First aid kit

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Dreadhead

Bushcrafter through and through
Reading through this...i DEFINITLY need to put a FAK together with this as a rough guide as im often a lone trekker with poor first aid skills but enough common sense (i hope!). Two questions:

1. are there any good sources of information relating to the use of some of this equipment. i really mean the solutions etc as i am interested in what different solutions are for such as iodine etc

2. are there any cheap resources for this equipment or is my best bet ebay?

Thanks, Hamish.
 

mrcairney

Settler
Jun 4, 2011
839
1
West Pennine Moors
I've been updating mine Hamish and can PM you links to sites where some of the harder to find stuff can be bought. Chemists are actually really good if you're not afraid to ask for specific things. Other things I've found at Vet stores and the poundshop (believe it or not!)

My FAK is very much like the one in my link above, but it's a good idea to look at different set ups and consider what is best for you.

EDIT: Actually, would it be a good idea for people to post links as to where they picked stuff up (if they did online, of course)? That might be a good idea...
 
Last edited:

Dreadhead

Bushcrafter through and through
good link, cheers. aye iv managed tae find several things on ebay (first being the israeli ffd in a "what if?" panic haha). My knowledge is most rusty on the liquids i see so many carrying in their kit seeing things such as betadine, iodine solutions etc? it would be great to have a rough guide on the application of these things as common sense can (mostly) dictate on how to keep a wound clean physically but when fighting infections/bacteria etc the unseen is really the unknown in my case
 

Genty

Tenderfoot
Dreadhead; ref: antiseptics and solutions, there is a brief guide on good old Wiki

Antiseptics


That said there is a growing fashion away from Antiseptics in remote areas, certainly the more potent solutions because antiseptics 1) can cause cell damage 2) can inhibit healing.

In hospitals, saline solution (clean but slightly salty water) is being favoured for all but the dirtiest of wounds (contaminated material or bites (animal or human!)).

Another reason for the move away from antiseptics is that in a hospital setting it is easier to keep a wound clean; this is much more difficult in the outdoors. A wound which has been treated with strong antiseptics can be more susceptible to infection if it is 'too clean' because the skin's natural, good, bacteria has been removed leaving an open portal for infection to enter.

Soapy water will do the job (I read somewhere but can't find the original source that clean water can remove up to 40% of infection). Here is a slightly different link to some evidence.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15995106


Ideally you would flush the wound out with 'high pressure irrigation'. For this use a 20ml syringe (or lager) with a wide-bore needle. Something like an 18g (pink) 'mixing needle'. Mixing needles have blunt tips as opposed to needle for injection so there is less chance of a sharps injury or injecting the water into the flesh. If you have it, try and get 1.5 Ltrs of clean water flushed over the wound.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0361112476801608
http://www.journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/yjacep/article/PIIS0361112476801608/abstract

I hope this helps. Long story short: Keep it simple - clean water and plenty of it! I am writing an article for the website on wound cleaning and will post a link when done. If anyone has a strong opinion on the above, please feel to comment - either publicly or by PM.

HTH
 
Last edited:

Dreadhead

Bushcrafter through and through
thanks for the quick and useful reply it helps alot as to my curiosity of the use of antisceptics.
luckily as im recovering from an operation that needs nurse attention everyday i keep ending up with a small supply of saline pods and dressings which will come in handy :D

i still think a handy antisceptic could come in handy in small doses certainly as things often end up mucky in the bush but overall saline and soapy water should keep me satisfied

as to the soapy water, any ideas if using soapy water made from birch/horse chestnut leaves would be ok? or just a regular bar of soap (have a bar of pine tar soap in my pack usually)
 
Last edited:

Genty

Tenderfoot
I couldn't say as I've never used soapy water; I'm a big fan of plain, clean water.

I'm also a big fan of carrying things that have more than one use: Does anyone know anything about Potassium Permanganate as an antiseptic? What are the indications / contraindications? It is convenient to carry as a powder but to what concentration is it mixed?
 

bushblade

Nomad
Jul 5, 2003
367
1
43
West Yorkshire
www.bushblade.co.uk
Reading through this...i DEFINITLY need to put a FAK together with this as a rough guide as im often a lone trekker with poor first aid skills but enough common sense (i hope!). Two questions:

1. are there any good sources of information relating to the use of some of this equipment. i really mean the solutions etc as i am interested in what different solutions are for such as iodine etc

2. are there any cheap resources for this equipment or is my best bet ebay?

