March 3, 2020|Being Prepared
I might have an opinion or two (or five billion) about good first aid kits. You should know that there is no perfect kit right off the shelf. ANY kit you get, you should always go through it and make it yours. With that being said, there are better kits then others out there.
One of the things that our students like (most of the time) is going through first aid kits. Things to keep in mind:
1. There are things you should always have with you, no matter your adventure.
2. It is OK to take things out and add things depending on the season and what you are doing.
3. Even if it is not considered a necessity, if it makes you feel better, then carry it.
4. It should be kept in a waterproof container (zip lock bag, dry bag, etc.)
So what exactly should everyone carry? These items are the “humor me” items. I have had many students tell me that they don’t need to carry any first aid supplies, that nature will provide what they need. My response (besides a big eye roll)? “Humor me, carry at least a couple of well thought out things”. Here is a list of those things:
1. Three or four inch elastic bandage (ace bandage)- Anything smaller is not very useful and anything bigger is cumbersome. You can use this for sprains, to attach splints, pressure dressings and so much more.
2. A Cravat (triangular bandage)- This can be used for a sling and swath, ankle hitch, tourniquet, and a billion other things.
3. A couple of 4×4 guaze pads- These are good for cleaning out woulds and as a dressing.
4. Gloves-Make sure to have at least two pair. Remember, everyone has cooties and you don’t want them.
5. Antiseptic Wipes- Soap and water is preferable to clean out a wound, but that is not always an option. Next best thing? Antiseptic wipes.
6. An assortment of bandaids- You do not need a whole box of bandaids, just a small assortment to cover a variety of needs.
7. Medications-Over-the-counter and personal medications are a must. At a minimum I would have some sort of pain relief (Motrin, Alieve, Aspirin etc.) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Mandatory personal meds include Epi-Pen, Inhaler, Nitro, Diabetic Meds. If you are prescribed any of the aforementioned meds, they should be with you on your adventures.
Now that we have covered the necessary items, here is a list of other useful first aid items.
-Paper (or a SOAP note) and pencil. Take notes about patients to send to rescuers.
–Sam Splint– Dave and I always carry one. We can splint anything with less materials using this.
–Roller Guaze– good for attaching dressings, pressure dressings, and many other things 😉
–Heavy Dressing– can be called a 5×9, Abdominal Pad, or Trauma Dressing. You can also carry a sanitary napkin.
–Antibiotic ointment– helps to keep the germs out and prevent the dressing from sticking to the dressing.
–Blister Treatment-We prefer Glacier Gel, but carry whatever makes you feel comfortable.
–Sting Relief– helps to take the sting out of insect bites.
Hydrocortisone Cream-great for mosquito bites, poison ivy relief or any other itch.
Burn Gel– We like the burn gel that contains lidocaine.
Tweezers– Throw out those large plastic tweezers. You need metal tweezers with a nice point. Multi-tool tweezers do not count.
Scissors– We really like trauma shears. They are so strong, they can cut through a penny!
Wilderness First Aid Manuel- Just make sure you have one that has been published in the last 10 years.