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"ME & U"
03-30-2005, 14:22
A Good First Aid Kit
by ME & U
Last Updated 30 March 2005

I'm a first time user long time reader of this awesome site and wanted to pitch in my ideas of a good first aid kit.
I'm a licensed nurse and have been for over 10 years, with a background in military nursing. I've often "dabbled" in the world of wilderness medicine, and have some definate ideas of what a good kit should be comprised of.

First, as a 2003 A.T. thru hiker, I can tell you that I also am lost in the world of weightlessness. My base gear today weighs 9.4 lbs and one of the ditty bags I hit first was my saftey kit. In that kit is my knife. The only thing I ever cut on the A.T. was the cheese:) A knife is an essential piece of gear that most of us carry and for the weight savy folks out there, this may appeal to you.

Aron Rolston cut off his arm with a dull multi-tool and his example of survival is and should be a beacon for the realm of possibility for all of us who venture out into the wilds!

With that said... I changed my 1 ounce knife to two stiff backed razor blades. I keep them in an aluminum motrin tablet package with med tape and labeled them "razors"

The second thing I'd like to add is that there is no substitute for common sense!! Any weight saver will tell you that in order to lose pack weight you have to make sacrifices. If you lack skills in the arena of medicine and are concerned about both weight and saftey then I would recommend an Adventure Medical Kit. The solo kit weighs 6 oz and has all the basic essentials you should need in just about any situation.

My idea of a good first aid kit "is keep it simple stupid" :datz Stick with the basic ABC's: Airway Breathing and Circulation and leave the rest for the experts.
These experts will all tell you that your best case senario is to seek medical attention, as soon as possible and in most wilderness medical cases... this is what saves lives.

Knowledge is key. Learn basic first aid and go from there. You'll find that the more you know the less you have to carry.

Now, I know that a bunch of you guys & gals may respond with feedback in this area (if this gets posted) and I'm not trying to open a big can of worms here, I just wanted to share some of my ideas and see where it leads. I'm always looking for cool tips...

My kit:
4 band-aids (2 for "me" & 2 for "U")
4 butter fly sutures (save being Dr. Frankenstein for your dreams)
1 knuckle bandage
1 2x2 bandage
2 razor blades (1 for ropes & 1 for that occasional surgery)
a coulpe motrin tabs (pain)
a couple pepsid tabs (mountain food)
a couple anti-histamine tabs (sniffles, bad bug bites, ect...)
1 pack of tums (freguent indigestion and a calcium boost ta boot)
1 freebie pack of triple anti-biotic cream (spread between 4 band-aids)
1 saftey pin
1 bandana :banana (elsewhere)
duct tape on my trekking poles (replaces everything else)
1 pocket pack of listerine strips and a tooth brush (it's the brushing that counts)
and lastly... a business card of my favorite outfitter with the phone # 904-264-6512 written on the back. This is the # for Maynard Cox who is our countries head honcho when it comes to snake bites. I picked up this public information on the bullitin board of the Eckville Hikers Center in PA off Hawk Mountain road, 0.2 off the trail after a day of spotting 5 rattlesnakes, 1 huge copperhead and a ton of rat snakes. I was freaked out to the max that day and it was comforting to have the chance to gain some more knowledge on the subject of snakes. This also provided "US" with a more comfortable feeling in regards to the resident rat snake the shelter taker keeps for rodent erradication, that is humungus by the way.
This experts advice, for those who haven't read his article, is leave the snakebite kit on the store shelf, practice good, alert hiking and stay away from likely snake infested areas like rock shelfs, logged areas, and rocky outcroppings. Stay on trails and be mindfull of snakes sunning in this area.
If bitten, seek medical attention fast and provide them with his phone # as he suggests that many in the med field are lacking proper skills when it comes to snakes. Good enough for me!
The rest is up to you... gain knowledge!

By the way, the day we saw the snakes, I was left with an impression that my newest, biggest fear is, and always will be, copperheads!

I came within inches of stepping into the only spot of ground anywhere near the pulpit rock area in PA and contained in the leaf covered spot was the largest copperhead I've ever seen anywhere, including pictures. My downward step almost landed directly on top of it and if it wasn't for a split second of timing and one small piece of this snake I spotted (which I thought was a dead snake by comparing the color to the rattlers we'd already seen), a rock to step on beside the pile, and quick thinking, I most likely wouldn't be writing this to you all. We were far from help at that point, or at least thought so, and I can tell you this... I have a new pair of mental snake goggles equiped with radar, night vision, movement sensors, a bodyheat temp gage, and unilateral laser beam launchers to fry the snot out of any thing that moves while I'm in snake country. I am an animal lover and one who feels at one with nature but this was an eye opener for me and the thought of being tagged by a copperhead is one I'd love to supress!

It's my hope that readers of this article will use their common sense, stay away from wives tales, craphouse doctors, and notions of being "qualified" when your not, and lastly... be aware of the fact that sometimes being helpful is actually more dangerous when it comes to first aid. Seek help first! Then think about what you can do to help the injured person or persons your with. Their lives and the rest of your trip together may depend on this.
Peace
"U"
p.s. before the onslaunt I'm about to receive for bringing up the subject that no one else seems to care to stick their neck out for I'd like to have a few last words...I come in peace and go easy on my hiking partner "me" for being wacked in the head enough to actually be with me. She trusts me with her life and I would never put her or anyone else in a bad situation without first consulting the spirit world.

TDale
03-30-2005, 14:34
Cool tip #1:

"I have a new pair of mental snake goggles equiped with radar, night vision, movement sensors, a bodyheat temp gage, and unilateral laser beam launchers to fry the snot out of any thing that moves while I'm in snake country."

Sell the "bodyheat temp gauge" back to the vendor. Snakes, being cold-blooded are the same temp as their surroundings.
:D

Thanks for the list.

orangebug
03-30-2005, 15:05
I'm also working on a similar article.

Personally, I'd have lots more safety pins (used as zipper pulls), aspirin rather than ibuprophen in case of an MI, roll of gauze to use with the duct tape rather than bandages, gas permeable barrier dressings for abrasions and other injuries, Pepto Bismol Tabs as well as calcium based antacids, and ID.

Good start to your list.

The Old Fhart
03-30-2005, 15:09
orangebug-".............and ID.'I have a card in mine that says who I am, who to contact in case of an emergency, insurance provider, medications, and allegies.

"ME & U"
03-30-2005, 15:20
Cool tip #1:

"I have a new pair of mental snake goggles equiped with radar, night vision, movement sensors, a bodyheat temp gage, and unilateral laser beam launchers to fry the snot out of any thing that moves while I'm in snake country."

Sell the "bodyheat temp gauge" back to the vendor. Snakes, being cold-blooded are the same temp as their surroundings.
:D

Thanks for the list.Right... the temp gage is for anything else that moves while I'm freaking out including my hiking partner:eek:

minnesotasmith
03-30-2005, 15:24
"If you lack skills in the arena of medicine and are concerned about both weight and saftey then I would recommend an Adventure Medical Kit. The solo kit weighs 6 oz and has all the basic essentials you should need in just about any situation."

Where is this sold, and what's in it?

"ME & U"
03-30-2005, 15:42
I'm also working on a similar article.

Personally, I'd have lots more safety pins (used as zipper pulls), aspirin rather than ibuprophen in case of an MI, roll of gauze to use with the duct tape rather than bandages, gas permeable barrier dressings for abrasions and other injuries, Pepto Bismol Tabs as well as calcium based antacids, and ID.

Good start to your list.Great tip with the pepto tabs. I don't frequent the pharmacy much and wouldn't have thought it. Your MI... assuming you mean the miocardial type, don't forget I was keeping it simple for the less medically involved. I've hiked with lots of nurses and every one of them had a first aid kit you'd need a book to use. It's been my experience that most days on the trail see minor mishaps and not so much of all we read, hear, and see on tv.
I appreciate your feedback big time and another great one is the zipper pulls!
Kudo's to your GPB's. I also carry one but try to find one at your local Cumberland Farms and your out of luck.
I carry my ID, credit card, and list of contacts in my invisable wallet so my first aid kit is lighter... you know, that freaky weight thing where every ounce counts and if the math doesn't work out put it somewhere else so you don't have to add it in.
I look forward to your article and hope I somehow motivated you press on
Thanks
"U"

"ME & U"
03-30-2005, 15:50
"If you lack skills in the arena of medicine and are concerned about both weight and saftey then I would recommend an Adventure Medical Kit. The solo kit weighs 6 oz and has all the basic essentials you should need in just about any situation."

Where is this sold, and what's in it?I got mine from Eastern Mountain Sports (ems.com) It has a bunch of crap I stripped out of it like tweasers, tape, extra bandages, and amonia inhalers. It comes in a bombproof watertight zipbag, and has a cool sil nylon cover with outdoor latch points. The cover offers a bit of extra room for things like the toothbrush and listerine tabs, which if you haven't tried brushing with do try. They rock!
The kit also has pills, astringents, anti-septics, after bite and a few other items of interest.

orangebug
03-30-2005, 17:21
Part of First Aid kit planning is a consideration of what you will meet, and what you can handle. Minor trauma, abrasions, insect bites/stings, ticks - are the most common. Major trauma results in need to ready to person for transport, just as a Myocardial Infaction/Heart Attack/Respiratory Arrest/Acute Cardiac Syndrome/Sudden Death would. The aspirin helps to reduce damage in the MI while you work out evacuation.

You could plan for every possibility, and put your pack weight into the stratosphere. It is a better plan to plan on improvisation. For instance, the safety pins will turn a fleece sweater into a sling. Lekis wrapped in a bedpad attached with duct tape make a suitable splint for legs and ankles. Pack Stays make for good splints for shorter limbs.

You will not have everything, but you probably have more than you suspect.

BTW, Gas Permeable Dressings are pretty easy to find in most clinics, medical supply stores, country Mom&Pop pharmacies and the like. Second Skin and the like are also widely available. I only carry bandaids if I'm walking with a bunch of kids.

neo
03-30-2005, 21:37
i made my own,i have never seen a good light wieght kit,i know what i need
on the trail:cool: neo

orangebug
03-30-2005, 21:58
Post your kit, and some of your considerations in making it, please.

I agree that there are no commercial kits that are suitable based on weight and utility considerations. If they exist, I've yet to meet them.

Moxie00
04-01-2005, 00:29
I still use the first aid kit I used on my thru hike. One 1 qt. Ziplock bag. Partial roll toilet paper, one tube triple antibiotic ointment, one tube hydroecortisone cream, needle and dental floss, (in case I had to sew a cut shut) a couple of bandaids, some ibuprofrn pills, (also known to thru hikers as vitamin I) one small hand sanitizer, (can be used to start a fire in an emergency)vitamin pillls and asthma medication. Also useful--moleskin, I left mine in hiker box when I had no trouble with my feet. I had an extra bandana or two and several yards of duct tape wrapped around my hiking stick. I also carried a swiss a army knife (hiker model). It's amazing how much medical care can be given on the trail with duct tape, a bandana, and a sharp knife up to and including brain surgery on a few people I met out there.

:eek:

Peaks
04-01-2005, 09:21
There are two extremes for First Aid supplies. All the AT Guides have a fairly extensive list of items. And then planning books like Chris Whalens" go the minimal route. The right answer really depends on the individual.

"ME & U"
04-01-2005, 09:43
I still use the first aid kit I used on my thru hike. One 1 qt. Ziplock bag. Partial roll toilet paper, one tube triple antibiotic ointment, one tube hydroecortisone cream, needle and dental floss, (in case I had to sew a cut shut) a couple of bandaids, some ibuprofrn pills, (also known to thru hikers as vitamin I) one small hand sanitizer, (can be used to start a fire in an emergency)vitamin pillls and asthma medication. Also useful--moleskin, I left mine in hiker box when I had no trouble with my feet. I had an extra bandana or two and several yards of duct tape wrapped around my hiking stick. I also carried a swiss a army knife (hiker model). It's amazing how much medical care can be given on the trail with duct tape, a bandana, and a sharp knife up to and including brain surgery on a few people I met out there.

:eek:Thanks for the reply. I love a good movie, can I hike with you and watch you sticth yourself up there Rambo? Just goofin around, the floss would work better on saving your pack's life:p WE use rubbing alcohol ( i know it's heavy). but it's great for killing stink, doulbles as a sanitizer, and down south you can get wintergreen flavor!
I got slammed with a huge blister after buying a new pair of treads on the trail and found that my duct tape worked better than moleskin, I just had to overlap it a bit.
I'm with you on the brain surgery thing. Ever meet Crazy Horse?
Ever since I saw the Aron Ralston gig with his dull multi tool I swithched to a razor blade, hell doctors use em...

"ME & U"
04-01-2005, 09:45
There are two extremes for First Aid supplies. All the AT Guides have a fairly extensive list of items. And then planning books like Chris Whalens" go the minimal route. The right answer really depends on the individual.Absolutely! "The more you know the less you have to carry" Seek knowledge...

orangebug
04-01-2005, 09:48
Dental floss repairs to packs. This brings up the idea that the first aid kit is multi-tasking for gear repair also. I carry heavy silk suture specifically with the dread of a wicked pack blowout that duct tape couldn't handle.

