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chalkball

First Aid Kits

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I am trying to get together a standard Climbing/BC ski first aid kit - I started with a cheapo little REI kit and have added tape, ibuprofen and am looking for moleskin (where is the best place to find this?)

 

What are your requirements for a good kit?

 

(If this should go to another forum have at it.)

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Not sure what rei calls 'basic', but here are a few things I rarely find in FA kits that shoul dbe there. Not that pain killers are a 'neccesary' part of a first aid kit, but some people are allergic or opposed to some of them. Throw in some Tylenol or something as well. The kodine over the counter stuff works miricles but you need ot be careful who you give it to. Benedryl is a must for any kind of allergic reaction. If you are certified to administer them, epinephrine and a sucher kit really should be standard items, especially for climbing. A big (50-100cc) syringe has many uses. Glutose is usually in those already. Does it have a CPR face shield and latex gloves?

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What are your requirements for a good kit?

 

The answer to the questions depends on how much training you have. Not much use bringing stuff you don't know how to use.

 

That said:

Bandaids

SAM Splint

Gauze & Athletic Tape

Pain Pills

Antihistamine

Needle & Matches

Moleskin

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A bunch of gauze is always useful and light, or at least something you'd be willing to soak up large amounts of blood with. And an ace wrap or similar. Several pairs of nitrile gloves would be good, as once you get one set bloody, you can't do much else, and also you can give them to people to assist you. Steri-strips and Benzoine are a nice touch for minor lacerations (esp. on the face, when it will be a long time before you get out of the backcountry), but you need to practice with them. Don't carry too much, because in reality, there's just not much in a first aid kit that can help someone who is really hurt. You can improv. a lot if you are willing to get gear bloody.

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I am trying to get together a standard Climbing/BC ski first aid kit - I started with a cheapo little REI kit and have added tape, ibuprofen and am looking for moleskin (where is the best place to find this?)

 

What are your requirements for a good kit?

 

(If this should go to another forum have at it.)

 

Atwater Carey makes great FA kits. They come in many different sizes and such. Get a small kit, like a 1.0, and buy a Sam Splint and a digital thermometer ($7 at Safeway or Rite Aid) separately and throw it in there. Or just buy a 2.0, as it comes with the Sam Splint and burn supplies and more of everything (drugs, syringes, sutures, scissors, etc.).

 

They don't cost all that much, and IMHO you can get one of these for less than going out and buying everything in it separately.

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Shop for FA kits here as well. Atwater Carey kits from NOLS/Wilderness Medicine Institute. Good stuff!

 

I personally use a ProSeries 2.0, but then I belong to a mountain rescue unit and have WFA certification, so I know how to use all the extra stuff in there. YMMV.

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take a wilderness first responder course from Remote Medicine Incorporated in seattle. (or consult their website or chat with them directly on the phone) They are a terrific resourse and can set you up with all the neccesary supplies. Those kits you get at REI and such are a big let down and would be completely useless in any situation more dire than a nagging hang nail.

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Go super-fast and super-light.

 

Duct Tape (roll it up on your ski poles)

 

A bottle of Codeine

 

Its been effectively field tested.

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I agree with TBay. I wont bring anything I can improvise from stuff I already have. ie frame stays from your pack to make splints. Also consider this. Why do you need a thermometer. If the person has a fever you'll be able to feel it and treat with an antipyretic. If the fever is really high you'll notice somthing is not right and be concerned enough to get them the hell out of there. Just some things though expand your thought process for you kit.

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A lot of it probably depends on your group size. Going on a two-week-long backpacking trip with a group of 12 newbies? You probably want a big first aid kit. Going on a 2-day winter alpine climb fast-and-light with just one partner? You probably want the absolute bare minimum.

 

I'm no first aid expert, so take this with a huge grain of salt. I usually include emergency bivy gear along with first aid supplies, lumped under the general category of "stuff for when things go horribly wrong". Here is what I bring. Just my uneducated opinions:

 

Absolute bare minimum:

 

athletic tape

duct tape

knife

foam pad (built into pack, but removable)

band-aids (mostly large size)

alcohol gel

sterile gauze

pain pills (I carry oxycodone)

analgesic pills (tylenol)

needle & thread

sanitary napkin (absorbs blood well)

latex gloves

 

Also don't forget appropriate survival/bivy gear. This might be just as important as first aid supplies. No use splinting that broken leg if you are going to die of dehydration or hypothermia before help arrives. This varies a lot for different people, but in winter I usually carry a space blanket, stove & fuel, a shovel blade, and a homemade nylon bivy sack.

 

Stuff I would only bring on an expedition (two weeks or more):

 

thermometer

tweezers

syringe

first-aid manual

fancy splints and bandages

triple-antibiotic ointment (for animal bites)

silverdine ointment (for burns)

scissors

antifungal cream (nystatin or similar)

 

Like I said, I have no medical training whatsoever, this is just the list of gear I carry.

 

Moleskin? Not necessary.

Edited by Stephen_Ramsey

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get some feminine hygiene pads. they can absorb a lot of blood and stick where you put them which can be a big help while you wrap bandaging around the area.

my climb kit has those,

gauze

sam splint

couple of lemon drops (diabetics)

syringe

iodine

scissors

a few drugs

epi-pen

accident report form

basically just set up for tramatic emergencies, it packs down small and light, i have it in my backpack for all skiing/ice climbing/climbing trips

of course to buy the pads you have to go down the girl aisle

kinda scary rolleyes.gif

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Duct Tape (roll it up on your ski poles)

Good luck actually using the duct tape after it's been on the ski poles more than a month! Much less that to have enough duct tape to treat anything more than a small cut you'd have a monstrous bulge.....or putting duct tape directly on a wound....