Thanks, Hamish.
Hi, a really good book to pick up is Wilderness and Travel Medicine by Eric Weiss that gives a good guide to what the different solutions are for and how to use them.
Another good rescource if you're putting together a FAK is Paul Kirtley's Blog
Most stuff you can get from the chemist, though you usually have to order povidone iodine, ask for videne antiseptic solution

The Friars' balsam is mainly used as a topical adhesive to get dressings to stick (can be a pain outdoors), but can also be used as a antiseptic dressing on its own a bit like the liquid bandage type stuff, stings though. It can also be used inside the mouth and works great on mouth ulcers. A few drops added to hot water and the steam inhaled makes a great decongestant.

The povidone iodine can be used neat, just like you would use an antiseptic cream. It stings less than iodine tinture (which is suspended in alcohol). Its a very broad spectrum microbiocide effective against viruses/bacteria and fungal infections, works well on athletes foot. Its main use is adding a few drops to water to ensure it's clean for irrigation. When used neat it stains the skin so you know where you've applied it. You can also use it to purify water for drinking (8-16 drops per litre depending on water quality/clarity).

Both the Povidone Iodine and friars' balsam are fantastic multi use items that are pretty potent so there's no need to carry lots of it. Being in liquid form they are easy to dispense into small bottle for carry in a compact kit.
 
B

BrianM

Guest
I couldn't say as I've never used soapy water; I'm a big fan of plain, clean water.

I'm also a big fan of carrying things that have more than one use: Does anyone know anything about Potassium Permanganate as an antiseptic? What are the indications / contraindications? It is convenient to carry as a powder but to what concentration is it mixed?
Potassium permanganate is a good oxidant but a poor disifectant. If used on the skin, the concentration is 0.01%. Any stronger can be irritant or even cause burns, and best not used on open wounds (it will leave a deposit of manganese dioxide in the wound).

The old medical uses of this include treating athletes foot, as long as you don't mind mahogany-coloured feet!

It can be used to sterilise water, but there are better alternatives these days, such as sodium dichloro-isocyanurate.
Useful as a fire starter - sprinkle on tinder to which glycerol has been added; as an emergency marker on snow - but best not used medicinally, I suggest.

BrianM
(Advanced first aider and chemist)
 

Scottishwanderer

New Member
Mar 1, 2011
404
0
Fife, Scotland
Duct tape, cayenne pepper, mini bottle of vodka.

Need to make my FAK bit better me thinks.

Got quite a bad cut the other day in the forearm was bleeding a lot, pour vodka over cut, sprinkled some cayenne on, put some sphagnum moss over then ducked taped in place. Jobs a good un.

Hurts like hell though.
 

Elines

Full Member
Oct 4, 2008
1,590
1
Leicestershire
I may have missed it (I have tried to find out by searching) but does anyone have suggestions for finding a suitable pack to put the FAK in.

I am thinking of a rectangular, waterproof bag that:

· opens out fully so that you can easily see the contents
· has a belt loop, so that it can be fitted to a belt and be always easily accessible and also less likely to be forgotten when changing clothes
· is deeper than it is wide (so it doesn’t take up too much space on your belt)
· probably has dimensions of around 100mm wide x 140mm high x40mm deep (which I am guessing is a reasonable balance between adequate capacity and manageable size for everyday carry

(Happy to be corrected on any of the above elements)

I don’t want to buy a commercial FAK just for the case, and compact camera cases seem too small.
 
Last edited:

mrcairney

Settler
Jun 4, 2011
839
1
West Pennine Moors
Sure, the aloksaks are great. 100% waterproof and since they're airtight you can compress them down so your kit is almost vacuum packed. Buy the mix pack (small medium and large). I don't have a link, but shop around and you can get them for about £8.

http://www.loksak.com/

EDIT: For belt wear? Oh, you'd have to put it on something after.
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
65
south wales
FAK's vary so much with the individual. The only time I've used my main kit for real was in 2006 with an axe cut to the thumb (not mine), lots of blood but direct pressure, elevation and butterfly stitches/dressing and job done. I did open it last weekend for a bottle of DEET and realised the standard pain killers and anti histamine were out of date by a couple of years :(

My 'pocket' kit is an army field dressing, couple of plasters and some anti histamine and Ventolin inhaler, all the goodies are in my main kit housed in a large(ish) A4 sized zip lock.

If your away from your main kit and get a nasty cut the dressing is there, plasters cover small nicks etc. A big kit is fine but in reality for the majority of the UK you need to carry very little as help will be at hand. Maintain airway, control blood loss, recovery position/imobilise etc covers a lot of the basics. Keep it safe and simple and let the Paramedics do the rest.

If your off to exotic places then the correct training is vital and this will be reflected in your level of kit. If not just do a course or two and practise what you learn on a regular basis (dressings etc).