SGT Rock
04-01-2005, 09:57
My first aid kit is also a repair kit. I also consider some of the stuff that I carry part of my first aid/repair items.

Kit:
- small zip lock
- 2 needles
- 4 saftey pins
- floss
- Alieve, 6
- Neosporin
- super glue
- 4-AAA Lithium batteries
- bandages, 6
- ace bandage, small
- Imodium, 6
- Imotrex, 2
- gauze, 6 pads

And stuff I carry:
- Iodine pills
- Lighter
- 50' cord for bear bag (since you can cut off pieces for repairs)
- Toilet paper (with some duct tape it makes bandages)
- camp towel
- bandanna
- hand cleaner
- Leatherman Micra with a really sharp edge
- Insurance card and contact number card
- Duct tape

"ME & U"
04-01-2005, 14:50
Awesome are connections we are able to make with this site! I'm a new guy here, as I've mentioned, and wanted to post that its nice to be able to toss ideas off each other, blast out some humor along the way, and have a good ol time ta boot.
That being said, my idea of a kit is an expansion or, better yet, an extension of me. I'm a weight freak! I can't stand the thought of not needing first aid and lugging around a first aid kit for emergency reasons. Even a micro kit burns a hole in my thought processes and would love it if someone would invent a way to "beam me up" a doctor.
On a recent hike in NH something clicked in me. I realized that alot of the subject of first aid is hype. "What if..." Even, "Did your hear..."
Leaving all us scared and concerned about the possible.
The thought of having my best friend, "ME", injured and me, "U", being unprepared for the worst is unaceptable!
A pickle for sure.
Don't get me wrong here guys & gals, I'm not suggesting to minimalize your kit down to band-aids and razor blades but what I would like to suggest is that we as humans have an incredible way of surviving insane possibilities. We're like machines that naturally carry first aid kits within our structures and too little do we fail to realize this.
Cut yourself and your body instinctively whips out the band-aid selection and peruses the options. Kind of cool when you think about it.
I had a serious Mt bike accident a few years back and blew my right shoulder into three different pieces, clavicle, arm, and back... Some jerk off doctor x-rayed me and told me I had a class 5 tear of my ac joint. Not good I guess judging by his suggestion that I have it surged. Peel it all back, wrap some funky doctor tape around the whole gig, and stop mountain biking save I tear it again. Ya right! What ever dude! I let my machine fix itself by it's own terms, tossed the percocets in the toilet, and when I was repaired enough to carry a pack I, meaning "WE", thru hiked the AT!
A testament to the awesome healing power of human nature.
Of course i don't mean to toss my kit in the left behind bin, I just have always questioned our Western ideas of medicine and even went to nursing school to learn more about it.
Perhaps I should be thumping my stump:datz on the subject and don't mind giving myself a digger... but what about our ancestors man. We think they had band-aids? A list of supplies to combat the inevetable? Surely, they had incidents, mishaps, ect... and i wonder what an ancient first aid kit looked like. Was it complex? Did they communicate ideas on the subject, or was the idea of traveling by foot their first concern and the realm of possibility a thought they left for future generations of hikers to be concerned with?
Bastards!
I'm hoping not to blow my welcome here... just wanting to get into the heads of you and bring the subject to a different level.
One that's less concerned with our quirks and quasimotos of being humans and more concerned with trying to connect with the natural parts of us.
Call me bent, call me dilusional, but what ever you call me, call me a light weight hiker. My "first aid kit" weights exactly 2 ounces, not including water, and I look forward to a natural mishap that would require me to apply my wits.
Go easy...

lumpy
04-01-2005, 16:09
Excellent tips on first-aid kits. I also include extra safety pins (they can be used as sutures for lack of anything else) and a small tube of Super Glue for small cuts and lanced blisters, it really works good in addition for other repairs as well.

P.S. I have been told that if one is bitten by a snake to kill it for identification purposes for there are different species of each and venom may or may not have been injected but take no chance and seek professional help ASAP.

Moxie00
04-01-2005, 17:32
Thanks for the reply. I love a good movie, can I hike with you and watch you sticth yourself up there Rambo? Just goofin around, the floss would work better on saving your pack's life:p WE use rubbing alcohol ( i know it's heavy). but it's great for killing stink, doulbles as a sanitizer, and down south you can get wintergreen flavor!
I got slammed with a huge blister after buying a new pair of treads on the trail and found that my duct tape worked better than moleskin, I just had to overlap it a bit.
I'm with you on the brain surgery thing. Ever meet Crazy Horse?
Ever since I saw the Aron Ralston gig with his dull multi tool I swithched to a razor blade, hell doctors use em...I used dental floss when my Gregory Shasta came apart just south of Duncannon, Pa, Mountain Laurel sewed it up almost as well as Gregory did when I sent it back to them after my hike. As an EMT I have sewed people up unnder a Doctors supervision but I can only imagine what the scar would look like if I had to do it to myself or someone else in the field using dental floss, but it could save a life. As for the wintergreen alcohol. I carried an alcohol stove and just about ran out of de-natured alcohol in the Smokies. When I got to Mountain Mommas all she had was wintergreen flavored rubbing akcohol. In a pinch it worked but it took 5 minutes longer to boil anything and my noodles and rice tasted like pine needles. After many weeks on the trail eating the same thing day after day the change in taste was refreshing. When I goy to Hot Springs they were also out of denatured so I went to a filling station and bought gas line anti freeze so then my meals tasted like exxon. Another refreshing change in diet. In Erwin I bought a whole gallon end left it at Uncle Johnny's in the hiker box for others to use. Another hiker later told me that after I got 50 feet north of Erwin Uncle Johnny took it out of the hiker box and was selling it for 12 cents an ounce. I did carry saftey pins but I did not consider them part of my first aid kit. They were on the back of my pack and I hung wet undershorts and socks there to dry while I hiked.
:bse

"ME & U"
04-01-2005, 18:41
Whoa whoa... the wintergreen stuff is for drinking man!:dance

"ME & U"
04-01-2005, 18:50
Excellent tips on first-aid kits. I also include extra safety pins (they can be used as sutures for lack of anything else) and a small tube of Super Glue for small cuts and lanced blisters, it really works good in addition for other repairs as well.

P.S. I have been told that if one is bitten by a snake to kill it for identification purposes for there are different species of each and venom may or may not have been injected but take no chance and seek professional help ASAP.Don't mean to contradict but Mr. Snake man says leave it be. I like his idea, why get bit twice. Ever see anybody run like a bat out of hell?
A story he also mentions is in regards to the tale of standing still. A child in Florida was told by his mother if he ever sees a snake to stand still and he would be safe. he got tagged by a diamond back a whole bunch of times all along, standing still and screaming, thinking he his had to follow his mom's word. Man sakes, can you imagine. I got bit by a garter snake once as a kid and almost had a heart attack!

orangebug
04-01-2005, 22:04
... My "first aid kit" weights exactly 2 ounces, not including water, and I look forward to a natural mishap that would require me to apply my wits.
Go easy...Well, your initial note sure looks heavier than 2 oz. You include some items that are duplicative and improbable, especially if you would discard something as useful as an opiate post major joint trauma.

Do you want to repost your first aid kit?

Big Guy
04-01-2005, 22:22
I include about a dollar worth of change ,quaters,dimws and nickels for a pay phone, or incase I run out of money.

"ME & U"
04-02-2005, 00:19
Well, your initial note sure looks heavier than 2 oz. You include some items that are duplicative and improbable, especially if you would discard something as useful as an opiate post major joint trauma.

Do you want to repost your first aid kit?Nope. Sticking with it, weighed it today cuz I'm freaky that way but I will say that my scale isn't the best you can buy. One of those 5 lb kitchen jobbers that shows 1/2 oz incs, grams, and such. I do round to the nearest ounce best I can and am only so critical.
Useful and opiate in the same sentence sounds a bit like an oxymoron. I took one, as directed, and found myself sick in the stomach, less witty, and my pain was merely masked. As a matter of fact, at the time I was delirious enough to actually think I was okay, when all of a sudden that real pain thing kicked in and reminded me that drugs for pain is a joke!
I seriously can't remember the last time I took an aspirin. Doesn't make me righteous just drug free:banana

"ME & U"
04-02-2005, 00:23
I include about a dollar worth of change ,quaters,dimws and nickels for a pay phone, or incase I run out of money.I used a phone card and had good luck with it along the way and usually gave most of my change for tips where I could

Mountain Hippie
04-02-2005, 01:11
One of the things that I have not seen listed is non-latex gloves. It you are in a situation where you have to help someone else and they are bleeding it would be wise to use gloves. Of course I suppose you could throw them some duct tape and keep walking, but usually people are not that cold.
Plus one of the gloves blown up makes a fair ball for a back-country volleyball game. You can also use one for a cover for a mp3 or some other small instrument. Make a finger cot out of one of the fingers and a little duct tape. I am sure that there are other uses as well. :)

Phsskipper
04-02-2005, 10:01
I got mine from Eastern Mountain Sports (ems.com) It has a bunch of crap I stripped out of it like tweasers, tape, extra bandages, and amonia inhalers. It comes in a bombproof watertight zipbag, and has a cool sil nylon cover with outdoor latch points. The cover offers a bit of extra room for things like the toothbrush and listerine tabs, which if you haven't tried brushing with do try. They rock!
The kit also has pills, astringents, anti-septics, after bite and a few other items of interest.I bought a family sized one years ago. I used up/stripped most of the stuff out of it and as I refilled it I had plenty of room for other general safety and support gear. I do not mind carrying extra weight in this area to be prepared to assist or take care of myself.

Here is the current (and still building) content of mine.

Mole Skin (3 sheets)
Bandaids (10 various)
Carmex (one tube)
Orajel (1 tube)
Tripple Antibiotic (1 tube)
Deet (small bottle)
Toothbrush
Toothpaste (Travel size)
Camp Soap (1 oz bottle)
Dental Floss unwaxed (Doubles as thread)
Needle
Safety Pin (3)
Thermometer
Gauze Bandages (2)
Tampax (to control large bleading)
Ace Bandage (1)
Duct Tape (small roll)
Medicine Bottle (10 Advil, 10 Rolaids, 3 Sudafed)
nylon line (50 ft)
Water proof matches
fire starters (3)
Lighter (1)
Neoprene Knee Brace (1) I have one weak knee but dont need it all of the time
Trail Journal
Pen (2)
Identification/Driver's license
credit/ATM cards


As long as there is room I will keep adding small items to the kit bag. It is like being able to take out a cupboard when you set up camp. So many of the little things that you might like to get too are all in one place and you do not have to carry multiple small stuff sacks for the loose stuff.

Forrest

The Old Fhart
04-02-2005, 10:39
Forrest,
A few comments. First I wouldn抰 carry DEET in the 1st aid kit for fear of contamination plus it melts a lot of plastics. I always carry that in a mesh side pocket. (Some others have mentioned carrying batteries and lighters which I also don't think is a great idea.) When you say Tampax I assume you mean a plain pad with no high-tech additives. I didn't see mention of gloves to protect both you and another person. Non-latex is best. A CPR microshield might be a good addition at 0.8 ounce. Also the gloves and any medications should be replaced on a regular basis as they can go out of date. Wilderness 1st aid knowledge is also a wise thing to have.

I am glad to see that someone else actually carries real 1st aid.

rpettit
04-02-2005, 14:32
Couple of knuckle/finger tip band-aids.
anti-biotic ointment
Pepcid (one for each day)
ibuprofen (2 for each day)
1 oz. Iso-alchohol in mini pump spray bottle
swiss army signature knife
Small paper fold out showing and describing CPR, how to stop bleeding etc.
(I don't apply first aid daily, might forget how.)
Duct tape will probably fix everything else.

Phsskipper
04-02-2005, 17:50
Forrest,
A few comments. First I wouldn抰 carry DEET in the 1st aid kit for fear of contamination plus it melts a lot of plastics. I always carry that in a mesh side pocket. (Some others have mentioned carrying batteries and lighters which I also don't think is a great idea.) When you say Tampax I assume you mean a plain pad with no high-tech additives. I didn't see mention of gloves to protect both you and another person. Non-latex is best. A CPR microshield might be a good addition at 0.8 ounce. Also the gloves and any medications should be replaced on a regular basis as they can go out of date. Wilderness 1st aid knowledge is also a wise thing to have.


OF

I am glad to see that someone else actually carries real 1st aid.
Thanks for the tip on the Deet it is out now. Yes it is a plain sanitary pad and I forgot to mention the gloves as I looked through the kit. Microshield is a good idea.

Forrest

"ME & U"
04-11-2005, 22:33
bringing the topic back

CynJ
09-18-2005, 23:27
I carry Peptp tablets (they are individually sealed in lightweight plastic) good for heartburn, diahrea (sp?) and other ailments :)

I also recommend instead of alcohol wipes that you get betadine wipes (the brown stuff they use on you before surgery) - this stuff kills EVERYTHING!

