I keep my first aid kit in a dry bag that is small enough to fit into my boat. It's still pretty big though. I'm a wilderness first responder so I have a lot in it. only put stuff in you know how to use.
here's what I have in it:
several types of first aid tape (cloth and paper tape for sure)
Tegaderm waterproof transparent bandages
Spenco 2nd skin (moist burn pad)
SAM splint- full size and finger size
a triangular cloth big enough to make a sling for an injured arm
CPR face shield
pencil and small notepad for recording vital signs
dental floss (for emergency stitching if needed)
sterile cleansing sponges
Antibiotic cream (betadine)
benzion tincture (sticky, will help bandages stick)
water syringe for cleaning wounds
bag for biohazard stuff- (bloody things, etc)
Emergency blanket (for hypothermic patients)- looks like it's made out of aluminum foil
solarcaine aloe extra gel
water purification tablets
antibiotics if you are going far into the backcountry (ask your doctor, they may agree to give you some for emergencies)
SAM splint (maleable (sp?) foam splint
kerlix (two rolls) this is sterile roll gauze that can be applied directy to a
wound or used to reinforce a dressing
2 X 2's (6-8ish) these are square sterile gauze pads
4 X 4's (4-6ish)
telfa pads (spelling?) these are gauze pads with a non-stick surface like
the center of a band-aid. best in the 2" X 3"? size
alcohol wipes (20ish)
a small syringe and sterile water would be nice to irrigate wounds.
p-cord (parachute) about 15'ish.
trauma shears, these are the cow's utters! the'll cut most anything and
cost under $10
lighters X 3 and some firestarter? what's a good firestarter? cotton
w/vaseline? steelwool? i'm still looking into this.
triangle bandage X 2 great for dislocated shoulder.
ready ice packs X 2 (the kind you smash to activate)
space blanket? (i don't have one)
a leatherman or such
small notebook and watch to document events.
THE KNOWLEDGE TO USE WHAT YOU BRING!
this seems to cover the basics of dislocation, cuts, contusions, abrasions, avulsions, lacerations, punctures, burns, etc.
let me know if i've missed anything
Dang... those are some really good kits. I carry most of the above but also some hard candy for someone suffering from low blood sugar. Also a packet or two of GU to offer someone after a rough swim. Helps them feel a little bit stronger.
Adventure Medical makes a pretty good paddler's first aid kit. Sure it costs a little more than putting it together your self but many items you want are not availible in small volumes at the store. Plus they give you a pretty decent manual. I carry the "Paddler" + a Sam Split, some survival stuff (fire, micro bivy deal, water purification tablets) all inside a small dry bay. DONT TRUST THE ADVENTURE MEDICAL DRY BAG, I've seen two med kits destroyed this way.
I'm gonna go way out on a limb here and say you're all silly. Some of these kits would be great for a M.F. Salmon or cataract trip, but for 98% of kayaking that's a lot of junk that can be inprovised if needed. I carry:
Slings and gauze are easily improvised with a shirt(s). Duct tape will work as kerlex, ace bandage, boat fix and a million other things. For splints try a stick. As for bandaids, tylenol, neosporin and such, it's really not that hard to tough it out if you're within a few hours paddle of a car and none of that is life or death. As for purification tabs, Colorado doesn't have any bacteria in it's streams (sans confluence) that will kill you. Girardia doesn't set in for two weeks. In an emergency drink the river. I try to only bring things that will make or break someone on the river. An epi-pen and anti-histamine will be the difference for an allergic bee sting, a CPR mask and gloves will be the difference when you don't get a stranger's blood borne illness, GU will be the difference for a diabetic and a head lamp, granola bars, duct tape and leatherman will be the difference if you break gear or get lost. All this stuff fits with a camera into a small Peli-case.
For safety, all kayakers ought to carry at least two lighters as well :wink:
first, a shoulder dislocation isn't that uncommon. there was an epic last summer on lime creek? where a guy had to climb out with a dislocation. i bet he wished he had a way to stabilize his shoulder (did he?). i'm not giving up my clothing for his safety. i will however give him a triangular bandage. it's no bigger than five 2 X 2's stacked together.
second, a laceration is quite feasible. do you want your buddies fleece wraped around a deep cut? i'd rather something sterile like kerlex. it's lightweight and can be squished down pretty small.
and lastly, have you made a splint for a tib/fib fracture? i've tried. and it sucked. the sam splint will get you moving a lot quicker.
most of this isn't needed for roadside runs but imagine something going down on lower south boulder, bailey or the encampment.
DanOrion's right on about the tampons - thanks to a "pins and clips" oar-rig setup, I dressed a 45-stitch wound with a couple of OB tampons and some athletic tape. I heard the nurses got a kick out of it down at the ER. OBs are really compact too!
In addition, I've got some of the little hand wipes from the gas station and some other stuff for quick cleanup of minor wounds.
I'll also second having Gu or some other quick blood-sugar fix in there for either diabetics or, more likely, hypothermic swimmers who've just been chundered.
While we're thinking about what's in our First Aid kits, how old is some of that stuff in there??? I like to start the season by going through my First Aid kit and replenish & change out out some of the things that are running low or getting old (you know - those latex gloves that have dry rot now, that medicine left over from 1995, etc.). I've started putting the date on the non-standard items (like new gloves) that I pack into my kit.
Spending a few extra bucks for a ProPaddler or some other specialized kit is worth it when you figure out what you'd spend at the drugstore to stock your own, and your time getting it all together. The flimsy Adventure Med. drybag seems to work OK for me - it gets a little water in the rolled part of the bag so I open it up to dry out the mouth of the bag after river trips.
Another WFR here... Diaper pins are really useful items. You can pin a sleeve to a shirt for an instant sling. I'm also a big fan of Vet Wrap which is like an Ace bandage but sticks to itself.
Regarding superglue and butterfly bandages for closing gashes, it's really not a good idea to close up wounds. Leave that to the doctors when you get back to civilization. If drainage is impaired you are asking for infection. Best to just use your vet wrap to attach a Kotex over the wound then periodically clean and redress.
OK McGyver's here ya go. Somebody cracks their head open days from help. Rinse with soapy clean water. Take a hair from each side of the cut and tie the wound closed with the hairs! Sutures a~naturale.
Prob be good if you could coax a back rub from the girls with the vicodin and
condoms in you tent later too... tequila might be helpful in facilitating that arrangement.
Seriously tho. Don't take anything with acetaminophen/tylenol in it if you're drinking alcohol. It'll rot your liver so quick. Lotsa liver failure from partiers
who pound tylenol the next day. Aspirin/ibuprofen is your friend.
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