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Grau
02-06-2019, 03:44
What is a good first aid kit for backpacking?

Leo L.
02-06-2019, 04:58
Only item I've ever really used is tape. Leukotape Classic is my favourite.

But I still carry a tiny Standard first aid kit that you can buy at the pharmacy, and I swap it to a new one after several years of carrying it around.

MuddyWaters
02-06-2019, 07:43
Duct tape
Needle

Bandaids
Drugs..ibuprofen, benadryll,anti diarrhea, etc

Five Tango
02-06-2019, 08:10
Anyone care to make a recommendation for a burn treatment?I nearly burned myself once and actually ruined a Frogg Togg and puffy so I can see how that could have been a nasty burn in summer with bare arms etc.

perrymk
02-06-2019, 08:17
Anyone care to make a recommendation for a burn treatment?I nearly burned myself once and actually ruined a Frogg Togg and puffy so I can see how that could have been a nasty burn in summer with bare arms etc.
I believe burns can be treated like many skin injuries, which will depend on the severity. Minor burns can be cleaned and treated with triple antibiotic ointment (https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1254/triple-antibiotic-topical/details) such as Neosporin or a generic equivalent. I also like natural remedies such as aloe vera but I am more likely to have a small tube of triple ointment than an aloe vera plant while hiking.

garlic08
02-06-2019, 08:32
Training trumps the kit all the time. What you carry is useless if you panic in an emergency.

I don't have much of a first aid kit, just a snack-sized bag with a couple of bandaids, some cloth tape, and a tube of triple antibiotic. Elsewhere in my pack I have a bandanna, duct tape, tweezers, razor blade, sewing kit, safety pins, dental floss, paracord, sleeping bag and dry clothing (hypothermia), sleeping pad and poles (for splints), water (heat injuries).

Your skin is your largest organ, and typically needs the most care on a hike. Your first aid kit will probably be mostly oriented to skin injuries.

moldy
02-06-2019, 09:00
The story here is that most people don't have a kit that you buy. They have one that you put together yourself. Mine is 2 band-aids, 4 Imodium pills and a tube of baby diaper rash ointment. If I get sick or injured I go to town. Each of us has a few items. You should have a few minimal things but don't let it got too heavy because it's so rare that you need it. For my kit 90% of the time I don't use it myself, I give it to other hikers. The other hiker will help you.

johnacraft
02-06-2019, 10:23
What is a good first aid kit for backpacking?


The story here is that most people don't have a kit that you buy. They have one that you put together yourself. Mine is 2 band-aids, 4 Imodium pills and a tube of baby diaper rash ointment. If I get sick or injured I go to town. Each of us has a few items. You should have a few minimal things but don't let it got too heavy because it's so rare that you need it. For my kit 90% of the time I don't use it myself, I give it to other hikers. The other hiker will help you.


Ours is a few bandages, a single larger bandage, ibuprofen and antihistamine. My wife likes to have liquid skin for her heels, and a tube of antibiotic ointment. We also carry an elastic bandage that we've never needed ourselves, but have given to other hikers at least once.

44587

wordstew
02-06-2019, 10:40
Anyone care to make a recommendation for a burn treatment?I nearly burned myself once and actually ruined a Frogg Togg and puffy so I can see how that could have been a nasty burn in summer with bare arms etc.

This is what you need for burn treatment and it comes in extremely light weight for multiple treatments for burn, cut, scapes

https://www.amazon.com/Triple-Antibiotic-Ointment-5gr-Packets/dp/B00H2T9K3K/ref=sr_1_4?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463996&sr=1-4&keywords=antibiotic%2Bointment&th=1


A little gel from one of these packets will take the pain away.... https://www.amazon.com/Water-Jel-Technologies-Gram-Packet-Topical/dp/B005H1OTLS/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_121_tr_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=HCJRS4TKFB981ZQ6JZ9P&th=1

One of these clear dressings over the wound, completely waterproof you can keep on for an extended period of time for your wound to hair thinner than plastic wrap like a second skin.... https://www.amazon.com/Tegaderm-Transparent-Dressing-2-375-Picture/dp/B00ADQFSPS/ref=sr_1_27?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463365&sr=1-27&keywords=tegaderm

