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Wilderness Medicine/First Aid

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I typically do quite a bit of planning when heading out, but even the best of plans can fall apart due to a number of reasons. Aside from food, water, and adequate protection from the elements, I always carry a PLB (when I'm out of cell range), and a First Aid kit. The PLB part is pretty well covered in another discussion, but I was wondering what folks carry for their First Aid Kit? The second part of that question, what if any training have you taken in First Aid or Wilderness Medicine?

 

I'm looking to replace my current First Aid Kit, but this is what I currently carry:

 

NOLS Med Kit 4.0

 

Or for really short trips or day hikes, a pretty simple kit:

 

NOLS Med Kit 1.0

 

In addition, my wife always carries a couple of Epi Pens, and generic antihistamine for bee stings and insect bites.

 

I'm admittedly a fanboy of NOLS, and have taken the Wilderness Medicine Institutes courses on Wilderness First Aid (WFA), and Wilderness First Responder (WFR).

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<_< I would stay with the 4 even if you are just out in the back country by yourself. OK, the is a tad heavy but it's about just in case scenario. A note pad thrown in is also helpful as to what you used and needs replacement upon your return home, the pad is good to write notes about the injury to remind you later what happened & when.

 

I'm not sure how many cachers have really taken a First Aid class. It is something to discuss in club or group meetings, one should be prepared at all times. That First Aid kit in your car is also helpful.

 

REI has various classes which can be helpful, including Fire Stations in certain areas. B)

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I actually didn't look at the kit, but something I have is a SAM splint. Might also be called a C-splint. Lightweight. Can x-ray with it on. Could use it as a snow/sand shovel, or whatever your imagination comes up with in a survival situation.

 

Anyway what it comes down to is carry what you know how to use. The best kit won't help if you don't know what to do with it.

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...but I was wondering what folks carry for their First Aid Kit? The second part of that question, what if any training have you taken in First Aid or Wilderness Medicine?

Usually traveling light, have similar to the "1.0", but with a couple 3"X4" or so moleskins and (after stepping on a hive of yellow jackets) a lot of benadryl.

Many extras added in the "4" I already have with me for other uses , so it doesn't make sense (to me, shaving weight) to carry two of the same.

EMT years ago, not old enough to forget too much - yet. :laughing:

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In my first aid kit... I pack a fairly standard first aid kit. (bandaids,alcohol wipes,tweezers, gauze, antihistamines, etc.) However, I also place in my pack a suture kit, a skin stapler, baby teething cream (to numb the site before suturing), normal saline, and hydrogen peroxide. I've only had to stitch someone once, but I'm glad I had it. I also bring a CPR mask, insta-ice packs, splints, and a torniquet. My first aid kit is more like a Jump Bag so it usually stays in the car for short hikes.

 

I am an EMT and an LPN

Edited by jakerjacks

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I forgot to mention my Leatherman Raptor. I have it mounted to my first aid bag as well. they are pricey, but I like it so much I have two. it's worth looking into.

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In my first aid kit... I pack a fairly standard first aid kit. (bandaids,alcohol wipes,tweezers, gauze, antihistamines, etc.) However, I also place in my pack a suture kit, a skin stapler, baby teething cream (to numb the site before suturing), normal saline, and hydrogen peroxide. I've only had to stitch someone once, but I'm glad I had it. I also bring a CPR mask, insta-ice packs, splints, and a torniquet. My first aid kit is more like a Jump Bag so it usually stays in the car for short hikes.

 

I am an EMT and an LPN

Wow! That's a pretty serious first aid kit. Suturing and stapling is definitely going beyond the "Scope of Practice" of my WFR certification. I don't think "good samaritan" laws are going to protect me beyond the usual "direct pressure" and get help scenarios I've encountered.

 

I have a couple of SAM's, but have, for the most part, dispensed with it after seeing in the courses I've taken, what I can fashion for a splint with things I usually carry.

 

I did pick up on the Raptor for Christmas. Mostly because it looks cool, and looks as if it could cut people out of a burning car...just in case I forgot my Jaws of Life at home ;)

 

A note pad thrown in is also helpful as to what you used and needs replacement upon your return home, the pad is good to write notes about the injury to remind you later what happened & when.

