Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Prudent Prepping: Building an EDC First Aid Kit

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping. 

I first carried a pocket first aid kit in my "salesman bag" when I had an actual route, and now it is part of the gear I take with me even though I cover only five stores. Lately I have wanted to upgrade what I carry, and also put together a very small belt bag to take other places besides work.

Some people seem to like the Batman Utility Belt look; I carry too much work-related stuff Monday-to-Friday to load up my belt in my personal hours. There are plenty of places to find pre-loaded first aid pouches, but the ones I have seen are bigger than I want to put on my belt, like the one in my GHB that was reviewed here. I really like that one, but as I said it's too big to fit on my belt.

So, I want to try rolling my own... again, since I never finished doing it with the items I first mentioned last year.

What To Carry
I really, really want this to be as small as possible, so I'm using an iPhone 6 case like BCP member Jonathan Sullivan first tried. I do not have the training* to use all the items carried by Jonathan, so I am only listing what I'm planning to pack around.
*One thing everyone says needs to be in my kit is a tourniquet. I do not want to add one until I know how to use it correctly.
The contents are changing weekly, until I am satisfied with everything. There will need to be a larger pouch when I add more items.

The Contents
  • Generic triple antibiotic cream, for minor cuts.
  • 6 band aids, 1" size, generic.
  • 6 fingertip band aids, generic.
  • 2 non-stick gauze pads, generic
  • Two Quick Clot sponge, 25g size. This is about 50% of the normal Celox Quick Clot size.
  • Small roll of duct tape, to replace any other tape.
  • Primacare CPR face Shield.
  • Two pair blue surgical gloves, from the 100 count box used for car maintenance.
Everything but the Quick Clot is contained in zip lock bags, since the phone case is not waterproof. Gauze is in a separate bag, band aids and antibiotic are together, gloves and duct tape are also separated. The smaller items are in small, 'snack size' zip lock baggies, and the 2"x 3" gauze pads are in regular sandwich bags. 

As a member of REI, a portion of my purchases are returned as a dividend every year and the time to use that money was coming to a close. Since the Celox pads were too big to fit into the phone case, I found these smaller pads at REI and bought them.

From the REI page:
  • QuikClot is a chemically inert material in a mesh bag that speeds coagulation of blood, resulting in a stable clot that stops bleeding
  • Zeolite clotting beads are contained in a sterile, non-adherent mesh bag for easy application and removal
  • QuickClot is safe to use and features a low-heat formula that won't burn skin
  • Package contains a 3.5 x 3.5 in. (25g) bag of QuikClot for coverage of medium wounds 

Duct Tape
Duct tape can ooze some of its adhesive when hot, so that's why it is in a bag. The duct tape is 3M brand that I wound around a pencil and then cut off, leaving about 3/4" on each side. There is about 15' of tape on the pencil, more than enough to do anything I expect to do in an emergency. I've been asked "Why duct tape in a first aid kit?" and my answer is "This is also an emergency kit, and if it can't be repaired with duct tape, it really is broken." 

Besides, if I'm applying bandages, it really is an emergency and Real Medical People (tm) will know how to get the tape off later.

Primacare RS-6845 CPR Mask
  • CPR mask with one-way valve to minimize the possibility of cross-contamination
  • Air-cushioned edge conforms to the contours of the face and the elastic strap provides a secure fit
  • 15mm outside diameter connector for attaching to standard ventilation equipment
  • Includes a red, hard plastic carrying case 
A mask is pretty standard gear to pack now, and a small, hard case is a handy way to have this ready to use.

The Takeaway
  • Everyone needs to take some first aid gear with them.
  • I need to follow the advice of people who have done the hard work.
  • Late is better than never, but sooner would have been best. 
The Recap
The gloves were purchased from O' Reilly's Auto Parts, and all other items from CVS. 

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If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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