For bigger wounds use these two items..... https://www.amazon.com/Medline-sterile-Pad-Inch-Count/dp/B01J9SGQZQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463855&sr=1-3&keywords=abd+pad

https://www.amazon.com/Tubular-Elastic-Net-Dressing-yds-MADE/dp/B075KNM45W/ref=sr_1_4?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463755&sr=1-4&keywords=elastic+netting

Hikingjim
02-06-2019, 12:59
I started by carrying crutches just in case, but then I tripped over them on a hike and broke my leg. Now I carry an emergency air cast and the crutches.
And 1 band-aid (any more would be much too heavy for me)

Zalman
02-06-2019, 13:18
I believe burns can be treated like many skin injuries, which will depend on the severity. Minor burns can be cleaned and treated with triple antibiotic ointment (https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1254/triple-antibiotic-topical/details) such as Neosporin or a generic equivalent. I also like natural remedies such as aloe vera but I am more likely to have a small tube of triple ointment than an aloe vera plant while hiking.
One natural remedy that works great on burns, and is perhaps more likely to be found in your pack, is honey. Antiseptic, and draws moisture from the wound.

bigcranky
02-06-2019, 14:32
I take a reasonably comprehensive first aid kit, but even so it's maybe 4 ounces total weight. There's a lot of variety but not many copies of each thing, if that makes sense. I find that over the years I have tweaked the FAK based on things that have happened to me on previous trips. So, got a bee in my mouth, got stung, started carrying benadryl (and for a while epi-pens when our kid hiked with us.) Lost a crown to frozen jelly beans, started carrying a tiny bottle of dental repair adhesive. Partner got a very deep gash in her leg, started carrying antiseptic and an irrigation syringe and some wound closure strips. Kid fell and slid on rock, started carrying the really large 3x4 inch bandaids.

None of these has ever happened again, so I am 100% comfortable saying that my first aid kit prevents injuries from happening. :)

HooKooDooKu
02-06-2019, 15:05
Rule #1:

Training trumps the kit all the time. What you carry is useless if you panic in an emergency...
...or if you don't know how to use it.

Rule #2:

The story here is that most people don't have a kit that you buy. They have one that you put together yourself....
Can you still start with a commercial 1st Aid kit. Keep the parts you want, remove the ones you don't, add what the kit was missing.
You can even find empty 1st Aid kits.
Many simply use a ziplock bag.

This is where starting with a commercial kit can be nice.
Start with something like one of the Adventure Medical Kits (https://www.rei.com/product/708124/adventure-medical-kits-ultralightwatertight-5-medical-kit). Even if you don't use ANY of the supplies that come with the kit, it comes with a nice rip-stop pouch and an inner removable waterproof pouch that is MUCH tougher than any ziploc bag.

Rule #3:
Figure out what YOU are realistically going to need. Will likely take some trial and error over time. You'll eventually come across a situation where you wished you had included some particular item... and more likely you'll look back years from now a realizes you've been carrying "x" all these years and never needed it.



My personal suggestion:
#1 Any prescription medications you require.
#2 Something for minor cuts and scrapes. This means at least some assortment of bandaids and antibiotic
#3 Assortment of drugs:
Asprin (or what ever is your favorite pain reliever),
Imodium (or some other medication that can help with stomach issues or diarrhea). I seem to recall Imodium now makes some sort of tiny caplets that won't take hardly any space in your kit.
Benadryl - Again, comes in tiny caplets.
LipBalm - If that's an issue for you (I carry these little packets of Blistex (https://www.minimus.biz/blistex-medicated-lip-ointment-p02-0125410-1000.aspx))
Burn jel and any other ointments you feel like you need to carry.

HooKooDooKu
02-06-2019, 15:16
This is what you need for burn treatment and it comes in extremely light weight for multiple treatments for burn, cut, scapes

https://www.amazon.com/Triple-Antibiotic-Ointment-5gr-Packets/dp/B00H2T9K3K/ref=sr_1_4?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463996&sr=1-4&keywords=antibiotic%2Bointment&th=1


A little gel from one of these packets will take the pain away.... https://www.amazon.com/Water-Jel-Technologies-Gram-Packet-Topical/dp/B005H1OTLS/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_121_tr_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=HCJRS4TKFB981ZQ6JZ9P&th=1

