I carry too much stuff #1 - first aid kit, whats reasonable?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by CaliforniaCanuck, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    I'm carrying too much stuff so I decided to ask your input on a few topics and I'm starting with the first aid kit.

    What are the min contents that you recommend?

    For sure I'm keeping the liquid bandaid as its already helped me a few times.

    Starting with,
    - liquid bandaid
    - tweezers
    - band aides - few, 5, more?
    - gause
    - neosporine
    - medical tape
    - is an Israeli bandage overkill?
    - ???


    Thanks for your help!
     
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  2. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    It depends, are you talking about for your pocket, a pack, home or office, glove box?


    I used to only keep enough with me to fill my back pocket. Now I keep a few bandaids behind my phone case and a slightly larger pouch in my backpack. Its an @FoxLite Gear small which is appx 4x8.

    In my pocket one I found I wasn't replenishing it often enough and I didn't have a bandaid when I needed it, or needed more than one or more than one person would need one. Now I have an assortment of types of bandaids, small, butterfly, and even larger ones.

    I also put some 3x3 gauze in there as well and multiple 4x5 (appx) non stick surgical pads in there as they are absorbent and don't stick. You need tape for this. I dont mess with the cheap tape, buy the little metal roll, or keep a small roll of 1.5" tape.

    I keep that stretchy self adherent wrap stuff in there too. Get a small roll and either flatten it, take some off to mske it smaller, or roll it around itself. Be careful not to ober stretch it while doing that and make sure to have several feet. You could make a pretty good bandage using this and the nonstick pads.

    Add a few pairs of rubber gloves, neosporin, alcohol wipes for cleaning, a few feet of paracord, an ink pen, derma safe razor. Some meds like ibuprofen or similar. I buy individual packets of immodium or benadryl or similar. I added a $1 folding toothbrush for convenience.

    I but 3x6 ziplocks on Amazon for cheap, they are endlessly useful and are good for separating it all....as well as other gear elsewhere. Write on everything with a sharpie.

    I still have tons of room in mine. I do keep an Israeli bandage in my motorcycle and home bag, but not in my EDC FAK.

    Heres mine:
    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/my-edc-first-aid-kit-fak.224682/
    Btw, the little triangle pouch would be perfect for a minimalist or pocket FAK. It holds quite a bit and would fit in your pocket flat and very thin.
     
  3. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Athletic Supporter Supporter

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    I know many people say it ain't nearly enough, but for a day or even an overnight I carry coaches tape wrapped around one of those lip balm size tubes of Vaseline, and I could do just fine without the Vaseline part. I have a horrible back so I carry one muscle relaxer and one antique Vicodin just in case.

    Longer more remote trips, or groups, then I'd carry more, but for just myself that's it.

    A piece of clothing can become a bandage, I dig out slivers with the tip of a knife even if I'm at home, toilet paper or cloth is my gauze. I personally don't like liquid bandage, but on a week long trip I'd have a tiny tube of super glue.

    I know a piece of tape and two pills seems like under kill to many, but if you break down a first aid kits and look at how much of it really serves an emergency purpose vs. a quit your damn whining purpose, that vast majority of a kit is just luxury items that can easily be done without if you are trying to trim weight and bulk from your pack.
     
  4. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    I know many on these forums will disagree but a lot of folks carry their fears in their FAKs.

    Mine is a combination of repair and first aid. So it has vitamin I, bandages (reasonable assortment), antiseptic wipes, blood pressure meds, mini bic, gear aid patch, single use super glue, and I'm sure a couple of other little things.

    I need to add water purification tabs (backup), imodium, and mole skin or leuko tape.

