Paul Butzi |||

First Aid Kits

It’s been a while since I re-evaluated/re-did our get home and bugout bags. Some of what’s in the bags is just fine and only needs little updates to replace outdated stuff (food, batteries) with fresh ones.

Some things need to be re-done entirely. The first aid kit in each bag is one of those things. They need, not just a refresh (replace outdated Neosporin with fresh) but an entire revamp in light of new thinking. In some cases, there are things in there where the technology has been improved dramatically (steri-strips as suture replacements).

All the first aid kits are essentially solid commercially available first aid kits. That means they’re what I think of as high end large capacity booboo” kits - Bandaids, some gauze pads, some packets of antibiotic ointment and so on. Lacking: pretty much everything you would put into a Stop the Bleed” kit - S fold gauze treated with clotting agent, a tourniquet, maybe a HyFin chest seal.

And that makes sense for the intended market. If you don’t know how to properly use a C.A.T tourniquet, it’s just useless weight you’re dragging around. If you don’t know how to use a vented chest seal for a sucking wound, it’s just taking up space.

I’m a firm believer that skills are better than stuff, and taking a Stop the Bleed class leaves you better prepared to deal with serious bleeding even if you haven’t got a Stop the Bleed kit. That said, skills and stuff are better than just skills, so the big thing to add to every kit is Stop the Bleed gear.

Other things to add:

  • an irrigation syringe to blast debris out of road rash type injuries
  • a bottle of saline
  • some of the spiffy interlocking suture replacements
  • trauma shears

And other things to do:

  • take first aid and CPR classes
  • evaluate some different packs for the get home bags. The tri-zip packs from Mystery Ranch look like they pretty much solve the access problem of top loading pack.

Beyond updating the Get Home Bags and the Bugout bag, I’m also pondering some sort of everyday carry bag.

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