Lightweight First Aid and Trauma Kits: Perspectives from a Mountain Rescue Medic

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Lightweight First Aid and Trauma Kits: Perspectives from a Mountain Rescue Medic

Viewing 6 posts - 26 through 31 (of 31 total)
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    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    >> the young guys (20s) always show up with big sharp knives the purchased for the cool.
    I find avoiding such youths the best solution. They are dangerous. We never need big knives when walking anyhow.

    As for axes – we use small UL stoves for cooking, and don’t need big fires. They are usually environmentally destructive, can be a serious bushfire hazard in hot weather (as in latest Australian summer), and cooking on fires is slow, messy, smoky and uncomfortable, especially in the rain. Better by far to be reclining on an air mat in the shelter of one’s tent, relaxing, while gently stirring dinner.

    >> the knowledge you have is the best advice there is. Where to get it?
    Sayings of the ancient sage:
    Wisdom comes from experience.
    Experience comes from a lack of wisdom.


    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.

    Tom K
    BPL Member


    “One of the best pieces of advice I got from a wilderness first aid course was to actually get a panicking or passive bystander to make the hot drink. It calms the bystander, gets them out of your hair with a basic task, and gets them actively participating in emergency management. Thereby mitigating or preventing a secondary shock casualty.”

    It worked very well the one time I was in a position to try it.  On a climbing trip in the Enchantments we came across a newly wed couple in distress;  the woman was experiencing symptoms of AMS, and her husband was on the verge of freaking out.  After asking permission to have a look at her, I asked him to heat some water for a cuppa hot tea.  He immediately got focused on that, which left me to take check her pupils and her vitals several times oveer the next 10 minutes or so.  It wasn’t really necessary to take them that often, but it provided reassurance to both of them that something was being done by someone who at least appeared to know what they were doing.  A group happened by who had a sat phone and called for SAR.  By the time the crew arrived, everything had stabilized and I had a complete set of vitals to hand over to the EMT.  The husband had calmed down and the woman was resting comfortably, with a now half drunk cup of tea resting on her belly. Creating a sense of calm is a vital, but oft overlooked, part of any mountain FAK, IMO.  FWIW.

    BPL Member


    How about the distance technique?  If the observer is panicked and a distraction, send him about 100 meters down the trail to wait for the EMT’s.  Or similar excuse.  I guess that could be extrapolated to fixing tea far away so “you don’t start a fire right here.”


    Ryan G


    One good trick that I picked up from a NOLS instructor is to carry a small (roughly 1′ x 1.5′) piece of old foam sleeping pad. Day to day you can use it as a butt pad when sitting on the ground, and then it doubles as a SAM splint when you need it. 

    Dena Kelley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Eagle River, Alaska

    Bendrix- I’m not allergic but have a sensitivity to honey because I have a sensitivity to histamine, and honey has one of the highest histamine contents of any food. So, we’re out there, just FYI. I carry little packets of maple sugar instead of honey for an incident that might require a quick shot of sugar such as hypothermia or shock.

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