Ladies - if you are already carring mini/maxi pads in your pack - skip carrying the gauze pads as a mini/maxi pad will work in a pinch for an injury.

As far as blisters go - everyone has their own way - but I would recommend the Band-aid brand Blister Blocs - they work really really well on heals, bottom of feet (not designed for the toes)

I would also get a roll of vet wrap instead of rolled gauze or an ace bandage. Its stretchy like an ace and is coated so that it sticks to itself (no tape needed) - and it can be used over a gauze pad covering a wound and it is fairly waterproof. Most pet stores carry it. And its very lightweight. Heres' a link for an exampe (first google link I found :) ) http://gprix.com/WVET.HTM

I edited this to add......I always carry a couple of Benadryl tablets in my day packs - just in case of a nasty reaction to a sting or plant.

fiddlehead
09-19-2005, 00:09
My first aid kit: duct tape, dental floss and sewing needle, about 10 aspirin tabs and one small sample pack of neosporin. Never needed anything else. (Never knew anyone who got snakebit either.)

Happy
09-19-2005, 23:08
I totally agree with the aspirin...one of the most common injuries for the aging, is heart attack and to be without these would be unbelievable? :-?

cutman11
09-19-2005, 23:48
I'm a surgeon. I'm getting tired reading all these first aid posts. First of all, we need to separate what you NEED from what you WANT. Injuries can be divided into penetrating (stab/cut) and Blunt (bruise/abraision/fracture). Severe injuries in either category are beyond the ability of any hiker to treat with a "medikit". Really minor stuff doesnt NEED treating either. The only things besides common sense and a knowledge of first aid you NEED are: Duct tape for the penetrating stuff and blisters...bandana and hiking pole or sticks for splint. A cell phone or fellow hiker to call for help in the event of more severe injury is your best option. NOTHING ELSE IS NEEDED. Now, you can say you want antibiotic creams, potions, lotions, bandaids, etc,etc, but actually, when a town is no more than a few days away (and closer if you hitch from a road crossing) you dont need anything except what will get you thru a few hours to the road. A bad acute MI is NOT going to get better with an aspirin, and you wouldnt be able to diagnose it yourself if it were mild, or if it were severe(you would be dead on the spot). So use the common sense, the duct tape, and for anything else, get the heck out of the woods to the Doctor or Hospital if its that bad!!!

orangebug
09-20-2005, 12:09
I'm a surgeon. I'm getting tired reading all these first aid posts. First of all, we need to separate what you NEED from what you WANT...Welcome to the discussion. I have several feelings about the subject, also, and totally agree with you. Anyone should be able to look at a backpack without a "first aid kit" and know how to improvise everything that would help to get a person to the next road crossing, or how to summon help if the victim truly can't be moved.

Alligator
09-20-2005, 12:31
About seven years ago I had some moderately bad blisters on my feet. They got torn open. I taped them up and kept hiking, as they weren't bad enough to stop my hike. I didn't have any antibiotic cream though. This was a section hike, and when I returned home, I had some red streaking that I worried might be an infection, so I went to the emergency room. I forget the name of the little bugger that got into the wound, some common skin microorganism. Anyway, a little antibiotic cream would have saved me $300.00.

I'm not running into town every time I need a little neosporin. So I guess I should ask, do you feel that triple antibiotic cream aids healing and prevents infection cutman11?

Happy
09-21-2005, 00:01
I'm a surgeon. I'm getting tired reading all these first aid posts. First of all, we need to separate what you NEED from what you WANT. Injuries can be divided into penetrating (stab/cut) and Blunt (bruise/abraision/fracture). Severe injuries in either category are beyond the ability of any hiker to treat with a "medikit". Really minor stuff doesnt NEED treating either. The only things besides common sense and a knowledge of first aid you NEED are: Duct tape for the penetrating stuff and blisters...bandana and hiking pole or sticks for splint. A cell phone or fellow hiker to call for help in the event of more severe injury is your best option. NOTHING ELSE IS NEEDED. Now, you can say you want antibiotic creams, potions, lotions, bandaids, etc,etc, but actually, when a town is no more than a few days away (and closer if you hitch from a road crossing) you dont need anything except what will get you thru a few hours to the road. A bad acute MI is NOT going to get better with an aspirin, and you wouldnt be able to diagnose it yourself if it were mild, or if it were severe(you would be dead on the spot). So use the common sense, the duct tape, and for anything else, get the heck out of the woods to the Doctor or Hospital if its that bad!!!

I totally disagree with your above statement....if you are truly a surgeon what do you operate on...******** or feet? Where was your medical training and what is your age?

Number one...I had a mild heart attack on September 25, 2000 on the racquetball court. I had played 10 hours per week for 9 years and it WAS self diagnosed...beyond your comprehension, I believe?

The club I belonged to had no aspirin to provide, which was also beyond believe of my racquetball partner, a cardiologist at Saint Joseph Hospital in Atlanta, GA noted as one of the BEST in the SE.

Awaiting your great followup! :mad:

smokymtnsteve
09-21-2005, 00:36
I'm a surgeon. I'm getting tired reading all these first aid posts. First of all, we need to separate what you NEED from what you WANT. Injuries can be divided into penetrating (stab/cut) and Blunt (bruise/abraision/fracture). Severe injuries in either category are beyond the ability of any hiker to treat with a "medikit". Really minor stuff doesnt NEED treating either. The only things besides common sense and a knowledge of first aid you NEED are: Duct tape for the penetrating stuff and blisters...bandana and hiking pole or sticks for splint. A cell phone or fellow hiker to call for help in the event of more severe injury is your best option. NOTHING ELSE IS NEEDED. Now, you can say you want antibiotic creams, potions, lotions, bandaids, etc,etc, but actually, when a town is no more than a few days away (and closer if you hitch from a road crossing) you dont need anything except what will get you thru a few hours to the road. A bad acute MI is NOT going to get better with an aspirin, and you wouldnt be able to diagnose it yourself if it were mild, or if it were severe(you would be dead on the spot). So use the common sense, the duct tape, and for anything else, get the heck out of the woods to the Doctor or Hospital if its that bad!!!


Glad ur not my doc..

neo
09-21-2005, 07:23
i prefer making my own:cool: neo

orangebug
09-21-2005, 14:33
I'm trying to figure out what about cutman11's note would result in an unhappy Happy or Smokeymntsteve's wrath.

His point was to prepare for those events that one can control and treat on the trail. Cardiovascular events are rare, and significant ones are not something likely to be managed with anything other than evacuation of the victim to ER or a telemetry bed. Few places on the AT will accommodate that action in the Golden Hour. Mild MI's are routinely asymptomatic, unless arrhythmia complicates - in which case it isn't "mild."

And why didn't the best cardiologist at St. Joe's carry aspirin in his pocket? At least he was a good choice of racketball partner.

There are many illnesses and injuries to occur on the trail. HYOH, even if you feel you must carry a cardiac and trauma unit on your back. Yet, consider the possibility that knowledge of gear and skills in improvisation may be more valuable.

Seeker
09-21-2005, 15:14
a superior "i'm a surgeon, i have saved lives, i am god, you peons don't know what you're talking about" attitude... that's what pissed them off...
go back and read his post. all we need is a cell phone and to get out of the woods... no creams, antibiotics, no bandaids. oh, and we're not capable of self-diagnosing anything... only a fully trained doc can do that.

i have an 90 year old (or so) grandmother. she has delivered over 4000 babies in a career that began in about 1934... for a long time, pretty much until the 1970s, she was the only "medical" person in her county. she rode a bike about 20-25 miles three days a week doing pre- and post-natal care, immunizations, and treating injuries and illnesses of all sorts, including bringing quinine to those with malaria. she also had folks walk up to her house for treatment. she did this until sometime in the early 1990s, when, after a fall, her children took away her bike. she was miserable for a few months. the 8 of them called my mom, the eldest, to ask what to do. she said ''you WHAT!? give it back to her!'' they did, and she continued for another few years until a stroke nailed her hard back in around 2002... she's up again, though not on the bike anymore. probably all of about 4'-10" tall... wonderful woman.

she lives in southern brazil, santa caterina province. didn't go to medical school either... it would have helped, but she wasn't a doctor, just a half-trained nurse... but she knew when she saw something wrong, and how to treat it. i'm not saying she could diagnose a lot of weird diseases, but she could treat just about any physical injury, colds/flu/malaria, and that's mostly what her patients, and we hikers, face... but when visiting in 1972, and i got hit in the head and needed stitches, we went to the "new" clinic for that...she knew her limitations and my needs... i have no doubt she could have sewn me up.

point is, hikers are a self reliant breed, and like to take care of little stuff to keep it from becoming bigger... rather smear our own neosporin on a popped blister than come to the ER at your hospital for treatment of a massive staph infection... rather have a big military battle dressing on hand than stick a torn off piece of nasty sweaty tshirt onto a puncture wound or laceration. rather take an imodium/pepto than dehydrate on the way out. no, i'm not a surgeon... just an old soldier. but to tell me to not carry a first aid kit of some sort, and rely on a cell phone, is insane vanity... come back down to the level of us shmucks who only make 35-50k a year, or the poor students who don't really make anything, neither of whom want to spend $200-$300 for an ER visit on our uninsured butts... (ftr, i do have insurance, but spent 8 months unemployed after losing my business and being forced into bankruptcy... been on food stamps, welfare, and medicare for my kids... i'm well back on my feet now, thank god, but i've not forgotten what it's like to live that way...)

so, to have someone say 'you're not doing it right' is a bit annoying...

orangebug
09-21-2005, 17:16
a superior "i'm a surgeon, i have saved lives, i am god, you peons don't know what you're talking about" attitude... that's what pissed them off.....So what's your point? He's a surgeon!

:p

CynJ
09-21-2005, 17:24
I don't go to the ER or the doctor unless I am I half dead. Just not my thing -and as a fairly well read person with a lot of common sense I can certainly take care of most things all on my own. So needless to say -a good (not necessarily large however) first aid kit will be in my pack.

The other thing anyone that hikes with their dog should keep in mind is that your pet might need first aid - so plan accordingly.

orangebug
09-21-2005, 17:54
I don't go to the ER or the doctor unless I am I half dead. Just not my thing -and as a fairly well read person with a lot of common sense I can certainly take care of most things all on my own. So needless to say -a good (not necessarily large however) first aid kit will be in my pack...Which I think was Cutman's point. You consider the likely things that you are prepared to manage on trail, and know which one's are going to interrupt a hike. If you hike with others, you might find yourself in a position to have to tell someone else when they need help. Hypothermia is a good example.

A first aid kit does not need to be extensive or heavy. One can use triple antibiotic cream for a number of problems - especially since it is usually a petroleum jelly base. Other things work well for cleaning minor wounds - diaper creme, bag balm, alcohol gel, iodine solution (Polar Pure) and others. As with anything else that you put in your pack, you plan for how to use your gear, and you consider multiple uses. Expect wounds to get dirty in the woods. Plan on how to clean and dress them, and when to take a zero day or two to allow a good cleanup and healing.

Personally, I don't carry a specifically labeled first aid kit. Much of my toiletry and water gear doubles for first aid. Duct tape and gauze are my laceration/abrasion/blister treatments. Pepto and Gatorade powder are my GI cures. I carry my city medicines along with ID, contact and insurance info. Alcohol gel and iodine sanitize wounds. I carry diaper creme for a number of uses, but consider my sunscreen an acceptable lubricating lotion also. My pack stays, trekking poles, clothing, safety pins(on zipper pulls) and duct tape could be employed for any number of splints and slings. My sleeping bag and kitchen gear are my hypothermia treatments.

But don't look for an official red packaged first aid kit. Don't look for a "how to" book on wilderness medicine. They aren't there. I think most folks work toward similar solutions, as discussed frequently on lightweight backpacking lists.

smokymtnsteve
09-21-2005, 19:26
anyone who doesn't carry a little anti-biotic ointment, anti-acid, or a few "pain pills, band-aids, anti-histamine, immodium,,is an IDIOT,,,

rickb
09-21-2005, 19:49
Idiots like the 2004 Red Sox, perhaps.

Seriously, I never bothered with most any of that. On the otherhand, I do have an up to date tetnus shot, among other things. I suspect that puts me in a very small minority of people over 40.

Probably doesn't make much of a difference, but it does give me a certain peace of mind and sense of control.

smokymtnsteve
09-21-2005, 19:52
yeah..lots haven't and I wished I had a nickel for every "rolaids" I have given away on trail and a dollar for every "ace" bandage..

famous last words.."but I NEVER get heartburn" ;)

orangebug
09-22-2005, 08:34
anyone who doesn't carry a little anti-biotic ointment, anti-acid, or a few "pain pills, band-aids, anti-histamine, immodium,,is an IDIOT,,,It sounds like you have feelings about this.

