DIY Backcountry Med Kit

22lr

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
208
Location
AK
Would you say, for a general first aid trained person. Is a purchased kit typically adequate, or do you have to hunt around to build your own? I'd love some reliable sources on where to pick up a good back country (lightweight) medkit. Beyond the bandaid, neosporin, gauze pad kit that the walmart sells.
There are some halfway decent kits you can buy pre-made. It's what I do. Saves me a little hassle and I know it's all in 1 spot. I add another small bag for pills and other more consumable things like Band-Aids and tape. Amazon has some decent backcountry pre-made kits or I usually buy mine off MidwayUSA. It all depends on what you need it for. But for me, I find that if I shop around individually I'm more apt to cheap out and not include stuff just out of cost... Easier for me mentally to just buy the kit and call it done. But that's just me, and I have very rarely been called normal... so....
 

alexanderg23

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
479
Location
Wasilla, AK
CAT Tourniquet
Quikclot 2x
Leuko P tape
Bandaids
H&H compression gauze
Asprin, Advil, Imodium AD
Zipstitch
Single serving eye drops
Eye drop gel
Large gauge needle
Sunscreen
Alcohol wipes
Superglue
other pain meds if I have a current Rx...

All in a sea to summit medical dry bag, in a exterior Kifaru pouch with a medical badge sewn on so if someone else needs to find it ASAP.
 

alexanderg23

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
479
Location
Wasilla, AK
mine started out with a list/help from a combat medic then we tailored it for hunting. It’s always evolving.

Would you say, for a general first aid trained person. Is a purchased kit typically adequate, or do you have to hunt around to build your own? I'd love some reliable sources on where to pick up a good back country (lightweight) medkit. Beyond the bandaid, neosporin, gauze pad kit that the walmart sells.
 

Marbles

Senior Member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
142
Location
Anchorage, AK
I have never found a kit that provided what I want, and only what I want. So my recommendation is to build one based on you knowledge and skills. Off the top of my head, companies with interesting option are Chinook Medical, Conterra Inc., SAM Medical, and North American Rescue (NAR).

A basic level of skill should consist of how to do the following with the gear carried: make a proper tourniquet (can be a dedicated tourniquet like the C.A.T. by NAR if you don't mind the weight and single function); how to seal a torso wound (can pack a dedicated chest seal, such as the Hyfin by NAR); wound packing (could carry homeostatic gauze such as Celox); pressure dressings (such as an Israeli bandage); binding a pelvis (could carry the SAM pelvic sling II); and hypothermia prevention (because hypothermia is one leg of the "trauma triad of death").

Notice that this has a heavy focus on trauma. I believe that in the back country, trauma is the most likely preventable cause of death. Also, notice that while I like all the products I listed, none of them make it into my pack. However, with what I listed in an earlier post, I can perform the same functions (and more). I might have to destroy some gear in the process though.

Comfort is more individualized. Ibuprofen and Tylenol taken together make for a very effective pain killer and might make the difference between walking out and being carried out. Basic bandages are both a function of comfort and infection control. Wash a wound well with clean water, then protect it. Things like Tegaderms are great for this as they act like a second skin and move with you. Plus they breath, unlike most bandages.

Antiseptics tend to do more harm than good as they damage your still living tissue. It is better to simply irrigate deep wounds well (think a liter or more of water). Antibiotic ointment is good stuff for shallow wounds, or to coat bandages in to prevent them from sticking to dried blood, I don't normally carry it though. To prevent infection, bandages should be changed at least daily, so I figure if I have a wound bad enough that I need to bandage it, it is time to head for the truck. So, I don't carry gauze either. I can think of what if scenarios where this would bite me, but personally I'm willing to take the risk as it is easy for the what if monkey to add countless pounds to a pack.

I can see Imodium or pepto bismol being nice. Not so much to stay in the field (I think that could turn out very bad), but to help one self extricate. I might consider adding this to what I carry. However, electrolyte tabs and water should be enough to get me back to the truck.

As for something to hold the med kit, I have ditched purpose made bags and pouches for zip-locks.

Personally, I do not carry CPR supplies in the back country. If you want to carry them, Nu Mask is a great option. Near drowning and sever hypothermia are the two situations where I can see myself giving rescue breaths. I'll play my luck if I'm around someone one of those happens to.
 

