First aid kit

A place to chat about gear and the philosphy of ultralight. Ultralight bushwalking or backpacking focuses on carrying the lightest and simplest kit. There is still a good focus on safety and skill.
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light backpacking base weight less than 9.1kg
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extreme-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 1.4kg

First aid kit

Postby Kristin » Sun 25 Mar, 2018 4:30 pm

Ironically, my firat aid kit is the thing that I am finding hardest to cut down in weight. I know that I really only ever use band-aids, antiseptic, pain killers and antihistimines, but I cant seem to let go of the rest of the kit that I have put together (eg good compression bandages).
What does everyone carry in their first aid kut?
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Warin » Sun 25 Mar, 2018 5:11 pm

Yep.

I separate it up into;
Comfort aid - things that are not life threatening. Bandaids, etc These can be cut back .. but you may be 'uncomfortable' for some time after the trip.

First Aid - thinks to keep life going while waiting for responders to arrive. Pressure bandages. Some things can be made out of clothing - an arm support can be made out of a shirt and a safety pin rather than a triangular bandage. You still need the safety pin, that can also be used as a cloths peg.

Would be handy to list the stuff?
Pressure bandages - 2 off to bandage the length of an entire leg.
Saline solution - as a wash to clean wounds or drive leaches out of an eye --- 2 15ml
Antiseptic powder - I prefer powder as it tends to dry the wound
suture strips - to seal large cuts
Aspirin - blood thinner for heart attacks. (Note - don't substitute other stuff - get the real deal).
Safety pins - at least 3 large ones.


Comfort stuff
insect bite stuff - a cream - sprays take too much room and leak more
band aids - the larger ones .. can be cut down for smaller stuff
pain killers .. a few not a whole pack
antihistamines
non stick dressing.
tea tree oil

------------------
Do a first aid course. Preferably at least 2 days.

If your working on someone else - use their gear ... if possible.
If they are being evacuated they don't need their gear. If they are staying .. they should at least be aware of the use of gear to help them.

Shirts can be cut up to make bandages, sticks used as splints, towel as cushion for splints. Use water proof jackets/tent to keep warm - wind break.
Use the stuff you have to hand. Think about it before it happens.

Possible aids ... "Where there is no doctor" is avalible as a free download .. could be helpfull if your stuck with a patient for some extended time. Read it before you go.
PDF here 500+ pages so you 'll want a large download http://piero.com/piero.www/documents/1e ... 5f5a05.pdf
Last edited by Warin on Wed 28 Mar, 2018 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby taipan821 » Sun 25 Mar, 2018 7:23 pm

I am studying to be a paramedic, I have industrial medic qualifications and I am often carrying the large first aid kit during search and rescue operations...
that said, my first aid kit for hiking weighs 180 grams.

some tricks
- a sterile triangular bandage is both a bandage and a pad for bleeding control
- carry 10cm compression bandages only, no other bandage is needed, enough to bandage your leg
- a fabric medical tape (leukotape) is your bandaid, your moleskin and your tape to patch things back together
- saline is cool to have, but clean drinking water will do a better job (one gram salt to 1 litre of water = saline in bulk quantity)
- ditch the bag and go with a sandwich zip lock bag


hope that helps
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Gadgetgeek » Mon 26 Mar, 2018 6:57 am

I like fixomull or hypafix type tape and non-stick dressings for larger grazes and such. I find they are decently robust, not overly so, but you get a large coverage area.

I'm always adjusting my kit based on what's going on, and who I'm traveling with, as I might be the most or least qualified.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Kristin » Tue 27 Mar, 2018 5:08 pm

I did a Wilderness First Responder course many years ago (overdue an update). Subsequently hiked with medics who do bush rescue….hence…I think the large kit.That, and a year and a half ago I ran thru possible scenarios for my next multi day trip and rebuilt my kit accordingly.

