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What do you carry for First Aid?
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Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: quikclot on 02/02/2013 12:12:19 MST Print View

I don't know if quikclot is truly worth bringing. I have glanced a hatchet off a log and struck myself in the shin, not causing a cut but rather a 2 inch long by .5 inch wide split in the skin because of the force the blade put against my skin down to the bone. I sterilized the wound, wrapped it with a gauze pad and butterfly bandages and athletic tape, and then wrapped the whole thing with an ACE bandage. I then walked on it for 2 days before getting home (changing the bandages every 4 hours or so). Healed up just fine without stitches, even though they probably would have been helpful. Just goes to show what proper pressure treatment can do for a pretty significant backcountry boo boo.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Yeesh on 02/02/2013 12:23:58 MST Print View

That settles it: as part of a responsible first-aid kit I am never buying a hatchet.

Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: Yeesh on 02/02/2013 12:29:37 MST Print View

In all fairness I was drinking when this happened. So really the lesson is never hike in with whiskey in your first aid kit, start drinking, and then try to use sharp tools in violent chopping motions.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Scar? on 02/02/2013 12:53:44 MST Print View

What's the scar look like?

Oh Fool
(dansol) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal
re:: on 02/02/2013 13:50:31 MST Print View

Hey everyone! Great thread, really cool to see how everyone approaches their FA kits. I have been working as a W-Paramedic for about 5 years now. For personal trips (5+ days) I usually only bring whatever can not be easily improvised in the backcountry.

-Manufactured Tournique
-Irrigation Syringe
-Bag Balm
-Triple AntiBac Ointment
-Sterile 4x4
-Variety of Tapes for Blisters
-Basic OTC and Rx Drugs

Some cool products that I have come across that work well in the backcountry are: 3M Medipore and Micropore tapes (breathable), Leuko Tape (super strong adhesive, so strong in fact it might cause irritation/rash so watch out!), J+J Inadine (basically a Iodine impregnated wound dressing), J+J Multiday Pad (a dressing that breathes so it doesn't need to be changed...really only useful if your 5+ days away from definitive medical care)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

On my way to Better First-Aid on 02/02/2013 14:53:06 MST Print View

First Aid

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
arterial flow on 02/02/2013 14:57:59 MST Print View

The answer about Quik Clot is that yes, it will help to slow arterial flow; that's what it's designed to do. Research study cut the femoral artery on 20 anesthestized pigs; 10 got the quik clot bandage, 10 did not, just a regular bandage, as the control group. 9/10 pigs with quik clot survived; 2/10 without the pad survived in the control group. Small numbers, but fairly telling.

I believe it was designed to help reduce casualty death numbers in Iraq or Afghanistan. Get the bleeding stopped quick and get them to medical help.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Yeesh on 02/02/2013 15:50:42 MST Print View


"That settles it: as part of a responsible first-aid kit I am never buying a hatchet."

Good move!

Watch this 5 year old 29 second video and you'll see how to process fire wood without a hatchet.

All you really need is a 3 1/2" to 4" "sturdy" fixed blade knife and a little practice.

A Mora will work but among my collection of knives my $16.95, full tang, fixed blade Remington would be my go to.

Remington fixed blade

It's ultralight heresy I know but it is what it is. ;-)

Party On,


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Best Band-aids on 02/02/2013 17:11:46 MST Print View

I use Coverlets because that is what I've always had at places I work.. ie free. I don't think they are anything special and if I have time I usually throw a layer of stretch tape over it. They definitely don't like to stick when someone is sweaty. Football and other "get them back on the field" cuts i'm doing a piece of gauze and stretch tape and in 20 seconds they are on the field. More time I do bandaid and white or stretchy over it.

steri strips are definitely worth having to close up cuts that are suture worthy. If you get good at it, you can close up the edges and it will heal without stitches.

my not so light FAK ;)kit

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What do you carry for First Aid? on 02/02/2013 17:25:51 MST Print View

- Brain encased in thick skull
- 1st Aid Ointment in foil pouch
- 1st Aid Towelettes
- 2" X 2" gauze
- 5 Advil in 'pill pouch'
- Leuko Tape
- Medium Band-Aids (4 ea)
- Ziploc baggie

I don't consider water purification tablets or DEET first aid. But I bring them as the trip dictates.

I could do minor stitches if necessary with a needle and floss. I did this a few times when I was a mechanic, since I was paid by how much work I produced and it cost me too much in lost wages to go to the ER.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Yeesh on 02/02/2013 17:31:08 MST Print View

Hatchets are notorious for injuries because of their short handle length. They are like an extension of your hand. Anywhere you hand can go, the sharp edge of a hatchet can go. You can get some really crazy glancing blows that can send your hand towards many different parts of your body like your thigh or foot.
I consider tomahawks to be much safer because of their long handle. Anything with a handle length around 19 inches (like the granfors bruks small forest axe)is very safe provided that you chop while kneeling. It allows a 2 handed group which further limits your swing and the length is sufficient enough that any glances go directly in the ground. 19 inches is probably the safest length for any axe, provided that you always use it kneeling. 10-12 inch hatchets are the most dangerous.
Then there are 26 inch boys axes that are very safe, provided that you always keep the edge of the axe more or less parallel to the ground when bring down crosscuting chops. But really, a 26 inch axe is way overkill for most backpackers outside of winter.

