First aid/emergency kit overhaul

Becca

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So I have been following with interest the other threads about first aid/survival kits, mostly because I have thought for a long time that ours was probably due for an overhaul. The kit we have been using is really parts and pieces from several kits we cobbled together, plus a few additions...it's been wet several times and generally smells of mildew, and to be honest I didn't even remember exactly what was in there. Plus it was heavy!



So today I overhauled it. The nurse in me won't totally ditch all the medical supplies, but I did try to eliminate duplicates (a trip that requires 47 band aids AND moleskin AND gauze pads means we have other problems) and stuff we don't need...like the heavy trauma shears, the entire roll of tape and the 100 page long, moldy, first aid instruction booklet. I actually ditched the entire case too, since it was heavy and kind of gross. I currently have everything sorted into smaller bags and then the whole thing in a gallon ziploc....I may look for a small dry bag as the ziplock aren't that durable. I was able to add a temporary filling kit and*some other emergency/repair stuff like a tube of super glue and a small sewing kit. I still need to get replacement packets of Benadryl, Advil and Tylenol but by and large I think it's good to go, and at a considerable weight savings.

 

2rocky

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Non stick Gauze pads are a staple for us after my Dad laid his finger open on our elk huny last year. We just filled it up with neosporin and wrapped it with Vetwrap and duct tape. Doctor took a look when he got back home and said "Hmmm. Ya dun good."
 
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Becca

Becca

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Non stick Gauze pads are a staple for us after my Dad laid his finger open on our elk huny last year. We just filled it up with neosporin and wrapped it with Vetwrap and duct tape. Doctor took a look when he got back home and said "Hmmm. Ya dun good."
Yup..several of the non stick pads and the antibiotic ointment packets made the cut!
 

luke moffat

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Way to go hun. Cutting the weight in half.....makes me wonder how long I have been luggin' the extra 10 oz around. :D
 
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Becca

Becca

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Way to go hun. Cutting the weight in half.....makes me wonder how long I have been luggin' the extra 10 oz around. :D
Consider it "training" :) And I would guess you have been lugging it around since you have known me...I dont think the weight has changed much before today, except for minus those couple of pain pills I took when I broke my leg :)
 
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Becca

Becca

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Becca I'd be interested in seeing whats in the kit.

c
Not sure photos will really help much, so I will make a list. Everyone has a different opinion abut what you need/don't need to have along. I am trying to keep the weight down, while still planning for contingencies. Keep in mind that many of our trips are fly-in or way off the road system...running back to town for supplies or emergency dental work isn't a realistic option, or at the very least ends the trip. Also keep in mind that we carry other survival gear (fire starting material, para cord, lighters matches, sat phone, etc) elsewhere. Because my leg still bothers me some when I pack heavy loads, I usually have a small bottle with Tylenol and ibuprofen either in my bino pouch or my bathroom bag.

Medical Supplies
Moleskin 1 4x4" piece
Large Band aids-4
Small band aids-4
Non adherent dressings- 2
4"x4" gauze pads-4
2"x2" gauze pads-2
Triple antibiotic ointment packets- 4
Alcohol pads-6
Sting relief pads-2
Cotton tipped applicators-2
Nitrile Gloves- 1 pair
Quick Clot Pack 3.5"x3.5"-1
Needle nose tweezers-1 set
Derma bond applicator- 1
4' of 1" transpore tape
10cc syringe- 1
Den temp temporary dental filling- One kit

Medications
Alkaseltzer- 3 packets
Tylenol- 4 packets (500mg each)
Ibuprofen- 4 packets (400mg each)
Vicodin- (5/3251) bottle left over from dental procedure, probably around 20 pills
Benadryl- 4 packets (50mg each)
Diflucan- 1 pill (150mg)

Repair Kit
Sewing kit: 3 needles, assorted thread, 3 buttons of varying sizes, 6 safety pins, small scissors
Superglue

Open to suggestions, see anything glaring that I missed?
 

dotman

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Hey that is similar to mine:

5ft duct tape
Super glue
1 roll of gauze
Neosporin
2- vicodin
25-ibprophen
10-tylenol pm
1- 4x4 moleskin
5- alcohol pads
 

bbrown

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Funny - I did the exact same thing earlier this year and we started (right down to the moldy first aid book) and ended up with almost the exact same results.
 

Goober

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I change mine around for every trip and add/subtract depending on what/where. Being a paramedic, I am quite sure I over pack on some stuff, and alos pack some stuff that would be irrelevant to many. One thing I try to make a point to do, that I feel is very important that many over look: I put the essential stuff in a nalgene bottle that is always on my person/daypack. It does no good back in basecamp. In that Nalgene is basic first aid, a small knife, fire starter, water purification tablets. I am a firm believer that you should always those items on your person in the backcountry. Here are some of the items that almost always go:

1. meds: Benadry, ibuprofen
2. iodine packets
3. paracord
4. ductape
5. suture kit
6. superglue
7. small amount of gauze
8. combat gauze (quickclot, only newer and much better)


With those basic items, I figure I can handle/improvise a solution to most anything.
 

broncoformudv

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Not sure photos will really help much, so I will make a list. Everyone has a different opinion abut what you need/don't need to have along. I am trying to keep the weight down, while still planning for contingencies. Keep in mind that many of our trips are fly-in or way off the road system...running back to town for supplies or emergency dental work isn't a realistic option, or at the very least ends the trip. Also keep in mind that we carry other survival gear (fire starting material, para cord, lighters matches, sat phone, etc) elsewhere. Because my leg still bothers me some when I pack heavy loads, I usually have a small bottle with Tylenol and ibuprofen either in my bino pouch or my bathroom bag.

