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Old 09-21-2013   #1
SpeyCatr's Avatar
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 267
First Aid & Training

What type of first aid kid do you have or carry with you while drifting if any? Also, do you have any specific first aid training that you recommend?

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Old 09-21-2013   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,911

I don't driftboat, but raft whitewater. Understanding you're asking about what you need for drifting:

Lots of rafters I know carry something like the NRS Pro Paddler first aid kit as a starting point for day trips, overnights and for each boat to have on multi-day trips. It's got lots of things you'd want and can be supplemented with extra tape, trauma bandage(s), extra meds, CPR mask, etc. when desired. Folks going on more significant trips will want a much more comprehensive kit with the group.

For training I personally think everyone should have at least Basic First Aid & CPR as a start, then move up to Advanced.

They say most boating accidents happen within 10 feet of shore, so I'd expect your risk rises when you pull over to shore, tie up, and go wading. And you never know when you'll be the one rescuing yahoos that didn't bring anything.

Others may chime in with more comprehensive recommendations.

Be safe out there,


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 09-21-2013   #3
I'm right 50% of the time
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Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
Most of us on this forum are white water enthusiasts. Thus, we may have different need for first aid in that respect. White Water kayaking can involve different first aid needs from day trip white water rafting (class III and above) and more comprehensive for expedition white water rafting or kayaking. I would encourage everybody on the river to have a basic kit and supplement that for what you see as possible injuries and issues. I would also encourage you to carry a pin kit if you are running any white water. Having a basic knowledge of first aid and rescue is paramount. That means taking classes and practice. Certifications in Basic First Aid, Advanced First Aid, Wilderness First Responder and Swiftwater Technician I and II are great.

Adventure Medical Kits is a great place to start. Get an ammo can to put it in on your boat.
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Old 09-21-2013   #4
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 265
I actually carry two--generic little stuff in my rescue vest and a near triage kit in my boat. We do overnight stuff so having a bit of everything pays off.

As for training, my brother is an EMT and instructor so I just pick his brain when I can. First Aid and CPR I've had, and I can see you up pretty good.
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Old 09-21-2013   #5
GAtoCSU's Avatar
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 696
You really don't need all that much to be worth while in the wilderness. A basic first aid kit + some basic training (CPR and First Aid) is all you need. Learn some basic skills and hope that you never have to do anything invasive in the field. I'm a doctor and my first aid kit fits in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag that I carry in my dry bag. Even the wilderness kit (like going to Africa) can fit in something this size, and that's with a full kit worth of invasive gear too.

The "KISS" deal is a good motto when you're in the wilderness, whether you're a basic first responder or a neurosurgeon.
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Old 09-21-2013   #6
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
I second GAtoCSU. Training trumps stuff. I think a wilderness first aid or wilderness first responder that has a good emphasis on austere environments is key.
My kit is made up of the things that I think I can't improvise, that can care for minor issues, and that will allow me to either prevent an evacuation or stabilize until an evacuation. My "major" kit lives in a regular ammo can, and contains a small dry bag with my "minor" kit for hikes.

Really bare bones: tape, safety pins, a knife, ibuprofen.
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