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Old 01-31-2011   #11
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 99
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 37
Since you can get your hands on pain killers, see if you can find some muscle relaxants for tough relocations too. Only with the proper credibility, of course.

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Old 01-31-2011   #12
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 600
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
duct tape and tampons (cause there's nothing better for stopping major bleeding). you can duct tape a tampon right on a big cut to stop major bleeding.
Thanks, I'm always getting nose bleeds, I think those tampons will do the trick. Just yanking your chain ( or strings ) but really, medical supplies are very expenses and good alternative ideas, always come in handy. Hope to hear of some more on this post.

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Old 01-31-2011   #13
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Actually, If you want THE most awesome and lightweight blood absorber- go with an Ultra Thin Maxi pad like the Always brand. They absorb a ton of blood, have a built in plastic barrier and weigh next to nothing. (It's also nice if someone needs it for other "urgent" reasons)
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Old 01-31-2011   #14
ngeoym's Avatar
Bayfield, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 109
Maybe some of this stuff.

CELOX® Hemostat Blood Coagulant - Blood Stopping Powder
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Old 02-01-2011   #15
Stiff N' Wett's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 446
Epinephrine pen, you never know who might be or who might have become allergic to stings. I was at the Doc awhile back and told her I do a lot of multiday raft trips and would like to have an Epi Pen for my first aid kit and she wrote me up a prescription no questions asked. Plus I don't to miss a chance to stab someone in the ass with one of those huge needles.
Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.
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Old 02-01-2011   #16
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,403
In addition to trauma, bone and joint, wound-care (steri strips and super glue are good additions), human waste, hot/cold emergency, and feminine hygiene items I keep 3 epi-pens, painkillers, over-the-counter products for every major type of ailment (cold and flu, diarrhea, upset stomach, pain, etc.), a prescription antibiotic, an antibiotic cream, and liquid antibiotic that works for eyes or ears. The antibiotics were recommended to me for multi-week trips by a paramedic I consulted when I put the kit together. For river trips it's a good idea to beef up the bone and joint stuff with extra SAM splints and triangle bandages. A CPR mask is huge too - it's not just about disease prevention, your victim will likely be vomiting. Check the contents of a high end kit on the internets and add items that people suggest in these forums.

I put the whole thing together, keep it in a red dry bag, and paid under $200 for its contents. It's more comprehensive than a comparably priced pre-packaged deal and because I shopped for each and every item (some at the pharmacy, some on eBay) I became much more intimately involved with the contents. I know what's in the bag and what it's for because I built a kit to solve plausible outdoor medical emergencies. You should do the same with your kit. Plan to do the shopping during or right after a wilderness first aid or first responder course. It's a great capstone to the learning experience.

The key is to make sure participants on your trips bring their own medications and minor first aid kits. This way the big kit only gets broken out for big situations and doesn't need constant band-aid and ibuprofen restocking! Also, things get lost on river trips. Boats flip and drunk people unclip stuff. If your comrades all had solid first aid kits on their boats you'll be much more prepared to deal with it.
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Old 02-01-2011   #17
dgosn's Avatar
San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
Chinook Medical Chinook Medical Gear, Inc - Your Source for Medical Kits, Tactical Medic Combat Care Products, Emergency First Aid Supplies including hemostatic, personal protection, coiled iv, tourniquets, evacuation and more! sells kits, but if you put an order together you can do a custom one. I find most premaide kits are a rip off, who needs 100 bandaids? Use clothe tape and gauze balls. Carry a bottle of peroxide and isopropyl instead of individual packets.

I have a huge kit with most things mentioned above, as well as suture kit, LOTS of Bendryl, and dental kit for fillings/crowns.

One thing that I find very important (rafts+booze+fire) is Silvadine burn cream, it is expensive, but I can attest it is amazing stuff, I have a functional hand because of it.

One place to look for cheap medical supplies is a farm store, I go to the Co-op for suture kits, needles, Silvadine, vet wrap etc. The stuff is exactly the same and sterile but cheaper.

Backboards are nice if you are able to actually stabilize the head/neck/back/pelvis.

Sport Climbing is Neither
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Old 02-01-2011   #18
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Nice to see most folks carry a well equiped kit. Most of the folks I boat with know I carry a fully stocked kit with me at all times.

A couple other items that are essential in my kit are sting-eze type wipes for poison ivy and a no-needle srynge to wash out a wound or flush debris out of an eye. Free at any pharmacy.
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Old 02-01-2011   #19
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Colotucky, USA
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,054
Thanks for the tips, we usually have kids with us (3-4) and with their parents and usually a couple of (ahem) slighty inebreated adults (myself included). I went through a weekender trip kit last summer and just feel to have a comprehenisve one along with the smaller one for cuts, slight burns and hangovers and have the big one for the bigger issues that might happen (and I pray that they won't) just to be prepared for it.
Please keep the tips coming
Who's your monkey?
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Old 02-01-2011   #20
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
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I have a rotating kit depending on my activities. My little kit remains in the creeker year round in a dry float. Remember that you don't really need a lot of crazy expensive stuff. Most good wilderness stuff can be improvised. I definitely don't recommend any of the pre-packaged kits - they're extra expensive and really don't have the true first-aid goods.

My little kit doesn't have any creature comforts because it's only for day trips. As such, you don't need band-aids, tweezers, ibuprofen, mole skin, etc. Instead I just carry things that can't be improvised in the wilderness and may be life/limb saving:

CPR Mask - an actual full size one that works - none of that keychain bullshit. I've used it and thanked the heavens I had it.
Duct tape - works to fix boat problems, tape on bandages and prevent blisters. Roll it around the middle of your paddle for easy storage.
Gerber multi-tool - has my backup knife, fixes boats and can act as tweezers for really bad splinters.
Headlamp - if you need a significant first aid kit, you'll likely be glad you brought a light
Lighter - see above
Drugs - I think the essentials are a significant pain killer (vicodin/percocet) for shoulder dislocations, an epi-pen and especially benedryl or other anti-histamine. I see lots of people talk about carrying an epi-pen, but never mention the anti-histamine. In a true anaphylactic reaction, an epi-pen will get a patient's airway and circulation back, but really only lasts 15-30min and doesn't actually fix the physiology. The anti-histamine will last longer and do a better job of keeping the patient stable. It's a must with any epi-pen administration.
Breakdown Paddle - with duct tape works better than a SAM splint for most all splinting and fixes the more common paddle-less boater.
Gauze/triangular bandages - These are handy, but definitely can be improvised with your shirt and the shirts of your paddling partners. Sometimes I carry them, sometimes I don't. A shirt is not as effective at stopping heavy hemorrhage as celox or even good gauze, but a hemorrhage that severe is very rare in our setting (much more likely around guns) and if you're in any kind of wilderness then you're pretty much screwed anyway.
Whistle - absolutely needed for communication in wilderness emergencies.

That's pretty much it for a day/overnight trip. For a multiday rafting trip I add all kinds of goodies, but they're pretty much just things that help you enjoy the trip in-spite of injuries. These won't save a life and hence are optional for long trips:

Vitamin Ibuprofen
anti-bacterial ointment
all sorts of bandages
SAM splint
loperamide (anti-diarrheal)
burn ointment
eye cleanse kits
cortisone cream for poison ivy
zofran for hangovers
IV fluids on long trips just in case

As other people have said, the very best thing is a really good first-aid course. Take lots of different ones over the years. Firefighters, nurses, paramedics, and wilderness professionals all will teach from a different perspective and have advice possibly overlooked by the others.

Team Jackson

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