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#150445 - 05/17/11 04:49 AM MYO first aid kit
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
I searched the forum and was surprised to find no topics on first aid kits. When putting together a first-aid kit what would you include and why. I know there are a lot of options and a lot of useless/unnecessary stuff out there! I hope to put one together here soon as it seems I have lost my "box store" one somewhere. laugh
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#150448 - 05/17/11 05:13 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: jwild]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Your FAK should be consistent with your training, which is the most important component. Mine tends to be heavily weighed toward trauma and I don't carry that many pills for indigestion, etc. Many items (splints, for instance) can be readily improvised. With training, and just a bit of experience, you will have a pretty good idea of what are the most useful things to include in your kit.

Needless to say on this forum, it should be as lightweight as possible. Did I mention that training is important?

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#150465 - 05/17/11 11:16 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: jwild]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
My FAK is a little big for one person. But, I generally take boyscouts out, and so I need a bigger kit.

Although I have a sam splint and military tourniquet, I don't carry those. Tourniquet use guidelines have changed due to a war. But I am not trained in the new stuff. I try and carry mostly blood stoppers and tape. I don't need a lot of little bandages if I have a roll of tape and some gauze.
I also don't carry a snake bite kit because they are useless.
How to treat snake bite

My irrigation is similar to this guy.
irrigation module


Here are some good videos to peruse.
Nutnfancy Level 1 First Aid Kit
AMP3 IFAK
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#150473 - 05/17/11 12:41 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: jwild]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
My first aid kit is my entire gear list.

Pack stay, blue foam sit pad or trekking pole = splint for a limb
Trekking poles + jackets = travois/stretcher
hydration bladder under pressure = irrigation for wounds
extra clothing/sleeping quilt = warming gear for hypothermia vic
bandanna - tourniquet/bandage cover/washcloth


Then the kit itself:
bandaids, several sizes
butterfly closures
ace wrapper
medical tape (around one of the pill bottles)
Leukotape (around the DEET sprayer, replaces moleskin for preventing blisters)
sterile gauze pads
gauze wrap
a tick puller (better for folks with shaky hands than tweezers, has a magnifying glass too)
alcohol wipes (to sterilize knife edges, etc. not for wounds)
nonlatex gloves (many uses, including a breath mask for CPR if you cut off a finger)
packet vinegar (nettles leave stingers behind, vinegar melts them away)
tiny dropper bottle of sting eze
packets of neosporin
ibuprofen 200 mg pills
extra strength excedrin migraine - because if a migraine begins it's best to catch it before the prescription is necessary
one prescription pill for migraine (melts on tongue, my usual symptoms are sound sensitivity, debilitating brain-melting pain and projectile vomiting of anything ingested once the migraine is in full force)
sudafed (the real kind, not the neutered junk, because allergies are heck)
zyrtec (takes care of the allergies to a point)
benadryl (general allergy reaction treatment, also a sleep aid)
immodium (because diarrhea is dangerous in the wilderness)
hydropel - for long days - does a great job of reducing hot spots

Leatherman Micra - has a scissors for clipping nails, cutting tape/gauze, also tweezers and a bottle opener and a sharp but short knife blade

Other emergency gear to maintain good health would include a supply of Micropur tabs, in the event the filter breaks, electrolyte tabs (which I don't use under normal circumstances), fire making tools (storm proof matches, the extra bic riding around in the bandaid pouch, ball of dryer lint)...
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#150498 - 05/17/11 05:43 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: jwild]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
This topic hasn't been discussed in a while that I recall, but there have been many discussions on FAKs over the years.

What goes in the kit has alot of "depends" to it. It depends on what your training is, it depends on how big your group is, it depends on your own "normal" needs, it depends on how far out and away from help you will be... Far and away the best thing you can have in your kit is training. Wilderness-specific training is by far the most useful because it requires you to think outside of the 911 box. Most first aid training is pretty basic assuming that you will be close to a phone and 911 will be able to respond quickly. Wilderness-specific training will help you know what you can manage in the field and what should spell the end of a trip (an attack of severe diarrhea/vomiting and/or dehydration is likely an "end your trip" event in many cases, a cut or knock on the noggin might not be). Once you get the training you won't need to ask the question. smile

MNS
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#150505 - 05/17/11 06:46 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: midnightsun03]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Originally Posted By midnightsun03
Once you get the training you won't need to ask the question. smile

MNS


Perfect!

