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The Bend Hiking Group Message Board › First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits

Brandon
user 5971916
Bend, OR
Post #: 8
So over the past year I've been thinking a lot about First Aid Kits. It all started when I got thrown over my handlebars while mountain biking in summer 2009. I ripped open my "REI Dayhiking First Aid kit" and was suddenly struck by the fact that the FA kit had almost nothing in it to help deal with my bleeding. It had plenty of cold and flu medicine, tylenol, antihistamine, etc but nothing to deal with major bleeding or any of the common issues a person would encounter while actually dayhiking. I started looking at other prepared FA kits and found them all to be unsuitable. Then I came across a youtube video by a guy named "nutnfancy" while doing some knife research and he discussed how terrible most first aid kits are. Here's the youtube video:

http://www.youtube.co...­

Nutnfancy is both military & police officer, avid backpacker, and his son is an EMT and I think this guy has a generally good philosophy on FA kits, although I think he does throw out the baby with the bathwater with his kit. The kit in his video almost exclusively has to do with cuts. In my experience, the most common medical issues are the following in order:

blisters
cuts
sunburns & burns from fire/stoves
insect stings/bites
poison oak/poison ivy/poison sumac

and lastly in rare cases I've seen and/or experienced dehydration, hypo/hyper-thermia & fractures. I think a properly developed FA kit in the 8 - 16 oz range, which really isn't much weight particularly if you're leading a group of people could easily handle all of these scenarios. The main issue is cost. FA stuff is expensive. I think nutnfancy mentions that the total cost to get all the supplies for his FA kit was about $100. It really sucks when you just want 2 surgipads but you have to buy them in a box of 12 or 24. I've been working on putting together a custom FA kit and I was planning on putting one together this month, but that's pushed back a month so I could get some basic camping gear for the Sutton mountain trip.

Anyway, my opinion was really solidified when Aaron cut himself on the Eagle Creek hike and after talking to him I think he came to the same realization as well when he ripped open his FA kit. Buying an off-the-shelf FA kit provides a lot of mental confidence up to the point when you actually need it. Then you open it up and go, "oh shit".

Due to low income I haven't been able to getting around to doing this but I'm now planning to put one together in May. If anything at all I hope people, especially group leaders, at least take a good look at their FA kits and decide if they are properly equipped but also some of this stuff you have to buy in large quantities to set up your kit initially and you're left with a lot of leftovers. if others are interested the cost could go down if several people were to pool money together and split the FA supplies. Either way, I will be putting together a kit next month and if people are interested I'll put together a breakdown of what goes into the kit and the total cost.
Aaron
ssvoyager
Bend, OR
Post #: 56
Good topic Brandon!
I noticed in the Campmor catalog I just got had a lot of first-aid items. We/you should check it further.

http://www.campmor.co...­

Aaron
Brandon
user 5971916
Bend, OR
Post #: 9
I'll look into that. I forgot to mention that REI now sells "refills" for various FA items like individualized packets of burn jel/hydrocortizone/etc. It's $7 for 5 packets of burn jel compared to $25 for 100 packets @ Amazon so the price isn't as good ($1.40 vs $.25) but could allow an individual to build a nice kit w/o needing to sink a ton of money into a giant supply. Unfortunately, neither REI nor Campmor seem to sell Telfa bandages or surgical toppers. I think Walmart sells them in a pack of 12 and Amazon in a pack of 24.
A former member
Post #: 3
Adventure Medical makes good pre-assembled kits, and they're organized into different pouches by need (Burns, Bleeding, Breaks, etc). Depending on the size you get, they may also include basic tools like scalpels and scissors. Buying them through normal off-the-shelf means can still be expensive (I think the one I carry retails for $100), but if you keep an eye on Steep and Cheap, they have deals on kits fairly often, and I think I actually paid 25-30 for mine. The catch is that SAC will put up a deal until it's sold out, then change to a new item, and it happens several times a day, but they've improved the system so you can at least get an email with that day's upcoming deals, and you don't have to spend all day watching it like a hawk.
Brandon
user 5971916
Bend, OR
Post #: 10
Adventure Medical kits are definitely the best of all of the pre-assembled kits and if someone is going to rely on a pre-made kit, I would recommend Adventure Medical -- but I still find them to be rather lacking.
A former member
Post #: 42
A FA kit is very good to have wink How ever most people end up with way more things in their kit that they just don't need you found out Brandon. I know of "nutnfancy as I have seen some of his stuff but he has a different type of criteria for what he needs as it is way more of a combat medic type kit.

The best thing is to think/know what you will need and have just enough but not too much..

As always knowledge trumps gear/supplies because knowledge is always with you even when your gear or supplies are not, So knowing how to treat FA/BLS (Basic Life Support) and ALS (Advanced Life Support) issues in the wilderness is different than in a sterilized hospital.

