So you like traveling, hiking, riding a bicycle, off roading, hunting or whatever your vice is that involves the outdoors.
Fact of the matter is the further we get from civilization (that is the goal of camping, right?) the further we get from medical care.
First thing you need to have is a basic first aid kit. This will cover all minor stuff from a bee sting to minor and basic wound care.
There are a few pieces of gear that you should have with you when you travel. Depending what you are going to be doing and where you are going, the kit may grow or shrink.
We’re not talking about dealing with splinters or paper cuts with a secondary kit here (although you should be ready to handle that with a basic kit), the issue you need to be ready for is basic trauma that cannot wait 20-30-60 minutes for help to arrive.
Second is a “kit” – I use a decent sized backpack with several compartments to store my kit in. Now, I’m fortunate in that my employer provides and insists on frequent medical training as insurance against today’s violence throughout… well, everywhere. If you haven’t ever used or trained with a tourniquet, quick clot, gauze, splints or any other basic medical gear; find yourself a class and learn to use this stuff. When you need it, is not the time to figure out how it works.
In no particular order, here’s some stuff I highly suggest having with you:
- Trauma Shears
- Rolled Gauze
- Israeli Bandage
- Tourniquets (Minimum of 2)
- Duct Tape (small rolls)
- Splinter out Kit (Tweezers or something to dig it out with)
- Emergency Blankets (reflective kind)
- Small Hemostatic Agent (celox, quick clot, etc) – This is different in that it’s used for wounds that you need to stop bleeding that don’t quite require a large treatment like quick clot or large doses of hemostatic agents)
- Large Hemostatic Agent (celox, quick clot, etc)
- Burn Creme
- Antibiotic Ointments
- Eye Wash Kit
- SAM Splint (these are amazing)
- Assortment of Gauzes (flat, triangle, rolled) – ALL STERLIZED
First off: beware of where and what you buy when it comes to Gauze. Few years ago I ordered some gauze that came from China. While I generally don’t have an issue with stuff coming from China; this was NOT sterilized gauze. When working in direct contact with wounds, it MUST be sterilized or you are asking for a world of trouble. Ensure you get the proper product. It should be well sealed and not just “bouncing around” in a box.
Most of this kit is to deal with major bleeding; from gunshot trauma to a massive cut in a bad place. These are the tools that can literally mean the difference between life and death.
I keep this kit in my truck and it goes with me everywhere. If we take a trip in my wife’s car, this backpack goes with us.
A while back I broke my hand fairly bad. When medical staff responded they put a SAM splint on my arm and wrapped everything up in gauze. While the pain didn’t go away, the splint did provide enough support to keep me from aggravating the injury further. These are worth their weight in gold when you get a serious injury. I keep a couple in my kit.
There are plenty of freelance medical personal that will provide training at reasonable cost in your area. I highly suggest taking a class. This is far beyond the typical CPR class taught by the Red Cross (not a dig, it’s just outside the scope of the class). A quick google search should be able to tell you what is available and associated costs. Another option would be to contact a local community college, fire department or other agency that deals with training.
I’m willing to bet if you contacted your local Law Enforcement Agency or Fire Department and made arrangements, they would be more than happy to provide basic training and hands on with the equipment for a group of 20ish people.