;)

I respectfully disagree. Bandaids are largely useless weight that reassures children. Immodium is redundant to pepto-bismol. Anti-histamine is a comfort food. Pain pills cover a number of options, and I carry a few Naprosyns and a couple of C-IIs. Anti-biotic ointment is largely a comfort item, easily replaced by other options.

Alligator
09-22-2005, 09:45
You wonder why there has been a vehement response to Cutman's silly dichotomy. It's his carry these, nothing else is needed philosophy.


The only things besides common sense and a knowledge of first aid you NEED are: Duct tape for the penetrating stuff and blisters...bandana and hiking pole or sticks for splint. A cell phone or fellow hiker to call for help in the event of more severe injury is your best option. NOTHING ELSE IS NEEDEDWhile defending cutman, you suggest using [thus suggest carrying] triple antibiotic ointment,

One can use triple antibiotic cream for a number of problems - especially since it is usually a petroleum jelly base. and personally carry gauze, pepto, sunscreen, and diaper creme [which is for babies]. Suck it up if you get a little chafing, walk to town to get the creme, or take 2-4 zero days to let it heal on its own. Your carry list places you on the other side of the fence from cutman yet you
totally agree with [him].

rickb
09-22-2005, 10:17
You wonder why there has been a vehement response to Cutman's silly dichotomy. It's his carry these, nothing else is needed philosophy

I think Cutman's post made a lot of sense. At least the way I was reading it.

Some people carry thier first aid kits for comfort. Nothing wrong with that. Its easier to remove a splinter with a pair of tweezers and a needle that with a twist tie. Vitamine I can help me sleep better on a weekend hike. COMFORT IS GOOD.

But that's obvious. Cutman's post recognizes that, too. The thing is, haven't we all seen people who spend a lot of time with thier first aid kits with the mistaken belief that the kit is actually going to increase thier SAFETY.

If that was Cutman's point I think it was a good one. If you want to increase your safety on the Trail, don't look to your first aid kit. Take a first aid course. Carry maps that show how you can get to help quickly. Etc, Etc.

The one thing I would like to know more about regarding health issues in the backcountry is about a potential heart attack-- especially given my age and family history. Understanding Cutman's fatalistic approach (you either die or you don't), I am wondering if there is anything I could/should do if me or my partner has angina / pain in the left arm and shoulder (and what about other signs) to increase my odds a few percentage points.

orangebug
09-22-2005, 10:46
If you have a sudden death on the AT, you are DRT (Dead Right There). CPR, aspirin and anything you could bring will not improve that reality. If you have angina, you need to stop, take the Aspirin, check a pulse for arrhythmia, and determine if you have the stamina left to evacuate yourself of send for help. Your trip is over until the ER clears you.

BTW, I don't carry triple antibiotic cream. I have carried a roll of gauze, diaper creme, sunscreen, DEET, Polar Pure, and Pepto tabs. I also carry Naprosyn, and 2 tabs of my favorite opiate analgesic. All of the before mentioned are considered "comfort gear." My necessities include duct tape; Alcohol gel; I carry safety pins on my zippers. I wear clothing, use trekking poles and have a backpack. I think a cell phone is pretty pointless. I do not question the intelligence of those who feel other items are a necessary part of their gear.

Alligator
09-22-2005, 11:03
No Rick, I don't think we are reading it the same way.
Really minor stuff doesnt NEED treating either. The only things besides common sense and a knowledge of first aid you NEED are: Duct tape for the penetrating stuff and blisters...bandana and hiking pole or sticks for splint. A cell phone or fellow hiker to call for help in the event of more severe injury is your best option. NOTHING ELSE IS NEEDED.
I'm going to read that last statement as shouting out that we don't need anything else besides duct tape, a bandana, splints, a cell phone, and a hiking partner. Rick, you shouldn't be treating that splinter, it's minor. Unless it gets infected, which is how I have found a couple of very small ones. But then I'd have an infection on my hands. I could use my cell to call for help or send my hiking partner. That's a bit drastic though.


Now, you can say you want antibiotic creams, potions, lotions, bandaids, etc,etc, but actually, when a town is no more than a few days away (and closer if you hitch from a road crossing) you dont need anything except what will get you thru a few hours to the road.
This is how I'm reading it Rick. Cutman is saying don't bother to treat minor injuries in the field either. Wait until you get to town. He says you need common sense, but not treating minor stuff and leaving it to when you get to town, in a few hours or a few days isn't sensible in my opinion. You treat the minor stuff so that it doesn't escalate into the major stuff. That's common sense.

Alligator
09-22-2005, 11:16
...
I do not question the intelligence of those who feel other items are a necessary part of their gear.OK. Could you extend that to not belittling folks for carrying band-aids. This might sound a little more sincere then.

orangebug
09-22-2005, 12:27
OK. Could you extend that to not belittling folks for carrying band-aids. This might sound a little more sincere then.
When I carry bandaids, it is to reassure children and city folks that I'm prepared. For real injuries, gauze or clean bandana and duct tape suffice. Bandaids are comfort items, seen as important only via marketing since we were babies.

Alligator
09-22-2005, 12:36
When I carry bandaids, it is to reassure children and city folks that I'm prepared. For real injuries, gauze or clean bandana and duct tape suffice. Bandaids are comfort items, seen as important only via marketing since we were babies.Gauze and duct tape remarkably mimics a bandaid. As you stated, gauze too is a comfort item. Sounds like you are reassuring yourself.

orangebug
09-22-2005, 13:52
Actually, gauze or the clean bandana are more than comfort. With something absorbant, you can make a reasonable pressure dressing with the duct tape keeping it adherent to skin. There is little likelihood of stopping real bleeding with a bandaid.

Carry the bandaid if you wish. What is in your first aid kit is your business.

Kerosene
09-22-2005, 17:13
Band-aids just tend to fall off when you start sweating again. They're pretty worthless all in all.

Alligator
09-22-2005, 17:33
Band-aids just tend to fall off when you start sweating again. They're pretty worthless all in all.I have had the sport ones stick very well. Your experience may differ though. I've also had duct tape fall off when sweating. I had several rolls of cloth tape that stuck much better than duct tape. In fact, where duct tape failed. But again, YMMV.

orangebug
09-22-2005, 18:05
One of the tricks of taping is to try to tape to dry clean skin whenever possible, or to overlap the tape onto itself when necessary. On the trail, it is easier to overlap than to assure you have a dry clean surface.

Alligator
09-22-2005, 19:22
One of the tricks of taping is to try to tape to dry clean skin whenever possible, or to overlap the tape onto itself when necessary. On the trail, it is easier to overlap than to assure you have a dry clean surface.These are very good points. I have had mixed success with overlapping both cloth and duct tape on the feet. But, the best success against heel blisters I have had has been switching from boots to trail runners.

hammock engineer
10-30-2005, 22:49
Finally reading this thread. I am reading this for ideas for a first aid kit. Not to get into the whole first aid kit argument. I do bring one to treat anything that doesn't need stickes or surgery. Want to keep small things from becoming big things.

I did want to share something that worked well for me. Back in my rowing days I would constantly get blisters all over the palms of my hands. I found a cream that worked pretty well for blisters. I now use it as a general antiseptic. It is Corona (like the beer) antiseptic ointment. It is a cream developed for horses and cows. It helps the development of new skin and keep the blister from drying out. Worked really well for blisters on my hands and other general cuts. I got it at a local drug store. I heard that Target may have it, but I am not sure.

Seeker
10-31-2005, 11:31
yeah.... i've used it myself... great stuff... you can usually get it a feed stores too... never seen it at walmart/target... YMMV.

CynJ
10-31-2005, 12:22
http://www.coronaproducts.com/

per their website you can find it at Petsmart and Tractor Supply :D

Happy
12-06-2005, 04:05
I'm trying to figure out what about cutman11's note would result in an unhappy Happy or Smokeymntsteve's wrath.

His point was to prepare for those events that one can control and treat on the trail. Cardiovascular events are rare, and significant ones are not something likely to be managed with anything other than evacuation of the victim to ER or a telemetry bed. Few places on the AT will accommodate that action in the Golden Hour. Mild MI's are routinely asymptomatic, unless arrhythmia complicates - in which case it isn't "mild."

And why didn't the best cardiologist at St. Joe's carry aspirin in his pocket? At least he was a good choice of racketball partner.

There are many illnesses and injuries to occur on the trail. HYOH, even if you feel you must carry a cardiac and trauma unit on your back. Yet, consider the possibility that knowledge of gear and skills in improvisation may be more valuable.

I tend to disagree that cardiovascucular events are rare...as I hike North GA as you do...I find it the MOST COMMON death on the trail in the aging, as you and I!

Aspirin was not carried in the cardiologist pocket, but he wishes he did, as the club did not have the sense to do so. As our great spokesman, Cutmans 11's has not responded... please explain why if cardiovascucular events are the highest death possibility on the trail for the aging... and I COULD DETERMINE what was wrong with ME and most anyone else... why would I NOT carry a couple of aspirin (multible uses) !

By the way, that would be a couple of grams of weight at most (and I do believe in ultralite backpacking)...not a cardiac and trauma unit on my back!

Happy
12-06-2005, 04:36
If you have a sudden death on the AT, you are DRT (Dead Right There). CPR, aspirin and anything you could bring will not improve that reality. If you have angina, you need to stop, take the Aspirin, check a pulse for arrhythmia, and determine if you have the stamina left to evacuate yourself of send for help. Your trip is over until the ER clears you.

BTW, I don't carry triple antibiotic cream. I have carried a roll of gauze, diaper creme, sunscreen, DEET, Polar Pure, and Pepto tabs. I also carry Naprosyn, and 2 tabs of my favorite opiate analgesic. All of the before mentioned are considered "comfort gear." My necessities include duct tape; Alcohol gel; I carry safety pins on my zippers. I wear clothing, use trekking poles and have a backpack. I think a cell phone is pretty pointless. I do not question the intelligence of those who feel other items are a necessary part of their gear.

Take WHAT ASPIRIN ?...remember you ONLY have a cell phone and a hiking friend?

orangebug
12-06-2005, 11:00
Take WHAT ASPIRIN ?...remember you ONLY have a cell phone and a hiking friend?
I'm not sure what prompted you to get so unhappy over a pretty old thread. I apologize for failing to mention that I carry aspirin as part of my daily medication. Ounce of prevention....

I still contend that cardiovascular events are rare on the trail, but a very significant event when they occur. Similarly, plane crashes are rare, but have occurred in the past month. One deals with events the best they can, and works out means of evacuation when overwhelmed by these events.

Happy
12-07-2005, 22:36
I'm not sure what prompted you to get so unhappy over a pretty old thread. I apologize for failing to mention that I carry aspirin as part of my daily medication. Ounce of prevention....

I still contend that cardiovascular events are rare on the trail, but a very significant event when they occur. Similarly, plane crashes are rare, but have occurred in the past month. One deals with events the best they can, and works out means of evacuation when overwhelmed by these events.

I have not been on the site for sometime due to my wife's cancer, but wanted to respond to the "old thread". I am more than likely overesponding due to my personal experience, and my experience of hiking the North GA section of the trail. I know for a fact that for men over 50, it is not uncommon for heart attacks on the trail, especially in GA ! I have witnessed several bodies being taken down the mountain !

In fact to my knowledge the only incidents of death, other than that in the past few years in this region, have been one death from a summer bag in January and a fall from a tree by a very experienced hiker in this age group.

All other recent incidents were broken legs, etc. from younger hikers. I totally agree that most first aid kits are overstocked and unneeded but a few items, are rarely needed, but of comfort for you or others in those rare situations, I respect your experience in this field, and wish to close this thread and discussion, thanks!

gumby
12-08-2005, 12:53
While in the Air Force deployed with Special Ops we had Independent Medical Techicians with us. They are kind of a Super Paramedic and just under a Physicians Assistant in skills and what they could do. They had to take a kit that would work for many uses.

For example, we all use duct tape for many uses right? Well they had to do the same. I had a friend come down with a really nasty case of fungus foot. He went to the medic to see what he could do. When he came back to our tent he siad to me, :Guess what he gave me"?. I said vagisil or monostat, he said yes how did you know. I explained that with the medical training I've had that what vagisil or monostat would be the optimum thing because they are both a form of a yeast like infection.

Just goes to show that a first aid kit doesn't have to be very big, but it needs to adaptive. Now mine has some extra items in it. I get ingrown toenails quite often. I used to work for a Podatrist and helped while he removed them from patients. Since then I have done my own by using a pair of iris (kind of kind embroidery scissors) scissors and forceps. Hurts like hell for about 2 minutes then feels great.

that's my $.02 worth

BTW my buddy got a new nickname...we all started calling him Pu**y foot

gumby

jackiebolen
12-08-2005, 16:23
If you want to go cheap and ultralight, here's all you need:

I micra-leatherman knife. Or just a small knife that has scissors and tweezers and a blade.

Dental floss and Needle to sew up possible cuts and for gear repair, etc.

Duct Tape for miscellaneous emergencies.

Some Ibuprofen.