Thanks all for you input. Happy to hear from more.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 27 Mar, 2018 8:46 pm

I think that in a group its valuable to have one larger first aid kit with better variety, and everyone else has a personal blister and boo-boo kit that is super light. That way you have the good stuff, and the weight penalty is shared by the group, as someone else can take a bit of the load. My personal kits will only ever get so small just due to my own paranoia (not worried about myself getting hurt, I know that will happen for sure) but also meeting up with someone who is in grief. If you go solo, you might as only carry what you can use on yourself, so mirrors are good, suture kit.... not so much I think.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby taipan821 » Wed 28 Mar, 2018 6:42 am

Gadgetgeek wrote:I think that in a group its valuable to have one larger first aid kit with better variety, and everyone else has a personal blister and boo-boo kit that is super light. That way you have the good stuff, and the weight penalty is shared by the group, as someone else can take a bit of the load. My personal kits will only ever get so small just due to my own paranoia (not worried about myself getting hurt, I know that will happen for sure) but also meeting up with someone who is in grief. If you go solo, you might as only carry what you can use on yourself, so mirrors are good, suture kit.... not so much I think.

I've been that 'medic' carrying the big kit....it sucks.
I always like it when everyone is carrying their own kit
1. my kit is lighter
2. if a walker has to pull out no equipment has to be reorganised
3. should something bad happen, the distributed system works out to be better than the one big kit.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Warin » Wed 28 Mar, 2018 8:23 am

Agree with taipan821 - one big kit is not the way to go.
Lost of problems with it .. for instance ; If the individual carrying it is evacuated .. what happens to the 'big kit'?

Each person will have different ideas on their kit - so with many people there will be something to use for any problem.

Add to my comfort list - tea tree oil.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby LachlanB » Wed 28 Mar, 2018 10:43 am

taipan821 wrote:I always like it when everyone is carrying their own kit
1. my kit is lighter
2. if a walker has to pull out no equipment has to be reorganised
3. should something bad happen, the distributed system works out to be better than the one big kit.


Yeah, but it has its own problems. I was on a walk of about 10 people at one point, and amongst the group we had about 6 PLBs and 3 satellite phones. Plus most of us all had pretty substantial first aid kits. You don't need 15 crepe bandages on one daywalk- no group is going to get that many snakebites.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Gadgetgeek » Wed 28 Mar, 2018 7:20 pm

Depends on your group, certainly. Most of the folks I walk with are more used to grouped gear, where as I know that if I was just showing up to walk with people I don't know as well, I'd certainly not rely on someone else remembering something important. Its certainly a worthwhile discussion, Its far better to know why a decision was made and ensure that it applies to you, than have some idea that something should just be done "this way" and not think about why. I can certainly see where you guys are coming from.
Once snakebites are looked after, its either minor, and you can just tape it if that's your style. And if its worse than a snakebite, I doubt a mini-kit would be offering what you need, even my 3kg extended kit isn't going to do much besides maybe keep you going until the helo arrives. But its always good to see what others are doing.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Strider » Sun 01 Apr, 2018 6:59 pm

LachlanB wrote:You don't need 15 crepe bandages on one daywalk- no group is going to get that many snakebites.

Hopefully this is a typo, but in case you’re actually carrying the wrong kit, it’s an elastic bandage that’s required for pressure immobilisation following a snakebite, not crepe.


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Re: First aid kit

Postby Warin » Sun 01 Apr, 2018 7:24 pm

Strider wrote:
LachlanB wrote:You don't need 15 crepe bandages on one daywalk- no group is going to get that many snakebites.

Hopefully this is a typo


15 carried by 10 people .. so an average of 1.5 bandages per person.

Agreed it is too many if your in a group. The group may not have the organization to have the first aid shared, so each individual has done their own thing as far as kit goes. Might just be that the kit lives in their bag for what ever trip they go on. So I'd not be too critical.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Neo » Sun 01 Apr, 2018 7:47 pm

Here is a photo of mine at 225g, instead of listing items.

Obviously some things that one could trim.

The knee pantyhose are for an extra leech barrier, the mini bandages and teabags are to stop leech bleeding (still untested).

A plastic mirror for something stuck in the eye. The silicone tape is for tent first aid!

Two panadine and two forte. Packaged in three small zip locks and a 1lt UL dry bag.
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Solo first aid 225g
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Neo » Sun 01 Apr, 2018 8:08 pm

Also have a Survival Fist Aid kits ready-made one, the car version at about 1kg.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby crollsurf » Sun 01 Apr, 2018 8:45 pm

First-aid is a personal thing but If its bad, abandon and get out of there. Worst case, fire off the PLB. We all pay taxes, don't be scared to use the PLB if it is potentially life-threatening.

