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[Yosemite]

First Aid Kit

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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First Aid Kit

Postby balzaccom » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:30 am

We've added one more item to our first aid kit for backpacking, but it's not something we suggest for everyone. As you may know, I am an avid cyclist. I try to ride just about every day for 15+ miles, and have regularly ridden over 5,000 miles a year.

But over the past few years, I've been stung by bees a few times, and each time the reaction to the sting has become more pronounced. The last time I was stung, about month ago, it was on the thigh, and my entire thigh swelled up to about 150% of it's normal size., and growing.

That's when I decided it was worth going to the doctor about this. The doctor prescribed some massive dosages of prednisone, and then asked me what I liked to do for fun. When I mentioned backpacking, the doc immediately prescribed a couple of epipens. He was concerned that if I were stung near my head by a bee, the reaction could easily prevent me from breathing, and I'd would be far from medical help. There's a happy thought.

So we've added this to our FAK for in the mountains, even though it adds a few ounces to our packs. Wonder if there is an ultralight version?
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby Phil » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:54 pm

EpiPens are nice (as are sutures and lidocaine if you're seriously putting together a kit), but it's all prescription and usually only prescribed for people with severe allergic reactions that have a known or proven history of anaphylaxis. If you gotta, you gotta, but a good OTC alternative for most people that everyone can and should carry is Benadryl or some other antihistamine containing diphenhydramine, taken immediately.

We like a few other things in our kit as well that go beyond just band-aids and antiseptic wipes:

SAM Splint (also makes a nice bundle for the whole kit)
2/ Blood-stoppers (for trauma)
2/ pre-made cravats for slings and/or tourniquets
81mg aspirin
ibuprofen
small pair of paramedic's shears
small forceps
6/ 4x4s
2/ rolls of 3" elastic, cohesive roller bandages
Ace bandage (folded, not rolled)

I keep the whole thing in a small stuff sack that measures maybe 6x6x4" and weighs less than 2 lbs. It's heavier and a little bulkier than I might like, but it's what I consider a reasonably necessary sacrifice for what I can/might have to do with it. The other piece of gear I never leave without is an ACR ResQlink+ PLB (no, not a SPOT), because if I can't fix it, I want someone there as quickly as possible that can. Dying for recreational purposes sucks. It's also not a bad thing to at least have some basic knowledge of first aid, if not at least a few tricks in specialized wilderness medicine techniques.
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby mebgardner » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:49 am

Thanks, Phil, Balzac.

I've been looking at the Spot .vs ACR thing recently. I have not bought anything yet.

My wife is anaphylaxis sensitive to stinging insects, so we carry an epipen for her. I think we have the OTC antihistamine as well, for me :)

We live in Tucson AZ, where we're seeing *lots* of Africanized bees now. All of them are Africanized now, and we hear a steady drone outside the screen doors daily (they work the trees, and we like that. We need them). Sometimes, we get the "bee ball" overhead, and run (I mean *run*) indoors immediately. This weekend, there were two of them. In one day...

Thanks for the leg up on the extras listed. I'll let the medic wife know she should look at it. (She's ex-EMT for a NM county, and "seen it all").
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby Phil » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:55 pm

Hey, maybe I can help you decide.

If I'm going to hit the buttons, I want my signal to get out and have a helicopter over my head within the hour. No maybe allowed. Therefore, I don't want a toy, I want an ACR. I also don't need to send texts to people letting them know we're okay, and them being able to track my position is something I could care less about, because the rule of thumb we use is: If you don't hear from us, NOAA, or SAR, we're fine, we're wherever we happen to be right now, we miss you, but leave us alone because we're backpacking. The ACR only requires online registration with the NOAA initially and then renewal every two years. It communicates with the SARSAT system every time within seconds, it deploys and activates easily, it might save our lives, it costs nothing after we buy it, and it even floats. With the SPOT, you have to pay an annual fee and, from way too many reviews I've read and people that own them that I've talked to, hope you're standing in the middle of a field when you need it. So again, after lots of homework, I opted for performance, a reliable satellite and support network, and no games with having to keep paying for something that, in the opinions of just about everyone that's actually ever needed it for rescue or timely communications, is marginal at best.
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