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What's In Your First Aid Kit?

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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:32 am

Forgot to add, proper gear is also good prevention. Bringing traction appropriate to conditions, like microspikes. Bringing protection - eye protection, such as those goggles you get for using power tools, can save your eyesight while mashing through brush - they were required for SAR. I bring leather gloves if i expect to be doing much scrambling around in steep, forested areas or in granite boulders, as I've had serious granite rash and wounds due to manzanita or suddenly breaking branches before. You can avoid a lot of pain by being prepared.



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What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby Lumbergh21 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:08 pm

I was watching an ultralight hiker go over his pack and noticed that he did not use any water treatment nor bring along anything for first aid, not so much as some duct tape or Leukotape. I basically said that it was irresponsible for him to tell others that this is the way to hike and that he was relying on others like me to help him out if he ever had a minor injury while on trail (major injuries are another topic), or at least I'm assuming that's how he heard it based on his response. His response was that there is no need for any first aid materials as he would just hike out to the nearest town if anything did happen and that he has never received any help from anyone while on the trail. Of course he concluded by telling me to hike my way and let him hike his. Ignoring the issue of not treating water, what do you bring along for first aid?
I put together my own light first aid kit mainly from stuff I already had in the medicine cabinet at home. I'm not bringing along stuff I don't know how to use or couldn't use on myself - I hike solo and can't count on another hiker being handy. I bring along:
1-4x4 gauze pad or a small roll of gauze
2 Band-aids
10-800mg ibuprofen tablets
2 antihistamine caplets
2 packets quick dissolving tums or equivalent
1 small tube of Neosporin
1 small tube Krazy Glue
2 alcohol wipes (when not using an alcohol stove)
1 small piece of moleskin
1 Safety pin
Several feet of leukotape wrapped around a trekking pole
A small knife with tweezers

This all adds up to 1.5 ounces (not including the tape and knife, which are multi-purpose and would be coming along anyway). Am I acting out of fear and bringing along unnecessary equipment (does 1.5 ounces really matter?), or am I totally unprepared? Or, something in between?
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby balzaccom » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:36 am

We take a few more of each of your tablets, and add in immodium as well. And we have an ace bandage and a few more alcohol wipes and band-aids. Our theory is that for that stuff, we would at least like the option of continuing our trip, rather than heading for the trailhead the minute something goes wrong. That means taking along enough for three or for days of treatment.

And we're not really qualified to treat anything much more serious. If that happens, we're going for help.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:42 pm

In one way I almost agree with the fellow- small injuries really do not need immediate first aid- you can walk out and then get them fixed. Most of the "first aid" done for small injuries are to make you more comfortable or keep blood from dripping on you. As for infection, wash off with water and then if you get out you can get treatment.

What you need is stuff that will allow you to walk out, or safely stay put and wait for rescue, if injured. You can walk out without moleskin with feet raw and bloody. You cannot walk out if you are puking so much that you cannot move. You can actually die if you do not get puking under control.

My "first aid" kit is more of a "comfort aid" kit. I do not want to feel I have to walk out and ruin a trip just because I get blisters or walk out for fear of getting infection after not being able to clean a relatively small would. I sure would rather carry the weight of a few pain killers than suffer through a migrane headache. I would rather take a few allergy pills then walk down the trail with my eyes swollen shut. I take some pantie-liners to put on a bleeding wound over a think layer of gause. I take tablets that are supposed to stop diareha or vomiting. Never tested them, since I never have needed them. I suppose I should some day. I take FA tape to butterfly cuts. Not that I would die if I did not, but I rather not have a big ugly scar later. I do not take antibiotics - I do have some dry- soapy wipes for general washing my face. I always have two kerchiefs with me that I use for other things, and these can be used as bandages. I also think of trekking poles as first aid - it may be what I need to walk out if I sprain an ankle.

Part of what I consider "first aid" is enough clothing to keep you warm if you are imobilized. I think a lot of UL hikers depend to much on their ability to move to keep them warm.

