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bistro

First Aid Kit

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My grandchildren have recently started backpacking with me. They are 6 and 8. How much First Aid gear do you carry? At present I am carring a kit with everything I could foresee as being needed. We are only on trails at this point but kids don't always stay on the trail if ya know what I mean. Any help would be great.

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2x2's, 4x4's, and 2" cling for bleeding; 2 triangles for sling and swath; sometimes a small SAM splint; epi pen if necessary; tape, and bandaids.

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the epi and benadryl are a great idea cause you never really know with young kids if they are allergic to bees. For all you know, they became allergic on the drive up.

 

maybe a helmet should be worn. I know I have thought about with my kid. I guess it depends on if they are boys or girls.

 

Good job grandpa! That is the grandpa that most of us wish we had.

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Don't forget hard candy like jolly ranchers for hypoglycemia and emotional crisis.

 

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Here are some pediatric specific suggestions and one non-pediatric one:

 

 

Some kind of first aid spray with lidocane can help take the sting/hurt out of an otherwise trip-ending abrasion for the little ones.

 

Band aids with cartoon characters really do go over well with the little ones, though you probably already know this.

 

Ipecac syrup and a plant identification guide.... (you see where this is going don't you)

 

+1 on the benadryl also.

 

Tweezers for splinters.

 

Also, please pack an asprin tablet. It's NOT for the kids, but it's for the other hiker you come across who is having chest pain or stroke symptoms (or even you!). It can be a real life saver. Everyone, should pack asprin in their kit. Even if everyone in your party is 20 years old, it can save someone else's life.

 

Off_Route

 

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Also, please pack an asprin tablet. It's NOT for the kids, but it's for the other hiker you come across who is having chest pain or stroke symptoms (or even you!).

 

Don't give aspirin for a suspected stroke!!!

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Also, please pack an asprin tablet. It's NOT for the kids, but it's for the other hiker you come across who is having chest pain or stroke symptoms (or even you!).

 

Don't give aspirin for a suspected stroke!!!

 

Actually that depends. What you say is true for 99% of the time, because 911 and help is close at hand. Unfortunately there is VERY VERY little we can to do help a stroke victim if they are not physically at a hospital within 3 hours or a stroke center within 5 hours of the onset of symptoms.

 

Most strokes are embolic strokes (blood clot in an artery of the brain) and asprin can help relieve these just as it does with heart attacks (also blood clot in an artery). Furthermore, the signs and symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke are different enough from what most people think of as "stroke symptoms" that it's not very likely that someone will give as asprin for a hemorrhagic stroke.

 

Indeed, if you are at home, or anywhere near rapid transport to a hospital it is best practice not to give asprin. Out in the woods, with slurred speech, facial droop and a lame arm, you bet it's a good idea!

 

Off_Route

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dude, if someone you know has a stroke in the backcountry, they're probably F'ed anyway, aspirin or not. Focus on something productive, like gashes and broken bones. Kids having a stroke while hiking (the topic of this thread), or randomly passing someone else in the backcountry having a stroke, seem like they might not really be the statistical probabilities you should optimize for.

 

For kids, I add the following stuff to my regular "gauze and bandages" kit -- bandaids (kids just seem to like them), blister-pads (worth every penny), extra duct-tape, itch creme, extra sunblock and children's Tylenol/advil/etc. and, last but not least, TWEEZERS. My kids attract splinters like magnets to a fridge.

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dude, if someone you know has a stroke in the backcountry, they're probably F'ed anyway, aspirin or not. Focus on something productive, like gashes and broken bones. Kids having a stroke while hiking (the topic of this thread), or randomly passing someone else in the backcountry having a stroke, seem like they might not really be the statistical probabilities you should optimize for.

 

Granted it's not as important as some of the other gear perhaps, and definitely not as likely to be used but what exactly is the downside to carrying one whole asprin tablet? Weight? Expense? Space?