    20180523_062356.jpg
     
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  5. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Over the years, I've learned to prepare for what's likely to happen, not what's possible to happen. Sure, I may cut my foot off with an axe but that's not likely. Most of my injuries are minor cuts and burns. I prepare for those, not the ones that might or might not happen. As with everything I carry, it's the "what ifs" that make the pack so heavy. I carry a pocket sized pack of Kleenex that doubles as its normal use plus blood soaker if needed. That's all I carry for what's possible.
    I carry a few bandaids, burn patch, couple knuckle bandages, triple antibiotic and a few pills.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  6. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Guide

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    hello,
    Good replies to the thread. A wound dressing bandage has multiple uses other than that of a bandage. I have a few of these on the shelf alongside the British Forces issue wound dressing, which are out of date. I'm saving these ones in particular for char cloth & firelighting skills. :)
    Regards
    David
     
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  7. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    I've removed the ace wrap and could carry even less. A few bandaids, a bit of gauze, a prep pad or wet wipe. This is for multiple day trips away from help. Also, it's one of the most personal decisions you have to make as far as I'm concerned. Everyone will have their own opinion as to minimum FAK items.
     
  8. reppans

    reppans Scout

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    I'm OCD about multi-tasking and really try to minimize emergency-use-only carry. Also always have a few paper towel sheets for general clean-up that can be used as absorbent, and Everclear as my dehydrated vodka, stove fuel, solvent, cleaner, antiseptic. Vasoline makes good antibiotic ointment, skin lotion/protectant (when diluted), and of course fire starter with tampon cotton. Tampon cotton twisted into a wick runs to run my alcohol stove as a Palmer furnace. And they say you can repair anything with duct tape (Gorilla) and WD40 (Vasoline) :54:.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    Mine isn't much more then a ouch kit, couple single use antibiotic packets, 4-5 bandaids, a 2x2 inch, a 2x3, and a couple 4x4 , tweezers, and toe nail size nail clipper, 4 Benidril, for insect stings, etc. Mirror would be my compass, small magnifier glass is in my fire kit. extra antibiotic is bag balm, rather then petrolium jelly, coated cotton balls, also in fire kit. sanitizing wipes are individual packs that I keep with the TP
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  10. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    There's a bushclass thread about FAKs that has a LOT of good info.

    I carry two kits, one for dayhikes, hunting, and overnighters, and the other for longer canoe trips.

    The first kit fits in a Mentos container. It's tiny and weighs a couple ounces. Band-aids, neosporin, 2x Q-tips, a tiny pair of tweezers, a tick key, and a couple each of Motrin, Pepto Bismol tablets, Benadryl, and Imodium.

    The second kit's container is from one of those cheap $1 Walmart FAKs that I only kept for the case. It weighs about 4-5oz iirc. It's got all of Kit-1's contents, more of the same meds, a tiny dental repair kit (about the size of a Chapstick cap), some moleskin, a couple slightly larger bandaids (2x3), a small container of monkey butt cream, and a couple of the knuckle bandaids (four flanges, fit anything).

    I can improvise splints, tourniquets, and larger bandages as needed.

    Best thing you can do for prep is take a first aid course.
     
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  11. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Scout

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    So I guess I should leave the defibrillator at home.....
     
  12. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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  13. motman241

    motman241 Scout

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    Like has been said, a first aid kit is very personal. You need to carry what YOU need to carry.

    I have a multi system in place. Essentially, the kit on me only needs to get me to my bigger kit. That only has to sustain me until I get to the hospital.

    I would suggest considering butterfly bandages, antiseptic wipes, and safety pins. With your liquid bandage, I'd think 3 regular bandages would be fine. And yes, an Israeli Bandage is super useful, I think.

    Do you have a seperate place for personal medications?
     
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  14. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    For backpacking I like to keep my first aid gear in a quart freezer bag but no more than 1/2 full.
    That should give you an approximation on the size.

    1 - H&H Compressed Gauze (Flat)
    1 - 3x4 Telfa Pad
    1 - Packet Antibiotic Ointment
    4 - Average Size Bandaids
    2 - Tylenol Tabs (650-1000mg)
    4 - Motrin Tabs (800mg)
    2 - Benadryl (50mg)

    Floss Card with 2' of Duct Tape*

    1 Pair Non Latex Gloves

    Mind you this is a simple backpacking kit, or a travel kit.
    Its designed to be SIMPLE. Not gun play, zombies, or medical specialist on some sort of high speed team.
    Take a tumble, get a sprain.

