Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
First aid kit contents
Display Avatars Sort By:
Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
first aid on 05/11/2014 22:55:52 MDT Print View

Good point Bob. Most of my hiking is in the Sierras even though I live in Arizona now. I have been doing more trips in AZ, but still up in the mountains, not the desert. When you say tooth aches for the there a reason those would be more common in that area?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: First aid kit contents on 05/11/2014 22:59:37 MDT Print View

If you are walking around in Arizona, sooner or later you are going to need tweezers.

And maybe a comb for the cholla.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: first aid on 05/11/2014 23:03:09 MDT Print View

No, I doubt that toothaches are more common there. However, if somebody were to be going continuously for two weeks in anyplace like the JMT, it would be awkward if the bad toothache or anything like that hit them on Day One.

I realize that treatment of rattlesnake bite has changed a lot over the last thirty or more years. However, you still want to consider what you would do if somebody got bitten badly and you were two or three days away from the nearest road.

Also, some high altitude expeditions will carry one Gamow bag as a lifesaving tool. But you won't likely need that unless you are going above 18,000 or 20,000 feet.


(ardavis324) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Re: Re: snakebite on 05/11/2014 23:16:48 MDT Print View

What would one do if someone in his party were bitten by a poisonous snake, 3 days away from trailhead?

edit: found possible answer here:

Edited by ardavis324 on 05/11/2014 23:21:15 MDT.

TKB 1979

Re: Re: Re: snakebite on 05/12/2014 00:18:40 MDT Print View

"What would one do if someone in his party were bitten by a poisonous snake, 3 days away from trailhead?"

The guy who runs this place will know: If I remember correctly his name is Bryan Hughes.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
First aid kit contents on 05/12/2014 00:22:57 MDT Print View

>> I worry about infection as well, but it will take some time for an infection develop and most likely you would be off the trail by the time that happens. <<

You might want to re-think that one. I always carry a prescription antibiotic ever since I had a problem on a 4 day trip. I noticed that a small cut on my shin went bad on the second day of my trip. Didn't even notice the cut the first day, it was insignificant, so it didn't get covered or treated. Second day it started to swell and feel hot and by the third day I had a serious infection underway.

The surprise to me was that by the third day, my ankle was swollen and I could hardly get my hiking shoe on and the last ten miles on the final (4th) day was difficult. The doctor said the infection in my shin was causing fluid to pool in my foot and ankle which is why I was having so much trouble. He said I was lucky I didn't wait another day as I may have been in serious trouble.

So a half ounce prescription provides some additional treatment for infected blisters, cuts and bites if they happen to go bad. Ask the pharmacist to write the expiration date on the prescription. Most of the ones I buy are good for two years.

The other thing I've added recently is more band-aids. Don't go cheap here (weight wise) because a few lacerations over the period of a week long trip can use up a lot of band-aids if you really need to keep the wound clean and covered.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
first aid on 05/12/2014 00:45:17 MDT Print View

The issue with carring perscription ABX is that they are organsim specific. Not any old abx is going to treat any infection. SO it would be luck of the draw that the abx you are carrying with you will work for your infection you have. In the ER, we rarley will perscribe abx for an infected wound untill we culture it, determine what is growing and then decide the best abx for the specific organism.

Band aids....ya I carry lots of these. Mainly because the edges of my finges always get very dry, crack and bleed at high altitudes. I dont buy the cheap ones either, I like the cloth ones over the pastic ones.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Snake Bites on 05/12/2014 00:49:44 MDT Print View

On the topic of snake bites...I hope most know that the snake bite suction kits are no longer reccomended for use, they can actually cause more harm than good, and have not been prooven to be effective in extracting the venom.

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Infections on 05/12/2014 03:44:24 MDT Print View

Infections are one of those ounce-of-prevention things from my point of view. It's much easier to use just a dab of triple antibiotic ointment over a cut/scrape right from the beginning, and avoid an infection all together. Trying to clear one up after it's started is no fun, whether one is on the trail, or suffering back in the comfort of their own home. One of those tiny packets can be folded over and taped shut so it will last for many applications.

I've also grown pretty fond of vinyl electrical tape for most bandage applications. It will seal up pretty well, and stretches to fit awkward knuckle situation, as long as you're mindful not to get it too tight. And it's multi purpose as well.

Speaking of agony, if you ever spend three days barely being able to see out of a watering swollen eye that you can't keep open, and not being able to sleep with it closed, from having a bug fly in it that you can't get out, a small mirror might make a justified addition.

Edited by Glenn64 on 05/12/2014 03:47:42 MDT.

Michael Gunderloy
(ffmike) - MLife
Re: First aid kit contents on 05/12/2014 04:41:13 MDT Print View

A lot depends on who you're hiking with as well as what problems you expect to encounter. Much of my trail time these days is with our Boy Scout troop, so I end up carrying a fairly heavy first aid kit to deal with aging leaders and exuberant boys. So glucose tabs, extra ibuprofen, burn dressings and extra moleskin all come into the picture. I carry a lot less when I'm out solo.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
antibiotic ointment on 05/12/2014 05:02:01 MDT Print View

Ya good point....abx ointment packets would be a good thing to have. But remeber that a dab of ointment doesnt replace having to properly clean and dress a wound.

AS far as things in the eye....a flushing syringe could help with that, and maybe even a morgan lense...but thats may be getting a little much for a basic first ad kit...

