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First Aid Kits for Outdoor Activities

First Aid Kits for Outdoor Activities

Author: Simon McElroy APIOL

December 2019

 

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First aid kits are as personal as underwear and jewellery; everyone has their own preferences and, hopefully, knows how to use them to great effect. Whatever you carry in your first aid kit, you should know how to use it; if you don’t, there’s little point in it being there.


When creating or modifying your first aid kit, remember the purpose of first aid is threefold:

  • To preserve life;
  • To prevent further injury, illness and deterioration;
  • To promote recovery,

What Should be in a First Aid Kit?

 

There are a few critical factors that you need to consider when choosing the components of your first aid kit:

  • What will you need?
  • Do you know how to use it?
  • Is there another item that does the same job and others?

Think about the nature of injuries and incidents that you might encounter: Are you expected or expecting to have to deal with all of them?

What item(s) in your kit would you use in each circumstance?

How many of each would you need?

Can you lawfully use what you carry?

Do you know how to treat an injury, or deal with an incident? If not, why carry the kit?

Many first aid items have multiple uses, e.g. zinc oxide tape; if you need to, you can lighten the load by carrying one item that has many functions;

 

Example First Aid Kits

I carry one or more of three types of first aid kit, depending on my function;
  • A personal first aid kit (for when I’m on my own);
  • A group first aid kit for remote activities;
  • An event first aid kit with everything but the medic;

Simple First Aid Kit

  • Nitrile gloves
  • 4 Cetrimede wipes
  • 6 x 10x10cm wound dressing pads
  • 5m x 2.5cm zinc oxide tape
  • Scalpel blade
  • 8 x 300mg aspirin, 8 x 500mg paracetamol, 8 x 200mg ibuprofen
  • 50g pack Haribou

Personal First Aid Kit

Purpose: To enable me to look after my first aid needs easily and quickly during a remote outdoor activity in any environment:

 

Container: 1l Exped Drybag

  • Nitrile gloves
  • 4 Cetrimede wipes
  • 4 x 5x5cm wound dressing pads
  • 2 x 10x10cm wound dressing pads
  • 2 x 10x10cm adhesive dressings (actual dressing area 5.5x4cm)
  • 5m x 2.5cm zinc oxide tape
  • 30cm length of strip plaster
  • Assorted blister patches
  • Scalpel blade
  • 1 single use face shield for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • 8 x 300mg aspirin, 8 x 500mg paracetamol, 8 x 200mg ibuprofen
  • Personal medication (anti-histamine, anti-migraine)
  • 50g pack Haribou

Remote Area Activity Small Group First Aid Kit

Purpose: To enable first aid to be easily and quickly administered to any injury encountered during a remote outdoor activity in any environment:

 

Container: 1l Exped Drybag

  • 2 pairs Nitrile gloves
  • 6 Cetrimede wipes
  • 4 x 5x5cm wound dressing pads
  • 2 x 10x10cm wound dressing pads
  • 2 x 10x10cm adhesive dressings (actual dressing area 5.5x4cm)
  • Trauma dressing (15cm x 18cm)
  • 1 x 7.5cm elasticated bandage
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 50cm strip Elastoplast
  • 5m x 2.5cm zinc oxide tape
  • 2 Dioralyte electrolyte sachets
  • Assorted blister patches
  • 1 CPR face shield
  • 8 x 300mg aspirin, 8 x 500mg paracetamol, 8 x 200mg ibuprofen
  • Tick tweezers
  • 50g pack Haribou
  • 1m Gorilla tape

Event First Aid Kit

Purpose: To enable first aid to be easily and quickly administered to any injury encountered during an event in any environment:

 

Container: Bespoke robust first aid case (designed by a mountain rescue team) inside an Exped 5l drybag with 2 pairs Nitrile gloves and a Petzl Tikka headtorch (with Duracell batteries) at the top:

 

Inside the case:

  • Cetrimede wipes (10-12)
  • 2 x biohazard bags
  • 3 x 10cm x 8cm adhesive dressing (actual dressing area 5.5x4cm)
  • 8 x 300mg aspirin, 8 x 500mg paracetamol, 8 x 200mg ibuprofen
  • 2 x Dioralyte electrolyte sachets (blackcurrant)
  • 1 silver foil blanket (140x210cm)
  • 1 pair sharp-pointed medical scissors
  • 1 pair trauma sheers
  • 1 scalpel blade
  • 1 pair tweezers
  • 1 set tick removers
  • SAM splint
  • 1 single use face shield for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • 1 re-usable face shield
  • 1 permanent marker
  • 1 incident details card (filled in before sending someone for help)
  • 1 waterproof notepad with pencil
  • 1 trauma dressing with bandage (15x18cm)
  • 1 x wound dressing with bandage (No.3)
  • 1 x medium wound dressing with bandage (12cmx12cm)
  • 1 small wound dressing with bandage (7.5x10cm)
  • 1 eye pad/dressing with bandage
  • 1 conforming bandage (elastic)
  • Assorted adhesive plasters and Steristrip wound closures
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • 5 x 10x10cm dressing pads
  • 6 x 5x5cm dressing pads
  • 1 10x10cm gel burn dressing
  • 2 x 3.5g sachets gel for burns
  • 1 x 20ml irripod (sterile saline solution)
  • 1 x 10mx5cm roll Elastoplast tape
  • 1 x 3mx1.2cm roll Transpore tape
  • 1 x 5mx2.5cm roll Transpore tape
  • 1 x 85g fruit jelly pouch (quick sugar fix for hypoglycaemia)
  • 1 x 50g pack Haribou sweets
  • 1 chocolate bar (no nuts)
  • 1 x bin bag
  • 1m Gorilla tape on small plastic slate
  • Superglue (15ml)

Simon has worked in the outdoors as an event manager, coach and instructor for over 30 years in a wide range of environments and has, through experience, honed and whittled first aid resources to the most effective for each occasion.

 

For more information about first aid kits, or about copyright information please email simon.mcelroy@keyadventures.co.uk