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What's In Your First Aid Kit?

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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby John Harper » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:19 am

You can put together a pretty comprehensive first aid kit for less than $10 if you visit your local 99 cent or Dollar Store.

Bandages, tape, Neosporin, aspirin, Ibuprofen, antacid, antidiarrheal, wet wipes, gauze rolls, scissors. Ten bucks.

John



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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:43 am

rlown wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:My trekking poles, to use as a splint or with a jacket to make a travois


This only caught my eye because I do not see how you could ever use trekking poles as a travois. Having seen people break them when being mostly vertical, It's not possible to use trekking poles for that purpose. Splint, ok.



I'ts been done. It was one of the things taught in a basic wilderness first aid I had a few years back.

If you don't use poles some large crooked branches might do the trick.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:04 am

RoguePhotonic wrote:
Thought we are all required to have medical coverage by now?)


Doesn't mean all of us will comply with the law. :p


Sure - you can either owe the IRS for life, or join the Christian Science church. An atheist friend goes to Wednesday services haphazardly, to get the letter from the pastor for the religious exemption. Very nice people to hang out with (they referred him to a company that hired him a few weeks later, after 6 months unemployment) and they do not even care if you actually claim their religion, or anyone else's.

Or I guess you could go with the plan and go down in a firefight against the Establishment as planned... I prefer to be just left alone to hike, myself.

Someone without sufficient income probably qualifies for Medi-Cal - it's free, and the restrictions have become less restrictive. Still doesn't pay for a medi-vac, but it beats fines and you don't have to bother going to the doctor.

The fines are actually tiered - it increases to $1200 over three years. I looked it up being on the verge of starting my own business and not caring to pay through the nose for insurance until I could afford to. $369 for an annual fine, or $350 / month for insurance. Math and pragmatism win - I would have just taken the fine or gotten medi-cal (not uncommon to go in the hole in the first year of business for some things).

And, I would have been able to hike more, increasing the risk of wilderness incidents.... I must be charmed indeed to not ever have to be evacuated considering how many people I've hiked with over the years and how many risks have been taken.... The older I get, the more aches and pains, the fewer risks. Mortality sucks.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby freestone » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:28 am

A small roll of Gauze, a square of moleskin, some 2x2 band aids, Neosporin, vitamin I, 8 ounces of Hydrogen Peroxide as a disinfectant that doubles for oral hygiene, a toothbrush, dental floss that can double for thread, a needle to sew or remove thorns, a small set of nail nippers, and a pair of emergency room scissors.

I would also now consider my SPOT device, Light My Fire Swedish Fire Knife, some cotton soaked in mineral oil (fire starter), and denatured alcohol for the stove as a peripheral part of the kit now.

I don't know how to suture or do minor surgery so I leave all that stuff out of the kit.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby maverick » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:55 pm

Would recommend that as one get's into their 50's to start including aspirin too, could
save your life if used correctly.

Let's keep the thread on topic please.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby Rockyroad » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:28 pm

I've found medical tape to be much more effective than moleskin for hot spots and early blisters. In my experience, moleskin never stays on. I attribute this to the “fuzzy” top surface which tends to grip to my socks, so any sock movement within my boot will move the moleskin. Do they make moleskin with a slick top surface? If you need the moleskin padding, then I would recommend putting a layer of medical tape over the moleskin. The medical tape I use is from Target and it has a slick surface. It stays on even after a dip in the lake, though I would recommend replacing if wet. And with a roll of this, you don’t have to worry about running out.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby John Harper » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:34 pm

maverick wrote:Would recommend that as one get's into their 50's to start including aspirin too, could
save your life if used correctly.


That's why I put it on the list!

John
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby rlown » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:07 pm

still, over 50, check with your doctor on aspirin. My doc put me on a low dose, daily, so that's in my kit as well.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:28 am

i gave up moleskin and replaced it with leukotape. It sticks for a
week and prevents the blister in the first place. Dual use too - it also fixed a leaking Camelbak.


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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby Jimr » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:50 am

I gave up on moleskin as well. The 386 of the bandaging world. I can't recall the last time I had a blister on my heel, but my old boots used to give me blisters between my toes, so I taped them up with the slick surfaced medical bandaging tape right at the start. My new boots won't last 30 years like the old Danners, but I've been blisterless.

My first aid kit is like many of the others who have posted:

Moleskin (I still bring it out of sheer habit)
small roll of medical tape
gauze
various band-aids
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen
Neosporin

Alll carried in a quart ziploc baggie. I have a dedicated pouch on my external frame pack just for it and other things like a sharp folding knife, extra lighter, iodine tabs (for back-up), small length of cordage for tourniquet.
What?!
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby InsaneBoost » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:31 am

Thanks for all the information everyone. I should be able to put together a good kit now!
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby EpicSteve » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:20 am

As dave54 pointed out, at some point you have to make trade-offs. I have a pretty cautious (downright paranoid?) approach, so I carry a fairly big first aid kit. I started with one of those pre-assembled "Adventure Medical" kits and then removed some items and added others. Lately I've been thinking about dropping more items to save weight and bulk. But I'm surprised no one has really brought up my biggest concern.

As others have mentioned, you can use other gear as first aid gear in a pinch. A bandana as a sling. A bite valve for wound irrigation. Duct tape as a butterfly bandage. (I'd prefer not to get too carried away with this approach though. It might be difficult to think creatively and clearly enough about gear improvisation when you're hurt and possibly suffering from shock, or panicky with concern for another's well being.) And of course, you can simply do without certain items - not having a knuckle bandage for that minor cut is probably not a serious issue, for example.

But one thing that you cannot improvise is a LARGE, STERILE dressing. You can improvise a non-sterile dressing from clothing, but these days much of the clothing worn or carried by most hikers is made from extremely non-absorbent synthetic fabric, making it totally unsuited for the purpose.

Yes, you're much more likely to have an incident involving minor cuts and lacerations than a major wound with serious bleeding. And it's nice to have all those different sized bandages and tweezers and whatnot. But what do you really NEED to have with you if something serious does happen? Large sterile dressings (sanitary napkins are a cheap form of this), roller gauze and tape are far more important, in my humble opinion. Just something to think about.
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