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First Aid Kit

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First Aid Kit

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:17 pm

So, most everyone carries one form or another, which category do you fall into?

A. Minimalist who carries several bandages, some aleeve, moleskin, maybe a few
other things, and has read up on some basic backcountry fist aid.

B. The person who uses a well equipped backcountry first aid kit put together by REI, and
has taken some basic backcountry first aid coarses.

C. Someone who get the biggest first aid kit available or puts it together themselves
including snake antivenom, has everything that would put your local hospital triage
unit to shame, and knows how to use it.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: First Aid Kit

Postby oldranger » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:49 am

Not exactly A. pretty minamalist but with extensive training and experience--EMT basic, nearly 20 years of ski patrol/BC ranger experience. I do take some prescription drugs for infections/pain management. Count on handkerchiefs and packtowels to deal with bleeding and trekking poles and other stuff I have for splinting. Spot locator for life threatening/long term immobility problems. As a private party I have been fortunate that I have had to confront only one serious backcountry illness--an acute urinary tract infection that resulted in surgury a few months later. Luckily I was able to self evacuate but it was no fun. It was the one time I neglected to bring antibiotics with me.

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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: First Aid Kit

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:03 am

Minimalist with wilderness first aid training. How to make a splint out of pack parts, a travois/stretcher out of branches and jackets, a tourniquet out of a bandanna, a mask for cpr out of a nonlatex/latex glove, what to do if you're snake bit, and the ins and outs of when to move someone who's hypothermic and when not to.
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:08 am

I was going to respond that I'm between and A and B, but after reading Mikes post I'm closer to A than B. I'm no EMT or doc. I do carry a few extra things like antacid tabs, tape and gauze, and an ace bandage, but its my own, not a prepared kit. I also have taken two first aid training courses and I was (not cuurently) certified for CPR on adults and children (work thing), but I'm not and dont pretned to be an EMT or higher.

Ive never actually had to use my gauze on a wound of my own (have used the tape for my feet) in the BC (knock on wood), but I did give all my tape and gauze away once to a hiker with a horrible leg wound. Apprently he fell crossing talus somewhere west of Italy Pass and it opened up a horrendous gash on his thigh. We had run into his companion earlier on our way up to Granite Park who told us he was hiking out to get help and asked us to watch for him. We ran into him in Granite Park and he was in poor condition using a branch as a crutch. Interestingly enough, he first refused assitance, but we were persistent and he finally decided a little weight of his back would be better. We assisted him down to Honeymoon Lake, but there he insited he could go it on his own. We tried to say no, but he was adamant. About 2 hours later the SAR helicopter came looking for him. They circled us at Honeymoon Lake and we were able to motion that he was down below us towards Upper Pine or Pine Lake. From our point at Honeymoon, it appeared the heli landed somewhere near Upper Pine Lk.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:17 pm

I pretty much fit into the ace bandage and drug camp. I too have had the CPR and basic first aid training. My worst experience was up out of Mattie Lk, where i (quite stupidly) leaped onto a round rock, and watched my left ankle roll over and touch the ground. Now, there were some sounds that i've never heard before, like the unraveling of a rope. This was mile 1 of a trip around Cold mountain, so, leaving the boot on, I wrapped the trusty ace bandage around it, shoved some snow in it and took some Motrin.

Did the trip around and came back to the west side of Mattie. Slept with the boot on. Only 8 miles to get out, but we divided up my stove and tent, and I was able to make it out. Since I was the driver, I did drive, but with the Motrin, I forgot about the pain, and when I stepped out of the vehicle at a Burger King down in the valley, I forgot I had a gamy hinge.. Down like a sack of bricks..

Should probably get that looked at some day..
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:13 pm

Rlown wrote "My worst experience was up out of Mattie Lk, where i (quite stupidly)
leaped onto a round rock, and watched my left ankle roll over and touch the ground."
Ouch, that must of hurt, kind of surprised that the Motrin was strong enough.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: First Aid Kit

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:28 pm

lots of motrin. I find that most of backpacking is mental. Unless a broken bone. That becomes different.
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby BrianF » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:17 pm

I pretty much match Oldranger. I was an EMT on a mountain rescue team, but over the years have pared down the kit from being a "C" to a "B-". But in all these years of backpacking bandaids, gauze, Ace bandages and painkillers have been al I have had to use.
Sprained My ankle badly once on a solo trip, but after icing it in a lake and wrapping with the ace, was able to hobble out for a couple of days.
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby quentinc » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:28 am

Definitely A (but then I was raised by wolves, so minimalist is my answer to everything, except pack weight).

Only problem I ever had was worrying about bleeding to death once (see my Grinnell Lake trip post from summer '09). :) But it had little to do with unpreparedness and more with macho stupidity ("oh, it's nothing, it'll stop bleeding on its own...." Yeah, 24 hours later!). It would have been easy to control if I had taken it seriously sooner.

Most people I backpack with wouldn't dream of leaving the house without their REI first aid kit. I looked through the kit with them once, and they didn't even know what some of the items were for. But it sure makes them feel safer to have it with them. ;)
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:58 am

I am an "A" on supplies and "C-" on training and a "B" on confidence in my training! I have had extensive wilderness first aid training but practice it so little that I am very rusty in skills. My supplies are: moleskin, small roll of tape, ace bandage, needle, a few bandaids, scisors, Advil, allergey pills, duct tape, and 2 multi-use kerchiefs and face wipes that are really not part of the first aid kit. Nearly all my backpack equipment can be improvised to some extent to be "first aid" gear. Just as important are a pencil and paper to write notes needed for evacuation instructions.

I was on a climb (4 of us, Mt Williamson) where one got a finger severed by falling rock. Other than stop the bleeding and treat for shock and hypothermia the hardest part was getting the patient off the mountain and then running out (down George Creek) to get an evacuation started. It was a hard decision whether to try to walk out or get a helicopter rescue. We chose the latter because once down in the canyon you could not get a helicopter rescue. Were we near a trail, we would have walked the patient out. For those who have not gone down George Creek, it is no easy task. The patient eventually lost the finger and got a serious bone infection.

I sprained an ankle when solo- stuck my foot in a cold stream for an hour, then ace-bandaged it and walked out 8 miles. Seriously strained a hamstring in Tenaya Canyon (an even more difficult place than George Creek) and walked out (with the help of others). In both cases, keeping moving saved the day- after the drive home each time I could not walk.

Got hit on my head/neck by falling rock on the Grand Teton. It numbed my arms - luckily I was with a group of people who really knew techncal rescue (five rappels to get off). We walked out. I was too poor to get medical care. I had lingering numbness for 5 years after. Pretty much healed itself after 10 years.

These experiences have made me realize that if you get seriously hurt, it is better to have others to help. You will never convince me that going solo is as safe as being with a group. Yes, I do solo, but am fully aware of the added risk.
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby copeg » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:24 am

Keep telling myself I need to beef up the kit, but I still fall into category A. Thankfully I rarely have had a need to go into the kit (knock on wood)
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby LMBSGV » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:08 pm

I'm another "A" person. I have a small plastic box that holds bigger gauze bandages, lots of band aids, a small roll of adhesive tape, safety pins, and a small bottle with aspirin and IB. I also wear a bandana that will work as everything from something to get wet on hot days (it's usual function) to applying pressure, a tourniquet, or for tying a splint. I also carry a SPOT. I think the most important thing to do when you're in the backcountry dealing with any minor or major medical problem is not to panic. Most decisions made when in panic mode are not the right ones.
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