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Thread: First Aid Kit "Must Haves" for Extended Floats

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    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default First Aid Kit "Must Haves" for Extended Floats

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scottsum
    I could start a new thread for this, but it sort of follows this discussion anyway. Hippie's post made me think a little more about the "well thought out and packed first aid kit." I have been looking at a first aid kit on sierra trading post (waiting for the extreme deal flyer deal!)http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/0...proof-Kit.html but I am curious what I should add to it for an extended float trip. I have done a considerable amount of backpacking and hunting/ fishing in Alaska, but I have always carried just the basic, lightweight backpacker's first aid kit. I want a little more substantial kit for the new raft, and am wondering what everyone thinks might be an absolute necessity to add to the basics.

    Scott


    Originally posted by AlaskaHippie
    That kit looks good for a short trip, what you have to bear in mind is being packed for a situation where long term care and maintenance of an injury may be needed (weathered in, nowhere for an air taxi to get in to get you out, etc.). I certainly would carry a LOT more ibuprofen (a 100 ct bottle, minimum), a good supply of small, med, & large gauze pads with enough tape to redress wounds frequently. A mid sized bottle of betadyne, a couple of flexible "soft" splints, clean and packaged hemostats (I had em in mine, but the blood was pumping so fast that I used the ones on my waders that where meant for releasing fish). One of the most important items I don't see on that list is a couple of suture kits. I had 2, but didn't use 'em as I wanted to keep them in case anything else happened. I've seen a lot of "good" first aid kits that would suffice for one, maybe two days of keeping a large traumatic wound clean and cared for....But when you are remote, you need to think "what if something happens day one of a 10 day float"....

    I bought a mid sized pelican case and built my own first aid kit from trips to the pharmacy and to medical supply stores....

    I'm all about saving space and weight when it comes to camp chairs, dry boxes, and camp luxuries...One place I will never cut a corner is on survival gear, be it a first aid kit, a sat phone, good tent/sleeping bag, or a sealed pack with freeze dried goods "just in case"......

    I started this discussion in a different thread, so I'll just quote here to start again.

    Anyone have any unique "essentials" for their first aid kit. I can see a bottle of whiskey coming in handy (I know many of us would have this in the raft even without a first aid kit)

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    There is a great product for stopping blood loss, Quik Clot. Everyone should have one.

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...132&hasJS=true

    There are a few prescription items that are cheap and worth considering on long trips. Run this by your primary care physician before your next big trip. He will give some info on indications for use and should be happy to write the scripts.

    Cipro for gastrointestinal upside (from water, spoiled food, etc...)

    Keflex for soft tissue that gets infected from cut/trauma

    Silvadene (tube) for treatment of burns (stove/campfire/excess liquor)

    When it comes to first aid, most of us can deal with the little stuff. Take items to address the things you can not.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    And since we are supposed to be honest....

    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  4. #4

    Default Items

    I would suggest 6-10 sanitary napkins. They have several uses and are packaged individually in plastc wrappers, waterproof, semi-sterile and make great bandages. The addition of a roll of athletic tape, works for sprains and imobalizing limbs, making splints and such.
    If you decide to carry a couple of suture packs; don't forget a pair of Hagars and a pair of tissue forceps. You can't hold a neddle without Hagars and it's hard to position and sew skin you can't hold. For field use a set of 5" Olsen Hagars are very good; They have needle holders and scissors in one tool. So you don't have to keep changing from forceps to scissors. For tissue forceps a set of 4x3 rat tooth forceps is very useful and light. NEVER suture up a wound unless you have thouroghly cleaned the site, OR you will simply be sutureing an infection into some body part.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    You can't hold a neddle without Hagars and it's hard to position and sew skin you can't hold. .
    To add to your very good suggestions, you can't suture with one hand. Take a small and large surgical stapler instead. Much easier to use if you had an open wound. And necessary for cuts in the hair line. Easily bought online and an idiot could do it. The same can not be said for proper suturing techniques.

