Author Topic: First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??  (Read 3039 times)

Worsted Skeins

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First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??
« on: November 27, 2014, 06:23:18 AM »
Hello all.

I wish to assemble a small first aid kit for my son who spends a lot of time outdoors as an archaeologist. If he is at an established site, first aid is available but this past fall he has been doing a job that requires many miles of hiking on assorted types of terrain (and yeah he gets paid to do this).

He is sensitive to poison ivy so I am going to include some wipes in case he has a brush with it.  Anyone ever use Ivy X?  Technu is great but you need water to wash it and the offensive oils off.

I'm thinking some tweezers might be useful, as well as a few bandaids, Polysporin, mole skin.

Any other ideas?   I'll sew a pouch to hold everything. 


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 01:15:02 PM »
Look at the list of ingredients that are in St. Johns Ambulance kits - or the kits available from your local hiking shop. There will be stuff in there you wouldn't use, but they should be comparatively complete kits.


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Re: First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 02:21:24 PM »
Off the top of my head, my kit has:

My brain, with the training I have given it, and whatever is in my environment;

a couple wound care kits (
irrigation syringe (
EMT shears
latex gloves (several pairs if there's a chance he might be out overnight or longer in an emergency)
a small rite in the rain notepad and pencil or sharpie
triple antibiotic ointment
alcohol wipes
a small rite in the rain notepad and pencil or sharpie
band aids
gauze pads
athletic tape
duct tape (for preventing blisters)
tweezers (I use the nice, real pointy ones that botanists and surgeons use, but the regular ones will work in a pinch (Ouch.  bad pun, sorry.)
a needle and thread (needle for splinters, thread for repairing clothing)
a small rite in the rain notepad and pencil or sharpie
this book: ,  because if I am the one who is hurt and the person I am with does not have the training I have I want them to be able to figure it out. 

I also carry the following things, but I separated them out as you may not want to put together my entire kit :)

Patient assessment bandana ( )
a flashlight
a watch (not a cell phone)
moleskin (for if I get blisters)
2nd skin (for burns)
safety pins
epipen (rx only.  I'm not allergic to bees, but my partner is. I carried this before we learned he was allergic to bees though.)
pocket CPR mask
hydration salts
personal medications, etc.

A lot of people love the green soapy sponges, but I am always worried about them breaking open and getting soap everywhere, plus I usually restock my kit from random stuff that my MIL, who is a nurse, passes our way.  You might want to consider them though.

All of the stuff on the website  (WMI of NOLS) I'm sending you to is aimed at wilderness professionals. The training that WMI offers, though not as affordable as a first aid kit, is absolutely worth it.  If your son does this work regularly, I would encourage him to get WFR certified.  It looks great on a resume, and it has saved more than a few lives. 

Be sure to sew the kit out of bright orange, red, or yellow synthetic fabric.  I've found that using the awful cordura stuff that all the commercial kits are made of helps too.  The more the kit looks like what people expect it to look like, the easier it will be to find in an emergency.

Oh, one last thing:  My SO is an archeologist.  the poison ivy may be a lost cause, depending on the job.  My partner was on one job where the poison oak was so bad that they ended up making themselves walking sticks out of the stuff, as there was no point in trying to avoid it. 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 02:38:12 PM by learning »


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Re: First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 02:46:24 PM »
Iodine tablets, or some other water sterilizing solution. 
+1 on the duct tape.  I do the same kind of work, and yeah, medical tape won't stay on in wet conditions.
tampons.  soak up way more blood than gauze will.   

And, keep it small.  While being prepared is nice, he's probably got to carry all kinds of other gear.  The largest first aid kit I'd carry for personal hiking use is about the size of a sandwich.  I have carried a bigger kit (loaf of bread sized) if I was responsible for others.

Also, while it's a nice idea to make him a kit, shouldn't his work supply one if this is his job?  Every field job I've ever had has provided first aid kits, and has had small portable ones for hiking as well as the big ones we keep in our trucks. 

Worsted Skeins

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Re: First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2014, 01:43:18 PM »
Learning--Great list.  Thank you.

Hyla--Good question about whether his employer supplies the kits.  I had assumed there was stuff in the truck but did not ask about whether he was supplied with a small pack for the field.  This was just my maternal instinct trying to come up with a useful Xmas gift.  I will ask before assembling it.

Thank you all.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2014, 08:14:50 PM »
Work likely won't supply pain meds.   I would have him ask his doctor about getting 1-2 "extra strong" pills for back-country use, where he may take a day or two to get to medical attention.

Some doctors will provide them on this basis, if you have a regular physician that knows you.

If not, look for the strongest OTC version you can find.  imagine a sprained ankle or broken arm that you have to walk out with. 


  • Bristles
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Re: First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2014, 09:01:43 PM »
After getting my NOLS WEMT cert and spending over 200+ days in the backcountry over 2.5 years, I've narrowed my first aid kit down to:

Athletic tape:  Can be used to wrap rolled ankle, create custom band-aids, etc
Tiny triple antibiotic ointment
One piece of gauze
2 doses Benedryl, 4 ibuprofin


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Re: First aid kit for the outdoorsy type??
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2014, 02:48:52 PM »
learning nailed it in his/her post.

But I would like to add Vetwrap to it. It's slightly springy and is traditionally used to wrap horses legs. I buy it at the feed store (Tractor Supply, etc.) and it is great as it doesn't stick to anything but itself: you can put it directly over an open wound and it won't stick to the wound or hair.

Fell in love with it when I got my first horse....and wondered why all the athletic tape I'd ever been taped up with in ER rooms hurt like hell and stuck to the scab/etc.

Plus, it comes in cool colors, including dayglo if you're wanting something that stands out in your backpack. They also make knockoff brands of it, and they're 'almost' as good.