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First aid kit

Old 07-27-18, 11:54 AM
  #1  
jrickards
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First aid kit

If you carry a first aid kit with you on a tour, what do you put in it? I'm considering something for a 1-2 week tour, neither of us have significant medication needs but Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen will be carried along with a couple of other personal needs meds. We're also staying within Canadian borders so I don't need to worry about transporting meds over the border.
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Old 07-27-18, 12:19 PM
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Where are you headed? For such a short tour, I would just add band-aids and maybe some gauzes (you could always use your duct tape to keep it on). I don't remember what else I used to carry with me on tour. The first tour had a lot more than subsequent tours.
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Old 07-27-18, 12:25 PM
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Check out this previous thread from 2006: First Aid
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Old 07-27-18, 12:42 PM
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I carry a generic first aid kit that I bought at a camping store, but I put a bunch more bandaids into it. It was a kit designed for a couple days of travel.

Things like bandanas that I also carry can be used for a variety of first aid tasks too.

I also carry a one oz (~~ 30 ml) bottle of rubbing alcohol which can be used to disinfect scrapes and cuts. Used it three days ago when a car driver wanted the part of the road I was on, my scrapped knee was one of the victims of that.

When I canoe or kayak and will be away from any kind of retail establishment for over a week, I carry a lot of ibuprofen and aspirin in case I blow out my back again.
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Old 07-27-18, 03:40 PM
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For a relatively short period of time, say a week or so, I would not carry much more than would be needed around the house for typical cuts and scrapes; some band aids, a bit of antiseptic cream, some adhesive tape and would dressing. If in a remote area, then I would add more. For a week long backpack in Colorado, I asked my doctor for a script of antibiotics and added some more wound dressing.
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Old 07-27-18, 04:52 PM
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Along with the before mentioned items I also carry some Tums. Not really an emergency item but can give some great relief from a bad meal.
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Old 07-27-18, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by travelinhobo View Post
Where are you headed? For such a short tour, I would just add band-aids and maybe some gauzes (you could always use your duct tape to keep it on).
I take blood thinners daily and that is pretty much all bring plus a small roll of medical tape since I don't carry duct tape. Also a small tube of Neosporin.
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Old 07-27-18, 09:32 PM
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got a small first aid kit in a waterproof rubbermaid© container, been dragging it around for 'bout half a million miles over the past 30 years. two compartment type, sandwich and chips, fits in pannier outside pocket.

the "sandwich" side has a collection of vintage unused gauze and tape, mini bottle of vaseline, tube of antibiotic and mussel cream, and some assorted bits like band-aides q-tips and tweezers. only meds that actually get used and rotated are tramadol (blow out back carrying loaded bike up 5 flights) and norfloxin (china hygiene).

the "chips" side hold house keys, copy of passport, emergency cash, usb with important dox, wee tiny repair kit for eyeglasses (1/2" long mini screwdriver and a few screws), spool of thread and some needles.
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Old 07-27-18, 11:24 PM
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Include sutures & needles for bad lacerations. Interestingly they sell "practice" suture kits...hopefully one doesn't have to use family/friends...
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Old 07-28-18, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Include sutures & needles for bad lacerations. Interestingly they sell "practice" suture kits...hopefully one doesn't have to use family/friends...
Steri-strips and butterfly bandages do as well or better closing a wound than an ameture suture job, and no special tools or skills are needed. Have you practiced you knot tying lately?

A good antiseptic, a couple of 4×4s, a roll of "vet wrap", a good pair of tweezers, and a tube of A&D salve (for chafing ) are also good inclusions.

I am on a 2-month tour now, and carry a pretty complete kit. We started with 4 of us, and it is a group kit. I was an EMT so I tend to go above the minimum.
​​​​​​

Last edited by Doug64; 07-28-18 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 07-28-18, 03:49 AM
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My wife is a doctor so I let her compile our first aid kit. I don't know exactly what's in ththere but there are a couple of different antibiotics (one specifically for lyme disease), antihistamine, painkillers of various strengths and qualities (paracethamol, ibuprofein etc), heartburn meds, wound stuff etc. I know she doesn't like suturing in the field so I don't think we we have suturing supplies.

