I spend a fair amount of time in the woods hiking, camping, and practicing survival skills. It’s nice to get out of doors and experience God’s creation first hand.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate during my outings; I haven’t experienced a serious injury or illness while in the bush. Still, I’m well aware that it could happen at anytime without notice. One misplaced step and an ankle is twisted or broken. One slip and a cut or puncture wound will hamper the outdoor experience. One allergic reaction and the trip becomes difficult at best. A lot of things can go wrong in the bush, especially if it’s an outing for you rather than a lifestyle.
I’ve always carried a First Aid kit in the woods with me. And thus far it’s been sufficient. Thank goodness.
First Aid Training
I recently attended a Wilderness First Aid course taught by doctors and nurses. It was a great course. It complemented the Medical Corp training that Laura and I took a couple of years ago. I’ll review the materials and syllabus in another post.
The difference in First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, the Medical Corp training? In short: First Aid assumes that help is 15 to 60 minutes away; Wilderness First Aid assumes that you are 2 hours to 4 days away from help; the Medical Corp training assumes that you are the help and no more is available.
After the Wilderness First Aid course, I quickly realized just how lacking in medical supplies my 72-hour pack was. I had some band-aids, ibuprofen, and tweezers, but that was about it. I was ill-equipped to handle anything more than a headache or minor cut. My supplies and my knowledge were extremely limited.
The course helped with the knowledge part. While no 2-day course can prepare you for everything or make you a medical expert, it can provide you with considerably more knowledge than you had before.
I’ve also since revamped my emergency kit. My goal was to stock the kit with items that may be necessary in the bush, yet to keep it small, portable, and lightweight.
This is certainly not the end-all kit. I’m sure it’ll be a work-in-progress as I continue learning. For now though, this seems to be a good compromise between items and size/weight.
Keep in mind that this kit works with my Every Day Carry (EDC) Kit. For example, I have a bandana, safety pins, and duct tape in my EDC. All of those could be useful in a medical emergency.
A 21-piece First Aid Kit
- A small needle
- Large Self-Adhesive Bandages
- Medium Self-Adhesive Bandages
- Sam Splint
- Co-Flex Cohesive Flexible Bandages
- Non-Latex Gloves
- 2″ Gauze Bandages
- Butterfly Bandages
- Alcohol Wipes
- 3″ x 5″ Index Cards
- Pepto Bismal
- Burt’s Bees Wax
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment
- Cloth Medical Tape
- Clear Water-proof Case
- Medical Bandage Scissors (not pictured)
Edit: based on feedback from you and other research I’ve done, I’ve added a few additional items to then kit:
What do you carry in your 72-hour kit? What am I missing?