Alcohol Hand Sanitizer.

This "Kit" has served me well in over 2000 miles of hiking and I have rarely, if almost never had to borrow stuff from anyone else.

smokymtnsteve
12-08-2005, 16:43
If you want to go cheap and ultralight, here's all you need:

I micra-leatherman knife. Or just a small knife that has scissors and tweezers and a blade.

Dental floss and Needle to sew up possible cuts and for gear repair, etc.

Duct Tape for miscellaneous emergencies.

Some Ibuprofen.

Alcohol Hand Sanitizer.

This "Kit" has served me well in over 2000 miles of hiking and I have rarely, if almost never had to borrow stuff from anyone else.

rarely or almost never..famous last words! :D

cutman11
12-12-2005, 00:17
I did not think my original post would raise such a controversy. I would like to thank orangebug for taking up my cause in my absence. I would agree with much of what was posted. I did not mean to come off as arrogant or "better than thee" in my post, but was trying to get across the idea of separating the comfort items. I carry the following items in my pack(30lb, fully stocked for 4 days), some of which can be construed as or used as "first aid items" : Duct tape, bandana, hiking poles, knife/leatherman type tool, safety pin, vaseline, chapstick, baby wipes, toilet tissue, compeed patches, aleve, tylenol, hand sanitizer, rope, iodine tabs, denatured alcohol. Most of those are for other uses, but could be helpful in a pinch. I also would agree with carrying a small tube of hydrocortisone creme, and a few benedryl tabs (like 4 pills, no more). If one is highly allergic to bee stings, an epipen would be appropriate too.

The main thing is, that the minor stuff is minor because it doesnt get to be major stuff by not treating it for the day or two it takes to get to town. Im not saying go to town and pay a quack $300 to treat your scraped knee, but I am saying you can avoid carrying UNNECESSARY (meaning, take comfort stuff if you like, but it is not essential weight)stuff in the field, get it in town if you need it. The Major stuff is not treatable in the field,( by a non medically trained hiker or by a highly trained specialty MD) because it is too complex and would require too much stuff be carried to possibly treat it effectively, and delay in treatment could be deadly.

The idea of carrying an aspirin is interesting, because I would venture to say that more people die walking around in Walmarts in the USA than on the AT, but I dont think the majority of people in the USA carry aspirin in their pockets everyday. The best thing to do if chest pain is experienced on the trail would be to immediately stop, take off the pack, lie down, and hopefully the pain (if angina) will subside. If you have someone with you, it would be sensible to have them get help, or help you get out of the woods as rapidly as possible (with or without the use of the unreliable cellphone) incorporating the idea of minimizing your physical activity as much as possible while getting out(drop the pack, walk rather than run, etc.) of the woods.

Happy
12-15-2005, 03:07
I did not think my original post would raise such a controversy. I would like to thank orangebug for taking up my cause in my absence. I would agree with much of what was posted. I did not mean to come off as arrogant or "better than thee" in my post, but was trying to get across the idea of separating the comfort items. I carry the following items in my pack(30lb, fully stocked for 4 days), some of which can be construed as or used as "first aid items" : Duct tape, bandana, hiking poles, knife/leatherman type tool, safety pin, vaseline, chapstick, baby wipes, toilet tissue, compeed patches, aleve, tylenol, hand sanitizer, rope, iodine tabs, denatured alcohol. Most of those are for other uses, but could be helpful in a pinch. I also would agree with carrying a small tube of hydrocortisone creme, and a few benedryl tabs (like 4 pills, no more). If one is highly allergic to bee stings, an epipen would be appropriate too.

The main thing is, that the minor stuff is minor because it doesnt get to be major stuff by not treating it for the day or two it takes to get to town. Im not saying go to town and pay a quack $300 to treat your scraped knee, but I am saying you can avoid carrying UNNECESSARY (meaning, take comfort stuff if you like, but it is not essential weight)stuff in the field, get it in town if you need it. The Major stuff is not treatable in the field,( by a non medically trained hiker or by a highly trained specialty MD) because it is too complex and would require too much stuff be carried to possibly treat it effectively, and delay in treatment could be deadly.

The idea of carrying an aspirin is interesting, because I would venture to say that more people die walking around in Walmarts in the USA than on the AT, but I dont think the majority of people in the USA carry aspirin in their pockets everyday. The best thing to do if chest pain is experienced on the trail would be to immediately stop, take off the pack, lie down, and hopefully the pain (if angina) will subside. If you have someone with you, it would be sensible to have them get help, or help you get out of the woods as rapidly as possible (with or without the use of the unreliable cellphone) incorporating the idea of minimizing your physical activity as much as possible while getting out(drop the pack, walk rather than run, etc.) of the woods.

THIS IS WHAT I OBJECTED TO....most doctors advise for males over 50 to take an aspirin per day for prevention...I had a heart attack and have to do this, so for a week trip I take 7 aspirin...how much does that weigh ?

In defense you say you carry a 30 pound pack fully stocked for four days...why? Read the "What's the weight of your big four ? " Adhere, and you will be able to carry a few extras and still be under your overweighed existing pack weight !

NOW you STATE that you carry a FIRST AID KIT (and other uses) consisting of baby wipes and toilet paper...why both and not one...neither will save a life, yet serve the same purpose. Comfort Item ?

We also carry compeed patches and a bandana...why both ? Comfort Item ?

Vaseline and chapstick...why both ? Comfort Item ?

Aleve and tylenol...why not just aspirin...dual purpose !

Benedryl tablets...why ?...use the cell phone or you will be in town in a couple of days...NO MEDICAL EMERGENCY ! Comfort item ?

If minor stuff is minor, and it only takes a day or so to go into town...why do you take the stuff you carry... and why do you object to ME, with prior heart attack history, taking a few aspirin...and my pack weight lower than yours to begin with ?

Hana_Hanger
12-15-2005, 07:05
To lighten this heavy thread...all be it very interesting.
I would like to add...I LOVE comfort and a hot toddy might help.

justusryans
12-15-2005, 08:55
I like beer.

orangebug
12-15-2005, 10:48
I don't think anyone is objecting to your choices of gear. Cutman and I simply let this list know a bit about how we put together/consider our first aid gear. I do not count routine medications, including Aspirin for prevention of platlet clumping, as a part of my first aid kit. Of course, it is as I would "donate" an aspirin to an apparent mild MI or angina victim.

For analgesia, there are good reasons to prefer a combination of Tylenol and Aleve over aspirin for first aid kits, given allergies and GI bleed risks common with Aspirin. Yet it is pretty simple to carry a small tin of ASA tabs. There are many reasons to carry comfort items including baby wipes and TP.

There are few good reasons to carry non-comfort items, such as anger.

rickb
12-15-2005, 11:23
One thought, and one question.

With safety in mind, I have added a pencil stub to my "first aid kit". My thought is that there might come a time when leaving a note in the middle of the trail, or at a shelter, or at a junction might be of some value.

Now my question. I have a few Tylenol IIIs left over from the dentist, and was considering adding these to my kit- specifically to help me sleep better if I strain something or have ache or such. Is this dumb? My thought is that since they aren't all that powerfull, I wouldn't be masking pain to the point that I wouldn't be listening to my body as well as I should. Any real down side? Also, I have a bunch of Cipro (prescription antibiotic) I might add, but they are more than a year old. Dumb?

SGT Rock
12-15-2005, 11:44
Anyone with a medical condition should bring meds for the appropriate uses. If an older person needs to take an aspirin a day, then he/she should by all means carry it, but on the flip side, I don't think I need to add it to my pack on the off chance I may run into someone hiking that might be having a heart attack and my extra aspirin may just be the trick. If you follow that sort of logic then I could also carry an IV and catheter in case I meet up with someone dehydrated or a defibulator for lightning strike victims - the major two life threatening things that I see as problems on the trail.

And, as I understand it, this a daily preventative anyway - if I run into someone having a heat attack, getting them off the mountain and knowing CPR will probably be more important than trying to give someone in the processes of having one a couple of aspirin anyway.

Seems this argument should be more about adding what the individual needs based on their own medical issues rather than what everyone should carry for the off chance they could help someone with their daily therapy.

Footslogger
12-15-2005, 11:49
To lighten this heavy thread...all be it very interesting.
I would like to add...I LOVE comfort and a hot toddy might help.


=================================
Exactly why my first aid kit includes a 4oz bottle of Jack Daniels ...for medicinal purposes only, of course !!

'Slogger

rickb
12-15-2005, 11:52
And, as I understand it, this a daily preventative anyway - if I run into someone having a heat attack, getting them off the mountain and knowing CPR will probably be more important than trying to give someone in the processes of having one a couple of aspirin anyway

From what I am understanding, knowing CPR won't be important at all, unless there is a difibrillator nearby. I am eager to be corrected, but some of the informed posts make it sound like CPR in the backcountry is an excersize in futility.

On the otherhand, giving an aspirin can help the survival rate, or at least lessen the damage of a mild heart attack. Or not?

SGT Rock
12-15-2005, 12:03
Should I take aspirin during a heart attack or stroke?

The more important thing to do if any heart attack warning signs occur is to call 9-1-1 immediately. Don't do anything before calling 9-1-1. In particular, don't take an aspirin, then wait for it to relieve your pain. Don't postpone calling 9-1-1. Aspirin won't treat your heart attack by itself.

After you call 9-1-1, the 9-1-1 operator may recommend that you take an aspirin. He or she can make sure that you don't have an allergy to aspirin or a condition that makes using it too risky. If the 9-1-1 operator doesn't talk to you about taking an aspirin, the emergency medical technicians or the physician in the Emergency Department will give you an aspirin if it's right for you. Research shows that getting an aspirin early in the treatment of a heart attack, along with other treatments EMTs and Emergency Department physicians provide, can significantly improve your chances of survival.

Taking aspirin isn't advised during a stroke, because not all strokes are caused by blood clots. Most strokes are caused by clots, but some are caused by ruptured blood vessels. Taking aspirin could potentially make these bleeding strokes more severe.

American Heart Association (n.d.) "Aspirin in Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention". Retrieved December 15, 2005 from http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4456

Footslogger
12-15-2005, 12:28
From what I am understanding, knowing CPR won't be important at all, unless there is a difibrillator nearby. I am eager to be corrected, but some of the informed posts make it sound like CPR in the backcountry is an excersize in futility.

On the otherhand, giving an aspirin can help the survival rate, or at least lessen the damage of a mild heart attack. Or not?
======================================
Been years since I practiced but as a former paramedic (who stays pretty current) I would tell you that CPR and Aspirin are mutually exclusive as emergency approaches with regard to a heart attack. Heart attack victims who remain conscious rarely require or would benefit from CPR but may be well served by an AED and/or aspirin. On the other hand, cramming an aspirin down the throat of someone who's heart has stopped and who is not breathing (cardiac arrest) IS an exercise in futility. While the odds of success with CPR in the backcountry are low, in the event of a cardiac arrest I would submit that it is not an exercise in futility.

'Slogger

rickb
12-15-2005, 13:05
When you say that its not futile, is that becuase the person's heart might start beating again as the result of the CPR, or because your efforts might buy enough time for a paramedic such as yourself to arrive with a difibrillator?

Or both?

(BTW, if its me lying there, I'd welcome the CPR no matter what!)

weary
12-15-2005, 13:56
American Heart Association (n.d.) "Aspirin in Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention". Retrieved December 15, 2005 from http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4456
Other news for:
Aspirin

(HealthScoutNews) -- Experts advise that if you think you're having a heart attack, the first thing you should do is chew an aspirin tablet.

But because aspirin starts to break up as soon as it touches your tongue, why chew it instead of swallowing it?

Here's why, according to the American Journal of Cardiology . Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School recruited 12 volunteers and measured the length of time it took for the aspirin to inhibit blood clotting, which is the reason to take it after a heart attack.

They found that swallowing a whole aspirin takes 12 minutes to have any effect on your blood's clotting time; drinking a liquid remedy containing aspirin takes seven minutes to work, but chewing a regular aspirin tablet begins showing benefits in only five minutes.

Also:

A heart attack is an event that results in permanent heart damage or death. It is also known as a myocardial infarction, because part of the heart muscle (myocardium) may literally die (infarct). A heart attack occurs when one of the coronary arteries becomes severely or totally blocked, usually by a blood clot. When the heart muscle does not receive the oxygen–rich blood that it needs, it will begin to die. The severity of a heart attack usually depends on how much of the heart muscle is injured or dies during the heart attack.

Someone’s chance of surviving a heart attack depends on the treatment that is given within the first hour of the heart attack. Immediate treatment for a heart attack should always include professional emergency medical intervention, including a call to 9–1–1 if the patient lives in an area with such access. While waiting for help to arrive or on the way to the hospital, patients are often told to begin chewing aspirin, a blood clot inhibitor. It is thought that taking aspirin while experiencing a heart attack can decrease the risk of death by about 25 percent.