One of these clear dressings over the wound, completely waterproof you can keep on for an extended period of time for your wound to hair thinner than plastic wrap like a second skin.... https://www.amazon.com/Tegaderm-Transparent-Dressing-2-375-Picture/dp/B00ADQFSPS/ref=sr_1_27?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463365&sr=1-27&keywords=tegaderm

For bigger wounds use these two items..... https://www.amazon.com/Medline-sterile-Pad-Inch-Count/dp/B01J9SGQZQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463855&sr=1-3&keywords=abd+pad

https://www.amazon.com/Tubular-Elastic-Net-Dressing-yds-MADE/dp/B075KNM45W/ref=sr_1_4?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1549463755&sr=1-4&keywords=elastic+netting
For those who don't want to buy 144 packets of antibiotic ointment or 25 burn jel packets, might I suggest https://www.minimus.biz.
They sell these exact packets (and much more), but they sell them individually, meaning you can buy 1, 10, or 100.
Obviously the price per packet will be more buying them individually, but their prices are not outrageous. For example, the Safetec antibiotic ointment listed at Amazon for $11.69 for a packet of 144. But at Minimus, they are $0.14 each.
BTW: minimus.biz shipping is free if you spend $20 or more, and they sell much more than 1st aid stuff. They have pretty much anything you might find at the "travel size" section of WalMart, as well as all sorts of food stuff.

fiddlehead
02-06-2019, 21:41
I agree with duct tape and needle (with some dental floss to sew up pack repairs etc)
For drugs, I carry ibuprofen and magnesium (for cramps)
For blisters, neosporin and duct tape.
I did cut my hand once and luckily my hiking partner had some gauze which I duct taped on the wound (after some neosporin). Took it off a week later and it was fine. So now, I carry a little gauze also.
I used to carry aspirin for hangovers but quit drinking a few years ago. so, was able to lighten my first kit eve more.

Midwest Mike
02-06-2019, 22:16
I second the minimums.biz motion. Go in on it with someone if you donít need $20 worth. Other stuff like sunscreen sold too.

HooKooDooKu
02-06-2019, 23:41
I second the minimums.biz motion. Go in on it with someone if you don’t need $20 worth. Other stuff like sunscreen sold too.
They have single use packets of sun screen. I keep one of those in my kit after having gotten a couple of unexpected sunburns from hiking trips before the trees got their leaves back.

MtDoraDave
02-07-2019, 07:58
I have carried an ace bandage for over 700 miles and never used it. Same with the Neosporin.
I also carry moleskin, wet ones, a few Band-Aids, ibuprofen, Benadryl.
I keep meaning to add Imodium to the kit, but keep forgetting.
.
I have been stung by a bee while hiking, so if you are allergic (or have never been stung and MIGHT be allergic) bring something to deal with that.

stephanD
02-07-2019, 10:07
On my 2015 flip flop thru hike, i took a bulky box full of all kind of medical staff, of which i realized very fast that i don't need. Today, i take only the following: A 1 oz bottle with iodine and a few gauze for minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, etc. For blisters, i take a roll of medical tape, the one they use in hospitals, but are easily found in any pharmacy. For chaffing, i use a mixture of the following: (1) Hydrocortizone cream (the highest strength i can get without prescription), (2) A + D ointment, and (3) Zinc oxide cream. Works wonderfully for me. Also, I take tweezers, in case i need to remove ticks, a few safety pins, and chlorine tablets, in case my water filtering system is not working.

Slumgum
02-07-2019, 14:14
Honey, as Zalman mentioned, for any superficial burn or wound is my number one Rx. Wound specialists in hospitals are just starting to recognize the healing properties. This is not a whack-job home remedy. It is getting mainstream recognition. Bacteria are resistant to so many antibiotics that even triple abi ointment is of questionable value. As a side benefit, honey is a great calorie dense food to take on the trail.

I second carrying anti-chafing treatments (zinc oxide, etc.) especially for men and especially on high humidity trails like the AT. Untreated it can take you off the trail in agony. I would hesitate ever using steroids (hydrocortizone) on a rash/wound unless I was just on a day hike. The immuno-suppresant qualities of steroids could set you up for a bad bacterial or fungal infection. After all, the trail is not the most sanitary situation for open wounds of any kind. Not worth the risk in my opinion.