Lionhound1975

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
117
Location
Virginia
I took a combat trauma kit and an Adventure Medical kit and then started modifying them for things to add or get rid of. For backcountry trips I carry:

tourniquet (CAT or SOF-T) (if you ever need to use one, you can lose valuable time having to make one plus some bad bleeds can be hard to stop depending on location even with a real tourniquet)
Israeli bandage
Celox gauze to pack a wound
quick-clot
medical tape
chest seal
ARS decompression needle
space blanket
eye drops
Neosporin cream
Band-Aids and gauze pad
Benadryl
cortisone cream
Acetaminophen AND Ibuprofen (you can safely take both at the same time for bad pain, sprains, fever, etc.)
anti diarrheal
ACE wrap
bandana

Lots of the items above are trauma related but I think that anyone going into the back country with a firearm better know how to treat a gun shot wound. Just like anyone shooting broadheads better know how to stop a bleed. I also carry a small first-aid manual that is called A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine that was written by an ER MD. The book is smaller than a Louis L'Amour paperback and explains everything from treating gun shot wounds, to setting dislocated shoulders and stabilizing compound fractures. The reason I carry it is more for others who I am with who might have to treat me. I have treated gun shot wounds, but my son and wife never have. Nor have some of the friends that I go out hunting with. So if I get mauled by a bear, suffer a compound fracture in my arm, get struck by lightening, or get hit by a stray rifle round then I am probably not going to be in great shape to explain to another person what to do. Having the small book with my trauma gear gives me a fighting chance that the first person treating me can at least look up what to do rather than try to remember some first aid class they took. I included the full online book in the link below so anyone interested can look at the index or illustrations and see everything it covers.

 

muddydogs

Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
1,033
Location
Utah
I only carry stuff for major trauma, Quick Clot, big gauze bandages, tourniquet. If a cut is big enough that it needs covered I can cut a piece off a bigger bandage and use some tape so there is no sense in carrying bandaids and stuff like that.
 

muddydogs

Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
1,033
Location
Utah
I don't carry tournaquet as well improvise with my belt or backpack compression strap.
Actually I have read a few study's that indicate belts, straps and other improvised tourniquets aren't as good as the real thing at slowing bleeding and in some cases cause more damage.

Myself personally I would rather carry a tourniquet then have to deal with my pants falling down while trying to help someone. Plus a stiff riggers type belt would be hard to get tight enough to do any good considering there is no twisting of the belt going to happen.
 

Marbles

Senior Member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
142
Location
Anchorage, AK
Some food for thought on tourniquets.

Did you buy an extra to train with? It is a generally accepted principal that after a single application they are no longer reliable (this is due to possible breakdown of materials on a life saving device).

Do you buy quality brands (NAR C.A.T or SOFT-T, Etc.)? The Amazon knockoffs have a habit of failing.

Do you know how to prep them for quick application?

Have you ever applied one until pulses below it stopped? Have you done that on a thigh? Do you carry two of them if you cannot generate adequate compression with only one?

I have stopped pulses below my thigh with a C.A.T., but it took more strength than I expected and the next time I tried it I broke the windlass.

Tourniquets fail due to improper application more than anything else. If you don't pull all the slack out of a C.A.T. or SOFT-T you will not get adequate compression. Conversely, with improvised tourniquets you need enough slack to insert your windlass under it and start turning. Both come down to training, and both can be done wrong.

A designed tourniquet is the better solution as there are fewer variables and good ones are designed to minimize compression and crush injuries. I have C.A.T.s in my house and vehicles. Personally, I don't see the C.A.T. style tourniquets as adding enough value in the back country as they are a one trick pony. The SWAT-T can do a whole bunch more. However it does not provide enough compression to stop pulses when applied to my thigh, so I also know how to improvise one that will.

Another reason to know how to improvise is that there is no guarantee that only one extremity will be injured and most people only carry one tourniquet.

Depending on the trauma doctor you ask, a limb with a tourniquet applied can be saved for 4 to 8 hours (though there is one report from the military of the limb being saved after 24 hours). Wound packing with hemostatic gauze is more likely to salvage the limb in the back country, but also more likely to fail and more dependent on technique.
 

TTSX180

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
112
Location
Oregon
Subscription to life flight or some air ambulance service that operates in the area your hunting. A hell hole ride starts around $30k most insurance doesn’t cover. And you may need a ride from the heliport to the er $2k most insurance doesn’t cover. I know of a guy who used it twice, somewhere around $35k each. Cost around $125 year for your family.
 

TTSX180

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
112
Location
Oregon
And have contact information for search and rescue, they are the unsung heroes of mountain rough terrain rescue.
 

brettdunn7

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
254
Would you say, for a general first aid trained person. Is a purchased kit typically adequate, or do you have to hunt around to build your own? I'd love some reliable sources on where to pick up a good back country (lightweight) medkit. Beyond the bandaid, neosporin, gauze pad kit that the walmart sells.
I actually orders the smaller 2L or 1L sea to summit first aid dry bag and then built my own kit with the help of my wife. She is an emergency room RN. After reading this thread though I may add tweezers. Forgot about that. I have been meaning to get some quick clot also. I will use the the backwash cleaning syringe that is for my hydration filters for any wound irrigation. May add super glue also. Wet awesome thread.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP
Garrett.Stump

Garrett.Stump

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
34
Location
Ohio
Subscription to life flight or some air ambulance service that operates in the area your hunting. A hell hole ride starts around $30k most insurance doesn’t cover. And you may need a ride from the heliport to the er $2k most insurance doesn’t cover. I know of a guy who used it twice, somewhere around $35k each. Cost around $125 year for your family.
Didn't even know something like this existed, good info!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
 
Top