Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Izzy G Holy Trinity of First Aid Kits.

“I was a million miles away chasing my Holy Trinity; ‘Superman, save me!’”-Superman.


First Aid Kits can be generally broken down into three groups that fit well within the spectrum of most survival trained and adventuresome types vocabulary. E.D.C, Hike and Vehicle. Anyone who has visited the Equipped to Survive Forums or the Hoodlums Forums knows well what I mean. Breaking it down into three groups has made it easier for me and has helped others more than once in my travels. Not to mention helped me butt a dozen times. The system I’ve developed is very simple.

The first step is very basic. We’ll use the average E.D.C. , otherwise known as Every Day Carry.

1. Think about your daily routine. Do you go to an office? Do you travel between buildings often?
2. Think about what sort of injuries are most likely to occur during your day to day routine.
3. Assemble a first aid kit in an apropriate size so that you may carry it constantly as well as comprising it of items that you will most like use defined by what injures are most likely to happen.

For example we’ll use your average middle management office worker. He probably goes between his cubicle and other cubicles and maybe a few buildings. He’s rather limited to what types of injuries he is most likely to endure as well as are his co-workers. A cut finger or a scraped knee are the top two injuries I would imagine this person would endure. So you would want to assemble a first aid kit that would be comprised of an assortment of band-aids. You will also want to pack an assortment of medications. Personal as well as general. Imodium, Benadryl...etc.

Over at my website I recently ran an exercise centered around how useful Altoids Tins are to build a general and broad spectrum E.D.C. first aid kit.

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Four large band-aids.
Four small band-aids.
Four mini band-aids.
Four puncture wound band-aids.
Four fingertip band-aids.
Four knuckle band-aids.
Four butterfly closures.
Two wound wipes.
Two antibiotic ointment packets.
Two Imodium AD.
Two Benadryl.

What started out as an exercise to show the utilitarian use of a simple Altoids Tin turned into my own personal E.D.C. first aid kit. As you can see it is very light and pocket friendly. That’s the point of all E.D.C. items. You want them to be light and easily placed on your person no matter the attire. The contents above are about as much as you can fit into an Altoids Tin. If you’re the adventuring type you’ll surely have plenty of pocket space. If not then you’re still good. If you do choose to use an Altoids Tin be sure to use duct tape or electrical tape to seal the container against moisture. The tape doubles as another medical item in a crunch.

This naturally brings us to the second portion of the three groups I work with. Hike.

Once more ask yourself the three questions again. The answers should be fairly obvious for anyone who has gone on a nature hike or spent a day or two outdoors. You’re more likely to get wounds with a large surface area. A scraped up palm as you catch yourself on a rough peice of bark to prevent from falling. The wounds are a little more dangerous than they would be in civilization simply because you do not have the ability to wash them well enough. This is just one injury type that is most likely to occur when you are on a day hike or spending a weekend camping.

In my case I am a die hard dayhiker and tend not to spend more than two days overnight in the woods. Sierra Club magazine says that the average hiker only has the chance to go on the weekends and thus spends at the most two days and one night camping. For this reason and my own I’ve decided to stay with my Adventure Medical Kits “Ultraight & Watertight 5.” Their website rates it as being perfect for being a one person, 1-3 day kit. With added medications as well as gauze bandages you’re good for upwards of four days. Everything fits nicely into an Alosak brand waterproof envelope.

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The contents, including my additions include...

Four Band-Aids.
Two Knuckle/Finger Tip Band-Aids.
Six Butterfly Enclosures.
Eight Small Band-Aids.
2 2x2” Gauze Sponges.
2 3x3” Gauze Sponges.
1 3x4” Gauze Non-Adherent Pad.
3 Assorted Rolls of Gauze (Two short, one long.)
1 Moleskin.
2 After Bite Pads.
3 Wound Wipes.
2 Burn Cooling Gel Packets.
1 Cortaid Anti-Itch Packet.
2 Lip Ointment Packets (Basically vaseline. Good for waterproofing many wounds).
5 Hydrocortisone Packets (Anti-Itch, but also anti-inflamatory for other wounds).
5 Antibiotic Cream Packets.
2 Safety Pins.
1 Tweezers.
2 Motrin Tablets (Any OTC pain reliever will work. Aspirin should not be used).
2. Diphenhydramine Tablets (Benadryl. Good for allergic reactions as well as a sleeping aid.)
2 Imodium A.D.
1 Roll Bandage Tape.
1 Betadine Swab Vial.
1 Pair Nitrile Gloves.
1 Large & Strong Rubberband.
1 Bandanna.

