May 11, 2014 at 4:51 pm #1316714
I wanted to see what everyone keeps in their first aid kits. I have always had a pretty big and bulky one because ive always wanted to be prepared for just about anything. I am an ER nurse so I guess its kinda my passion.
Recently, I have been rethinking what I should keep in my kit. I thought I would break it down logically into medical problems that could happen in the back country, and then decide what would be needed. Obviously just about anything could go wrong out there…but I am thinking of the most common and likely to happen. Heres what a got…
Minor and major lacerations
Fractures (most common being fingers, toes and then long bones)
Compromised joints such as sprains, and over exerted or torn ligiments
Pain and inflammation
SO….looking at each of those my first aid contents list would look something like this…
2×2 gauze pads
4×4 gauze pads
10cc flushing syringe
It seems like a lot, but I feel like that would cover most anything that would happen.
Thoughts?May 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm #2101445May 11, 2014 at 6:32 pm #2101473
Your first aid kit sounds like mine, and I also have the feeling that it's too much. I don't have a flushing syringe, but it sounds like a good idea, and I think I'll add that to mine.
Another thing I've started carrying that isn't first aid but is related is a PLB (personal locator beacon). If someone got seriously injured, I think that the best first aid would be a rescue.May 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm #2101478
"I think that the best first aid would be a rescue."
Rescues are technology, personnel, and weather dependent. 24 hours likely. 48+ probable.
If you think S&R is going to take care of that blister, twisted ankle, or bleeding compound fracture, you've got the wrong idea about PLB's, as well as "first aid".May 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm #2101479
@aggroLocale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
Going off memory as I'm not home to look,I have Advil, Claritin, maybe a couple Tylenol hand sanitizer and duct tape.May 11, 2014 at 7:11 pm #2101491
Being on a SAR team, id have to agree thata PLB is a very differnet topic than first aid…but still very important!
Ken- Thanks for the great links!
Brian- Id think you wouldnt need Tylenol and Advil. Tylenol will help with some pain and a fever, but wont do anything for inflamation. Advil will help with all 3….I think all you really need is the advil. Id also think benedryl would be better than claritan….if your seaonal alergies are bad enough to take medication, benedryl would work really well, (although may make you drowsy). But benedryl will also help with alergic reactions and anaphylaxis. Hand sanitizer sounds like a good idea. I cary duct tape as well as Leukotape.May 11, 2014 at 8:15 pm #2101506
Greg, maybe you missed the first part of the sentence–the one where I wrote "If someone got seriously injured"?May 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm #2101509
If someone gets seriously injured you need to know what to do to keep them alive/stable. And have the stuff to accomplish that.
It's the difference between "evacuation" and "recovery".May 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm #2101510
4ft duck tape
zinc oxide cream
If necessary: I could use my flip top alcohol bottle as an irrigation syringe and my bandana as a cloth bandage if necessary my trekking pole could–more or less–be a splint.May 11, 2014 at 8:51 pm #2101511
Okay, I'm going to play my moron card. What's a PLB? (I was able to brainstorm out the Search & Rescue one – hehehe.)May 11, 2014 at 8:53 pm #2101512
Personal Locator Beacon – nevermind – just read closer.May 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm #2101513
Personal Locator Beacon.
Intended for emergencies, was once know as a EPLB, and now gets used when the water tastes bad.May 11, 2014 at 9:04 pm #2101520
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
Ultralight, being what it is, I'm of the opinion that a personal kit should focus more on an individuals own susceptibilities. Allergies, reactions, wound infection, brittle bones, etc.
Of course for a trained responder, a more rounded kit would be necessary for treating other peoples problems, but I think it's overkill to try and pack for every scenario just for yourself.
Multi-use seems a main mantra for first aid as well, splints, slings, wipes, even the Sawyer syringe for irrigation. Thinking about it, a specially devised bottle cap would probably work quite well.May 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm #2101522
Looking at my OP, is there any other likey senarios that could happen in the backcountry that I did not list?May 11, 2014 at 9:22 pm #2101524
Crack Rash and/or ChaffingMay 11, 2014 at 9:24 pm #2101525
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
I carry one of those little sealed packets of triple antibiotic ointment and hydrocortisone cream. Infection is a concern of mine.May 11, 2014 at 9:26 pm #2101526
From laughing at Greg.May 11, 2014 at 9:42 pm #2101529
I do carry (seperately from my first aid kit) some body glide and goldbond powder for any chafing or crack rash.
I worry about infection as well, but it will take some time for an infection develop and most likey you would be off the trail by the time that happens. I guess it would be a bigger concern for long through hikes. The 2 types of infection would be from an open wound, or an internal infection from contaminated food or water. I think an infection from a wound could be prevented with good wound care such as irrigating the wound well and a clean dressing. The other type of infection could only be treate with oral or IV antibiotics…however, that type of infection would take a while to present its self when you would most likely be off the trail.May 11, 2014 at 9:52 pm #2101531
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Before you finalize that first aid kit, you probably need to define where it is that you will be carrying it.
For example, if you are mostly on flat trails, then maybe you need less overall. If you are on high rocky trails, then maybe you need more stuff for foot injuries…and so on. For high altitude snow country, then you need more stuff for cold injuries. If you are in a third-world country, then you probably need to prepare more for gastrointestinal insults from impure water and contaminated food. If somebody was going to be spending a couple of weeks hiking the JMT, then consider how to treat a bad toothache for a couple of weeks.
–B.G.–May 11, 2014 at 9:55 pm #2101532
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
bandaids, some antiseptic wipes, antiseptic gel, mole skin, a few pain pills
i also carry a 0.8 ounce package of quicklot.
don't know what else to bring, I know nothing about first aid.May 11, 2014 at 9:55 pm #2101533
Good point Bob. Most of my hiking is in the Sierras even though I live in Arizona now. I have been doing more trips in AZ, but still up in the mountains, not the desert. When you say tooth aches for the JMT…is there a reason those would be more common in that area?May 11, 2014 at 9:59 pm #2101534
If you are walking around in Arizona, sooner or later you are going to need tweezers.
And maybe a comb for the cholla.May 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm #2101535
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
No, I doubt that toothaches are more common there. However, if somebody were to be going continuously for two weeks in anyplace like the JMT, it would be awkward if the bad toothache or anything like that hit them on Day One.
I realize that treatment of rattlesnake bite has changed a lot over the last thirty or more years. However, you still want to consider what you would do if somebody got bitten badly and you were two or three days away from the nearest road.
Also, some high altitude expeditions will carry one Gamow bag as a lifesaving tool. But you won't likely need that unless you are going above 18,000 or 20,000 feet.
–B.G.–May 11, 2014 at 10:16 pm #2101537
What would one do if someone in his party were bitten by a poisonous snake, 3 days away from trailhead?
edit: found possible answer here:
http://newyorksearchandrescue.org/download/snakebite.htmlMay 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm #2101548
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