PLB
Snakebit bandage with indictator. Dont want to take but had too many warnings not to.
Iburprofen, pain killer
Band-aids, 1 big, couple of small
Pawpaw Ointment, Vasoline for Aussies
Eye drops, 4x single use plastic vials.
Deet in small spray bottle.
Sunscreen, sometimes, in small tube for top of hands and if traversing snow.
Quick-eze.
Imodium, for the runs on longer walks. Thats just me and dehydrated food!
Creditcard penknife (sissors, tweezes, needle, knife)
Tinea cream, thanks North Sydney Pool.
Tough tape which I carry for repairs.
And probably the most important, dont take risks.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby roysta » Sun 01 Apr, 2018 9:33 pm

taipan821 wrote:I am studying to be a paramedic, I have industrial medic qualifications and I am often carrying the large first aid kit during search and rescue operations...
that said, my first aid kit for hiking weighs 180 grams.

some tricks
- a sterile triangular bandage is both a bandage and a pad for bleeding control
- carry 10cm compression bandages only, no other bandage is needed, enough to bandage your leg
- a fabric medical tape (leukotape) is your bandaid, your moleskin and your tape to patch things back together
- saline is cool to have, but clean drinking water will do a better job (one gram salt to 1 litre of water = saline in bulk quantity)
- ditch the bag and go with a sandwich zip lock bag


hope that helps
spot on


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Re: First aid kit

Postby roysta » Sun 01 Apr, 2018 9:37 pm

crollsurf wrote:First-aid is a personal thing but If its bad, abandon and get out of there. Worst case, fire off the PLB. We all pay taxes, don't be scared to use the PLB if it is potentially life-threatening.

PLB
Snakebit bandage with indictator. Dont want to take but had too many warnings not to.
Iburprofen, pain killer
Band-aids, 1 big, couple of small
Pawpaw Ointment, Vasoline for Aussies
Eye drops, 4x single use plastic vials.
Deet in small spray bottle.
Sunscreen, sometimes, in small tube for top of hands and if traversing snow.
Quick-eze.
Imodium, for the runs on longer walks. Thats just me and dehydrated food!
Creditcard penknife (sissors, tweezes, needle, knife)
Tinea cream, thanks North Sydney Pool.
Tough tape which I carry for repairs.
And probably the most important, dont take risks.
remember, many people react to inflammatories like Ibuprofen. Paracetamol may be safer. Also, 300mg aspirin tabs might also be good to have in there for walkers who suffer a heart related incident. It can reduce the risk of blood clots.



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Re: First aid kit

Postby crollsurf » Sun 01 Apr, 2018 9:56 pm

Cheers roysta. Walking solo you dont think so much about others. Guessing Asprin isn't great for a nasty cut so I'll swap out the Iburpren for Paracetamol and Asprin and to keep it simple, Paracetamol for cuts and bruises, Asprin for everything else.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 02 Apr, 2018 8:56 am

Taipan21’s POV is practical and realistic. Unless on multi day walks, only the simplest items are needed, the rest are often optional or can be improvised. Either one can’t walk and needs PLB (eg. Snake bite, fracture), the rest can pretty much be treated upon return to civilisation.
Just move it!
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Re: First aid kit

Postby taipan821 » Mon 02 Apr, 2018 10:02 am

roysta wrote:remember, many people react to inflammatories like Ibuprofen. Paracetamol may be safer. Also, 300mg aspirin tabs might also be good to have in there for walkers who suffer a heart related incident. It can reduce the risk of blood clots.


aspirin is an anti-platelet medication: it stops the clotting action of the blood and is very effective (its given by paramedics if problem is cardiac). so If you have a laceration be very careful! :D
carrying medication is personal choice and its for personal use.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Neo » Mon 02 Apr, 2018 12:33 pm

I have a kidney 'disease' and was told to not use anti-inflammatories including aspirin... perhaps due to the aspirins blood thinning qualities.

I go for pharmacy panadine being 10-15mg codine & 500mg paracetamol per tablet.

The forte is prescription only, usually 30/500mg. Apparently the two medicines can work well together and the codine can't be separated easily (illicit drugs). I carry 4 forte for that more serious occasion :(

Some people are allergic to paracetamol so ask first if you are giving any to someone else!

