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#195184 - 02/05/10 09:22 PM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: Jeff_M]
7point82 Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
My plan looks a lot like Jeff's.

I've got a AMK Backcountry FAK that I've added a number of important items too. I trim the kit WAY down for solo backpacking and store it in an ultralight bag from AMK.

From Jeff's list above I'm still going to substitute duct tape for some of the dressings, moleskin and bandages. They are bulky but I do still pack a SAM splint most of the time. I backpack in AZ and UT quite a bit and sometimes splint material is very hard to come by.
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#195188 - 02/05/10 09:55 PM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: sybert777]
sybert777 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 299
Loc: 62208
Urban, a tip, of all people, my MOM told me, make or buy an anklet to hold all of your snake bite equipment because instead of trying to rummage through your FAK, it is in the region where you are most likely to be bitten. just a tip, but some good advise, it lessens the weight on your back!

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#195192 - 02/05/10 10:36 PM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: sybert777]
urbansurvivalist Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 127
Loc: Asheville, NC
Thanks for all the feedback. So far I'm taking out the first aid book and quik-clot, and possibly th eyewash. That brings me down to 26oz, a significant improvement. For simplicity sake, I may replace all the band-aids with knuckle band aids(the most versatile kind), even though that wouldn't save any weight.

I'll keep looking into a lighter case, and I may take the suggestion to use several zip-lock bags inside of a sil-nylon bag. It would be much less convenient but it would be much lighter than the current case.

I'm definitely not cutting back on any of the blister items, and I may even add more. I almost never get blisters on the trail, but then again I'll be covering more miles each day than I ever have before. I like SAM splints but it would be redundant, I have more than enough supplies to improvise either a rigid or soft splint.

Just to clarify due to a previous comment, much of the trail will not have cell-phone reception, though I don't see how cell reception has any bearing on the contents of the kit. I'm still researching the trail, but I know that much of the beginning goes deep into desert areas, with lots of pointy things, snakes, scorpions, etc. I plan on being very cautious and doubt I will get stung by anything, but I still think its good to be prepared for it.

I will be traveling with a hiking partner, and the FAK will be part of the group gear that we will be splitting up. This partly justifies carrying more quantities of certain items. Even half the weight of the kit is still close to a pound per person, which I'd like to get a bit lower.

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#195195 - 02/05/10 11:20 PM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: urbansurvivalist]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
One of the big questions is - How far are you from "resupply"? Then you have things like 2x2 and 4x4 dressings and the like. Really, do you need both sizes? Can you get rid of some of the dressing types (say petrolatum dressings) and carry some petrolatum? Do you really need an ace bandage AND a roll of vet wrap (maybe)

A lot of items there are redundant/overlapping (mostly), where with a little bit of thought, you could probably remove 3 items, and replace them with 2 - BUT you'd have less overall, which is why I ask "how long till resupply" - Let's say you NEED "X" which overlaps with Y - can you last long enough with 50% more X, and NO Y
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#195198 - 02/05/10 11:31 PM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: urbansurvivalist]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
*sharpens the Ka-bar* OK, how would I trim this down...

>2 - 2x2 gauze pads
>1 - 3x4 non-stick dressing
>1 - 3x9 petrolatum gauze
>1 - 1x8 Xeroform petrolatum dressing
Drop. Add some petrolatum.

>1 - large sheet moleskin
>1 &#8211; package molefoam
Pick one

>1 - 3" elastic bandage
>1 &#8211; 3" roll vet wrap
Pick one. Drop the 2" roller while you're in there.

>5 - foam band aids
>5 - fabric band aids
>2 - waterproof band aids
>2 &#8211; Medipore pads(gauze band aid)
Consolidate. Why so many types? I wouldn't bother with the waterproof bandaids, IMHO, I'll just use a patch of duct tape over it.

>1 - Steri-Strips "x4" 6ea
>1 - closure strips "x4" 10ea
Pick one.

