I was reading a thread the other day on bushcraft Facebook page concerning what people carry in there medical / first aid kits. So it had me thinking do I carry to much or not enough.
The bizzare things I read people carry led me to think should you med kit depend on what you’re doing / going? Well yes I do think that the amount and contents should vary depending on what you are doing.
Someone had posted their message kit was in a large box weighing 5kg and included Israeli dressings, adrenaline, suture kit, full resus equipment and other items. Yes I’m a deep believer in ‘if you haven’t got it’ ‘you can’t use it’ but realistically look at the chance that you would need all of this. If you are camping out of a car then yes consider a larger kit.
Personally I have a small waterproof medical kit that is used in my day bag, a larger kit which is stocked for a longer duration and another pack that is used is I am a good distance from civilisation.
The other thing to think of is if the brown stuff hits the fan. How do you contact emergency service? We are lucky in the uk as mobile phone coverage is pretty good but if there is no signal how do you gain assistance?
The device I used whilst walking the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden was a SPOT tracker, this is a subscription device that locates you using gps and in emergency you can press a button and it will send a pre-determined message to emergency services in your area. The other great services it offers is you can press another button that will send an ‘OK’ message to predetermined email addresses and mobile numbers giving a link to your location to be viewed online. Also it can connect to your social media sharing your location.
But the question is what to take? So here’s a low down on what I carry in my hiking bag for a multiple day excursion.
From left to right
- Emergency blanket
- Impregnated gauze
- Sack on
- Wound glue
- Needle and thread (used for treating blisters)
- Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
- Smecta (diarrhoea treatment)
- Stern strips
This is in a waterproof box and is taken on trips on water, hiking and fishing. It is relatively small but has enough for basics.
As we any piece of kit it is a good idea to have items that are use for instance if you replaced the betadine with potassium permanganate you would have something to clean wounds, sterilise water to make it drinkable and if mixed with glycerol is a great emergency fire starter.
Items in box
- Surgical tape
Obviously each kit should be tailored to your personal medical needs ie allergic reactions and regular medication should always be carried in a waterproof container. Also emergency contacts and medical he is handy to have kept on person or in medical box.
There really is no need to carry a personal A&E with you unless you are really that accident prone, if you are that bad then you need to consider if you have suitable enough experience to be out by yourself or a distance away from emergency help.
Everything you carry is designed really for self help.