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...set=ISO-8859-1
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Not exactly first aid, but "aid" for darn sure. Hope I never need it, but it goes on all trips. A back up plan for the back up plan if you will. They can be rented as well. Unlike the SPOT, this works anywhere in the world and does not have any fees. Buy it and that is it. Register it with NOAA every two years (takes two minutes online and they send you reminders) and that is it. Crap hits the fan, you move a flap, depress two buttons and the same time, and the calvary is coming. Like I said, hope never to need it, but feels good having it with me.

    http://www.acrelectronics.com/microfix/microfix.htm
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default Epi Pen

    If you're allergic to bee/wasp stings, get an epipen /epikit from your doctor and carry it. If you're in a group, let others know where you keep it and how to use it if you aren't able.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    If you're allergic to bee/wasp stings, get an epipen /epikit from your doctor and carry it. If you're in a group, let others know where you keep it and how to use it if you aren't able.

    Good one man! How did we overlook that. Duh. Your thought stimulated this one. Perhaps in Alaska, you guys are used to the bugs, but for others the Benadryl sticks are great for insect bites. Takes the itch/sting out very well.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Derma Bond (super glue for the skin) also comes in handy.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    Derma Bond (super glue for the skin) also comes in handy.
    Just don't let it freeze. Sounds stupid perhaps, but I had some and it got below freezing a few nights. They are hard as a rock and useless after freezing. But derma bond is great stuff for sure.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default

    Well, this thread is about large first aid kits, and my comment really refers to compact kits, but I'll post it anyway. A few years ago a magazine (Outside, Backpacker?) posted an article in which a ER doc and SAR member gave his opinion on first aid kits. His opinion was that many items could be jury-rigged by a smart guy, but that some things are just too difficult to manufacture in the field.

    One is split material. Yes, every first aid class teaches splinting a leg with sticks, but you really need to carry a SAM splint (the foam covered flexible aluminum). And a way to cut the SAM splint.

    Another is tape.

    And another is ibuprofen/motrin. It's not just a pain killer, it's an antiinflammatory, but the antiinflammatory qualities don't really kick in until you've taken high doses for several days. This might come in handy if you develop overuse injuries (tendonitis, bursitis, etc.) because you're not used to rowing all day everyday. Example: I had not boated at all for a few years, and went out in the 'yak, paddled hard playboating all day. Developed a short-term case of tendonitis in my forearms, and couldn't shake it no matter how much "RICE" I tried, even with some sporadic motrin use. A trip to the doc and he explained that I had to stick religously to the "800mg 3x day" routine....3 days later I was good to go.

    So I guess my answer to the actual post is....plenty of SAM and lots of motrin!

  12. #12

    Default Sam Splint

    To make a field usable Sam splint take a piece of PVC pipe and rip it with a jig saw. A piece of 4" does good for a leg, 3" does good for an arm. DON"T try to set a broken limb; JUST immobilize it. Setting a broken leg or arm can cause severe internal injury and bleeding as the bone could severe an artery or vein. There is almost no way without X-RAYS you can tell a greenstick fracture from a communuted fracture. Just pad the PVC pipe with a thin foam and then insert limb.
    If you want to immobilize an animals leg just use both halves of the pipe and surround the break, well padded of course.
    You can use a tongue depressor as a finger splint. Be very careful taking asprin products with breaks, as excessive hemmorage can occure.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Default

    Vet wrap is pretty handy stuff to have around. It can be used to hold bandages on or even strap a splint on. It is fairly light weight as well.

  14. #14

    Default Vet wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    Vet wrap is pretty handy stuff to have around. It can be used to hold bandages on or even strap a splint on. It is fairly light weight as well.
    I would never think of not haveing it in any kit. Care must be used though as it is a constrictor and can tighten causeing poor circulation and blood flow to extremities. Great for use with a sam slint or a pressure bandage.
    Also consider a small/dental mirror for repairing places you can see; Head and facial cuts. There's not much more painful than a loosing a crown or filling in the bush. A small dental kit is a priority; make sure it has a temporary filling kit in it, some don't.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  15. #15

    Exclamation Training is more important than kits!