>1 - flat roll 1" cloth, " paper tape
Drop them. Duct tape.

>1 - povidone-iodine swabsticks
Drop, add a couple of qtips.

>6 - lidocaine/BZK/aloe wipes
>3 &#8211; burn cream w/ lidocaine
Consolidate. I'd say dump them, but I'm allergic to liodcaine. :P

>1 - benzocaine sting relief pads
Dump. Afterbite works. I might pull the pads out, and just go with the smallest bottle of it.

>4 - loperamide HCL 2mg (1/05)
>2 - pseudoephedrine 60/diphen 25(11/07)
More please.

>6 - Milk Thistle extract(2/10)
??

>Venom extractor
Is the current trend yeah or nay on these?

>2 - SOAP Notes
Dump. Real soap or hand gel.


Just my opinion.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#195202 - 02/06/10 12:39 AM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: ironraven]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7191
Loc: southern Cal
My understanding is that venom extractors are bogus. With only routine precautions, your chances of suffering snakebite and scorpion stings is minuscule.
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Geezer in Chief

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#195208 - 02/06/10 02:03 AM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: sybert777]
Traderjac Offline
Stranger

Registered: 01/21/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Va
4 ounces of Vodka would replace all of that!!!!!
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It is better to have a hit with a .22 than a miss with a 30-06

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#195221 - 02/06/10 03:55 AM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: Traderjac]
sybert777 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 299
Loc: 62208
Another thing you can do, i dont know if it will save any room or weight but replace all of your bandaids and alcohol pads with a bottle of New-Skin available at walmart. It burns/stings upon application!

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#195226 - 02/06/10 04:41 AM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: ironraven]
urbansurvivalist Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 127
Loc: Asheville, NC
Originally Posted By: ironraven

>1 - benzocaine sting relief pads
Dump. Afterbite works. I might pull the pads out, and just go with the smallest bottle of it.


Replacing 1 or 2 tiny, single-use packets with even the smallest bottle of liquid would add weight, not reduce it, which is my current goal. This applies to any suggestion for replacing tiny packets with heavier bottles of liquid. Also in my experience most bottles tend to leak or evaporate.

Originally Posted By: ironraven

>2 - SOAP Notes
Dump. Real soap or hand gel.


SOAP notes are blank medical assessment forms used in wilderness medical emergencies, it stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan

Milk thistle extract is a powerful herb for protecting and healing the liver from a wide range of toxins, ranging from poisonous mushrooms to alcohol. I do a lot of foraging, and while I'm very careful, I feel better carrying this.

Regarding a previous post, the reason I have things like 2x2s is to reduce the number of 4x4s, which are heavier. If I only have 4x4s, I would use those sometimes when I 2x2 would work, thus I have to carry more overall bandage material and thus more weight.


Okay I took out the 2" gauze roll, eye wash, venom extractor(I know there's not much scientific support for these. I had figured it would help at least a little, but I realize that slight benefit is not worth the weight), and the LED light and tiny roll of duck tape(both redundant, I have a larger roll duck tape in my repair kit). Now I'm down to 24oz, or 1.5 pounds, which is pretty good.

I might ditch the trauma shears(a mini pair by the way), but I'm getting to the point where there's not much more I would take out. I'll post an updated inventory soon.

I appreciate all the constructive comments. It goes against my nature to bring less, not more, but I'm working on that. Having the feedback definitely helps push me in the right direction.

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#195227 - 02/06/10 04:41 AM Re: Need help lightening my First Aid Kit [Re: sybert777]
Tarzan Offline
Member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 146
Loc: Washington
My own backpacking kit consists of a small storebought first aid pouch with some added medications, and a Dutch battle dressing. I carry bandanas and a swiss army knife as well as some minor knowledge of traditional native cures and medicines. Knowledge is the lightest thing you can carry and makes up for having a pharmacy on your back.

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