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#150514 - 05/18/11 12:18 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: oldranger]
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By oldranger
Originally Posted By midnightsun03
Once you get the training you won't need to ask the question. smile

MNS


Perfect!


Understandably,... I was more or so asking what other community members bring based on the aforementioned training, not asking for a "how to" or "what should I put in mine" ... just having lost my store bought kit (that had my own blend added to the nice little light weight folding bag) got me thinking about what others use, and more notably what others leave behind in sake of seeking that ultra light load. I think I am pretty set in what I want to bring BUT am willing and open to others ideas that may change my view and make me a bit lighter. Maybe I should have been more specific? smile
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#150515 - 05/18/11 12:22 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: midnightsun03]
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By midnightsun03
This topic hasn't been discussed in a while that I recall, but there have been many discussions on FAKs over the years.

Yeah I search using the advanced search feature and many things I imagine would be covered extensively do not come up eek idk
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#150520 - 05/18/11 06:35 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: jwild]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
You're right, the search function doesn't do a good job of returning threads that I know are there. I had to put "first aid" in quotes to return a few hits, but by no means all that I know are there! Frustrating! I did find a good one for you though...

This 2.9oz FAK thread is a good place to get ideas.

Also, if you want a critique of your list (theoretical or actual) then list the items and ask for a critique and that will generate alot of conversation, as it did in the referenced thread. That is a different approach than asking what other people carry because you will get the actual feedback you say you want, instead of the ones you are getting.

If you don't mind me asking, what is your training and your typical backpacking environment (i.e. solo/group, civilized/wilderness etc.)?

MNS a/k/a Dixie Moon cool

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#150526 - 05/18/11 11:25 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: jwild]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
jwild

I don't know if you read the stream I started titled "First Aid Prepardness" or the stream Tango61 started about first aid (sorry, I don't have the title...) they were written in the winter/fall of last year. The debates about risk vs. reward were polite, but fierce, and may cut to the core of what you are getting at.

As for the actual bag to carry the stuff you decide you need in it, I'm looking to lighten the box store case that mine is currently in to something equally convinient but lighter. It's a marginal change that I'll probably pursue next fall. It may knock an ounce or two out of my pack...

Steadman

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#150531 - 05/18/11 12:44 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: midnightsun03]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 848
Loc: Torrance, CA
Originally Posted By midnightsun03
....Once you get the training you won't need to ask the question. smile

MNS


I don't agree with this sentiment. My Father, who is a doctor, always brings far too much medical stuff with him on any kind of trip. Once on a family vacation, I got a small cut. My father found stitches, but couldn't find any band-aides. This forum is about packing light. The FAK is the trickiest part of this because typically you don't use anything in your FAK. The standard advice is to sit down after a trip and think about eliminating anything you didn't use on the trip... but we shouldn't do that with the FAK!

What are items people have thought about eliminating, but at then later found absolutely indispensable? I have a cold pack in my FAK. I'm definitely thinking about taking it out, but it could be pretty handy for a strain or sprain. What do others think? I've been thinking about adding benydril, but I've never needed it in my life.

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#150542 - 05/18/11 05:34 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: midnightsun03]
jwild Offline
member

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By midnightsun03

If you don't mind me asking, what is your training and your typical backpacking environment (i.e. solo/group, civilized/wilderness etc.)?

MNS a/k/a Dixie Moon cool


thanks for the input grin ,
I usually go with 1 other person but up to as many as 4. I prefer the remote wilderness and try to go different places every year, but growing up I spent a lot of time in the North-woods of Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, In fact I am heading up to the the U.P. in the morning for a long weekend trip =)
All this FAK talk and thinking about the U.P reminds me of a story my dad and brother share regarding an axe injury on Isle Royale near the Canadian border. My dad (a child at the time) crawled into the tent and his brother whispered I think I am hurt but dont tell mom and dad (he didnt want to ruin the backpacking trip)! His brother then preceded to show him a axe cut to the bone on his shin. They took a few days getting him to a small resort on one of the bays and luckily a vet was staying there and fixed him all up! cool
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#150546 - 05/18/11 07:48 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: BZH]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
For what it is worth, I haven't, and wouldn't, carry either benadryl or a cold pack either. I have handled numerous "crunched" ankles with splinting, elevation, etc. with no use of a cold pack. Frankly, I cannot distinguish between a severe sprain and a fracture in the field, and I don't try...

