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#262352 - 08/06/13 11:31 PM bar soap in a first aid kit?
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2175
I'm thinking of adding a hotel sized bar of soap to my first aid kit. For basic sanitation after treating a wound, but also for poison ivy/oak washing and removing similar oils. ( might help with thistles as well.)

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#262354 - 08/06/13 11:52 PM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: TeacherRO]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3556
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Great idea! Maybe keep it in a ziplock bag so there's no post-use leakage?
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#262356 - 08/07/13 01:41 AM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: TeacherRO]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1307
germicidal soap - yes. you need nothing special. buy a normal large bar from the supermarket and trim off the ends if you need something smaller.

word of caution - does not work well for poison ivy. you will need other things to get that off.

Pete2

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#262357 - 08/07/13 03:43 AM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: TeacherRO]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2800
Loc: La-USA
Not a bad idea at all. Peraps adding a baby type wash cloth would be a good companion to the bar soap also.
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#262360 - 08/07/13 12:35 PM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: TeacherRO]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 788
Loc: wellington, fl
Imho, ymmv: bar soap is bulky, creates a nasty mess once used, functions poorly with cold,hard water generally available on an outing. Liquid soaps are easier to manage and better suited for cold water function in my experience: betadine scrub, Dr. Bronners or dawn detergent might be a better choice.
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#262365 - 08/07/13 03:21 PM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: TeacherRO]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2580
Loc: Alberta, Canada
IME, washing a wound in a timely fashion beats all the antibiotic topical goop in the world.

I agree with nursemike. Bar soap is better than nothing, but it takes a lot of clean water to rinse away the residue. That's a consideration since wound cleansing is done with the cleanest water available (your drinking water supply).

Liquid soap all the way.

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#262368 - 08/07/13 04:46 PM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: TeacherRO]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
we always used dish washing detergent when we went camping when I was a kid.
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#262370 - 08/07/13 07:52 PM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: TeacherRO]
JPickett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/03/12
Posts: 264
Loc: Missouri
Pete's right. The inflammatory agent of poison ivy/oak/sumac is Urushiol. It's an oil so water and soap won't do much more than spread it; not good. Do a search for tecnu. It removes the urushiol. No connection.

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#262373 - 08/07/13 09:01 PM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: TeacherRO]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3556
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I keep a bar of soap, wrapped in a wash cloth, inside one of those plastic mesh fruit bag thingies, with a little zip tie closure. It's in a ziplock bag in my BOB, but in my hygiene kit not the FAK. Even a small bar has always seemed to big to me for a FAK, when there are other cleaning options available.

For example, I read the other day about washing poison ivy off with rubbing alcohol rather than soap. More effective, apparently, and alcohol pads seem like they could save space in the FAK over soap and water.
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#262375 - 08/07/13 09:14 PM Re: bar soap in a first aid kit? [Re: JPickett]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1965
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: JPickett
Pete's right. The inflammatory agent of poison ivy/oak/sumac is Urushiol. It's an oil so water and soap won't do much more than spread it; not good. Do a search for tecnu. It removes the urushiol. No connection.


Hmmm ...

I've always read that washing thoroughly with soap and water ASAP is the best reaction to contact.

Center for Diseases Control says:

"Immediately rinse skin with rubbing alcohol, specialized poison plant washes, degreasing soap (such as dishwashing soap) or detergent, and lots of water.

Rinse frequently so that wash solutions do not dry on the skin and further spread the urushiol."

Of course the real problem is when you don't know you've contacted poison ivy (or similar) ... until the rash start showing up. By then its typically too late.

Besides the more commonly known poisonous plants, don't forget the nightmare of wild parsnip. Its leaves have a "solar accelerator" that can lead to 2nd degree burns and will pigment the skin for years.

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