Footslogger
12-15-2005, 14:06
When you say that its not futile, is that becuase the person's heart might start beating again as the result of the CPR, or because your efforts might buy enough time for a paramedic such as yourself to arrive with a difibrillator?

Or both?

(BTW, if its me lying there, I'd welcome the CPR no matter what!)
===========================================
The former more than the latter (but not totally) Rick. I'm going on the belief that the odds are slim that a medically trained first responder might show up with an AED. Assuming you're talking about me being the person on-the-scene I would say that in the case of a full cardiac arrest the chances exist (albeit slim) that CPR could trigger a restarting of the patient's heart/breathing. THEN, I might consider crushing and administering an asprin if I had one.

...and like you, if I were the victim I would hope someone would give me the benefit of the doubt and initiate CPR.

'Slogger

orangebug
12-15-2005, 15:41
If it is me on the ground with a cardiac arrest, offer a sharp thump to the chest, and no more than 4 minutes of CPR. Afterwards, I'd prefer to be DRT (dead right there) rather than in a persistant vegetative state - assuming you were so lucky as to restart my heart a bit later.

cutman11
12-16-2005, 17:10
[quote=weary]Other news for:
Aspirin


"Someone抯 chance of surviving a heart attack depends on the treatment that is given within the first hour of the heart attack. Immediate treatment for a heart attack should always include professional emergency medical intervention, including a call to 9𢴏 if the patient lives in an area with such access. "

And my point is that on the AT, unless you are close to a well traveled roadcrossing, or very lucky, you will not be getting "professional emergency medical intervention" within the first hour, and if your cellphone results are like mine, your "call to 9-1-1" will be responded to by your phone with "no service". So, more or less, take and chew your aspirin if you like, but making your way out of the woods if you survive the initial attack is what will keep you alive.

cutman11
12-16-2005, 17:23
THIS IS WHAT I OBJECTED TO....most doctors advise for males over 50 to take an aspirin per day for prevention...I had a heart attack and have to do this, so for a week trip I take 7 aspirin...how much does that weigh ?

In defense you say you carry a 30 pound pack fully stocked for four days...why? Read the "What's the weight of your big four ? " Adhere, and you will be able to carry a few extras and still be under your overweighed existing pack weight !

NOW you STATE that you carry a FIRST AID KIT (and other uses) consisting of baby wipes and toilet paper...why both and not one...neither will save a life, yet serve the same purpose. Comfort Item ?

We also carry compeed patches and a bandana...why both ? Comfort Item ?

Vaseline and chapstick...why both ? Comfort Item ?

Aleve and tylenol...why not just aspirin...dual purpose !

Benedryl tablets...why ?...use the cell phone or you will be in town in a couple of days...NO MEDICAL EMERGENCY ! Comfort item ?

If minor stuff is minor, and it only takes a day or so to go into town...why do you take the stuff you carry... and why do you object to ME, with prior heart attack history, taking a few aspirin...and my pack weight lower than yours to begin with ?

To reply my big 4 = 9.5 lbs. I like to carry 5lb food and 6lb water(call me crazy, but I hate being out of water). Yes, they are all comfort items -- that was the point, I concede I do carry some items for comfort, but they do not form an "essentials" first aid kit. The reason to carry tylenol and aleve is that they are different drugs. The tylenol is specifically a pain reliever whereas the aleve is an anti inflammatory, and is longer acting than aspirin. Both aspirin and tylenol have antipyretic (fever reducer) qualities, so by carrying a couple tylenol and aleve, one can better treat based on need. The two do have some potentiating effect on each other and can be taken together for added effect in pain relief. I would agree that you could chose Aspirin as a single drug alternative, but I prefer avoiding its side effects. Its a HYOH choice there.

weary
12-16-2005, 17:23
If it is me on the ground with a cardiac arrest, offer a sharp thump to the chest, and no more than 4 minutes of CPR. Afterwards, I'd prefer to be DRT (dead right there) rather than in a persistant vegetative state - assuming you were so lucky as to restart my heart a bit later.
I'll second Orange Bug's suggestion. But I do plan to carry an aspirin to chew from now on. It won't help if I'm in cardiac arrest. But if I'm still conscious after a suspected heart attack an aspirin is unlikely to do any harm, and from all I can read probably will make survival a bit more likely.

Anyway, eating an aspirin is about the only thing I can do on most hikes during that critical first hour.

Weary

smokymtnsteve
12-16-2005, 17:32
If it is me on the ground with a cardiac arrest, offer a sharp thump to the chest, and no more than 4 minutes of CPR. Afterwards, I'd prefer to be DRT (dead right there) rather than in a persistant vegetative state - assuming you were so lucky as to restart my heart a bit later.


right on OB!!! but I prefer a sharp thump to the temple...Please administer 15 percosets also. thier located in the stuff sack labeled 'emergency kit" :sun

Pass the Morphine Please!

nhalbrook
06-11-2006, 22:18
May be common knowledge or I missed it in a thread but peptobismol tablets are excellent for controlling diarrhea as well as their more common use for an upset bubbly tummy. Never leave the country without them and will take them on any long hike.

fiddlehead
06-12-2006, 21:48
May be common knowledge or I missed it in a thread but peptobismol tablets are excellent for controlling diarrhea as well as their more common use for an upset bubbly tummy. Never leave the country without them and will take them on any long hike.

I was under the impression that they were a preventative rather than a cure.
(pepto bismal)
Anyway, to reply to the original post on this thread, my first aid kit is duct tape and aspirin. I carry a needle and dental floss but consider it a repair kit for my gear rather than for my body but i guess i'd use it in a dire situation.
I can't remember ever needing anything else although someone gave me neosporin once for a blister. Now i just use duct tape.

booney_1
01-28-2007, 22:45
Benadryl is a life saving drug for anybody who has an allergic reaction. It works for peanut allergies as well as stings. It is often used as a "comfort" drug by people with minor respiratory allergies, but can be very powerful.
In the southeast (NC) yellow jackets nest in the ground, and they can easily be disturbed. Unlike honey bees, they sting multiple times and in groups. They are attracted to sweet drinks. Often people will drink (soda/gatoraide) and get stung in the mouth or throat by one that climbed into the water bottle or soda can. I think on my next trip, in addition to the tablets, I'll also carry some liquid benadryl, which works well with swollen throats. First aid kits should carry items that will prevent/cure serious problems as a first priority.

grrrhaha
07-07-2008, 00:17
There are so many uses for charcoal. Mix a little charcoal and water w/ sillium seed and you've got yourself a poultice that will help bites, cuts, rash and so many other things.
Just mix charcoal and sillium seed (both powdered, cheap and very light) in a zip-loc baggie, let it 'set-up' into gel, then cut the edges of baggie and apply. A little duct tape will hold this on if you want to or need to keep on-the- move.
Charcoal is also great for many stomach issues, flu, etc...just a spoonful does it. I've also heard of dentists that use charcoal to brush teeth.
These items can be purchased at health food stores and most drug stores.

Jim Adams
07-07-2008, 06:36
Duct tape, 30ml syringe, 14g iv catheter, ibueprofin and nitro spray. Everything else can be improvised.

geek

MOWGLI
07-07-2008, 06:49
I always carry something for the runs, and something for constipation. My trail diet always seems to bind me up the first 3-4 days on the trail.

Maybe that's TMI, but neither of those conditions is particularly conducive to making miles, so I like to have something on hand to deal with it.

Although I don't get many blisters, duct tape doesn't stick to my feet, so I carry Band Aid brand blister bandages. The stuff used to be called Compeed. It's excellent. The only downside is, sometimes it gets stuck to your socks.

rafe
07-07-2008, 08:36
I always carry something for the runs, and something for constipation. My trail diet always seems to bind me up the first 3-4 days on the trail.

Metamucil is good for the 2nd issue. Start taking it a couple of days before the hike. All you need is a teaspoon a day in a glass of water.

orangebug
07-07-2008, 10:35
Constipation is said to be the biggest factor in failures for mountain climbing. Our diets are usually pretty high in carbs and low in roughage. Dried fruit can help, as well as fiber cookies or Metamucil. Hydration is often a contributing factor.

berninbush
07-07-2008, 11:19
If it is me on the ground with a cardiac arrest, offer a sharp thump to the chest, and no more than 4 minutes of CPR. Afterwards, I'd prefer to be DRT (dead right there) rather than in a persistant vegetative state - assuming you were so lucky as to restart my heart a bit later.

An older friend of mine suddenly fell down "dead" in his office last August from a heart attack. It wasn't the usual clogged artery issue... turned out later that he has some kind of weird electrical condition that makes his heart go into defib. His co-workers did CPR for 11 minutes with no visible results. They really thought he was gone, but they persisted until the paramedics arrived. The paramedics were able to re-start his heart with a defibrillator. He was in the hospital for several days, and suffered some short-term mental confusion and memory loss, but within weeks was back to "normal." After some trial and error they got the problem under control, and he's leading a pretty normal life (including the part-time job plus consulting work he was doing before).

I guess you could say he's the poster child for "never give up." CPR isn't just about re-starting the heart; it also functions to keep blood and oxygen circulating to the body while the heart is stopped, by manually pumping it. Of course it's not as efficient or effective as the heart's normal operations, but it can keep your brain going a surprisingly long time. Good lesson to remember if you are with someone on the trail and their heart stops. The heart may not restart and the paramedics may not arrive in time, but you improve the odds if you do CPR.

orangebug
07-07-2008, 11:47
Actually, your friend is a poster child for why more offices and churches need to keep AEDs available and on display. If one had been handy, your friend's coworkers would have been able to convert the arrhythmia quicker with less brain injury.

But on the trail, a sudden death is likely to remain a sudden death. I would not like to have folks feel guilty over a compulsion to "never give up" in an impossible situation.

berninbush
07-07-2008, 11:56
My friend's part-time job is with my church. (He was at his consulting job when the attack happened.) The ironic thing was that the church had just gotten its shipment of AED's and they were sitting on his desk when his attack happened. If he'd been there, they could have used one.

His consulting-job office ordered AEDs and got people trained on how to use them after that incident.

I would agree that if you're on the trail and been doing CPR for, say, half an hour with no results, it's time to quit and not feel guilty. But I was protesting to the post from 2005 that suggested, if you haven't gotten a heartbeat in four minutes it's time to give up because the person will have no quality of life. My friend has no permanent brain damage that I know of... he's leading a normal life and he was around for the birth of his granddaughter last week. If he'd been out in the woods, CPR might not have saved him... I don't know if they could have gotten a heartbeat without a defibrillator... but it would have been worth the effort at least.

Appalachian Tater
07-07-2008, 11:58
There are so many uses for charcoal. Mix a little charcoal and water w/ sillium seed and you've got yourself a poultice that will help bites, cuts, rash and so many other things.
Just mix charcoal and sillium seed (both powdered, cheap and very light) in a zip-loc baggie, let it 'set-up' into gel, then cut the edges of baggie and apply. A little duct tape will hold this on if you want to or need to keep on-the- move.
Charcoal is also great for many stomach issues, flu, etc...just a spoonful does it. I've also heard of dentists that use charcoal to brush teeth.
These items can be purchased at health food stores and most drug stores.It's really bad practice to introduce foreign objects such as charcoal and psyllium seeds into open wounds.

Odd Thomas
07-07-2008, 12:08
It's really bad practice to introduce foreign objects such as charcoal and psyllium seeds into open wounds.

Unless it's powdered pig bladder :D

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7354458.stm

mudhead
07-08-2008, 17:37
It's really bad practice to introduce foreign objects such as charcoal and psyllium seeds into open wounds.

Puff balls or spider webs will help stop bleeding. I vote for pressure, but could not resist throwing that out there.

oops56
07-08-2008, 18:51
I keep cayenne pepper in my shop and car it stop bleeding and help heal plus many more things it can do do a search on it. don't leave home whiteout it

Jim Adams
07-08-2008, 19:41
My friend's part-time job is with my church. (He was at his consulting job when the attack happened.) The ironic thing was that the church had just gotten its shipment of AED's and they were sitting on his desk when his attack happened. If he'd been there, they could have used one.

His consulting-job office ordered AEDs and got people trained on how to use them after that incident.

I would agree that if you're on the trail and been doing CPR for, say, half an hour with no results, it's time to quit and not feel guilty. But I was protesting to the post from 2005 that suggested, if you haven't gotten a heartbeat in four minutes it's time to give up because the person will have no quality of life. My friend has no permanent brain damage that I know of... he's leading a normal life and he was around for the birth of his granddaughter last week. If he'd been out in the woods, CPR might not have saved him... I don't know if they could have gotten a heartbeat without a defibrillator... but it would have been worth the effort at least.