    It is not designed for massive trauma, but I can improvise a tourniquet and seal a chest wound with it...

    Weighs 3.6oz
    Add 2oz for a small bottle of alcohol jel.

    * I am experimenting with Leukotape K as a replacement for duct tape in my medial kits.
    So far it has shown to be very promising.

    Ill make a post with photos later.
    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/ultralight-faks-keeping-it-simple-for-backpacking.228814/
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  15. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    Duct tape, Petro-Carbo, and aspirin...
     
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  16. that_guy

    that_guy Tracker

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    Non-latex gloves.

    Because other people’s fluids are icky.
     
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  17. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Indigenous Skills Junkie Supporter

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    Israeli bandage is a good item to have in your kit! I would recommend some larger rolls of gauze and an ace bandage or two. Puncture wounds and cuts are pretty common injuries in the bush, would be wise to have something to make a pressure dressing with to stop bleeding.
     
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  18. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    I like that. Thanks!!

    I have leukotape in my pack as well as some duct tape wrapped around a bic lighter.

    Tape in general has a lot of uses and if needed I could use duct tape on a wound if no on had anything better.

    I’m going to keep the Israeli bandage in my fak as it could be used for snake bite to stop blood flow. Also, I always bring cutting tools so it’s probably worth it’s weight.

    Trying to reduce weight but not willing to give things up!
     
  19. Top Gibson

    Top Gibson Tracker

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    I trek alone 90% of the time. Usually out of cell range. I take one of my old army IFAKs (combat gauze, israeli bandage, CAT tq, nasopharyngeal, tape, etc.) and a homemade boo-boo kit (bandaids, iodine, OTC meds, clippers, tweezers, etc). If I mess up with an edged tool, I want to know that I can stop the bleeding and try to walk out....or at least last til someone finds me. I keep these kits on my pack hip belts most of the time.
     
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  20. Foulwind

    Foulwind Guide

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    In my work EDC laptop pack, I carry a FAK purchased in a Bass Pro shop its in a small zippered pack maybe 4 X5" and added some Neosporin, and "Sting-eze" In my truck FAK I carry a little more. Was camping the Rubicon trail here in CA. one trip and my buddy at the time was a fireman/Paramedic. I showed him the SAK and asked his opinion of what it might be short of, for its purpose and he gave me few suggestions which I followed.
    That kit contains a small travel kit sized liquid Iodine bottle, same sized Hydrogen peroxide bottle, a few ace bandages,(The stretchy ones) multiple 3X3 and 4x4 gauze pads (And tape) along with multiple sizes of band aids. I get into it occasionally to replenish my EDC FAK. I should take a look at its contents and update/replenish it soon. IMG_5384.jpg IMG_5386.jpg IMG_5385.jpg
     
  21. chris67

    chris67 Guide

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    IMG_4137.JPG IMG_4136.JPG [​IMG]

    I'm packing for a week solo trip in Yellowstone covering about a 100 miles. This is what I'm talking.

    After over probably 500 nights backpacking this is my standard for kit for everything, backpacking, working and day hiking. Most my backpacking trips are 3-7 nights

    First aid

    5 bandaids 2 big bandaids 2 non stick pads
    a small amount of repair tape
    1 piece mole skin

    Wound seal
    Benadryl
    Pepto bismol
    Advil
    Chapstick
    Fingernail trimmer

    General kit (emergency)

    Sewing kit with heavy duty apholstery thread
    Water purification tabs
    Spare batteries for steri pen
    Spare lighter
    Small fire steel with stricker and magnesium
    Cotton balls w Vaseline
    Laminated paper with emergency contact phone numbers

    This has worked well for me over the years generally I keep smaller nail trimmers but they disappeared

    If I were to add one more thing it would be a signal mirror.

