Originally Posted by dirtbagkayaker
Hey Morbald, Like your thinkin but, I can't fit all that in my kayak. What do you think are the top 10 items needed in a first aid kit? How do you carry them? Where do you carry them? As a kayaker these are the things that plague us before every trip.
I can see how that is an issue. I would start by getting a raft, a good oar frame, and a rocket box that you put somewhere by the rest of the bags.
Most of the trips I've done have been with rafts, so I'm not sure exactly how much space you have in your kayak for a first-aid kit. We usually use ammo cans for the kits (the narrower 7.62 ones will hold plenty for a good kit if you organize it well. I've also seen someone use a Nalgene water bottle as they are compact and waterproof.
There are a few basic things to bring, but you should always adjust what you bring depending on the preexisting conditions of members of your group.
Also bear in mind that I don't do a lot of day-trips, so I plan to have to take care of an injury for up to a week.
Here is what I would bring (in no particular order)
Simple bandages (I usually make sure that I have a few larger ones) don't take up too much space, and they can make life a lot more comfortable for the most common scrapes and lesions.
2) vet wrap
This stuff is like an ace bandage, but is self adhering. It can be used as a compression wrap for sprains or to be a bandage for more major wounds.
This stuff has a lot of uses, but make sure you read up on it before you throw it in your kit. It can help in emergencies with major allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), cardiac arrest, severe asthma attacks that are unresponsive to other treatments, and it is also a vasoconstrictor, so it can slow major bleeding temporarily while you work to patch the victim up.
For me this works very well as both a pain med to take the edge off of an injury. It also works as a fever suppressant and anti-inflammatory.
5) duct tape
This stuff is just good to have on hand for everything. You can use it for splints, and for bandages if you have to.
6) rubbing alcohol or iodine
Topical antiseptics should be used whenever you have open wounds before you bandage them up. Preventing infection makes recovery much faster.
7) antibiotic ointment
Along the same lines as the alcohol, anything you can do to keep infection out helps.
8 ) scissors
Just a convenience
9) suture materials
I would only bring this if you know how to stitch a wound up. I've heard of some people just bringing a sewing kit, but it's worth it to buy a sterilized needle and nylon suture thread in a packet. Make sure you have a set of forceps (the kind that look like pliers and lock by the finger loops) for stitching.
10) permanent marker
This is useful for major emergencies to write anything you've done to the victim along with times of injury and treatment for doctors or emergency responders when they get him. (Standard protocol is to write on the victims arm or forehead, but wherever is visible works).
Beyond that just make sure to keep calm, know your limitations, have plenty of water, and use common sense.