 

Roll it around a water bottle instead - you get more, and it stays in better condition.

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A couple people have brought up glucose tablets (or lemon drops). I've got some sugar tabs from Germany that are mostly maltodextrin... any reason why those wouldn't fit the bill as an emergency sugar source?

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All the above plus a very good and small fist aid book (I like "wilderness and travel medicine" by Weiss) because when bad things happen, memory can come up blank. It also has a very good recomendation for med kit also.

 

For anything oversees or 3 days from a car, I would bring some drugs like Immodium. Diahrea can wreck you up if it goes on too long.

 

safety pins

vicodin (fun fun)

compazine

Edited by genepires

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For blisters, I've added the Dr. Scholl "cushlin ultra slim" blister pads. They are kind of thick and on the gelly side, and stick for days. Get a big heel blister, stick one of these right on to the blister (yes you have to pop it carefully and yes you'll probably have to soak it off) cover with duct tape, and live to slog more miles.

 

I swear by the stuff, though it's better not to get blisters in the first place.

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Duct Tape

4x4 sterile guaze pads

Bailing wire

Some idodine tpye substace

Drugs(choose your own adventure)

Sharp knife

Lighter

Bandanas

 

Most anything else seems like overkill as with limited resources and the potential duration of time before highly trained medical personal can reach you beliveing you can do anything other then stabalizing and packaging a person for transport is a joke. All this is in the top of my climbing helmet.

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GU.

 

People bonk on hard trips. GU is a good thing to toss in the kit. It's come in handy several times.

 

Also, I have a film canister filled with clay. You can get bentonite clay at PCC. It's sterile and forms an instant bandage for minor cuts and scrapes. Add a little water to form a paste for bee stings and bug bites. Add a tablespoon to a cup of water and it'll plug up the Hershey sqirts.

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hey chalkball,

 

do not underestimated the power of duct tape!

 

due to one or two people showing skepticism i'll provide some field experiences-

 

1.)

two days hike north of shelter cove (Lost Coast), my brother blows his take-off and gets the work-over by surfboard fins and wave. 4 inch long deep gash even exposing meat on the back of his right thight. What to do in such a remote area? Washed it down with fresh water, sutured the gash then wrapped the wound by wrapping around leg all with duct tape. 2.5 days later in Garberville, wound was unwrapped and the doctor amazed at amount of healing and no infection. (wound was then reopened and properly cleaned).

 

2.)

last shot of the day while day touring out by Fernie, we watched a split-boarder huck a cliff, land in less-than-optimal-terrain, and ride down the rest of the slope on his back. upon inspection, ankle was broke. dealt some codeine to him (OTC in canada), found a coupla sticks and splinted the shit out of his ankle with duct tape. and yes there was a sufficient amount of duct tape wound-up on ski poles. under his own power we made it out before midnight.

 

3.)

approached a party sittin' on their packs on the interglacier complaining they'll never make it to camp shurman. 3 of 4 members had boots off and bitchin' about hot spots, blisters, and raw flesh. "No i dont carry moleskins" was my response, "but what i do have works better." i peeled some duct tape off my trekking pole and gave each enough to protect their meaty lookin' heels and told them this is what i always use. well,look who rolled into camp before sunset, in high spirits! for the rest of the night they were testifying to all the other trudge-o-lites the power of duct tape, one was even showin' off his meaty heels...

 

i remember at a Jim Donini slide show, shown a slide of his damn-near-sliced-off finger he suffered while climbing a route in the Ruth with Couch. did they bail. in true fashion, Jim present another slide showing his finger dressed with duct tape. then he climbed another 1000 feet of finger crack and what not. once back at basecamp he removed the duct tape, Jim provided a slide showing the miraculously healed finger. so obiviously he decided not to call for proper medical attention.

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read some articles by lightwiegh backpackers. they have it down to a science.

 

it may have been stated above but knowing how to use what you have is the most important thing. get trained if you can.

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Another nice thing is a temporary filling you can get from most dentist. Anyone who has lost a filling far from medical help can attest to the misery.

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Another nice thing is a sink trap you can get from most hardware stores. Anyone who has plugged up the kitchen sink can attest to the misery tongue.gif

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the most important thing in a first aid kit is the soft stuff between your ears. training, knowledge and the ability to rationally think through a problem are paramount. Providing assistance to the extent possible given materials, location and skill level and improve the situation without making anything worse is the goal. Imo, that warrants some discomfort on my part by carrying a full kit and not relying on others to carry something I or my party might need in the event it goes bad.

take the gear that you feel comfortable with. I've had two accidents so I consider the weight well worth it. My minimum kit in my helmet is a quick bleed kit in a zip lock bag: 4 nitrile gloves, 6 4x4's, a roll of kling gauze and a tiny roll of tape. imo duct tape is nearly worthless for wounds and makes more of a mess in first aid than it's worth. it leaves residue all over the area which attracts dirt and getting it off without reopening a wound is tough.

My main kit is 2.5 lbs and it goes with me on almost all trips. Improvisation is obviously important, but some things are easier to carry, imo. I don't personally believe in lightweight bper altoid type kits because the injuries one can get climbing are generally going to be more serious than a backpacker can get.

I personally think MEC's empty kits are the best value. I've never seen a pre made kit that was cheaper than assembling the contents at a pharmacy and buying an empty kit. Galls.com is a good source for bulk first aid materials.

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