Either way, these tools can be safe to use if you follow certain rules, pay attention at all time, and don't do ridiculously stupid things. 95% of all edged tool injuries are going to be from doing something completely stupid. With safe use you can use these tools for your entire life and a serious injury is unlikely to ever happen. But it still can happen and create extremely bad injuries.

Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: Re: Yeesh on 02/02/2013 17:34:14 MST Print View

I only really carry my hatchet (Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet) in winter and/or cold shoudler seasons when I process a large amount of firewood, other than that I only carry my Mora Bushcraft knife in the backcountry, along with a Victorinox Swiss Army Classic for the scissors (an absolute MUST for my first aid kit) and the small blade is good for food processing. The tweezers are also okay for splinter removal, not super great but better than nothing. I'm a big fan of campfires and splinters are inevitable, at least in my case. I'll also stand by my ACE bandage selection, its not especially light or small but I never see it on first aid lists and I love its ability to bind a wound and keep the area clean.

@ Max,
I'll find my wife's camera and post a picture of the scar. It healed down to about an inch long of visible scar tissue but it's still at least an 1/8th inch wide. In retrospect skipping the stitches probably wasn't a wise decision.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Yeesh on 02/02/2013 17:42:37 MST Print View

lol.. folks on here are carrying knives that are in the 1-2oz range.. people who carry hatchets are on their own.. i'm not packing extra FAK stuff for them.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Hatchets? on 02/02/2013 19:05:06 MST Print View

Just out of curiosity.... I'm wondering why you guys are carrying hatchets?

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Hatchets? on 02/02/2013 19:13:41 MST Print View

Because zombies.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Hatchets? on 02/02/2013 22:49:16 MST Print View

Building a frame for your tarp out of wood poles so it can withstand the heaviest of snow, cutting green conifer bows (please, only from naturally knocked over trees) for ground insulation, building a natural shelter, carving tarp stakes, pounding in tent stakes, splitting wood to get dry kindling in wet/frozen conditions, de-limbing dead fallen trees so you can lay them on a fire easier, laying up a big stack of dry wood for an all night fire, splitting a piece of wood for a flat surface to plank cook on, carving things like spoons for fun, and more.

All of the things listed can be done in the right location and right situation without leaving a significant trace or having a negative impact on the environment around you.
I realize that 99% of the users on this forum have no interest in doing the things I just listed. I enjoy doing bushcrafty stuff and it gives me flexibility. Doing more with less.
A folding saw and knife is generally a more practical option and very safe, especially if in the dark.

This got really off topic.

Edited by justin_baker on 02/03/2013 02:42:43 MST.

steven franchuk
Differences between Celox and Quickclot on 02/03/2013 03:53:23 MST Print View

There have been a few comments on Quickclot and Celox. Note that both of these are clotting agents designed to stop beeding. Although they both do the same thing, they are not the same.

Quickclot is a mineral that reacts with blood to stop bleeding. It was released in 2002 and was the first commercial clotting agent. Unfortunately it was not perfect. The reaction generates heat. IF too much of the powder contacts too much blood it can cause burns. If any lands in the eye it can cause eye injury. Also later a doctor may have to reopen the wound to remove it. Due to these issues it was changed twice. The current version, Combate Guaze, uses a different mineral to limit the heat. Also it is only available in a gauze bandage so that removal is easier after the injury has healed. It is no longer used by the military but it is still on the market.

Celox was released in 2006. Is a dry gel powder that is pored into the wound. Blood sticks to it stopping blood flow. It does not generate heat when it contacts the blood and it doesn't have to be removed. The body over time converts it to a glucosamine. A type of suger the body uses. It has been uned extensively in Afghanistan and is effective on people that are on prescription blood thinners. It is available as a powder and in guaze pads.

Celox and Quickclot do not replace the need for direct pressure, elevation and other beading control methods. Use all methods available to stop serious bleeding.

I am on blood prescription thinners and I carry it Celox in my first aid kit. fortunately I have not needed it. I also carry a Personal Locator Beacon in the event medical help is required.

Edited by Surf on 02/03/2013 03:58:15 MST.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Differences between Celox and Quickclot on 02/03/2013 12:37:11 MST Print View

It is no longer used by the military but it is still on the market.

Details? I'm curious, as the (US) TCCC guidelines still list Combat Gauze as the preferred agent. Err... unless you are in the UK, as I think the UK MoD has gone with Celox Gauze for their preferred agent.

Digging more into it, it looks like the Celox gauze performs at least as well, and the Celox powder also looks quite capable. I believe some of the reason for going to a gauze is that powder and high winds don't mix well, plus the wound orientation needs to support pouring.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Back to Baton on 02/03/2013 14:44:39 MST Print View

Newton -- thanks for the video.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
what do you carry for First Aid?" on 02/03/2013 19:01:04 MST Print View

Max: band-aid advanced blister healing cushions: the cat's meow. One of these over the blister, leukotape over the cushion. Done. Sometimes I add a moleskin--probably with a diamond cut-out in it's center--over the cushion, then leukotape. The band-aid instructions actually advise you to leave the cushion on for several days. I have, and it works for me.

p.s. it's advised that you use the palm of your hand to warm the cushion for a minute or two to help with adhesion to the skin.

Edited by book on 02/03/2013 19:02:25 MST.