    More important than any kit is knowing what to do. As a previous poster mentioned, 90% of the stuff in a first aid kit can be improvised, if you know what you are doing. A huge first aid kit in the hands of an idiot isn't going to help much. More knowledge beats more stuff any time, in my opinion.

    Almost any first aid class is better than total ignorance, but the best ones are those that emphasize "Wilderness Medicine". Most ordinary FA classes, such as most Red Cross ones, assume you can hand the injured person off to an ambulance in a short while. Wilderness oriented classes assume you have to treat them for hours or days until help arrives. Some things are done differently in that situation.

    In my opinion, the "Wilderness First Responder", also called WFR or "woofer", is the best one. It has become more or less the standard required training for professional river guides, climbing guides, etc. However, it is a week long class and costs around $500. The time and expense makes it tough for most people to take it. Shorter (and cheeper), 1 or 2 day Wilderness First Aid classes are also available. As a last resort, there are some good books on wilderness first aid. That with a Red Cross basic first aid class is better than nothing.

    When I get back from the holidays, I will try to add a post listing some sources of training, books, and other info.

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    Super Glue itsself. Works below freezing, and Ive personally tested it for years.

    You can close a massive gash yourself with super glue, , put a drop on top of the skin and pich closed. Then smear it along and hold the skin closed as you go.


    Stop the bleeding, start the breathing you sometimes have minutes......worry about infection later, you have days.

    Then push your two buttons.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Question First Aid know how

    So now that we have a comprehensive and excellent first aid kit....we all probably need some training and experience.

    At one time I was qualified Wilderness First Responder, basically equivalent to the training of a ski patroller. But while my certifications looked good, my experience in wilderness first aid and emergency conditions was right above zero.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for continued training?

    Opps, post #15, above, covers my questions everthing else I wrote.

    Dennis
    AK TAGS

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    I took the EMT-1 course when it was offered.
    It helped alot.
    So far a couple deep cuts, one Tib/Fib/Femor break and a broken coller bone are all Ive delt with.
    It took alot to get it, but its worth it out there.

    It should be a mandatory high school class.

  19. #19
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Anybody know of any?

    Quote Originally Posted by overthehill View Post
    More important than any kit is knowing what to do. As a previous poster mentioned, 90% of the stuff in a first aid kit can be improvised, if you know what you are doing. A huge first aid kit in the hands of an idiot isn't going to help much. More knowledge beats more stuff any time, in my opinion.

    Almost any first aid class is better than total ignorance, but the best ones are those that emphasize "Wilderness Medicine". Most ordinary FA classes, such as most Red Cross ones, assume you can hand the injured person off to an ambulance in a short while. Wilderness oriented classes assume you have to treat them for hours or days until help arrives. Some things are done differently in that situation.

    In my opinion, the "Wilderness First Responder", also called WFR or "woofer", is the best one. It has become more or less the standard required training for professional river guides, climbing guides, etc. However, it is a week long class and costs around $500. The time and expense makes it tough for most people to take it. Shorter (and cheeper), 1 or 2 day Wilderness First Aid classes are also available. As a last resort, there are some good books on wilderness first aid. That with a Red Cross basic first aid class is better than nothing.

    When I get back from the holidays, I will try to add a post listing some sources of training, books, and other info.
    Lots of good info everyone.


    I hadn't thought about a class.
    That's a great idea. Thanks

    Does anyone know of any weekend wilderness first aid classes in Anchorage or on the Peninsula?

    Scott

  20. #20
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Late entries; Stuff...

    1. Diarrhea stuff ; Imodium, etc
    2. Water purification stuff; iodine tabs, Aqua Mira, etc
    3. Blister stuff; moleskin

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