Benadryl is a medication that is not discussed in most first aid level courses; without specific training, I wouldn't carry it. If I did, it would be for personal use, and not for treatment of others

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#150550 - 05/18/11 09:03 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: oldranger]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
I think that the issue with over the counter drugs is consent, and whether you have the authority or training to give medications to another person that you can't give consent for. For example, I can give them to my kids, but giving them to your kids is risky unless you've given consent for them. I'm a little unclear about what the issue is with sharing the contents of my first aid kit with another adult, however.

The other thread that I read that I really liked (mentioned earlier) is "First Aid - When Help is Delayed" by Tango61. The post and the resulting conversation were very good.

Oh... final thought RE training. The Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, and others got together and rewrote the standards for Wilderness First Aid, and made a course. I've read the course guide, which I highly recommend, but haven't yet had the opportunity to take the course.

Steadman

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#150551 - 05/18/11 09:13 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: Steadman]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I believe you are absolutely right about consent. With another adult, it can be tricky. Recently I was leading a guided trip on San Miguel Island, and one of the group said to her comapnion, "Please give me an ibuprofen when we get back to the boat." I overheard this and mentioned that I had some ibuprofen with me. She asked if I would provide one for her, and I did. She took the initiative - I jst happened to have what she desired.

It would have been different if I had walked up to her and said "You look like someone who could use an obuprofen. It so happens I have some right here and I can save the day."

In general, my FAK is light on meds - only aspirin and "vitamin I."

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#150552 - 05/18/11 09:33 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: BZH]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By BZH
Originally Posted By midnightsun03
....Once you get the training you won't need to ask the question. smile

MNS


I don't agree with this sentiment. My Father, who is a doctor, always brings far too much medical stuff with him on any kind of trip. Once on a family vacation, I got a small cut. My father found stitches, but couldn't find any band-aides.


If you get wilderness-specific training there is a great deal of information about what is useful to carry and what can be repurposed from other objects. The training is done in the context of injuries and illnesses in the wilderness. People who have a lower level of training tend to think about the items they can carry "just in case." People who have a high level of training tend to forget first aid. I can totally understand why your father might have overlooked the basics. In this forum, however, we're backpackers with some first aid training, not physicians looking to go into the backcountry (at least not most of us here, LOL).

MNS a/k/a Dixie Moon
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#150554 - 05/18/11 09:46 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: oldranger]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I wouldn't carry an ice pack either, but I would (and do) carry benedryl. However, if you want to use it as a first aid item the best form is either liquid or strips (both found in the children's medicine section). Benedryl is one of the most benign medications out there, and yet it can help immediately in the case of an allergic reaction. It is also effective in nausea and as a sleep aid.

If you are in a group you can ask at the start of a trip what measures each participant wishes to be taken in the event they are rendered unable to make a decision or provide consent. Each hiker should carry their own personal medicines (including OTC) and let each other know where they are located in their pack in case they are needed. You can assist people with their prescribed medication (i.e. nitro), but you can't "legally" decide to give someone a dose of their medicine. You can retrieve the medication, open the container, put it in their hand, but technically you can't put the medicine in their mouth or administer an epi-pen, insulin dose or inhaler (some examples).

You're also right - you can't "prescribe" OTC medication to someone. I think I might handle it by asking the person if they have any pain meds in their personal kit that they might want to use.

MNX a/k/a Dixie Moon
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#150557 - 05/19/11 12:16 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: midnightsun03]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Thank you, MS - excellent clarification.

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#150571 - 05/19/11 12:33 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: oldranger]
d0nk3yk0n9 Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 3
Originally Posted By oldranger

Benadryl is a medication that is not discussed in most first aid level courses; without specific training, I wouldn't carry it. If I did, it would be for personal use, and not for treatment of others


My Wilderness First Responder class included a discussion of Benadryl. Also, it's included in my protocols (written by Wilderness Medical Associates) for treatment of anaphylaxis. So for me, not only is Benadryl within my scope of practice, it's part of my standard of care (along with epi), so I carry it.

