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  1. #1

    Default Homemade first aid kits

    I know most people will suggest putting together a first aid kit rather than buying one of the prepackaged ones, that's why I would like to take one. I am looking for suggestions for a good list of specific items to put in a ziplock for my thru hike. I do have one I bought in the store but it seems like there are things in it that can be replaced with more useful items for this particular trip. Thank you so much for the advice for a newb.

  2. #2
    Garlic
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    Great question, great idea. I think the more you hike, the smaller your first aid kit gets. You buy the nice yellow box, and in a few years everything expires or falls apart and you end up with a little baggie of stuff you actually use.

    Training, experience, and a clear head are the best things you can have with you and don't ever forget that.

    Blister and skin problems are common, so carry stuff for that, like a needle for popping and clean dressings and tape and antibiotic ointment. If you have skin fungus problems (I do), carry fungicide cream. If you're allergic to stings, carry antihistamines (I do). If you have problems with diarrhea, carry stuff for that (I don't). If you get headaches or joint pain, carry NSAIDs (I don't).

    A bandanna and duct tape are critical items, and they don't even go in the kit.

    Tweezers, a single edged razor blade, and nail clippers are a good idea. A couple of bandaids are always good to have.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    Much of my first aid kit consists of "just in case" items that I could do without, but it would make life easier to have on hand. Besides a couple of bandaids and a 4"x4" bandage, I carry a few immodium for diarrhea, a couple of benadryl for allergic reactions, and a couple of cough drops. I have a small bit of antiseptic cream and a bit of burn cream, because I've seen more burns on hot pots and stoves than any other type of injury. Something else I recommend is a small laminated card that has your blood type, known allergies, emergency contact and medical insurance info on it.

    Finally, check with your doctor about over-the-counters and how they might react with any prescriptions you take. I can't take ibuprofen, which is commonly refered to as "vitamin I" on the trail.

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    BYGE "Biggie" TOMP's Avatar
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    If you can get one of those "adventure medical kits" for a cheap price I would get that and supplement it with your own stuff. That way you dont have to buy a whole pack of each item separately and it saves some money. I got one a long time ago and used the tape, half the bandaids (larger ones), alcohol/ antiseptic ointments, gauze, and moleskin. Removed the rest and added some blister pads and additional moleskin. I wouldnt keeping the small bandaids because they give you like 30 and I cant remember the last time I need a small bandaid for anything, I think the last one I used had spiderman on it.

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    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    My first aid kit is pretty simple, and most of it is used for other uses as well.

    Duct tape (used for just about anything else)
    Dental floss and a needle for sewing (also used as dental floss)
    Painkiller
    Purell for sanitizer

    That's really about it.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  6. #6

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    Blisters are your #1 problem to deal with. New Skin is my go to treatment for those. A few band aids and a tube of antibiotic cream completes my kit. I don't consider pain killers part of my first aid, since those are used on a nearly daily bases, at least at first. I carry a small sewing kit - needle, thread, thimble, so that takes care of the blister popper. Nail clippers and small sissors are also good to have, but might not fall under the first aid kit catagory.

    Of course, if you have any insect or pollen allergies, you need to carry stuff for dealing with that. If you need more then those basic items, your probably are going to need a lot more, like a fully stocked EMT pack. Just hope it don't come to that..
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    There nothing wrong with starting with adventure med kits - just pull out all the little bandaids replace with imodium, benadryl, if you wear contacts take some additional clear eyes. add a bandana small amount of rolled duct tape and what ever else you might find important.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  8. #8

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    Anbesol - used for toothaches and gum irritation - works on mosquito bites, too (ammonia packets are good for bites, but I wouldn't put one in my mouth).

    Along with what everyone else said already.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

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    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    Any first aid kit is only as god as your knowledge as to how to use it. As Garlic said - take a first aid class. The injuries you will most likely see aside from blisters are cuts/bruises from falls - some of these could be extensive depending on what and where you hit (face/head) ankle sprains, and worse, broken bones.
    Illness such as sore throat, diarrhea etc generally dont' really need to be treated on the trail - you can make it to town pretty quickly.

    If you bring drugs of any sort - over the counter pain killers, diarrhea meds etc, they should be the kind that are in individually packaged envelopes/blister packs with the expiration date noted.

    I teach wilderness first aid and always check first aid kits in the class - one guy had drugs in his kit that expired 25 yrs ago! one or tow years past expiration is probably OK, but 25 yrs - no.
    Also, if you are the ill or injured person and someone else has to get into your kit to get you drugs (think if you are a diabetic and become ill) and you just have a bunch of loose drugs in a baggy - that person will have no idea what they are.

    Keep things in several small zip locks, if you have to open your kit in the pouring rain, you don't want EVERYTHING getting soaked.

    Things that are helpful to have on hand - benadryl (esp if allergic to stings), tylenol or advil, possibly immodium. a few bandaids - but duct tape and toilet paper will make do. duct tape of course, thin maxi pads (sanitary pads that are individually wrapped in plastic) work great for bad cuts - they are not sterile but they are clean, and you don't need anything "sterile" out on the trail - just clean as possible. soap and water to clean anything - you should have some of this for washing etc.
    Judy

  10. #10

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    Thanks guys for the good advice. Like a few of you said, I actually have the adventure medical kit .7. I took out the gloves, pins, most of the big huge gauze pads, sergical tape, expired medication, tweezers, (have one on my tiny multitool).Added a bunch of vitamin I, and sewing items. How do you treat blisters? Put the needle thru? Drain? Then put moleskin on top? Then bandage? I know this is really a stupid basic question but I rarely, if not never gotten blisters so I want to be ready in case i do. Thanks again everyone for being so helpful.