Alot of times it is CPR and dead.
There is no reason to do CPR for hours and actually the average person would have trouble doing it for longer than about 10-15 minutes. After that time the rescuer is usually too tired to do it effectively anyway. I doubt that it is useful in the woods for longer than 15 minutes and you are almost always never going to have a paramedic there with a defib and cardiac drugs within that time frame anyway BUT, without CPR, you only have dead!;)

geek

Homer&Marje
07-09-2008, 08:52
Personally I went to Ocean state job lot ( a discount merchandise store) and for 2.49 i got a 46 pc med kit in a waterproof plastic case, 1 lb or less and it came with gauze pads and tape which i used last friday, dont forget compression for wounds folks otherwise running with an open wound like this to a road could make you bleed out pretty severely.
http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=25994&original=1&c=member&orderby=title&direction=ASC&imageuser=17846&cutoffdate=-1

buzzamania
11-15-2008, 18:18
Excellent tips on first-aid kits. I also include extra safety pins (they can be used as sutures for lack of anything else) and a small tube of Super Glue for small cuts and lanced blisters, it really works good in addition for other repairs as well.

P.S. I have been told that if one is bitten by a snake to kill it for identification purposes for there are different species of each and venom may or may not have been injected but take no chance and seek professional help ASAP.


With all the talk about the snake bite scenarios, what about the snake bite kits with the suction and antivenom stuff in it. They are small and aren't terribly weighty.

Oh and yeah. . . if a snake bites me he's going to die regardless.

Chance09
11-19-2008, 20:17
With all the talk about the snake bite scenarios, what about the snake bite kits with the suction and antivenom stuff in it. They are small and aren't terribly weighty.

Oh and yeah. . . if a snake bites me he's going to die regardless.

I just took a Wilderness first aid class and they recommended not using snake bit kits. I forgot exactly what they said but it was something about just damaging the tissue more. I also know that snake bit kits seldom remove more than 10% of the venom.

Killing the snake would also be a bad idea for you yourself to do if you were bitten because you want to keep your pulse rate as low as possible slowing the spread of the poison and also elevate the bitten area.

Also correct me if i'm wrong but i believe there is only 2 poisonous snakes that your likely to encounter on the trail. Coral snakes and rattlers, so there's really no need to kill it because they're easy to identify. You can also tell by the bite.

Another good statistic is that snakes often don't inject venom when they bite. I think it's like 40% of the time or so.

WalkingStick75
11-20-2008, 13:36
I just took a Wilderness first aid class and they recommended not using snake bit kits. I forgot exactly what they said but it was something about just damaging the tissue more. I also know that snake bit kits seldom remove more than 10% of the venom.

Killing the snake would also be a bad idea for you yourself to do if you were bitten because you want to keep your pulse rate as low as possible slowing the spread of the poison and also elevate the bitten area.

Also correct me if i'm wrong but i believe there is only 2 poisonous snakes that your likely to encounter on the trail. Coral snakes and rattlers, so there's really no need to kill it because they're easy to identify. You can also tell by the bite.

Another good statistic is that snakes often don't inject venom when they bite. I think it's like 40% of the time or so.

Snake bite kits use to come with a small razor to open up between the bite before you used the suction cups. People would cut too much, too deep, probably raise your heart beat just doing the cutting and like Chance09 stated only a 40% chance venom was even injected.

Question? I know coral snakes are bad news, rattlers at least those in Michigan don't pose a real threat in that no "healthy" person has ever died from a Michigan rattler. Different along the AT?

Chance09
11-20-2008, 21:27
Question? I know coral snakes are bad news, rattlers at least those in Michigan don't pose a real threat in that no "healthy" person has ever died from a Michigan rattler. Different along the AT?

I know the difference is that Coral Snakes poison is a neurotoxin (spelling?), which can actually shut down some of the bodies vital functions. Rattlers poison isn't a neurotoxin so it's no where near as dangerous.

Another thing to note is that Coral snakes don't have fangsso they don't inject their poison. They just have rows of small sharp teeth and their poison is in the saliva. I think, and don't quote me on this, that if you were bitten and quickly grabed the snake behind the head and got him off of you, you could probabbly prevent a lot of poison entering your body as opposed to freaking out and not getting him off immediatly.

JAK
11-20-2008, 23:38
Combined First Aid / Repair Kit + field manual or Aide-M閙oire.

I like the idea of combining first-aid kit, repair kit. I recently bought a very good book on basic outdoor first aid from Scouts Canada. I feel the need to brush up on my first aid, and now that my daughter is in Guides we can work on it together for her merit badge, and because its the smart thing to do of course.


Anyhow, I would suggest people include a small notebook that they prepare themselves. They can write it in Microsoft Word and the PDF it or whatever, and then print it in a smaller size to take backpacking. It could include more than just first aid information, and it could have a few extra pages for notes. Good project for kids and adults alike. In basic training we had something like that called an Aide-M閙oire.

OK. Here's the think. For major breaks, sprains, cuts, burns, your not going to fit everything you need in a backpacking sized First Aid Kit, so its important to plan ahead and be prepared to use other parts of you kit, like blue foam pad, cord, socks, and perhaps alcohol fuel if your willing to pay the tax to carry everclear. Anyhow, most things could be thought out ahead of time customized to the gear you carry, and you could write the instructions out in your own Aide-M閙oire, perhaps with diagrams, and you could even practice them now and then, fun thing to do with kids.

What 9 year old daughter wouldn't want play "Dad's Daily Trauma"?

pure_mahem
11-23-2008, 21:19
Great idea JAK! You could make them really small and laminate them so they were credit card size. I think it would be a good place to list other important survival information for how to determine direction with out a compass and nots that you may need in a survival situation.

On the coral snake thing I'm not sure but what your saying about small tiny rows of teeth sounds like a hila monster lizard in the desert which is actually a bacterial poisoning system.

Do they make and AED the size of an iPod, that would be a really handy piece of kit. JK, I could just see some dim wit hooking themself up to it and saying watch this and end up dead. It would be something good for Forest Rangers and the like to have though.

Other question could you improvise one out of something on the trail in an emergency situation?

Also if you freaking had to cut your arm off in a dire situation, how would you go about it so that you didn't end up bleeding to death? I mean you are after all severing a main artery when your doing this.

Wags
11-23-2008, 22:43
you'd have to tourniquet it before cutting i guess. i like the idea of printing and laminating a little "oh ****" card. it's easy to sit here at the desk and think of all the right things to do, but it's a whoe different ballgame when it's an emergency and it's you :O

kettish
03-30-2009, 23:21
I'm a seperated Army medic, so my first aid kit is a bit more...er... "extensive" than the others listed here!!! (Partly because I can get my still-Active Duty medic husband to yoink some supplies for me when I need them!)

-GLOVES GLOVES GLOVES (sorry can't help myself!)
-alcohol pads
-fabric band aids (only a few of them; sometimes I manage to cut myself in places that get a lot of friction, like between my toes or *shudders* on my nipple once!)
-gauze (not entirely necessary if it's only people, but when you hike with dogs you want the gauze pads, plus some dressing so that you aren't taping directly on the animal's fur)
-occlusive dressing
-iodine (cheaper than alcohol pads since the Army's phasing it out and DH can get it easily)
-moleskin
-epipen
-medical tape
-sam splints-one large and one 3-pk of small
-emergency foil blanket thingy
-Israeli dressing
-hemorrage control compression pad
-CAT tourniquet
-saline locks
-syringes for washing out deep wounds
-instant cold packs
-wound closure bandages
-loperamide (2mg)
-ibuprofen (200mg and 800mg)
-naproxen (220mg and 500mg)
-acetaminophen (500mg)
-diphenhydramine hcl (25mg)

That's not counting my personal medications. I have some neuropathy issues leftover from being in and that's why I have the different painkillers. I've also got a few things I'd like to add, like some coban for the dogs, muzzle, and a thermometer. And I think I'll end up paying for some hemostats or some quickclot, just because I LIKE being prepared. And it's so freakin' SWEET.

Yep, just call me Doc and be done with it. It's like I never left the military... *sigh* :D

oops56
03-30-2009, 23:38
I'm a seperated Army medic, so my first aid kit is a bit more...er... "extensive" than the others listed here!!! (Partly because I can get my still-Active Duty medic husband to yoink some supplies for me when I need them!)

-GLOVES GLOVES GLOVES (sorry can't help myself!)
-alcohol pads
-fabric band aids (only a few of them; sometimes I manage to cut myself in places that get a lot of friction, like between my toes or *shudders* on my nipple once!)
-gauze (not entirely necessary if it's only people, but when you hike with dogs you want the gauze pads, plus some dressing so that you aren't taping directly on the animal's fur)
-occlusive dressing
-iodine (cheaper than alcohol pads since the Army's phasing it out and DH can get it easily)
-moleskin
-epipen
-medical tape
-sam splints-one large and one 3-pk of small
-emergency foil blanket thingy
-Israeli dressing
-hemorrage control compression pad
-CAT tourniquet
-saline locks
-syringes for washing out deep wounds
-instant cold packs
-wound closure bandages
-loperamide (2mg)
-ibuprofen (200mg and 800mg)
-naproxen (220mg and 500mg)
-acetaminophen (500mg)
-diphenhydramine hcl (25mg)

That's not counting my personal medications. I have some neuropathy issues leftover from being in and that's why I have the different painkillers. I've also got a few things I'd like to add, like some coban for the dogs, muzzle, and a thermometer. And I think I'll end up paying for some hemostats or some quickclot, just because I LIKE being prepared. And it's so freakin' SWEET.

Yep, just call me Doc and be done with it. It's like I never left the military... *sigh* :D

Lokk up cayenne pepper pore on a bleeding cut it stop it good for other things it get the heart to going also

kettish
04-03-2009, 15:44
I don't mind trying natural remedies at home, where there's access to emergency care (and clean running water, and more supplies, and an ambulance, and...) but for field work I prefer modern methods. No offense but modern medicine (while not much good for anything else) is TOPS at emergency and trauma work!

Now, long term...I end up at the acupuncturist every time. ;)

atraildreamer
05-08-2009, 00:18
What could be included in a first aid kit for dental emergencies? Say you cracked a tooth, or lost a filling, and were a couple of days away from a dentist? :mad:

Connie
11-02-2009, 20:29
I have seen little dental kits at Rite Aid and at REI for packing a broken tooth.

Wise Old Owl
11-02-2009, 22:30
Ok if you are really worried about a cracked tooth, purchase two ambesols (I really hate the current price) and un cap them. wait a week or two and the alcohol will evaporate. then pour one into the other. highly concentrated this stuff will fix any tooth problem. Better than what the doc's have. Make sure you have a few qtips.

Panzer1
11-03-2009, 01:04
Another hiker later told me that after I got 50 feet north of Erwin Uncle Johnny took it out of the hiker box and was selling it for 12 cents an ounce.

He's a real Capitalist that Uncle Johnny.:D:D:D

Panzer

DaveJohns
11-03-2009, 03:16
I'm a seperated Army medic, so my first aid kit is a bit more...er... "extensive" than the others listed here!!! (Partly because I can get my still-Active Duty medic husband to yoink some supplies for me when I need them!)

(GREAT list omitted for brevity)

Yep, just call me Doc and be done with it. It's like I never left the military... *sigh* :D

You can hike with me anytime! Check out the new QC silver gauze - it is "this weeks" cool new item! also, you carry an ACS/Hyfin in your hiking kit? Would a plastic bag and some tape not do the same thing in a pinch?

My kit is based on the same general setup, which is essentially an upgraded IFAK with some meds tossed in, no?

My kit. It weighs about a pound, maybe less.

Small sharpie
Nitrile gloves
tweezers
medium size trauma shears
Duct Tape (multi-use, incl. replaces band-aids)
wound closure strips
single edged razor blade
several needles
several safety pins
Crazy glue
2 small packs of Burn-X gel
moleskin (considering dropping, Ducttape is almost as good)
small bottle Mercuroclear antiseptic
small tube neosporin
small tube tinactin
small tube ambesol
small dent-temp kit
meds bag with single dose Immodium, pepto, theraflu, Aspirin, and naproxin
1 roll durapore 1" tape
1 pk Celox gauze
2 rolls Kerlix
1 Izzy/ETD
2-3" ACE bandages
several non-stick pads in 4x4 and 2x2 sizes

(also, I removed my SAM splint when I realized my sleeping pad [thermarest Z-lite] would do the same thing if I cut it up as needed. Something to consider)

All this fits in a nylon bag not much bigger than a paperback book. Personally, I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Doooglas
11-03-2009, 06:21
Snake bite kits use to come with a small razor to open up between the bite before you used the suction cups. People would cut too much, too deep, probably raise your heart beat just doing the cutting and like Chance09 stated only a 40% chance venom was even injected.

Question? I know coral snakes are bad news, rattlers at least those in Michigan don't pose a real threat in that no "healthy" person has ever died from a Michigan rattler. Different along the AT?
Coral snakes are completely non aggressive and are not like vipers. There are no fangs up front to deal with. I handle them regularly as they often visit my wood room and garage.I pick them up by the tail and carry them back into the jungle.

Copperheads strike low and usually will usually hit your boot.I slid down a hill in 1976 and got nailed on the knee.No fun at all but quite rare.
On the AT the rattler could be an issue especially near big rocks in the sun where they could warm.Rattlers too often hit quite low so you stand more of a chance of getting bit on the hand.Rattlers are faster than the human hand. Stay away from them.