Interestingly, when I ride with my college's EMS, Benadryl is beyond our scope of practice, so we cannot use it. It's weird to think that I have over-the-counter meds in my personal first aid kit that I can't use and don't have access to when I'm riding an ambulance.

At some point I'll probably post a list of what's in my first aid kit.

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#150653 - 05/22/11 06:25 PM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: d0nk3yk0n9]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Allright allright fine.. here's what's in mine - unfortunately, like lori, I believe much of my kit is also my first aid kit

Trekking poles (splint, support)
duct tape (on trekking poles) (splint, support, bandaids, blisters, etc.)
shirts (bandages, wrap, triangular, etc.)
sleeping socks (compress, etc.)
long underwear (bandages, etc. )
line (on trekking poles)
Hammock and/or tarp (improvised stretcher, shelter, etc.)
Scotch whiskey (a nip when it's miserable and you wanna sleep)
Tea, Soup, food, etc.

Stove alcohol (wound wash, antiseptic)

stove and pot (clean hot water, wash, sterilize)

PLB (I or someone is in more danger than I can mitigate)

In my ditty bag:
4 doses imodium AD
bunch of ibuprophen (advil)
bunch of naproxen (aleve)
6 doses of benadryl
6 doses of dristan
campsuds (wash, etc.)
polysporin (1/2 tube) (chafing, wounds, etc)
Multivitamins
swiss army knife, sharp, with tweezer, toothpick, scissors
more line
tiny repair kit (needle and thread, buttons, safety pins)

The actual FAK:
5-10 large spenco blister pads
10 medium blister pads
10 small blister pads
10 good fabric bandaids
15 waterproof bandaids (duct tapy kind)
1 roll really good tape
6 2x2 pads
6 4x4 pads
1 small nalgene (1/2 oz) with polysporin
1 small nalgene (1/2 oz) with iodine/betadine
10 butterfly bandages
1 dozen percocet
krazy glue (1 mini tube)
needle

Nothing in there I have not actually used, except the percocet.
and the PLB. However, even in using those things I've not
found I was underequipped for my level of skill. those numbers
are pretty much "full up" for a longer trip that I'm likely
to need it to play owch doctor for newbies. I take a bit less
of all that if going out for less time by myself

I have no problem sacrificing a pair of longjohns, socks, shirt, etc to the scissors to make bandages, etc. for a serious wound. (and before you say it, no, of course it's not
sterile, it's not meant to be, I have 4x4's for that...)

When I've been out with newbies, the most used stuff aside from bandaids and blister bits is believe it or not, the betadine and 4x4's, cleaning up small wounds that would otherwise be nasty. I put in a few extra 4x4's when going with others. I've done bits of minor "swiss army surgery" on myself
and others.

I've actually holed up for a day and a half with antidiahreaals, when my innards rebelled on me partway through a trip. I basically had picked up a case of the flu, and had to sit it out after a day and a half of walking in - drank, slept, got to feeling better and walked out. Dristan, vitamins, soup, tea, and immodium helped immensely, you'll never underestimte how much more comfortable such things make you till you've been sick as a dog in the bush.




Edited by phat (05/22/11 06:27 PM)
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#154278 - 09/03/11 01:58 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: jwild]
mattc286 Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 1
I'm a new member and I was just browsing around the forums. I'm pretty late to this thread, and I'm not sure if anyone's going to read it anymore, but I just wanted to add my 2 cents. I noticed that a lot of people mentioned using your fuel alcohol as an antiseptic. Alcohol is a more effective at a concentration of 70% than the near 100% you want for cooking with, so just make sure to dilute it 7 parts alcohol to 3 parts water in your camp cup if you're treating a wound. Also, I would avoid using anything with methanol (HEET) as a mouth wash, as its metabolized into formaldehyde, which can cause serious problems including blindness. A little splash isn't likely to harm you, but I personally would never put it in my mouth, and certainly not on a daily basis. Ethanol would be fine, and I've used it as a disinfectant and mouthwash. I carry a couple little alcohol pads and betadine pads. They take up almost no room, weigh nothing, and I know that they're sterile.

