Monday, June 29, 2009

First Aid Kits

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that being out in the woods is not necessarily the safest place to be in the world but that certainly shouldn't stop you from going out and enjoying yourself in the wild. An important thing to always take with you, however, is a first aid kit. Now I know what some of you may be thinking "I don't need that", but I tell you its a handy thing to have around no matter what the circumstances. Even if you are just going on a day hike with your friends having a small supply of first aid materials can sometimes make a big difference. A first aid kit doesn't need to be a behemoth of a box that can weigh any pack down, but it should include a few items that can come in handy when faced with cuts, scrapes, and the occasional spained ankle that even the most skilled of mountaineers have encountered from time to time.

Now some people prefer to buy a first aid kit for their pack, which is perfectly fine and there are several companies out there that make a great wilderness survival first aid kits, but I'm a person that ends up carrying quite a bit in my pack and the lighter I can make it the better. I prefer gather up a few of the basic products, put them in a water resistant zip lock bag, and place the bag in a very accessable side pocket of my pack. One of the best packaged first aid kits that I've come across is this one below with these contents. This particular kit is very lightweight and relatively small for what all it contains.
(20)3/4"x3" Adhesive plastic bandages
(10)3/4"x3" Fabric bandages
(5) 1"x3" Fabric bandages
(2) Knuckle fabric bandages
(2) Fingertip fabric bandages
(2) 2"x4" Elbow & knee plastic bandages
(10)3/8"x1-1/2" Junior plastic bandages
(2) Butterfly wound closures
(4) 2"x2" Gauze dressing pads
(2) 3"x3" Gauze dressing pads
(1) 5"x9" Trauma pad
(1) 2" Conforming gauze roll bandage
(2) Aspirin tablets
(2) Ibuprofen tablets
(2) Extra-strength non-aspirin tablets
(6) Alcohol cleansing pads
(6) Antiseptic cleansing wipes (sting free)
(2) Antibiotic ointment packs
(2) Insect sting relief pads
(2) First aid/burn cream packs
(1) 1/2"x5 yd. First aid tape roll
(1) Sunscreen pack
(1) Lip ointment pack
(1) 2"x2" Moleskin square
(1) 6"x11/16" Finger splint
(1) Medium #2 safety pin
(10) 3" Cotton tipped applicators
(1) 4-1/2" Scissors, nickel plated
(1) 4" Tweezers, plastic
(2) Exam quality vinyl gloves
(1) First aid guide
Kit Dimensions: 7-3/4"x5"x2-1/8"

Usually I pick and choose from the above contents for my own personal first aid kit depending on where I'm going, what I'm doing, and the possible hazzards I encounter in a given area. If you are hiking or camping with several people I do recomend having a kit similar to the one listed above because the more people in your party the more likely to encounter accidents you would not expect when traveling in the woods on your own in an area you are familier with. Also don't forget to replace items when they have been used, you don't want to be stuck in the woods without bandaids because you used them all up the last time you were out. When in doubt its better to be safe than sorry.

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