    Often overlooked the importance of pepto tabs and Benadryl can't be overstated if you need them you have to have them
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  22. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    What's reasonable? Take all your years of being out in the bush and just take what you have actually used. For me it's band aides, butterfly clamps and small safety pins all of which fit in my wallet. I have plenty of large bandaging/compress material available from my bandannas/towel and clothing, anything else needed from nature or normal carried gear i.e. my 18 in. length of surgical tubing eye glass croakers can double as a tourniquet as well as water siphon, emergency sling shot band and fire bellow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  23. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    The items I've used:
    - bandaids
    - liquid bandaid
    - antiseptic wipes
    - aspirin
    - blister tape
    - neosporin
    - tweezers
    - eye glasses screw driver
    - nail clipper
    - nail file
    - safety pin

    I've also used the mirror in my ranger compass to check for something in my eye, however, I don't carry it anymore because I don't need that size of compass. I've been going to the same stretch of trails for long enough to not need that orienteering compass. I guess I could use the camera on my phone if I need to see eye or something!

    I used to carry a sling shot tube. I should probably put it back in my kit because I does make a good tourniquet band. I have used it for eyeglasses croaker when on the water. Good item!!
     
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  24. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    Thanks for the input guys. I think I have the weight of this item under control now!
     
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  25. justinspicher

    justinspicher Scout

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    I’m not a medical amateur, let alone profession, so I don’t carry much. I take an adventure lite pre-made kit you can purchase from any outdoor store. (Unless you’re cheap like me and take a few from work)

    It has everything I know how to use and would need to use under normal circumstances while I’m in the woods. I don’t take anything for other folks, it’s a personal kit so I can keep it simple and lightweight.
     
  26. woodsranger

    woodsranger Scout

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    I got rid of my Israeli bandages. When you open the pack, the bandage itself is also shrink-wrapped, and I realized that if it was an emergency and I was bleeding heavily, I'd never be able to get the package open! Plus it seems just a tad too complicated for me to be able to use it quickly and efficiently without practicing with it a fair amount. So I replaced it with a kerlix gauze bandage roll and an elastic bandage roll to hold the gauze in place. Very simple and natural to to use under stress, fast to deploy, and effective.
     
  27. GoodPhotos

    GoodPhotos Tracker

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    I carry a couple of boo-boo kits in altoid cans and other small 'first aid' kits to grab and go in my work camera bag and I have the larger more complete trauma IFAK that I keep in my get home bag in the Jeep. That one has the Israeli Bandage, QuickClot sponges, Nitrile Gloves, etc.. in case I come upon an accident (myself or someone else I may be able to help.) I DO need to update my First Aid training as it's been a while, but I figure I have a better chance of being able to help at least having the stuff on hand and trying to remember how to use it (or putting it in the hands of someone else on scene who knows more) than not having the stuff on hand at all.
     
  28. batosai117

    batosai117 Supporter Supporter

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    I carry a Tourniquet, Israeli Bandage, gauze, medical tape, mole skin, triangular bandage, and Tylenol.

    I based my kit off of what I am trained for at work. I feel that my kit is for when TSHTF and I need to patch myself up to get back home. If I accidentally cut myself, roll down a hill and puncture something, or end up as an episode of “I shouldn’t be alive” I want to be able to stop the bleeding and make my way back.

    The tourniquet will help with arterial bleeding that could lead to death in 3 minutes. The Israeli bandage will help with open wounds. The gauze will help with stuffing the open wounds or for minor cuts with the medical tape. The mole skin is for hot spots when hiking and the triangular bandage is if I break an arm for some unforeseen reason. The Tylenol is more for comfort and better than nothing.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  29. MoxemDeliph

    MoxemDeliph Guide

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    First post in a loooong time.

    If I was to answer 8 years ago, it would be something along the lines of what most have echoed here. These days, I carry a comprehensive first aid kit but it's for a few reasons.

    Reason numero uno is due to the fact I have since taken some combat oriented courses and to date, I'm the only one that I know who carries a first aid kit to the range or field. The second reason extends from the first, nobody else wants to take responsibility for it or their own safety. Third, it's all together already. It's waaay more than I need for backpacking but it's not unbearable weight and at my age, I can take it.


    Chestseals and tourniquets aren't standard fare for backpacking trips but it's just convenient to grab the one first aid brick and be good with it. Plus, who knows when you'll have a sucking chest wound?...don't fall on that sharpened smores stick.
     
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