The knowledge of basic and simple techniques of first aids is very useful and valuable skill to own, not only for our daily life, but also for the time that we use to spend outdoors, enjoying Nature and doing our favorites activities. Whenever you are spending time at the great outdoors, doing hunting, hiking, camping, backpacking or any other activity, you should always carry a first aid kit.
A first aid kit and any experience on Basic First Aid procedures, (like CPR for example), will help you to treat minor injuries, like small cuts or minor burnt, as well as strains or leg or arm breaks and maybe more serious wounds or fractures. I understand that there is a large group of people that know special ways to treat a wound, for example, using items like duct-tape or super glue (used by military personnel mostly); also a lot of people that considered themselves expert in survival or people that have spent a lot of time outdoors practicing and studying plants that can be used for different treatments, these are uncommon practices and because are extreme and unusual methods, I don’t recommend them to common men. You have to be truly an expert to perform these treatments. The main objective of this article is to present the most common and useful items that someone with little or no experience must have in a First Aid kit and not to analyze more ‘special’ kind of treatments or cures.
You can find many kinds of First aid kits on the market; many companies offer first aid kits, ready to use, at decent prices. Also on military surplus stores you can find a variety of soldiers IFAKs. All these kits contains items that are easy to used by a person with little or no experience on first aids. Have to mention that some of the military kits might contain items that need some training and experience for being safely use.
You can also purchase a simple pouch and add your own medical supplies and create your own first aid kit, based on your own knowledge, experience and of course needs. Everyone has different medical needs to cover; for instance someone might be diabetic and needs insulin or have an allergy, therefore you must include and special medications on your kit.
How i organised my First Aid Kit
My First Aid pouch is a MOLLE type pouch, made of 1000D cordura by MSA-PARACLETE Company. The pouch has two sections for your medical supplies and opens with two zippers. Having the MOLLE system, the pouch can be attached on the exterior of any MOLLE pack but also on ALICE packs, too. It can be attached on a belt too, if someone feels the need to have the First Aid Kit, closer and easily accessible. Personally I keep it on the left pouch of my ALICE pack.The pouch has enough room to store a good amount of supplies.
Based on my knowledge and experience I keep items that can help treat most common wounds that occurs on a camp trip, like cuttings, insects or plants bites, burnt(not severe) and perhaps a strain or break. To treat wound caused by cutting yourself with your knife for example, I have bandages, Celox, triple antibiotic ointment, gauzes and roll tape, non woven adhesive dressings and a battle dressing bandage for more serious wound.The military bandage can also be used to retain a strain ankle for example. I also have a pair of EMT shears scissors and a pair of disposal latex gloves.For minor burns I can use the after bite gel, but also the non woven dressings too.
The small canisters of saline, can be used to clean a wound, especially on difficult areas like the nose or close to eyebrow or as a mouth wash, in case any dental injury occurs. It helps to clean the wound and prevent any potential infection. I also keep couple pills for pains, like headaches or toothache.With this small kit and knowing CPR, I can treat the most common injuries during an outdoor trip and at camp site.
But I am not relying only on these; I am trying to attend a course on First Aid,(probably of Red Cross) so I can gain more experience and knowledge. At this point, I would like to suggest to everyone that read this article to attend a First Aid class, it’s a great skill to know and it might needed only once but would be crucial one time. A first aid kit is an essential part of any outdoorsman gear and as I had said on a forum way back ’if my friend showed up with couple bandages and nothing more, stating that he has the first aid covered, I would hit him so hard, that he would beg for an aspirin!’