First Aid Kits and First Aid Gear for Tramping
- Dave Reynolds
Suggestions for what would be useful in a tramping first aid kit, and some ideas relating to tramping first aid generally.
- Large gauze dressings x 2
- Small gauze dressings x 2
- Triangle bandage x 3
- Crepe bandages x 2
- Emergency Bivvy bag or NZAC Orange Packliner (each member of the Party)
- Band aids.
- Pen and note book.
- Disposable gloves x 3 pair.
- Paracetamol, Ibuprofen. These 2 drugs in combination give excellent relief for mild to moderate pain.
- Antihistamines for minor skin irritations and bites and stings. The expiry dates of these items need to be checked on a regular basis.
- Trampers with a known serious allergy need to carry their own adrenaline. Often trampers will have specific requirements relating to their own specific problems, foot care etc and will carry their own first aid equipment to deal with such issues
For a long trip
Where an infected wound could be an issue, an antibacterial ointment such as betadine could be useful as a last resort (ie if you can not get out - not good for healing. The better ones would need to be obtained from your GP as they are prescription medications. In the first instance irrigate the wound using high pressure with 500mls cooled boiled drinking water. You can use a 20ml syringe or clean plastic bag with a small hole.
- Communications: cell phone, mountain radio or PLB. A minimum of two PLB per trip is recommended.
- Water is always carried by trampers and can be used to clean wounds or to irrigate eyes.
- Most trampers will carry a Swiss army knife or similar which has a sharp blade or scissors.
- Snow foam lunch pads make excellent splints.
- Sticks or walking poles in addition to the snow foam will make a secure splint.
Knowing how to use your resources for the benefit of the patient is the key to good first aid care. Having a current first aid certificate is always helpful.
Trampers who have known medical conditions need to take full responsibility for their conditions and carry the necessary medications. The leader should be advised of the condition and what will be the most appropriate assistance should it be necessary.
As with all tramping weight and space are important considerations; on a long trip the first aid items could be spread over the party. On a day trip weight and space are not such major factors.
Knowing how to use the resources and an ability to identify the problem are very important.