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    BYGE "Biggie" TOMP's Avatar
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    Pop with needle, then drain and wipe with antiseptic ointment (do not remove the outer skin good way to inflame the area it will fall off when ready), cut a donut shape of moleskin to fit around but not on the blister, then tape the moleskin on. Some moleskin has adhesive and some dont, I just tape all moleskin on. Also 2nd skin is amazing on blisters or hot areas that feel like they will blister.

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    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    I've worked as an EMT, a ski patroller, a rock climbing guide and mainly go out just for myself as a solo trekker. Here is my basic kit for my 1 qt. ziplock (light and useful stuff) - no BS

    1 pr. latex gloves (a needle hole in glove can also be used for wound irrigation in the field with a weak iodine solution)
    1 sharpie marker (making notes on patient or victim's body or clothes)
    1 lancet (needle off of a diabetic syringe)
    2-3 Dr. Scholl's blister bandaids - works as reg. bandage to
    coaches tape (not the slick paper stuff)
    2 ounces of povidone iodine solution (in 1" tall (tiny) nalgene container - fits in your palm)
    1 roll - roller gauze - more bandaging stuff can be made by cutting clothing fabric
    2 aspirin (aspirin is indicated for a heart attack patient (MI)
    6-10 ibuprofen - for me (Vitamin-I)
    4-6 Benadryl (usually only if I'm with others)
    one alcohol prep pad - rare you would need
    epinephrine (usually only with others and in bee season) - I have a script from a MD
    hydrocodone M357 - for trauma pain - 2-3 (also have script)
    eye-drops (optional)
    Tums (2-3) - optional
    I also carry a little duct tape around one of my trekking poles and a small sharp pocket knife and some cord separately from the kit

    this is really more than most people need but if you are hurt in the woods, you'd be lucky if I happened to be around.
    Last edited by Papa D; 01-10-2012 at 21:19.

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    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Four 500mg Fasigyn for giardiasis (2g one shot cure), 20 Doxycyclene (2 a day for 10 days) for Lyme or anaplasmosis, generic Neosporin for everything else plus the duct tape and sewing kit for everything else. Ibuprofin is a daily staple.

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    Garlic
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    My blister care consists of draining at night with one pin hole through good skin at edge of blister, leaving it uncovered at night to help dry out, covering with white athletic tape (the type used by trainers to tape sprains) during the hiking day, repeat draining at night until dry and healed. I think moleskin is too thick (it has caused more problems than it has solved for me) so I don't carry it. I use the athletic tape pretty regularly for prevention rather than treatment. Its adhesive is just strong enough to stick but not strong enough to pull skin off.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  15. #15

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    Glad to see not all of you missed this. The most important thing is something to stop large blood flow. If you fall in the wrong place and you can't stop the flow you die. Blisters won't kill you.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    Glad to see not all of you missed this. The most important thing is something to stop large blood flow. If you fall in the wrong place and you can't stop the flow you die. Blisters won't kill you.
    If that happened, I'd pull the bandanna off my head and use that. If I was bleeding so bad I might die from it, there likely wouldn't be time to dig through the pack to find something in the first aid kit to use.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    If that happened, I'd pull the bandanna off my head and use that. If I was bleeding so bad I might die from it, there likely wouldn't be time to dig through the pack to find something in the first aid kit to use.
    Agreed... bandana, or t-shirt, and duct tape. And of course, apply pressure. That should be good enough to get out of the woods. If not, then nothing you carry is likely going to help much.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

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    Alot of first aid also makes use of stuff outside of your first aid kit, like using a sleeping pad as a splint. My first aid kit is a clear plastic spice jar, a bigger one, and I keep my repair stuff in there too, like needle and thread.

    I always suggest people going on a long hike, or hiking regularly, start by making a list of things that might go wrong. From there, you can decide what you are going to use from your regular gear, or from the environment, or from your first aid repair kit. You can keep such a list, and your first aid procedure, in a small note book in your kit. This is what we used to call an Aide Memoire, back in basic training, but it was for more than just first aide. Same idea though. It`s not so much that you might forget, just that by going through the process you might be better prepared. But if the notebook is small enough you may as well bring it with you.

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    The other thing is if someone teaches you something new, you can add it to your aide memoire.

  20. #20
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    I always suggest people going on a long hike, or hiking regularly, start by making a list of things that might go wrong. .
    Boy I wouldn't do that - you can psyche yourself out imagining the worst of the worst! I mean, do you take a splint in case you fracture a bone? (hikers have had fractures). Or the worst is, you die.

    I think I know what you mean, but I do not like to say - well this can happen... I'd rather be positive.

    Anyway, I need to write a blog about first aid and what I put in my kit

    Mine has -

    Duct tape
    some assorted size bandaids (some waterproof)
    small tube of antibiotic cream
    small tube of hydrocortisone cream (take the one that's 2/3rds the way used from home. Same with antibiotic cream)
    small ace wrap (ankle sprains, and I have been glad I have it -)
    thread and needle
    safety pin
    Epipen if you have a bee allergy and /or a few benadryl tabs
    assorted Vit I and tylenol
    few tabs of Immodium (if you get diarrhea for several days though, you may have a water-borne illness, and you need to get antibiotic treatment for it)
    If you can get it from your MD, some doxycycline tabs for tick bite (you can take a one time loading dose of 200 mg if you find a deer tick had embedded itself to protect against Lyme according to the website, but clear this with an MD first - I am no doctor, but I am an RN)
    If you are male over 40, suggest taking some low dose aspirin (can save your life with a heart attack)
    Body glide (if you are prone to chafing)

    Your swiss army knife should have tweezers and scissors on it for first aid

    You really should know first aid before you go out into the woods. And always get a physical AND dental exam before you go. Many people skip the teeth but infected teeth can make you very ill.
    Last edited by Blissful; 01-11-2012 at 15:09.







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