 

 

Strokes aren't that common in the field but heart attacks are reasonably common. Think of say..... a grandpa taking his kids out and trying to keep up on a steep trail, exerting himself more than he ever does at home. Sound relevant to the original question? I think it does.

 

Off_Route

 

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Good point on the plant id. book I hadn't thought of that. They want to know names of trees and plants and I unfortunatley didnt have all the answers. I will get a book now. Thanks

The kit I ended up taking weighed about a pound. We got to do some repair work on Marley's thigh. Bozo the clown bandaide with a little anti ointment. The kids thought it was pretty cool having all that stuff and wanted to check out every little thing. Took 10 min to gather it up again but they got to see what can be patched up if I fall down. Gave them lessons on map reading and co-ordinate location from a GPS. They seemed to pick up the concept. As for compass, they were a little dubious about Mag. north and True North .We made it in a little over 3 miles and camped near Cedar Creek on the NW end of Bumping Lake. Great trip great kids great life. Thanks to all for the ideas!!!

Edited by bistro

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I'm also signed up for crp aed training and I thought maybe I should take the Wilderness first aid course at the end of July.Then I could teach the kids how to recue me. I'm gonna teach them that if I die on the mountain, cover me up with some rocks and don't tell anyone where I am.

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sounds like youre doing it right! Maybe bring a cattle prod and teach the kids to zap you back to life when the old ticker finally gives out on the steeps? :)

 

I think it's great you're doing this. I had a childhood like this, and it made me who I am today. Well, it made all the good parts of me, at least.

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Great book by Harvery Manning called Backpacking: One Step At a Time. Has a huge section on backpacking with kids. Should be easy to find a cheapo paperback copy in your area in the used bookstores or local library. If you can't find it let me know and you can have my copy.

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For getting started camping / hiking / first aid, it's actually pretty hard to go wrong with a Boy Scout handbook. All kinds of usefull stuff in there.

 

IMHO kind of like Freedom of the Hills for kids. :tup:

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I'm also signed up for crp aed training and I thought maybe I should take the Wilderness first aid course at the end of July.Then I could teach the kids how to recue me. I'm gonna teach them that if I die on the mountain, cover me up with some rocks and don't tell anyone where I am.

 

Best bang for your buck, right there...a Wilderness First Aid course. Of all the things I take with me into the backcountry, my brain is probably my biggest asset that holds the most useful things.

 

First aid kits are highly personalized and oft debated ad nauseam. Most of us believe that we are an expert in the field and have the right answer for it all. Truth is, none of us know squat. What works today won't work for the same exact situation the next day because it never is really exactly the same.

 

So what to pack? An education. The ability to improvise is the key to success.

 

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What? Planning a first aid kit shouldn't be that subjective.

 

Being educated is very important, but bring some tools with you so you can do the job. Its a lot easier to stabilize a broken femur if you have a roll of tape and perhaps a telescoping hiking / ski pole, for example; or to splint a broken arm or hurt shoulder if you have a SAM splint and some triangular bandages.

 

Sure, there's a fairly infinite amount of ways someone can be in need of medical attention in the backcountry, but minor trauma is going to be the most common, so plan for that. Abrasions, puncture's, avulsions, possibly simple fractures.

 

For major trauma, you should be able to make an attempt to stop bleeding, and perhaps stabilize a major / complex fracture or head wound. But really, for a major medical event or serious trauma you're pretty much fucked anyway.

 

 

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Make sure your supplies are in one location so you know exactly where they are. Practice opening the packets and then placing on a bandage. Burchfield says this can be a fun exercise with the kids. Read the instruction materials before you need them.

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Pack basic supplies to sooth their minor cuts and bruises, then take a Wilderness oriented aid course at the level of Basic, Advanced or to really develop confidence, the First Responder. The wilderness version of these courses will teach you how to take care of most situations encountered in the wild with appropriate supplies AND how to improvise should the situation dictate.

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