I do think most small first aid kits are more mental assurance than real help. The most important item is your own skills and first aid knowledge and creativity.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby alpinemike » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:55 pm

I more or less have what is already listed. Something that Rogue and I added to our kits this past year was a couple suture kits. Something that he could have used multiple time before. We have routinely joked about having to use a thread and needle to sew a wound shut which would be excruciatingly painful. At least now we have the sutures. Hope to never use them but I feel considerably more comfortable now, knowing a serious cut can be sewn shut and prevent major blood loss.

I also carry bourbon for drinking, but naturally in a pinch it will disinfect any wound albeit with major burning since it's preferred to use clear alcohol.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby maverick » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:48 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination, and where the trail ends is where our adventures begin.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby Lumbergh21 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:25 pm

Sorry about that Maverick. I did do a search for "first aid kit" and a couple variations.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby Lumbergh21 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:42 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:In one way I almost agree with the fellow- small injuries really do not need immediate first aid- you can walk out and then get them fixed. Most of the "first aid" done for small injuries are to make you more comfortable or keep blood from dripping on you. As for infection, wash off with water and then if you get out you can get treatment.


You say later that you do not bring along antibiotics. Is there a reason why not? A guy at work did that very thing when he cut his foot. He nearly died from the infection before he went to the hospital a week later. I just know how dirty I get when hiking and think an antibiotic is a good thing to have along. I agree about the moleskin not being necessary. I also think I should add some Imodium or similair product. I also forgot to mention that I bring along some prescription eye drops, but that was included in the total weight I posted.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:18 pm

I have spend many days upon days in the wilderness, got numerous cuts, scrapes, and such rock climbing, sliced myself working (geology- drilling rig) in dirty conditions, got mauled by a fence post, scratched by pets, and never in my life have I ever had an infection. I just do not get them. Not that I say others should not take antibiotic ointment. As for antibiotic pills, you have to get a prescription for them. I have probably taken them once or twice in my life, and then only after minor surgery in a hospital, where there are tons of bad germs. Compared to a hospital, the natural environment is pretty clean. And I wash wounds thoroughly. But you are right that taking antibiotics does not add much weight to your first aid kit.

Oh, I did not mention, I do take about 10 plain aspirin. As you get older you are more prone to stroke, and they say chugging aspirn if you think you are having a stroke can minimize damage. And the aspirin is also a pain reliever. I tolerate aspirin very well.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby rlown » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:29 pm

It just takes one infection to appreciate antibiotics. You don't have to use them unless you have a problem, like a smelly punctured fingernail or a UTI. It's a safety net when half way through a 10 day trip.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby dave54 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:57 pm

Several years ago I saw on line a first aid kit carried by a doctor who also backpacked. His list had scalpels, suture kits, enough drugs for a pharmacy, and all kinds of medical gizmos. I didn't even know what some of the things on the list were. But he was a doctor and knew how to use all that stuff. He could have performed major surgery out in the backcountry. That was his comfort level, even though it was probably well over a pound of overkill. My kit has a small assortment of bandages, antiseptic, and some OTC drugs (ibuprofen, cold tablets, et al). I have had only one major incident myself ever, and no first aid kit would have helped (broken ankle). In that case you just splint yourself best you can, hunker down, and wait for the cavalry. Most of the time I just get a scratch or small cut and treat it easily with a dab of antiseptic and a bandage.

If hiking with others you only need 1 kit for the group, so everyone does not need to carry one.
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby mort » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:23 am

When I was young my brother had the first aid kit, now I carry the trip kit. We have always had sutures and a snake bite kit. Iodine to clean wounds and sterilize implements. We also carry fish hooks and line in the first aid kit. As time goes on I've added a few things; I hurt my back several years ago, since then the kit has a few day's of Vicodin. I expect that a dose of Vicodin will make carrying a pack unlikely, so I also bring Tramadol. I carry antibiotics so I don't get endocarditis, I had heart surgery in 2014. Imodium has replaced Lomotil. For a couple of decades we had a large amount of Sudafed, when it was recommended as an anti-hypotermia treatment. Every few years I take a different antiseptic ointment. But I've never treated anything worse than scrapes and blisters.
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