So making your own kit to fit your style of out door adventures and know how is your best bet
Robert S.
RobertSpeik
Bend, OR
Post #: 26
Hello folks-
Brandon, good topic! Aaron, Ryan and Travis, good comments!

Here is my personal solution to the Essential First Aid Kit question:
http://traditionalmou...­

The basic concept remains, that each person in a group should be prepared for the inevitable unexpected situations, in part by having, in a light day pack, elements of the Ten Essential Systems, (sized to the individual and adjusted for the forecast weather, the duration and difficulty of the trip and other common variables). The pooling of individual gear (including first aid supplies) has mitigated many accidents and strandings in the backcountry.

My suggested list of personal First Aid supplies (to be carried by each person in a simple ziplock bag) is based on the experiences of my 40 years of teaching and taking technical outdoor classes, Wilderness First Aid Certifications and leading and participating in trips for the Sierra Club, The Mazama's, COCC, Bend Parks and Recreation and more that 300 summits large and small.

My Basic and Advanced students at COCC got together each term, purchased supplies and created their own "Kits" from the list, at minimal cost compared to the commercial First Aid Kits (that seemingly often spend more on the handsome, heavy, durable case than on the actual supplies).

Note that the Responsible Leaders Group First Aid supplies are also included in my List.

NOLS suggests each person carry a copy of an Accident, Illness and Incident Report Form. Here is my suggested Report Form:
http://traditionalmou...­

Feel free to download, print and carry these two documents.
--Robert Speik
A former member
Post #: 43
Just to make sure you all know There is no One kit that is the end all unless you are going to be humping around 100lbs of med gear biggrin and I'm sure not going to be that guy wink

As someone with Hemophilia will need different stuff in his/hers kit compaired to someone with diabetes

So all info you have read here or any place for that fact is a base line so to speak and you really need to have what you think is needed for your health issues and type of out door adventures.

If you have not taken or learned about CPR/1st aid,BLS,ALS,wilderness medicine,1st responder,wilderness 1st responder,primitive medicine and so on you should think about taking some class' or getting books and reading at least as it could make a difference in someones life some day.




See you on the trail


Robert S.
RobertSpeik
Bend, OR
Post #: 27
Hello Travis-
Very good points!

Hike Leaders (or the Hiking Group Guidelines) should be sure that any Participants with a health condition such as Diabetes, Bee Sting Reactions (anaphylactic shock), Heart Conditions, etc. will let the Leader know (privately) (and companions on the adventure too, know?) that they have a Medical Condition and carry a personal kit with instructions on specifically how to deal with their personal emergency: insulin or sugar? to prevent coma, an epi-kit in the top pocket of my day pack, "if I have chest pains help me take 1 (or 2 or 3?) 320 mg. aspirin tablets
from my first aid supply zip-lock in my Essential Systems day pack", etc.

Here is a common Participant Information Form usually required by groups such as the Sierra Club, The Mazamas, COCC, ONDA, Bend Parks and Recreation and more: http://traditionalmou...­

Hike Leaders and interested Participants should take available Wilderness First Aid instruction. This specialized First Aid knowledge is needed for accidents or illness occurring more than an hour beyond the reach of the Government Public Safety Net.

Interested folks can see photos and learn more about these classes here:
http://traditionalmou...­

If at least 15 Bend Hiking Leaders and interested Participants will make prepaid Reservations in advance, I will organize a special weekend Class in Bend with Wilderness Medical Institute of NOLS, as detailed in the photos shown above. Note that common First Aid Classes focus on helping the patient for up to 20 minutes, talking to 911, until the ambulance arrives.

Note that the Participant First Aid Supplies (kit?) that I detailed in a previous post weighs about about 4 ounces, the Leaders Group First Aid Supplies weigh in at about 12 ounces. (I usually get a "fast hiker" to volunteer to carry this extra weight.) smile

Note that the $5.95 booklet "Backcountry First Aid and Extended Care" is part of the Group Supplies: http://traditionalmou...­
--Bob Speik





A former member
Post #: 44
Bob, No disrespect but you are suggesting a lot of Legal cover your a$$ type paper work which is more suited for a business charging money for trips and not a group of people just wanting to enjoy the outdoors. Because by adding such things will just kill the joy of getting outdoors by making it more like work than fun to get outdoors with people who want to do the same.

Also pimping your business on the meet-up BB in my mind is in bad taste, unless you have Tom's permission and you might I don't know.

It's just my $0.02


Everyone who would like to further their knowledge I would suggest the RedCross http://www.mountainri...­ for any basic class needs or if you are really into this or just hardcore these guys are the Best.
http://www.owlsadvent...­



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