Adventure Medical Kits makes two larger and one smaller version of this kit. It’s one of their more afforable and comprehensive kits. I recommend them and many outdoorsmen and adventurers have trusted A.M.K. for years.

The last category is vehicle. I don’t think I have to go into detail nor do you need to think much about what can occur in a vehicular accident. Chances are we will all be in at least two major vehicle accidents in one way or another during our driving career no matter how “defensive” we drive. Like the incident with the boy scouts I was witness to a very horrifying and nasty car crash many years ago. For that very reason I carry in my trunk and often in the vehicle’s cabin itself a very large first aid kit. It pretty much covers every base and will keep yourself or someone else alive for those four to seven minutes it takes for first responders to get to the scene.

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The contents are as follows...

1x First Aid Guide.
2x Set of Nitrile Gloves.
1x Green 24 Hour Lightstick.
1x Thermal Blanket.
1x Large Instant Cold Pack.
1x Roll of Waterproof Medical Tape (1/2” x 5 yards).
1x Stethoscope.
30x Antiseptic Wipes.
50x Alcohol Wipes.
30x Cotton Swabs.
3x Rolls Assorted Cloth Tape Rolls.
3x Lancets.
3x Splinter Removers.
1x Pea Whistle.
30x Butterfly Closures.
18x Puncture Wounds Band-Aids.
30x Small Band-Aids.
30x Mini Band-Aids.
30x Band-Aids.
12x Sterile Closure Strips.
10x Knuckle Band-Aids.
10x Fingertip Band-Aids.
4x Eye Pads.
2x Jumbo Square Band-Aids.
2x Jumbo Band-Aids.
15x 2x3” Telfa Pads.
10x 2x2” Telfa Pads.
7x Assorted Rolls of Gauze.
1x Triangle Bandage/Sling.
13x 4x4” Pads.
2x 5x9” ABD Pads.
5x 3x3” Pads.
28x 2x2” Pads.
12x Non-Stick 5x3” Pads.
11x Aspirin Packets (22 Pills. Only included for those who might suffer a heart attack).
10x Advil Packets (20 Pills).
11x Tylenol Packets (22 Pills).
3x Antacid Packets (9 Tablets).
6x Imodium AD.
6x Benadryl.
1x Poison Ivy Wipe.
7x Insect Repellent Cream Packets.
2x Sunscreen Lotion Packets.
7x Burn Cream Packets.
1x Tube Antibiotic Cream.
1x Tube Hydrocortisone.
1x Bottle Hand Sanitizer.
1x Bottle Insect Repellent Spray (Picardin, not DEET).
1x 20mL Bottle Eyewash.
15x Sting Relief Wipes.
35x Snap Antiseptic Swabs.
1x EMT Shears.
6x Assorted Safety Pins.
2x Burn Jel Dressings.
1x 2oz Bottle of Burn Jel.
8x Popsicle Sticks.
2x 27” Suture Kits.

As you can no doubt tell it’s a very near professional level kit. It’s stored well in a Plano brand tackle box. More could still be added to it. For those who are trained in CPR I recommend a CPR shield or even a respiratory bag. The design of a first aid kit this size is based not only around the most likely injuries one will endure, but also be capable of sustaining more than four people and if necessary for a somewhat long duration of time. Combined with a proper vehicle survival kit, this kit is a good compliment.

In closing I have a few thoughts. This is how I do things. It may not be how you want or do things. I come from a place where when something bad happens I like to be able to help. I’m a leader and not a follower and I have great faith in my abilities. Someone once said to the effect “those who did little because they thought they could do so little” often comes to mind in situations like this. We’re all going to the same place, so lets go there together and help each other out is one of my personal mottos.

Adventure....Excitement....Filling big shoes!

1 comment:

BigDaddyTX said...

Doing a good job Izzy, I had to look and see if I clicked the wrong link though; I was all, I thought I clicked on Blast's blog, not Izzy's, I'm reading his next. ;)