Edited by highsierraguy on 05/12/2014 05:03:26 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Morgan Lense on 05/12/2014 05:32:50 MDT Print View

" and maybe even a morgan lense...but thats may be getting a little much for a basic first ad kit..."

... especially when you consider the gallon or so of flushing solution.

Being an ER nurse is double edged sword ....

Edited by greg23 on 05/12/2014 05:36:44 MDT.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
morgan lense on 05/12/2014 06:27:28 MDT Print View

haha very true about the large amounts of fluids needed to flush with a morgan a pinch I was thinking you could use a 20ml syringe over and over again to flush the morgan.

Rudy R
(rudyr1999) - F
Med Kit on 05/12/2014 06:35:51 MDT Print View

band-aids: This is a comfort item. I prefer an SUL band aid (Scab).

2x2 gauze pads
4x4 gauze pads: I carry two large non-adherent gauze pads.

antiseptic wipes: You should have some sanitizer. This is not needed.

Surgical glue: I personally don't think this is necessary. You should have a small amount of supper glue in your repair kit.

sutures: I can see this used as a multi-use item (sowing/repair kit). Plus they hardly way anything.

Finger splint: This is a comfort item. Mother nature has billions of splints sprouting from the ground.

tape: Duct tape should already be in your backpacking kit. This item is not needed.

gauze wrap
kerlix wrap: I have no idea what these are, but they sound like comfort items.

ACE bandage: I don't think it is needed. If a TRUE emergency occurs where this is needed we all are wearing some type of stretchy synthetic clothing where it can be torn/cut and used as an ACE bandage.

Benadryl: Yes, you never know what you may be allergic to.

Imodium: Sure why not. It is almost as light as air.

Tape: You should already have duct tape.

mole skin: It is a nice comfort item to have.

10cc flushing syringe: A water bottle can perform the same function. Not needed.

To me, First Aid is a way to make sure you or someone else doesn't die before they can seek proper medical attention.

Edited by rudyr1999 on 05/12/2014 06:37:02 MDT.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
needed/ not needed items on 05/12/2014 06:50:53 MDT Print View

Id agree that a lot of those items are comfort....but part of backpacking is being comfortable and enjopying yourself. If you have a nucense cut on your finger or some bad blisters on your feet, it could really make a trip much less enjoyable. I think there are two ideas to first aid....actual emergency care, and that care of minor issues. Additonally, treating the minor issues right away can prevent them from turing into bigger issues.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: First aid kit contents on 05/12/2014 08:58:56 MDT Print View

6th video down

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Med Kit on 05/12/2014 12:26:26 MDT Print View

gauze wrap/kerlix wrap: I have no idea what these are, but they sound like comfort items.

A long ribbon of absorbent gauze, often used as a wrap to cover a wound. Probably most useful if you need the extra absorbency* or to build support** around an impaled object. If I need to use this it means something went very wrong, as otherwise a bandaid or steri-strips should suffice. (Sometimes you can substitute tape and a gauze 4x4 instead.)

* You can swap in a cotton tee or bandana, but most synthetic hiking clothes don't do well in terms of absorption.

**An exercise that ends up using far more rolls than you're likely to have on you. Again, a cotton tee might suffice.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Med Kit on 05/12/2014 12:44:14 MDT Print View

"Again, a cotton tee might suffice."

Wait a second! In the hypothermia class, they taught us that Cotton Kills. Now you are telling us that it is a lifesaving item. I get so confused.


Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Med Kit on 05/12/2014 13:16:55 MDT Print View

Only the weak, Bob. Cotton only kills the weak.

Real Men(tm) do like Wim and self-regulate.

Mark Haffner
(markhaffner) - M

Locale: PNW
First Aid on 05/12/2014 13:18:57 MDT Print View

Two main things to consider. You want to take care of cuts and burns. Second you want to be ready for a couple of bad things.

A couple of 2x2s, and 4x4s, some duct tape, with small amount of hydrogen peroxide will handle almost all lacerations or burns. Antibiotic ointment has been shown to not be very effective in preventing infection. A good scrubbing with clean water, couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide (goes a long ways if you are careful) and clean 2x2(s) or 4x4(s) topped with the cleanest piece of material you have. Can all be wrapped with strip of stretchy clothing if needed. a 2x2 and piece of duct tape is just as good as a bandaid. Alcohol based hand cleaner (Purell) works well also.

For the bad things, systemic infections, GI infections, and allergic reaction/anaphylaxis are the big three that can be somewhat treated. Everyone should carry a few benadryl. Will take care of most minor allergic reactions, and help in a more serious reaction. If you have ever had a serious allergic or anaphylactic reaction in the past you should consider carrying an Epi-pen. Lifesaving. I agree with a previous poster that normally you wouldn't start an antibiotic until the bug is identified, but if you are three days out a good broad spectrum antibiotic (probably best is a cephalosporin) is probably a good thing. Wash your hands and treat your water to prevent Giardia and other GI bugs. Won't know you are infected until it "hits" A couple days of flagyl will help you get back to civilization.

So here's my suggestion:

3- 2x2s, 3- 4x4s, small bottle of Purell (in kitchen kit), small bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 5- 25 mg benadryl, 3 days of a broad spectrum antibiotic, and three days of flagyl. If you have a history of serious allergic reaction or anaphylaxis carry an Epi-pen. Couple of ozs at most.