I saved a guy with a Sawyer kit who was nailed by a nine foot Terciopelo.Some call them fer de lance. The Sawyer sucked nearly 1/2 a thimble of venom out of the wound so you can safely ignore the "professional students" that decry their use. Use the Sawyer on ANY snake bite, scorpion sting, wasp sting etc.Mine gets used at least once a month for insect hits.
Carry a small amount of ammonia, or ammonia swabs, as it neutralizes many venoms.


I won't bother posting my kit but I'll tell you it's 3 lbs.I had to replace the zipper.:-?
It's quite different in the real world than that Disney Movie formerly referred to as The United States of Amurrikastan.

Here's why I refer to it as Disney. The fools think they are at a theme park.
3 of their kind have vanished here all ready this year and it's the slow season.
Interestingly one was a medical student:cool: I guess his duct tape, cell phone, and bandana didn't work out too well for wilderness navigation.;)
http://www.kcra.com/news/21419513/detail.html

Doooglas
11-03-2009, 06:31
Here's so you can see how a snake hits.
Yep. I put mine on right after breakfast !:sun
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70TWDVHn3kg

Doooglas
11-03-2009, 06:42
Rattlers are slow in comparison to tropical species.
BTW anti venom must be refrigerated at all times. Even from the farmacia to the house it has to be in a cooler on ice.
Seems I heard it was $1000 a vial up there ? Typical "capitalism"
I bought 4 vials the other day for $46.For all 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WecCixv3W6g&NR=1

restlesss
02-14-2010, 20:11
I read a couple of comments that said they stripped out of their kits, tweezers. I have encountered several ticks in my travels and the tweezers were awesome in getting them out! In my kit I have...

a couple of bandaids,
neosporine
Knife
2larger gause pads 4X4
tape
bandana
ibuprofine
pepto tabs
imodium pills
and my tweezers with a small magnifying glass
I am going to add a contact info card

johnnyhp
06-16-2010, 12:06
Thanks to all for your comments and opinions! I just read the entire thread and now know everything there is to know about the contents of your first aid kits!

One of my buddies is a navy seal and I will share his first aid opinion since I found it insightful: the most important first aid item is water.

I must admit, this point of view is more for survival than comfort. Carrying duct tape, gauze, and disinfectant is still recommended, but if you had to get by without these things (and believe me, you could if you had to), your only need is water. Most other needs can either be improvised or are too great to accommodate on the trail.

This isn't necessarily a practical piece of advice...it's more for empowering you with the will to survive and reminding you that worrying about every contingency is rarely helpful. Just remember that your safety on the trail really depends on your awareness of your surroundings, not on the size of your first aid kit.

One.

mkmangold
06-17-2010, 01:10
You can hike with me anytime! Check out the new QC silver gauze - it is "this weeks" cool new item...

...(also, I removed my SAM splint when I realized my sleeping pad [thermarest Z-lite] would do the same thing if I cut it up as needed. Something to consider)

All this fits in a nylon bag not much bigger than a paperback book. Personally, I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

But a SAM splint is sooo cool!
I might go with antibiotic- or silver-impregnated bandaids instead of carrying around antibiotic ointment. Maybe. For larger wounds too, quick flushing with clean water is key to removing the bio-burden responsible for infection.
As for medications, I would probably carry Tylenol, Advil, and Ultram (tramadol) if you can get it from your doc. I like Cipro, imodium, aspirin, anbusol, prednisone, benadryl, and some OTC laxative. The problem I find with most meds is that they expire long before you get to use them.

MuleDeer
06-17-2010, 16:40
There are a couple reasons that people don't use venom suction. Some of them are fairly viable but the main reason is that it pulls the venom closer to skin level instead of letting it pass and dilute through the body. This creates large scarring and fairly complex infections.
Of course on the other hand letting it take its course through your body, dependent of snake, you could just die, so pick your poison i guess....

BTW, wouldn't worry about corals on the AT, havn't seen them any further up than maybe 60 miles into GA, deffinately not above fault line, Cotton mouths are about the same thing, no farther than atlanta. I'm thinking Timber rattlers are really the only thing you'll see there and they aren't nearly as bad as canebreaks or EDB's.

Happy Trails~

Fishbamboo
06-26-2010, 15:50
I was a EMT for three years in Pa. My first aid kit is a lot bigger than anything listed. I think how much you carry might depend to some extent of how well you know how to use it. I don't see much more weight added with a few more dressing that might save a life. I will cut weight on something else.

waywardfool
07-02-2010, 15:24
I'll add to this thread....I wiped out on my mountain bike last September, 10 miles from the road. I was squirting and oozing blood from a lot of places. I had a pretty decent first aid kit with me, but was surprised at how little there was, when I started patching myself up. took all my gauze, bandana, ap paper, etc that I had. Granted, hiking your are (likely) not gonna go down that hard and get that beat up.

The next few weeks, I spent a small fortune on gauze and tape.

I'm just sayin'...when you really need it, a meager kit won't do very much.

hilpg
07-22-2011, 05:30
Hello. I bought my first aid kits (http://topmost.us/first-aid-kits/) in TopMost.us. There is a very big choice of it. And my brother bought it here too, and he is very happy.

creekfreek
11-30-2011, 01:23
I am an instructor for ARCs Wilderness and Remote First Aid Course. I just finished reading thru this thread and found a lot of interesting viewpoints. One thing that should standout is that there is no one size fits all. Either for the situation or for the individual. For most of the areas we find ourselves hiking in the lower 48 a minimal kit is fine. I keep the bare essentials with my backpack. When kayaking, basecamping or camping with our Boy Scouts I have a larger kit. In my Pickup and at home, I have an even larger, and very complete kit. Cutman says major injuries are not treatable on the trail. He is correct in this, however first aid is not about treatment. It is about stabilizing and preventing further injury until proper medical attention or transport/evacuation is available. The reason that people like Cutman and others can comfortably go in the wilderness with minimal FA kits is that they have the training that will allow them to use makeshift or alternative materials and get by with multifunction rather than specific function items. The most important First Aid tool is always the one between your ears. Get trained, or at least read a decent manual. The better trained you are the more you will find that you can leave at home. First Aid saves lives. To dispute that would be irresponsible. Unfortunatly, it is NOT instinctive and requires training. Hope to see you all on the trail soon (and in good health)

JAK
11-30-2011, 06:21
He's a real Capitalist that Uncle Johnny.:D:D:D

PanzerWe should organize an "Occupy Uncle Johnny's" event. :D

JAK
11-30-2011, 06:31
I keep my latest first aid kit in a light plastic cylidrical spice jar.
Nothing to add in terms of contents, but something to consider ahead of time is how you might use other items of your gear as potential first aid items, like a blue foam pad or other sleeping pad as a splint, or you might sanitize and keep in a ziplock an extra pair of socks which could be used as a field dressing, or as an extra pair of socks. Maybe a slip of paper with your list of contents, and also an "aide memoire" notes of how to respond to some different scenarios. If you make such a set of notes yourself ahead of time, you probably won't need it, but its good to have if it relies on certain items being in the rest of your gear and clothing, like a knife, or blue foam pad, or some cordage, or whatever. It might have a list of items required to be carried outside of your first aid kit.

Preparing such an "aide memoire" yourself, customized to your own needs and skills and gear, would be a very good exercise I think.

Hoofit
12-02-2011, 11:07
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/icons/icon1.png
"One of the things that I have not seen listed is non-latex gloves. It you are in a situation where you have to help someone else and they are bleeding it would be wise to use gloves. Of course I suppose you could throw them some duct tape and keep walking, but usually people are not that cold.
Plus one of the gloves blown up makes a fair ball for a back-country volleyball game. You can also use one for a cover for a mp3 or some other small instrument. Make a finger cot out of one of the fingers and a little duct tape. I am sure that there are other uses as well. "

As it is always good to find multiple uses for everything carried on the trail, I have been told that, at a pinch, one could also use latex
gloves for a random hump if needed, depending of course on the glove size.
Has anyone tried this? After all, better safe than sorry...



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jakedatc
12-03-2011, 10:52
I was a EMT for three years in Pa. My first aid kit is a lot bigger than anything listed. I think how much you carry might depend to some extent of how well you know how to use it. I don't see much more weight added with a few more dressing that might save a life. I will cut weight on something else.

I'm curious what you added and what you think the added things will help with?

As an athletic trainer i do first aid in an outdoors and athletic environment all the time so there isn't much I wouldn't see at work.

Tape
duct tape
band aids
steri strips
gauze
tefla pads
triple antibiotic
emerg. blanket
safety pin
triangle bandage
benedryl
1pair nitrile gloves

hehe love all the EMT's and medics still trying to be RAD. cold packs? heavy and useless haha sticking the injured part into the next river crossing will be colder. fill ziplock bag with water will be colder.

PennyPincher
01-25-2016, 16:49
thread resurrection time! I was googling and landed on this thread. I never knew first aid kits were so controversial. My FAK is something I carry every trip and am very happy that I almost never have used it.

I have used ibuprofen, moleskin and duct tape, and even some small bandaids from it. It's not much larger than that but it's one piece of gear I have no thoughts of ditching it even if I never use it again. I also carried a more extensive one every day to work when I worked. It was more of a money saver as I was always near a pharmacy or other store where I could grab something if I needed it but at an unnecessary expense versus just making sure I had things with me that I may need. Again, something I rarely used but the few times I really needed an allergy pill, blister pad, or an ibuprofen, it made the little space it occupies in my bag seem even smaller.

orthofingers
03-05-2016, 10:06
What could be included in a first aid kit for dental emergencies? Say you cracked a tooth, or lost a filling, and were a couple of days away from a dentist? :mad:

I'm not familiar with what's in those little dental emergency kits that REI sells but my opinion is that dental emergencies are not acute emergencies (as a bad bleedout would be or a heart attack or fracture). Yes, they can be very painful and cut short a hike but, at least on the AT, would not be life threatening. An exception might be an abscess on a back molar halfway into the hundred mile wilderness that that spreads inferiorly ( from a lower molar) or superiorly (from an upper molar).
Most dental emergencies on the AT will allow you to get to a dentist or oral surgeon within a couple days, albeit a couple of miserable days.
One of the best things a thru hiker can do dentally before they start is to make sure there are not unaddressed dental issues like wonky positioned wisdom teeth or cavities needing attention.

And finally, do yourself and your orthodontist a favor. If you have braces on, don't contemplate a thru hike until the braces are off. After eating pop tarts, M&Ms, and gummy bears for six months, it would be a miracle not to have decalcification marks around where the bracket was on each tooth.

Smoky Spoon
03-15-2016, 22:56
I am leaving for my thru hike on the AT here in a few weeks and decided a long time ago my best prevention to any dental issues on the trail is to see my dentist and get any needed work done plus my bi yearly cleaning. As for my first aid kit...
Tweezers
Nail clippers
Mini sewing kit
Antibiotic ointment
A few miscellaneous bandaid
Package of steri strips
A few gauzes
Tape
Alcohol wipes
Scissors
Blister kits
Second skin
Aspirin
Pepto
Nasal cease
Tylenol

I thinknow that covers it. Hope that helps.

rocketsocks
03-16-2016, 00:54
But dope???

Smoky Spoon
03-16-2016, 00:59
Dope?
Not me....why?



But dope???

rocketsocks
03-16-2016, 01:13
Dope?
Not me....why?
Sorry, bug dope.

Smoky Spoon
03-18-2016, 23:39
Not usually....severe asthma and I hate all those chemicals....




Sorry, bug dope.

RockDoc
03-19-2016, 22:54
"Band-aids just tend to fall off when you start sweating again. They're pretty worthless all in all. "

Not so. You need to apply tincture of benzoin solution, let it dry, and then apply band-aid. Sticks like glue and stays on for days. I'm surprised that so-called "hikers" don't know about this. I learned about it more than 40 years ago. Always carry a small vial of tincture, plus some Q-tips for applying.

Another useful item is called blist-o-ban. A very thin oval bandage that sticks very strongly is placed over blisters. Quite expensive at over $1 each, but arguably the best treatment for a blister.

greentick
04-01-2016, 15:24
... You need to apply tincture of benzoin solution, let it dry, and then apply band-aid. Sticks like glue and stays on for days. I'm surprised that so-called "hikers" don't know about this. I learned about it more than 40 years ago. Always carry a small vial of tincture, plus some Q-tips for applying....



I second that. Moleskin donut with some ToB and that thing isn't coming off for a week. I think I bought a 4oz bottle many years ago and put 5ml in an empty eye drop bottle that stays in the aid kit.

I have seen people drain blisters and then inject ToB into the drained bulla. I think that is how break dancing was invented. Not recommended.

rainydaykid
04-19-2016, 17:19
I was a medic in the Army, so I don't bother carrying a first aid kit. Any hiker kit is too small for something major, and anything it can treat can be ignored or improvised.

I do have duct tape around my hiking poles, which is pretty much a bandage with some toilet paper if I truly need it.