Saturday, June 27, 2009

Survival Kits (Personal) Part 6

We have covered some of the major components in our personal survival kit series: the container, the knife/tool, fire, light and some miscellaneous items as well.

In this next installment of our personal survival kit series I am going to cover something pretty important, first aid. When I say first aid I am referring to the skills as well as the kit. Going into the bush without some basic first aid skills is like jumping into a lake full of alligators after rubbing yourself down with chicken blood…not good.

The Red Cross offers classes that can be taken in basic first aid as well as CPR and rescue breathing. I would advise everyone to take a course at least once, even if you don’t keep up with the certifications.

Knowing how to do things like properly dress a wound, recognize and treat shock, perform CPR and perform rescue breathing are all skills everyone should at least be familiar with. The importance of these skills cannot underestimated, even something as simple as recognizing the signs of heat stroke or hypothermia could save your life or the life of a companion.

With regard to the first aid kit in your survival kit, simple is the way to go. We are not talking a squad level kit, trauma bag, or even family sized first aid kit here. There are several must have components when added to what we have already discussed (remember from the last post? Bug spray, sun block and lip balm) will enable you to perform basic first aid in most circumstances. Bear in mind this will not treat multiple compound fractures of both legs in the middle of the woods but in reality if that happens to you when you are alone…the outlook is pretty grim regardless.

The first thing in any first aid kit should be an assortment of bandages, all different sizes and types to try and hedge against wounds on various parts of the body. I like the fabric kind myself but everyone probably has their preference. Related to this would be a nice big roll of gauze and medical tape to go with it. This will help cover and protect wounds where bandages just won’t cover.

In my survival kit I also have some ibuprofen and aspirin to help with things like pain. You would be amazed of the amount of pain you can dull with plain old ibuprofen. I have taken in one dose up three 200mg pills (600mgs total) when in pretty good pain and it does help.

You should have some items like antiseptic wipes to clean wounds and antibiotic creams to treat those minor wounds. I also keep a small bottle of iodine in my kit for the dual purpose of treating wounds and sterilizing questionable water. Iodine and chlorine both work well in that regard but you can't put chlorine on a wound which is why I choose iodine.
One more thing I do keep in my survival kit first aid bag is a needle and thread and some safety pins. They are good for repairing equipment and clothing along with flesh if needed…you have all seen First Bloodright?

I will most likely get grief from someone out there but that is all I really recommend for a survival first aid kit. Mayberry says it best, keep it simple stupid. If you learn the skills I suggest and carry what I have told you, many other things like splints can be improvised using nature.

Please don’t confuse this with a regular IFAK(Individual First Aid Kit) or home first aid kit, those need to be MUCH more comprehensive than what I listed here. The purpose of this post is to give you the basics to survive a short term situation and nothing more. This kit should be with you whenever you head into unfamiliar territory and it will perform its function admirably, getting you held over until the emergency passes.

...that is all.

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