Vitamin I (ibuprofen) is a must have in my pack.

Leo L.
02-07-2019, 15:18
Honey double-used, you mean, applying it to a burn, and later lick your wound? <G>
Honestly, I belive in such methods (applying honey), many times being better than standard medicine.
Even just licking wounds works, on smaller ones.

Right now I'm in the process of preparing my gear for a long desert hike, and as my favorite good-for-everything medicine I'll take a small bottle of selfmade Arnica Montana tincture.
Works perfect as desinfect on open wounds, rashes, Herpes-like infections, as well as cooling and pain releaving on sprains and lumps.

I'll carry strong Antibiotics and pain killers too, but guess (hope) will never use them.

fiddlehead
02-07-2019, 21:52
Arnica is amazing stuff. I forgot all about it.
When I did my first (and only completed) 100 mile race at Leadville in 2001, my coach put some arnica on my legs at mile 65.
Wow, did it rejuvenate me.
I said: "What is that stuff, it feels like I have new legs"
I've seen it sold as "Bruise sticks" too.

MuddyWaters
02-07-2019, 22:22
Arnica is amazing stuff. I forgot all about it.
When I did my first (and only completed) 100 mile race at Leadville in 2001, my coach put some arnica on my legs at mile 65.
Wow, did it rejuvenate me.
I said: "What is that stuff, it feels like I have new legs"
I've seen it sold as "Bruise sticks" too.
Alway understood a lot of runners partook of "medicine" around mile 65 to quell nausea.

A few partake the whole race

Dogwood
02-07-2019, 22:36
Training trumps the kit all the time. What you carry is useless if you panic in an emergency.

I don't have much of a first aid kit, just a snack-sized bag with a couple of bandaids, some cloth tape, and a tube of triple antibiotic. Elsewhere in my pack I have a bandanna, duct tape, tweezers, razor blade, sewing kit, safety pins, dental floss, paracord, sleeping bag and dry clothing (hypothermia), sleeping pad and poles (for splints), water (heat injuries).

Your skin is your largest organ, and typically needs the most care on a hike. Your first aid kit will probably be mostly oriented to skin injuries.

Good pt. It applies to many situations. Off topic, it may seem, but I see those lacking knowledge of fundamental backpacking topics every hike i.e.; lighting a fire without matches or a lighter, how to increase odds of getting rescued or survive multiple days in varied environments, pre hike preparation, apparel layering, CS selection, personal hydration and nutritional requirements, appropriate footwear, how to deal with different environments(below zero, 100+ desert, jungles, high elev, etc). Everyone is ignorant to some extent about something but when one clings to their ignorance - ignorant of being ignorant - that's the root of problems. We often assume we know more than we do. Expanding skills and knowledge in these areas has greatly influenced my FAK's or if I even take what might be called a FAK.

I started with several survival courses over the yrs. Some included improvising gear and found materials in FA situations. Along the way took a basic first aid course. Took a basic wilderness first aid course after that. Took advanced wilderness FA later. I did this because I was mostly soloing at the time, still do, and realistically, with high odds, could have wound up dead several times rather than be inconvenienced. Went on to become a First Responder although certification has lapsed. This has assisted immensely in paring down FAK's on many occasions. BTW, I have different FAKs depending on the hike. I took this route because I tend to solo backpack often remotely, and guide. It has enabled a much larger field of possible outdoor careers or jobs.

Without at least some training a hiking FAK and gear isn't optimally utilized. I refer to skill sets, knowledge, and wisdom often for that reason. Personally, so no one gets my intentions twisted, I will always be lacking somewhere in my skill sets, knowledge, and hiking wisdom; it's a path always under construction until that fateful day.

Several threads on WB concerning what folks take in their AT FAK. Some excellent posts in those threads so no need to regurgitate.

garlic08
02-08-2019, 08:44
...Expanding skills and knowledge in these areas has greatly influenced my FAK's or if I even take what might be called a FAK.

Quite true. In many cases I feel it's safe to omit one or more of the ten essentials.

First aid is a volatile skill. That's why the pros have constant recertifications and continuing education requirements. For instance, I was an active volunteer firefighter when AEDs first came out. The early protocols in my district called for quarterly recerts. It has since relaxed a bit, I hear, but it illustrates the need for constant training. Medical/rescue training was two evenings a month for us, just to stay certified.