The liver converts codine into morphine, takes about 30 minutes to kick in then is excreted by around 4hrs. They generally say no more than 8 (x500mg) of paracetamol per 24hrs.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 02 Apr, 2018 3:34 pm

taipan821 wrote:aspirin is an anti-platelet medication: it stops the clotting action of the blood and is very effective (its given by paramedics if problem is cardiac). so If you have a laceration be very careful! :D .

It’s not that bad for lacerations. Only significant for major operations or trauma where the bleeding surface area is large.
Just move it!
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Re: First aid kit

Postby taipan821 » Mon 02 Apr, 2018 8:35 pm

GPSGuided wrote:
taipan821 wrote:aspirin is an anti-platelet medication: it stops the clotting action of the blood and is very effective (its given by paramedics if problem is cardiac). so If you have a laceration be very careful! :D .

It’s not that bad for lacerations. Only significant for major operations or trauma where the bleeding surface area is large.


I forgot to add the trauma part (trauma is somewhat run of the mill for me) thanks!
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Re: First aid kit

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 02 Apr, 2018 9:44 pm

No one carrying Glad Wrap any more?


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Re: First aid kit

Postby taipan821 » Tue 03 Apr, 2018 10:33 am

ChrisJHC wrote:No one carrying Glad Wrap any more?


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glad wrap does have its uses (great for burns) but you can improvise with the ziplock bag and careful application of a bandage and/or duct tape
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Re: First aid kit

Postby LachlanB » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 10:59 am

Strider wrote:
LachlanB wrote:You don't need 15 crepe bandages on one daywalk- no group is going to get that many snakebites.

Hopefully this is a typo, but in case you’re actually carrying the wrong kit, it’s an elastic bandage that’s required for pressure immobilisation following a snakebite, not crepe.

Partially typo, partially not. I shouldn't have added the crepe bit- there would have been a mix of bandages, and crepe bandage are a wide category of bandages.
My understanding was that non-elasticised crepe bandages (especially the heavy duty ones, not the nasty light ones) are still acceptable for treating snakebite, and groups like St Johns still recommend them as ok: http://www.stjohnnsw.com.au/snake-bite/
However that the new elasticised bandages were better?
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Re: First aid kit

Postby slparker » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 12:42 pm

The best practice guidelines for emergency care are developed by the Australian Resuscitation Council and the first aid organisations follow the guidelines. The treatment of snake bite has not changed since 2011:

"If on a limb, apply a broad pressure bandage over the bite site as soon as possible*. Elasticised bandages* (10-15cm wide) are preferred over crepe bandages, if neither are available, clothing or other material should be used. The bandage should be firm and tight, you should be unable to easily slide a finger between the bandage and the skin.
In order to further restrict lymphatic flow and to assist in immobilisation of the limb, apply a further pressure bandage, commencing at the fingers or toes of the bitten limb and extending upward covering as much of the limb as possible. The bandage should be applied over existing clothing if possible"

https://resus.org.au/guidelines/

my notes below:
*Note 1 - most first aid guidelines omit this step, probably because of the impracticality of applying some bandage directly over the bite and the rest of the bandage from the bottom of the limb.
*Note 2 - the 'setopress' bandage has squares printed on the bandage which offer a guide to correct tension. Be aware that the setopress is not designed for lymphatic compression nor snakebite treatment and applying the setopress as advised gives insufficient tension for lymphatic compression of bites on the leg.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby davidf » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 1:36 pm

People should not walk in groups of ten.
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Re: First aid kit

Postby Warin » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 2:49 pm

davidf wrote:People should not walk in groups of ten.

11 or more is good ... as is 9 or less :twisted:

6 is a fairly good number .. enough to cover each other, but not enough for more than one thing to go wrong at a time :?

Getting a bit beyond the kit here ----------------- Back to first aid ...

While one group will advise one thing to do for first aid .. another group will advise another.
Both bit of advice are a lot better than doing nothing. Which one is 'best' will depend on the circumstances.
The key thing is - determine what is life threatening and then act.

Oh the kit...
the 'setopress' bandage can be over stretched to rectangles applying more tension.... would that be enough for snakebite?
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First aid kit

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 5:41 pm

Have to say, after so many threads on FAK, the only commonality is the snake bite bandage (and PLB), the only item that will benefit in a life threatening situation. All the rest are of relative value and won’t alter any life-death outcome and can wait or be improvised. Suddenly, the weight of those FAK came down dramatically.
Just move it!
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