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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 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!


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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
various band-aids
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen

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

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:32 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 11:08 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 6:36 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.

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: What's In Your First Aid Kit

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:42 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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