stop breathing, 2) arterial bleeding, 3) shock, 4) secondary hypothermia. Although not considered "first aid" just your general backpacking gear can prevent hypothermia and death from shock. You need some way to add external warmth. And when going solo, there is no hot body of your buddy to add warmth. Even on a day-hike I take one pot and my stove, and some Miso soup mix. I have been close to hypothermia once, and hot food really helped.

Honestly, I focus much more on accident prevention than first aid. Most accidents are caused by poor judgment and often a string of small but cumulative bad decisions prior to the accident.
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