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Build Your Own First Aid Kit

First aid Kit Source - Major surplus (Bag only)

Much of the time in the outdoors, you will be on your own for immediate medical care, with definitive medical services 2 or more hours away. Provided, of course that you can even signal for help!

In preparation for an outing or expedition, you need to make sure everyone has a first aid kit. If you don’t -- build one now! If you have a first aid kits make sure it is in good order. This is a good time to look at the contents and replace expired drugs and damage supplies. If your first aid credentials have expired, see if you can squeeze in a class before your next expedition.

Since we all have significant cargo capacity in vehicle dependent travel, I recommend each vehicle take a fully stocked first aid kit. I like the duplication and I like the idea that if you get separated (on purpose or otherwise), a first aid kit is at hand.

First aid Kit Used as "Boo boo" kit - Major Surplus

Multiple First aid Kits

In addition to your main first aid kit, you want a smaller kit for side trips without the vehicle. Plus you may want to make up a “boo boo” bag for Advil, IBU, Aleve (or your favorite NSAID), band aids, anti acid tablets, splinter kit, etc. for the headache, scrapes, and bruises that do not warrant breaking out the big box.

Update Expired Drugs

Drug list Make a list of expiration dates

Heat is hard on drugs, band aids and other items in your first aid kit. So is riding around for a year or more in your off-road vehicle. Packets break and dry out; Bottles leak; drugs expire, etc. It would be a good idea to inventory your drugs and update ones that have expired or show signs of deterioration. Epinephrine should be clear. If not replace it. Replace all damaged supplies. Take the time to type up a list of drugs and when they expire in each of your first aid kits. The list makes it so much easier to check for expired drugs in the future. Make sure the batteries in your headlamp / flashlight and watch are fresh. This is a good time to refresh yourself with what you actually have in the kit and where it is located.

First Aid Kit vs. Survival Kit

Many find the first aid kit a convenient and logical place to store small survival items – matches, whistle, signal mirror, knife, compass, etc. It may be ok to have survival items in the kit if you have room. If you decide to include survival items, make a hard separation of your survival items from your true first aid items so they do not get in the way.

Individual Packets vs. Larger Containers

I prefer to include a bottle of NSAID tablets rather than numerous individual packets with 2 tablets each. I prefer a tube of Neosporin rather than individual one time use packets. While the packets are convenient, I feel they are more expense and waste drugs. Once a packet is opened any unused contents are discarded.

Build Your Kit

First aid Kit Pelican cases make an excellent vehicle dependent First Aid container

I think the best kits are ones you build yourself with the tools, equipment, and supplies you know how to use. You can start with a commercial kit, however, and supplement the contents. The Adventure Medical line of First Aid Kits is one I recommend. When I travel by plane and leave my other gear home, I carry the Sportsman model. They have several larger kits that I like for vehicle dependent travel.

You want the kit to be as waterproof as possible and you should try to segment the supplies into separate areas or small bags based on categories of need. In the attached list you can see the suggested categories. I am providing this list to get you started! Feel free to make modifications. One item that merits inclusion on top of every smaller bag (or sub section) is gloves for personal protection. They will be handy and a visible reminder to wear them no matter which bag you go to first.

First aid Kit Adventure Medical Sportsman

First Aid Kit

  • A water proof case or bag

DOCUMENTATION

PERSONAL PROTECTION

  • 4 (at least) pair non latex Gloves (also put a set in each of the other sections)
  • Ear plugs
  • Purell hand sanitizer
First aid Kit Smaller bags organize contents by need

TOOLS

  • Headlamp / Penlight
  • Watch
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • 60 cc syringe
  • Suction bulb
  • Oral / digital thermometer
  • Sterile scalpel blade
  • Fine hemostat x 2
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Stethoscope
  • Sterile needles for splinters
  • Pocket rescue mask

WOUND CLEANING KIT

  • Tooth Brush - new
  • 2 4x4 inch sterile gauze dressings
  • 2 2x2 inch sterile gauze dressings
  • 1 small bottle of tincture of benzoin
First aid Kit Don't forget documentation

WOUND DRESSING KIT

  • 2 4x4 inch sterile gauze dressings
  • 2 2x2 inch sterile gauze dressings
  • First Aid Cream
  • Neosporin
  • 1 2x2 mole skin for blisters
  • 6 band-Aids
  • 1 roll 1 inch flexible tape
  • 1 roll “vet” wrap
  • 1 small tube Providone iodine ointment
  • 1 small bottle liquid soap
  • 2 inch elastic bandage
First aid Kit And a first Aid Book

ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK KIT

  • Epinephrine
  • 1 cc syringe x3 or Epi pen
  • 4 tablets Benedryl

LARGE WOUNDS / FRACTURES

  • Large Triangular Bandage
  • Xeroform gauze dressing
  • Sam Splint
  • 4 Diaper pins
  • 4” & 6” Ace bandage
  • Burn sheet (100% cotton t-Shirt fresh from dryer kept in plastic bag)
  • Large dressing (Sanitary Napkins / diapers work well)
  • Handful of big plastic cable ties
  • Duct Tape


In addition, make a mental note of all the other stuff you have in the vehicle to make a splint (tent poles, tarps, ropes, blankets) or can be used to stabilize someone prior to transport.

