This week on TMS we talked about First Aid kits. One common demoninator the is seen a lot in kits is. WAY TO MUCH IN IT. A lot of goods folks try to cram everything thwy can and end up with a kit tat is stored in a Large ALICE pack and weighs as much as a T-10 parachute. Is that a bad thing? No. Not really. The issues I see are weight. And complexity.
Having a lot of extra medical supplies is good. For barter or to have so in case someone happens along that knows how to use them. The issues I see with it is a person intent on helping someone is presented with a bunch of medical supplies they know nothing of and the risk of do more harm increases My “Jump Bag” is modeled after the US Army M5. But with out the drugs. When I do carry meds with me they are NEVER in the pack.To much danger of being stolen and falling into have.
I advocate 2 personal first aid kits. One a basic kit with items all will need on the trail. And instead of re inventing the wheel
I’ll list my scouts basic kit. Adhesive bandages 6 2 small 2 med and 2 large Sterile gauze pads, 4×4 3 each Adhesive tape 1 small roll Silk tape Moleskin, 3-by-6 inch 1 Soap 1 small bar or hand sanitizerr Neosporin 1 small tube Scissors 1 pair Gloves 1 pair Mouth-barrier device Plastic goggles or other 4 each Tylenol or Motrin 2 each Benadryl 1 roll of Tums or Rolaids 1 tube of GEL type super glue 2 feet of duct tape wrapped around a pencil .
This little kit is cheap to put together and covers 90% of the minor cuts scrapes and splinters Scouts and well any one will do in the field. This fits PERFECTLY in a old M16 ammo pouch and clips securly to a belt. This kit is designed to be diped into as needed and refiled as available.
The next personal kit is what is know in the business as a “blow out kit”. It is a one time use kit , This is designed for big holes, cuts or missing parts. It is NOT an everyday use kit. This kit is normally carried in the day pack or back pack.
Quick Clot Gauze Israeli or “H” compression bandage
Compressed field dresing
1 Nasal pharyngeal tube AND #90 ORALpharyngeal tube. I am not a big fan of the NPA tube, but there are times when it is a better choice then the OPA tube
HALO ™ Chest Seal.
Decompression Needle. 16 gauge (This needs training on how to use. Just guessing is not good enough)
CAT tourniquet (http://combattourniquet.com) My kit carries this one but I am condsidering replacing ti with the new
RATT tourniquet.( http://ratstourniquet.com) It is abou 10 bucks cheaper and is a true one handed touniquet.
1 pair Trauma shears
This one is vacuum sealed to make it as small as possible. I get mine down to about 3″x4″x6″ It’s done in 2 layers.the inner is a heavy ziplock bag not fully closed and then it’s put into the vacuum eal bag
Herbal First aid.
It’s is actually easier the it sounds.But it des bulk up the kit a bit. Just replace the drugs in the kit with their herbal counterparts. For the pain relievers I carry tinctures of Wilow bark and /or devils claw, For the Benadryl Elderberry has shown promise in opening the sinus passages . I have also read some studies that show Valerian is useful in relaxing bronchial spasm of Asthma Stomach issues I head to Mint, Ginger and Chamomile. And for topical anitbiotic wound wash Oregon grape roo tincture mixed with water or Colloidal silver. For he most part I carry concentrated tinctures instead of the loose herbs. I am not trying to cure Ebola, just some minor first aid until I can get them back to where I have proper equipment. Aloe Vera. It is almost the most perfect item for burns. However I don’t carry it. Shelf life. It can go bad, and lets face it. How often do we check our first aid kits? For burns I carry a 2 ounce bottle of local honey.And it’s not in my bag but it grows ALL over New Mexico and most of the southwest is prickly pear cactus. The leaf not the fruit. Pealed and placed directly on the burn. It has most of the same properties. The main topic I am tying to put out with this letter is KISS Keep It Simple Simon. We get to caught up in having the biggest baddest and most complex anything. There is no way that the majority of people can carry and use to its full extent most of the first aid kits some carry.