Medical Supplies
Moleskin 1 4x4" piece
Large Band aids-4
Small band aids-4
Non adherent dressings- 2
4"x4" gauze pads-4
2"x2" gauze pads-2
Triple antibiotic ointment packets- 4
Alcohol pads-6
Sting relief pads-2
Cotton tipped applicators-2
Nitrile Gloves- 1 pair
Quick Clot Pack 3.5"x3.5"-1
Needle nose tweezers-1 set
Derma bond applicator- 1
4' of 1" transpore tape
10cc syringe- 1
Den temp temporary dental filling- One kit

Medications
Alkaseltzer- 3 packets
Tylenol- 4 packets (500mg each)
Ibuprofen- 4 packets (400mg each)
Vicodin- (5/3251) bottle left over from dental procedure, probably around 20 pills
Benadryl- 4 packets (50mg each)
Diflucan- 1 pill (150mg)

Repair Kit
Sewing kit: 3 needles, assorted thread, 3 buttons of varying sizes, 6 safety pins, small scissors
Superglue

Open to suggestions, see anything glaring that I missed?
Becca,

The only things I would change are the quick clot for the new combat gauze and I would add a z-pak on the longer trips, great broad spectrum antibiotic that covers plenty of bugs you can pick up that will make a long trip suck.
 

Goober

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Agree 100% that the Combat Gauze is far superior to the quick clot, but I don't know that combat gauze is available to the general public yet? I know you can buy Quick Clot anywhere now. For those that are not familiar with both products, Quick Clot is a powder that you pour into wounds, Combat Gauze is a roll of fabric with a chemicals infused into it that promotes clotting (long story short). The Quick Clot can cause an exothermic reaction and burn. I have heard that some of the new formulas have fixed this though. Combat gauze, if you can find it, is a superior product. But the powder is better than nothing, don't be afraid to use it if you have it in your pack, and need to control major bleeding.

If you do get the Combat gauze, make sure to know how to use it prior to needing it. It does have one unique requirement that is different from normal hemmorage control. If you pack a wound with combat gauze and it continues to bleed, you MUST remove the original gauze, then pack new combat gauze directly onto the bleed. As opposed to what you may have learned with normal dressings, where you would add a new dressing on top of the original. To be effective, the clotting agent in the gauze MUST be placed directly onto the bleed.
 

CtP

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This is what I came up with for our hunt. I think I'm gonna add some neosporin, benadryl, and super glue, but otherwise I feel good about it. Nice work Becca.

First aid kit

4 alcohol / 4 providone wipes & band aids vacuum sealed
1 trauma wrap
4 gauze
1 roll sticky wrap
Small bottle ibuprofen
Small bottle vicodin
Wilderness field guide

12.6 oz.
 
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Becca

Becca

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Thanks for the feedback everyone, I will have to see if I can get ahold of some combat gauze, though my understanding is that the new quick clot is a pouch that has the powder inside, and that this eliminates or at least reduced the risk of exothermic burns?? Can any of you guys confirm?

As far as the Z Pack goes, I suppose it could be useful, but I am nervous about the prospect of self administering antibiotics without the ability to culture an infection first. I have seen several patients who either self treated, or received broad spectrum antibiotics in the field without cultures (from the medics on fishing boats or cruise ships, etc), and they ended up with some pretty nasty multi drug resistant infections. Considering that i haven't taken antibiotics for any illness in at least 5 years, I think the odds of needing them in the field are fairly low...would be interested to hear others opinions, and whether they carry antibiotics or have used them in back country situtations.

As a general update to this thread, I picked up a a 2L silnylon bag to keep our first aid stuff in. Hoping this will help keep supplies dry (individual components are still in ziplocks) and be a little more durable than the gallon ziplocks we were using.

 

Goober

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Becca:

I heard the same about the new Quick Clot not causing the exothermic reaction. That being said, the popular belief is that the combat gauze is a much better tool than the powder. Not to say Quick Clot is not a good thing to have, but the gauze is getting alot of attention from the trauma communities (Tactical medicine and the military). Cleaner to fix up for the surgeons and more effective at controlling bleeding.

As far as anibiotics: I do carry them if I intend to be 2+ days to get "out". I can honestly say they have only been used once, and it was actually given to a kid in another cabin at a remote Ontario fishing outpost. The planes were grounded, and I gave them to him only after his dad OK'd with their Doc via sat phone. So, I do carry a 5 day supply. It weighs nothing, takes up no room, and could come in real handy. I figure if I ever have to start them when I am alone, I am headed out right then. With a group, it might keep someone able to keep hunting till the end.
 

broncoformudv

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Ok everyone here is the low down on Quick Clot.

Quick Clot is produced by ZMedica. They currently produce 8 different bleeding control agents that are all called Quick Clot. They no longer produce the granular powder that you used to pour into wounds due to it causing burns and it being a pain to get out of the wound in the OR, so if you have this throw it out and buy the new stuff.

Their current lineup all consist of a dressing of some sort that has been impregnated with kaolin "an inert mineral that does not contain animal or human proteins or botanicals" so no shellfish allergy worries guys and gals!
 

Sawtoothsteve

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I have not taken antibiotics for the same reasons Becca states. I do, however, take meds to treat symtoms such as pseudofed, nyquil gel tabs, Immodium AD, etc. I have used these more than once to make a bad situation better and saved the hunt. Very little weight and worth it!
 
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