On top of that I have glucagen for low blood sugars
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Old 07-28-18, 05:16 AM
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I forgot to mention that I occasionally ask at my dentist office or doctors office if I can have a few extra pair of disposable gloves, they are always happy to give me a few pair. I carry those with my tools and bike spares in case I need to fix a flat or do some other messy bike repair.

But gloves like that could come in handy in a first aid kit too, especially if you are working on someone you do not know.

Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
... , a roll of "vet wrap",...​​​​​​
I forgot to mention that sometimes I carry vet wrap. Often costs a lot less than the human skin color brown wrap that is sold for treating humans, but vet wrap works just as well regardless of color.
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Old 07-28-18, 05:25 AM
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Add a couple of the largest Gauze pads in case you have to stop bleeding from a cut. They might take up space, but don't weigh much.
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Old 07-28-18, 07:02 AM
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[ramble]

My 1st aid kit is an Adventure Medical kit .7 which I've modified and upgraded/updated over the years. I've replaced all of the regular bandaid strips with the heavy duty flexible fabric-style strips. The adhesive on these bandaids is brutally aggressive and will stick to darn near anything. I've added a small tube of N-N-N-Neo... sporin.

I think that THE most important piece of medical kit for anyone is a bottle of soap - even a bar of soap - just to get your wound clean and to stay clean. Once your wound is clean, dry, and bandaged, you're gtg anyway.

As mentioned here already, bandannas are a great accessory with many uses. I carry one, and use it daily for whatever; from using as a washcloth to wearing wet around my neck to keep cool.

I always keep my med kit stocked with antihistamines. Zyrtec for seasonal allergies and Benedryl for skin-related issues.

I also bring some eye drops. I like the kind that lubricates rather than the do-it-all variety, which actually stings my eyes a little. If I have to flush my eyes, a water bottle does a nice job, then follow up with the drops. Eye drops are nice to have after a long day in the saddle, in the sun, on the run.

[/ramble]
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Old 07-28-18, 02:04 PM
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I always thought a cool thing to have would be a few percocets in case there was an injury of some sort. Unfortunately these expire so
it would be hard to keep them current.
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Old 07-30-18, 11:47 AM
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Just the basics, bandaids, some packs of antibiotics, sting relief etc.
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Old 07-30-18, 01:02 PM
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Ive always considered or reasoned that the most likely injury to happen is some scrapes. Having some little paquets of sterile wipes for cleaning out a scrape is really handy. Have used these a few times and its handy to be able to simply tear open a small package and wipe grit and stuff out of a scrape.
I also bring a tube of polysporin, to put onto the then cleaned scrape, and have various gauze and bandaid type thingees to cover up stuff if necessary.

now touch wood! but Ive only have superficial scrapes, so have just used the forementioned stuff.

this winter I had a little crash locking up the front on some dirt in front of a speed bump in Mexico, right in front of a group of people at a bus stop, which was embarrassing, and I was glad to have the wipes and whatnot to clean myself up.
The scrapes healed up well over the next week or so and Im sure cleaning it out properly and using polysporin was a factor. Still have the little scars, but no infections and oddly enough, it didnt even hurt too much from the fall or cleaning out the dirt.
I have found that often scrapes on elbow or knee areas are a pain because the bandaging moves around, so Ive either just not put coverings on while continuing riding, and or had some of that netting stuff to pull over a leg or arm to keep bandages in place.

again, touch wood, have really only had to use this stuff a few times in many decades, but I figure its always good to have at least a minimum of a kit, at least to clean out scrapes as soon as you have the accident, polysporin and cover it up if doable. This will all help with the healing process and avoid infections.

Last edited by djb; 07-30-18 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 08-01-18, 02:33 PM
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I bought a few of these with leftover flex spend money a while back. They're fairly comprehensive, I just added suture strips.

https://www.rei.com/product/695383/adventure-medical-kits-ultralight-watertight-7-first-aid-kit

Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Include sutures & needles for bad lacerations. Interestingly they sell "practice" suture kits...hopefully one doesn't have to use family/friends...
Suture strips work really well for anything that I'd trust myself to take care of. Can barely see the scar from impaling myself on a beer bottle in a crash two years ago!
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Old 08-01-18, 10:12 PM
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Not sure why some posters here distinguish between a week long trip and say a month long. If something happens on the road, it happens. A standard first aid kit should be fine. Bandages, antiseptic, gauze and that stuff. Unless you have been trained, taking anything more "medical" seems overkill.
Most riders' injuries consist of simple cuts, sunburn, saddle sores and maybe road rash.
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Old 08-02-18, 12:01 AM
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A lot of variables go into FA kits - weight, space, cost, items you carry, etc. Also, there are limits to how much you can do to help another person and still be covered under the Good Samaritan laws. Like one poster upthread, I am an EMT and I carry a pretty healthy kit, but in a compressed bag. It weighs just over a pound, and is basically a full trauma kit. There isn't a one size fits all, it really depends on where you are going.

One of the items that I highly recommend is a decent size syringe without the needle - bars of soap, antiseptic etc are all great, but to really clean out wounds like road rash with a lot of material in them, you need some pressure. A water or saline filled syringe will make wound cleaning a lot easier. You can also put a pinhole in a sandwich bag filled with water, or a water bottle, but the syringe works really well.

I wouldn't ever sew someone up in the field, even if you have the skill and the right meds it would be illegal as hell. Carry the butterfly strips, and some tincture of benzoin to put around the wound so that the strips will stick better. Here is my kit, I use it for touring and backpacking. The metal mesh you see is another handy item - it's a foldable splint without the normal padding you see on them.



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Old 08-02-18, 05:47 AM
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I think the best "kit" you can carry is some training. And a cool head.

I suppose fitness and experience in cycling go a long way toward prevention, always the best medicine.

After a career as a first responder, all I carry now in a "kit" (a snack-sized baggie) is a roll of 1" cloth tape, tweezers, and some bandaids. Elsewhere I carry a cotton bandanna, needle and thread, a single edged razor blade, a dry sleeping bag and clothing, rain gear and shelter, a sleeping pad (for splinting), and some food and water. And some experience with trauma in my head.

To date I've treated falls, hypo- and hyperthermia, hyponatremia and hypoglycemia. I suppose extreme fatigue counts, too--had to deal with a case of that last weekend. A calm demeanor and some extra food and water can go a long way.

I never need meds, got tired of replacing expired stuff never touched, so I don't carry meds any more. If you get headaches, joint pain, gastro-intestinal problems or have allergies, carry what you need. And suggest others in your group do the same.
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Old 08-02-18, 08:10 AM
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how about an ace bandage & arm sling?
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Old 08-07-18, 09:19 AM
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As someone posted, training is #1 thing to carry with you! If you are going to be in a somewhat-remote area, check out a two-day Wilderness First Aid (WFA) class, which covers treating and stabilizing a patient for evacuation. I've taken it and it's a good investment of time. If you'll be in the "front country" in most western nations, and will be within an hour of EMS care, you can get by with less training, like a Red Cross Advanced First Aid course. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), which is a youth MTB organization, also sponsors one-day "WFA-lite" courses focused on biking injuries when you are within EMS range.

Consider the most-common types of injuries you'd need to treat while cycling, and that you'll actually be able to treat on your own. Needles and thread for suturing? Hmmm, maybe if you are in a really remote area and have previously practiced. Otherwise, no way I'd be thinking of doing that! There are modern adhesive closure products that will work almost as well to stabilize a wound until you can get to professional help. I carry gauze rolls and triangle bandages, since road rash is going to be the most common thing you encounter. An Ace Bandage can be used lots of ways. Again, unless you are really remote, your focus should be on stabilizing and getting the patient to competent care.
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Old 08-07-18, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Philly Tandem View Post
unless you are really remote, your focus should be on stabilizing and getting the patient to competent care.
that's what had me suggest an ace bandage & an arm sling. when Wifey crashed her bike & fell breaking her wrist, a few weeks ago, the ER wrapped it in an ace bandage & arm sling until she could get to her doc a cpl days later for an official hard cast. (partly because they thought it would be swelling & the hard cast should be applied after the initial swelling went down. she is actually on her 2nd cast now. not sure why they changed it. maybe they made it tighter, she hates it. anyway, if she & I were alone & didn't have a good samaritan to drive her to the ER, I don't know what we would have done
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Old 08-07-18, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Just the basics, bandaids, some packs of antibiotics, sting relief etc.
same, plus antihistamine
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