Thursday 5 January 2012

My Historical Trekking Medical Kit.

I had two requests yesterday to make a video about my medical kit. At first I thought it was not worth my while, and said so. But on further reflection I decided that perhaps I should. It is not the first time I have made the mistake of taking something for granted. So I made part 1 and 2 yesterday, and took some stills at the same time.
There is not much to my medical kit, and if I were going on a long trip I would add some items. But what I have suits me for the present. Bandages are for me the most important items. Originally I made my own, but these days I use modern bandages. You need bandages for breaks, cuts and snake bite.
Modern medical advice re snake bite sais you DON"T wash the area, and you DON"T suck on the wound! You simply bind the limb firmly over the bite area and work your way down the limb to the ankle or wrist, then bandage upward again, over the bite area to the top part of the limb. What you do next may depend on your situation. Best advice is don't move, stay where you are and rest. Low venom snake bite has been survived, high venom bites act very fast.
Some snake bites do not inject venom, and simply give you a warning strike. If you are on foot you will probably not get far if you try to walk out, but in the end the decision is yours depending on the situation and how you feel.
If you can get to a hospital, they can take a sample of the venom from the wound or bandage to identify the type of snake. If you can definately identify it all the better.
My advice is to stay away from snakes and they will mostly stay away from you.
The other item I rarely see in first aid kits these days is an eye wash glass. If you get something in your eye it can be very debilitating. Below are the few items I carry in my knapsack.

My leather drawstring medical pouch. Always important to disguise any modern equipment that you need to carry with you.

 Nail scissors and tweezers. If I need larger tweezers I can use my round ball mould. The needles in my sewing kit are also used to remove splinters.
Salt. Handy for cuts and removing leeches.

Iodine. Note how the cork is secured with a leather tie.

I substitute this chemist bottle for an eye wash glass.

I would like to make it quite clear here that I will not compromise my health and safety for the sake of authenticity. Hence the modern bandages I carry and the suture needle and thread. I also recommend that anyone who participates in historical trekking attends a first aid course. Enquire at your local hospital.


Bob said...

Here's a fun fact: in the USA, iodine is being taken off shelves in pharmacies and other places because it can be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Thus, people who use it for disinfecting wounds/treating water will no longer have it available.

Land of the free, home of the brave.

Keith said...

Bob. Thanks for the info, interesting!
I wonder if there is an alternative?

Karl said...

Great post Keith...

RE: the Iodine, Povidone Iodine works well also, it is simply Iodine mixed with soap, the best known brand would be Betadine available from pharmacies and farm supply stores...

It will treat wounds and water...



Keith said...

Good one Karl (actually that is what is in the bottle), thank you. I should have mentioned the full name and mentioned about the water.
Thanks again, Keith.