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#154289 - 09/03/11 09:35 PM Re: MYO first aid kit: NO METHANOL AS ANTISEPTIC [Re: mattc286]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Guys-

Please don't use methanol to disinfect wounds. You are far better off with soap and clean water. I will paste in the MSDS for methanol at the end of this, but know simply that the stuff is toxic whether ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Maybe you won't absorb much, but with open wounds, who knows? My first aid kit has Immodium, a few dressings, bandaids, an elastic bandage, and some menses pads. The last are clean, absorb a heck of a lot of fluid and have a plastic barrier that can protect the hand of a person applying pressure. They are also good for their originally intended purpose. A decent sized bandana can cover a multitude of wounds and is, again, a multipurpose pack item. A bandana plus a menses pad makes a great pressure dressing, if one knows how to tie one. My other meds, Benadryl, naproxen, etc., are located in my food bag because I have enough issues that I take them pretty routinely.

CamperMom
MSDS on methanol-
Danger! Poison! May be fatal or cause blindness if swallowed. Vapor harmful. Flammable liquid and
vapor. Harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Causes eye, skin, and respiratory tract
irritation. May cause central nervous system depression. Cannot be made non-poisonous.
Target Organs: Eyes, nervous system, optic nerve.
Potential Health Effects
Eye: May cause painful sensitization to light. Methanol is a mild to moderate eye irritant. Inhalation,
ingestion or skin absorption of methanol can cause significant disturbance in vision, including blindness.
Skin: Causes moderate skin irritation. May be absorbed through the skin in harmful amounts. Prolonged
and or repeated contact may cause defatting of skin and dermatitis. Methanol can be absorbed through the
skin, producing systemic effects that include visual disturbances.
Ingestion: May be fatal or cause blindness if swallowed. Aspiration hazard. Cannot be made nonpoisonous.
May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. May cause systematic
toxicity with acidosis. May cause central nervous system depression, characterized by excitement, followed
by headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. Advanced stages may cause collapse, unconsciousness,
coma, and possible death due to failed respiratory failure. May cause cardiopulmonary system effects.

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#154293 - 09/04/11 01:50 AM Re: MYO first aid kit: NO METHANOL AS ANTISEPTIC [Re: CamperMom]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Besides the toxic effects of methanol (and remember that methanol is usually an ingredient of "denatured" alcohol), any alcohol will damage tissue. The general rule now is not to use any of the old-fashioned disinfectants (alcohol, iodine, merthiolate, hydrogen peroxide, or even antibiotic ointment in open wounds. They damage the tissue and retard healing. It used to be, "if it stings, it's good." Nowadays the rule is, "if it stings, it's damaging the tissue." With antibiotic ointment, it's OK to put a thin layer over the top, preferably on the dressing, but don't put it down into deep wounds. Remembering the agonies I suffered with iodine and alcohol as a child, I'm sure my grandchildren prefer modern methods!

Those disenfectants are fine to clean the skin around the wound (in preparation for bandaging, or as prep for removing splinters or popping blisters), but should not be used in the wound itself.

All this according to the wilderness first aid class I took last summer, and confirmed by my son-in-law-the-ER-physician.

Irrigating under pressure, preferably with treated water, is the way to clean open wounds. If you don't have a syringe, put a pinhole in a plastic bag and squeeze it hard.
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#154306 - 09/05/11 11:05 AM Re: MYO first aid kit: NO METHANOL AS ANTISEPTIC [Re: OregonMouse]
d0nk3yk0n9 Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 3
Also, regarding antibiotic ointment, someone recently pointed out to be that you should never put it over a puncture wound. If you do that and create a seal, you'll end up with a much higher risk of infection because anaerobic bacteria are much worse than aerobic bacteria.

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#156541 - 11/01/11 06:25 AM Re: MYO first aid kit [Re: jwild]
Allison Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 21
I have a lot of the same items Lori mentioned. Band-aids, gauze pads, butterfly stitches, some of those individual packs of pills, heat pack, ice pack, moleskin, safety pins, some topical gels, and the other usual stuff. I also have a pen, a pencil with duct tape around it, a little paper, and some rope. I carry it all in a bag my pack cover came in. Much better for me than the medical box it came in!

Allison

http://4000-footers.blogspot.com/

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