 

Excellent point. I started out with a small notepad, eventually adding a SOAP report template, and have since added the SOAP report note app. The app also includes some basic first aid information, which is a handy reference, but I don't like relying on things with batteries all that much.

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You may want to check your scope of practice on those. In Ohio, you can lose your certications and face prosecution for operating out of your scope of practice. We had a couple good medics find out the hard way. Stopped and helped at an accident. Had everything they needed to do "their job.". The IV they started cost them their certification and their jobs. I know each state is a little different, so you may be OK.

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I carry a modified REI Daypack First Aid Kit. Unmodified it's about the size and weight of the NOLS 1.0. I bought it mainly because I liked the way the pouch unzips completely so I don't have to dig around for what I'm looking for. I added things like a CPR barrier, Triangular bandage, a roll of 2" gause, 3x4 molskin sheets (I've never liked the pre-cut/shaped ones), 4x4 gauze dressings and removed non essentials like 2x2 gauze dressings (a 4x4 dressing can replace a 2x2 but the not the other way around). My modified kit weights 9.5 oz and is small enough that it stays in my daypack but complete enough for a multi day trip. The only thing I'd do prior to a long trip is replenish anything that might be running low. Right now I'm almost out of moleskin. I haven't used any in years but there always seems to be someone in the group that needs it.

 

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As far as training, I've taken a total of 5 first aid classes through the years. The first was in junior high school and the others were either sponsored by the local mountaineering club or the National Ski Patrol and were outdoor oriented. Unfortunately, in spite of good intentions, I never kept up with the refresher classes so my card is, once again, out of date.

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My med kit depends on the trip. I'm a former EMT, have military and civilian experience, and have taught wilderness survival on a limited scope. Except for EpiPens and MDIs, my rule is to have a bigger kit in the vehicle and never forget your furry cachers. All that said, I pack really lightly for a hike compared to other cachers I know. But my truck's kit resembles the standard jump kit you'd find on an ambulance, minus IV stuff. Saline solution (eye wash), steri-strips, liquid Benadryl, etc. I often use essential oils to treat wounds and insect bites. What I don't have can be found lying around. The one item that's become the most useful, oddly, is a metal garden wagon. (Story available by request only).

 

So, I guess, long story short, your kit should reflect the level of danger, weather conditions, area, length of stay, and how prone to injury you are. Kinda modular.

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I carry quite a bit of stuff in my first aid kit.

Medicines I carry are ibuprofin, Imodium, Benadryl and Pepcid (H1&H2 blockers for allergies), burn cream, insect bite cream, suntan lotion, celox, and ammonia inhalents.

 

Lots of bandages (4x4, 6x6, ABB pads, etc)

 

I also keep a CAT tourniquet, Israeli bandage, Hy-fin chest seals, safety pins, triangle bandages, sports tape, and plenty of cloth tape, CPR barrier, and several pairs of nitrile gloves.

Edited by WilliamGray

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I carry a small first aid kit all the time, and a more comprehensive one in the car on day trips - the usual array of small wound care stuff, bandages, antiseptics, eye wash etc.... I tend to throw away the bandaids included and replace with better quality ones, and add various topical creams - anti-bacterial/cortisone etc. I also have a little pack with adrenaline/syringes, and on longer trips have a small suturing pack, but have wound glue also, as I have 3yr/6yr olds in tow.....

Obviously if you aren't medically trained you should be careful taking something sharp or a medication to someone who isn't a close relative.....

 

In Australia we always carry a few large, elastic pressure bandages in case of snakebite.....

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We carry a more limited FAK, party because we try to limit our pack weight, and partly because many of the items that are in a larger FAK are things that we either don't feel competent to apply, or have to assume that there are better ways to deal with the issue than us trying to treat it in situ.

 

That said, we only backpack, not rock climb. We hike as a couple, so there is someone who can go for help. And while each of us has taken a First Aid course or something similar, we are not EMTs, physicians, or RNs.

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