MEDICATIONS – Nonprescription

  • Tylenol aka Acetaminophen (Pain, Fever)
  • Advil aka ibuprofen (Pain, Fever, Inflammation)
  • Aspirin (Pain, Fever, Inflammation)
  • Aleve aka naproxen (Pain, Fever, Inflammation)
  • Allegra-D
  • Imodium
  • Benadryl
  • Stool Softener (e.g. Colase)
  • Syrup of Ipecac
  • Liquid activated charcoalv
  • Cake mate
  • Dramamine (motion sickness)
  • Cough & cold preparations
  • Sun block
  • Chap Stick

MEDICATIONS – Prescription

(Talk to your doctor)
  • Antibiotic tablets
  • Antibiotic eye ointment or drops
  • Epipen
  • Prednisone
  • Abuterol Inhaler
  • Medication for severe pain
  • Steroid cream
  • Diamox (if going to altitude)


If it has been a while, I recommended you take a First Aid Course. Wilderness Medical Associates www.wildmed.com offers course from 2, 4 or 8 days. These courses are geared for the kind of first aid we need when calling 911 is not an option.



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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous articles?



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Major Events Planned for 2012


Monache Meadows

While we are on the subject of planning, Badlands Off-Road adventures, Inc. has a number of significant events on the schedule for this year. If you wish to participate, you need to start making plans soon. Some events have early due dates, may require significant preparations, have limited positions and require time off from work.
  1. Easter Safari April 2 - 6 (registration cutoff Feb 15)

  2. Wilderness Advanced First aid June 28- July 1 (WAFA)

  3. Rubicon Trail a week in August

And of course we will have our Mojave Road and Death Valley Adventure Trips.

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February Clinics


Rocks Clinic Example

  1. Sands Clinic Feb 18
  2. Winch Clinic Feb 19
  3. Rocks Clinic Feb 25


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Getting Started Off-road Driving Clinic February 11 & March 10, 2012


Getting Started Off-Road Clinic

The clinic is held in Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation Area near Gorman CA. This clinic is specifically designed to meet the needs of novice off-highway drivers or someone with a bit of experience who is looking for a more complete understanding. This is a one-day session. The session includes classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. More Details...


You can register directly here


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Advanced Beginner Clinic March 11, 2012


Advanced Beginner Clinic Example

The clinic is held in the El Paso Mountains near Mojave CA. The goal is to help you get a "better feel" for tire placement and to visualize the obstacles as they move into your blind zone. You will gain more behind the wheel experience combined with picking lines. The difficulty level is one step higher than the basic class and you can expect some pin striping. More Details...


You can register directly here


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Death Valley March 16 to 19, 2012


Death Valley

This is a 4 day trip on the back roads in Death Valley. We will drive the Panamint Mountains, drive past Badwater Basin (lowest spot in North America), visit Chloride Ghost town, Titus Canyon, check out Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle junction, The Race Track & Lippencott Mine Road, camp at the Warm Springs and leave via Steal Pass up to the high meadows, then take Dedeckera Canyon down to the Eureka Sand Dunes. All four days will see some light to moderate 4-wheeling. Much of the trip is quite remote with random or no cell service.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/Deathvalley.html


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Deathvalley


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Mojave Road March 24 - 26


Mojave Road

We will follow the Old Mojave Road for 3 days. This was the earliest wagon road into California. Traveling the Mojave Road isn't a picnic but it is a great family style 4-Wheel drive trip / Expedition. It's a 3-day excursion, best made in convoy with other 4-wheelers. The Mojave Road was a main wagon trail for many years between the Beale wagon road in AZ and the West Coast. The terrain is mostly desert; some hills over the various mountain ranges; a dry lake; water crossings; canyons; and areas of soft sand. We will visit tons of history and see some incredible views. The 4 Wheeling is quite mild. More Details

You can register at Mojave Road Registration

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4 Wheel Drive Radio Shows


These 2 four wheel drive radio shows you can listen to on-line or download as a podcast.

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The Badlands Off-road Adventures Store

Click here if you cannot see the full store



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I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-374-8047
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
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Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2012, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.





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