First Aid

First Aid Kit Basics

09.30.08 | No Comments

Before the Boy Scouts, the only prerequisite to going out in the backyard to “scout” was a good curiosity, a positive attitude and a minimum of gear. (Did they even call it “gear” back then, before the big box REI? Before Gore-Tex rain boots and moisture-wicking polypropylene socks, micro fleece vests to layer over SPF 50+ sunshirts, you get the picture) I’m not assuming that a boy didn’t take precautions, I’m only saying that it probably didn’t go far beyond packing a hefty PB&J sandwich in a piece of waxed paper and tucking it in a pocket somewhere on his way out the door.
Things have always been more fun and exciting without the rigors of preparedness.

This all changed a bit when one very simple motto was coined for the Boy Scouts:

BE PREPARED.

Prepared for what? Boy Scout founder Baden-Powell answered simply, “Why, for any old thing.” To be a helpful citizen. To share your knowledge and skills. To be prepared for life’s struggles, meeting any crisis head-first and willing, including a sound knowledge of First Aid.

First Aid? How….cautious!
Yes, being outside is half the picture. There’s FUN!!! to be had, after all. But to think like a Scout (if you think you’re ready for the sober forethought) then you’ve got to start by building yourself a good old pocket First Aid Kit.

Scoutmaster John, our resident Eagle Scout contributor, is here to teach us how to assemble a basic but modifiable kit that can accompany you on any jaunt through the meadow or backwoods or deep back yard. He writes:

Whenever you plan to travel in the great outdoors, it’s best to bring along a first aid kit.  Depending on the type of trip you plan to take, a first aid kit can come in many different sizes and contain a variety of items.  The further you travel from help, and the more informed you are in the practice of first aid, the more elaborate your personal or group first aid kit may be.  However, for most simple excursions, it’s best to keep it simple.  A first aid kit should fit in your daypack, along with your other essentials, and should always be easily accessible.  There are many ready made first aid kits that can be found in sporting good stores or drug stores, but one can easily be put together with a little know-how.  Here are a few things you might want to include in your basic kit:

(5) 3/8″ x 1-1/2″ mini-comfort bandages
(4) 3/4″ x 3″  comfort bandages
(4) 1″ x 3″ comfort bandages
(5) 1/2″ x 1-3/4″  butterfly bandages
(3) 1-1/2″ x 2-1/8″ fingertip bandages
(3) 1-1/2″ x 2-7/8″ knuckle bandages
(2) 2″ x 4″ knee & elbow bandages
(4) 2″ x 2″ gauze pad
(1) Gauze roll, 2″ width
(1) 1/2″ x 10 yrd roll first aid tape
(1) small tube/packet burn cream
(1) small tube/packet antibiotic ointment
(5) alcohol pads
(5) antiseptic wipes
(1 pair) latex/vinyl gloves (**important when dealing with blood or open wounds**)
(1) 4-1/2″  scissors
(1) 3″ tweezers
(5) cotton tip applicators
…and if you have room, (1) instant cold compress is very handy.

Remember, just as important as having a first aid kit, is the knowledge of how to administer first aid.  If it’s an emergency, and you can get to a phone, always call 911.  However, if help is not available, your action may save a life.  Study up on first aid and look forward to first aid tips in the future.




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