Dogwood
02-08-2019, 13:47
See. Garlic is Garlic's FAK. :cool:

The pt being IMO a FAK includes tools. If one doesn't know how to apply those tools...? It's like carrying a compass and paper maps, GPS, PLB, an ice axe, minimalist tarp, etc and not understanding or practicing how to use them before hitting a hike.

rickb
02-08-2019, 17:49
Not in any particular order:

Moleskin.

A couple relatively fresh 200mg Doxycycline pills.

Small loop (magnifying glass).

Special tweezers.

Ibuprofin.

A couple nips of cheep bourbon, or good tequila.

Chadbrow
02-13-2019, 12:41
Here's what I carry for myself and occasionally 3 of my kids: 1/2 roll of athletic tape, Tums-12, Benedryl-9, Motrin-12, gauze pads-2, large band-aid-1, band-aids-8, antiseptic wipes-3, small triple antibiotic packet-2, GlacierGel dressing-1, sheets of moleskin-2

Tipi Walter
02-13-2019, 13:07
Every March the Cranbrook School in Michigan comes down to the TN/NC mountains with about 80 high school kids (and trip leaders) and pull a 10 day wilderness backpacking trip and the crew is broken up into 7 person groups. Each group carries a SAT phone to both connect to their basecamp and to anyone else they need. It's a good system I guess as they are willing to pay the satellite fee.

A good equivalent for a solo backpacker would be an ACR ResQLink locator beacon. In this case First Aid would be Extreme Need For Rescue Aid.

I have a first aid kit for my MSR stove (gaskets, O-rings etc), a first aid kit for my tent (pole repair sleeve, McNett's silnet sealer, ripstop patches), first aid kit for my pack (extra buckles esp hip belt buckle)---and a first aid kit for my body---as in below---

** Lip balm---always nice to carry and use.
** Eye sty cream---a little tube to soothe the eye if a bug gets in and won't come out---or other debris.
** The usual pain meds for a raging toothache etc.
** Neosporin type goop.
** Fabric bandaids---a couple large and several small.
** Dental crown glue---just in case a tooth crown pops off. It will happen.
** Ocean saline spray bottle to clean the sinuses daily.
** Hand sanitizer.
** StingKill swabs during yellow jacket season (seems like a good idea but so far don't seem to work---used when I got stung a couple times last year).

And Chadbrow reminds me of Tums and Benadryl. I carry several tums because my bean dinners often cause digestive problems---and maybe even explosive sharting. And the benadryl are carried as a sort of optimistic copperhead snake-bite remedy. Pop a few and see what happens. Better than nothing I guess.

AUhoot
03-19-2019, 06:27
https://www.rei.com/product/695383/adventure-medical-kits-ultralightwatertight-7-medical-kit

Five Tango
03-19-2019, 08:21
Lots of good information here.Thanks for the burn med suggestions.I think my kit is adequate for the basics at about 4 oz plus a quart size zip lock to carry it in;total 4.4 ounces.

One thing I use for a double use item is isopropyl alcohol in a small pump bottle for lens cleaner.Works on glasses and cuts/scrapes too.

PennyPincher
03-19-2019, 21:46
What is a good first aid kit for backpacking?
depends on where and when you are hiking and your experience level as well as personal medical "issues" if any.
when I hike the AT I carry enough ibuprofen, allergy meds, and anti diarhea meds for about 2 days as I can usually get to a place to get a lift off trail within that time frame. I carry a couple "butterfly band aids" in case I get a deep cut and some perforated "med" tape plus moleskin. And usually a couple of regular band aids. And tweezers. I also carry a small pair of nail clippers to prevent issues with toe nails especially but also fingernails. I also carry a cap for my smart water bottles with holes in it in case I need to irrigate a "wound." Most everything else will be "make shift" in an emergency and getting to a trail head for assistance or worse case, waiting for someone to come to me to carry me off trail.

4eyedbuzzard
03-20-2019, 06:40
To add to the above good ideas, mini tube of super glue or New Skin is handy for closing wounds and especially for painful cracks in fingers, etc.

LittleRock
03-20-2019, 07:57
My first aid kit: ibuprofen, band aids, neosporin, moleskin.