For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Medical Kit--Camping Kits

The last few posts have included lists of medical supplies I use in various kits I have. I shared my home kit, my truck kit, and my kayak kit. Another thing we do fairly often is camp. When we started camping, a medical kit never crossed our minds. A few bandaids and some antibiotic something would fix it whatever happened, right? Um...not always. Now, that I know a bit more, I'm going to pass along what I've learned are good basic supplies for camping and hiking bags.

For the most part, the medical supplies in my truck will cover whatever happens camping, but the way I use them may be a bit different, so I'll go back over that list and toss in some possible uses ideas. Then I'll give you the list of what you can find in each of our hiking packs.

For Camping:
water bottles--You can use these to wash off wounds. Do NOT scrub the would, though. Just rinse it with water until any debris is gone. Also, if someone gets a significant burned, you wet the gauze and lay the moist gauze on the burn. If it is anything more than superficial, I suggest having a doctor look at it because infection is the greatest risk with burns.
bandaids of various size
2x2 sterile gauze pads
4x4 sterile gauze pads
9x6 sterile absorbent pads
sterile gauze rolls
triangle bandages
ace bandages
antibacterial CREAM
sting relief medicine--meat tenderizer or vinegar works on a lot of stings and bites. With the meat tenderizer, make a poultice or paste and sit it on the sting. It should draw the toxins out.
liquid allergy medicine
topical allergy medicine--do not double up liquid allergy medicine and topical, use one or the other
soda with high sugar/high caffeine concentration--When my daughter was little, she would go from normal to respiratory distress in minutes. I'd give her a full dose of allergy medicine and follow it with a can of hype-you-up to zip it into her system.
pain reliever
"SAM" splint--flexible aluminum wrapped in foam padding, great for stabilizing sprains or breaks
reflective metallic blanket
wash cloths
aloe product
ice packs--the ones you crunch and they get cold. But never put cold directly on skin. It can burn it. Be sure you put something between the ice pack and the skin
hot packs--the kind you crunch and they get warm (depends on the time of year) Good for hands and feet
wool blanket
towels--towels can be good as an emergency on the ground place to sit. They are also good if someone overheats because you can wet the towel and lay the moist towel over the person then fan the moist towel and help cool the person.
Pedialite--Best way to get electrolytes back in your system
Sharpie--2 colors; if someone is bitten by a snake (and sometimes a spider), the area around the bite will be affected. Every 15 minutes, use the Sharpie to circle the red, puffy, affected area and write the time. That gives the responders the "story" of the venom and snake and let's them know what is happening and how quickly. Same with spider bites.
latex gloves--all kinds of reasons. If someone gets into poison oak/ivy/sumac, you don't want it on you. You might need to take care of someone who isn't your family, and you don't need to be sharing your cooties or borrowing theirs.
headlamp--you don't always have someone to hold a flashlight
flashlight--not every emergency takes place during the day
antibacterial gel
insect repellent

Snake bite care: move above the bite toward the body. So if someone is bit on their calf, I would move to the knee or thigh, and start wrapping with an ace bandage from the body toward the bite. This slows the movement of the toxins. Do NOT make a tourniquet. You are not trying to kill the appendage. If the appendage turns blue or cold, loosen the wrap. The goal is simply to slow the venom movement into the body. Pushing the blood downward will do that.

I think that covers everything we normally take camping. I've gone through the list a few times in my head, and I think that is it. You can also visit my post "Medical Kit--Truck" for other possible ideas.

Not only do we take an outdoor medical kit when we camp, but each of us takes a hiking pack. We each of a backpack that holds things, and we each have a good size fanny pack. The thing I like about our fanny packs is they have a water holder on each side, so we can carry 2 water bottles instead of one, which can be really important on hot days or long trails. I also find fanny packs cause me to sweat less. It can get toasty under those backpacks. But whatever works for you as long as you take care of yourself and get back safely. :-)

Our usual hiking pack load includes:
a small back of latex-free bandaids, including blister bandaids. I use waterproof fabric or sport bandaids exclusively in these things, and I put them in snack size baggie
whistle that works even when it gets wet
small LED flashlight
headlamp (they were Christmas presents one year, and we put them to use, but they are not as bright or as easy to point as the flashlights)
an extra set of batteries for flashlight
ace bandage
triangle bandage
bandanna--why the triangle bandage AND the bandanna? The triangle bandage can help splint or support an injured appendage or even hold bandages and dressing on. The bandanna covers your head and neck to protect you from the sun or keep heat in depending on the time of year. You can moisten it or not if you are too hot, and you can wet it and wrap it around your neck, cool major artery areas, or lay it on your stomach/chest to help cool you.
cold/heat pack--depends on the season, crushable kind, one of the things I learned with these is to keep them in a small box or non-crushable container. It means rearranging your pack so you are comfortable, but it keeps the pack from crushing accidentally
multi-purpose knife
two-way radio--goes in when we leave camp, goes into the charger when we get back
extra pair of socks--ever hiked in cold wet socks because you stepped in water? Very bad for your body
notepad and pen and baggies--if we get lost, we write a note with time and stating which way we went and leave it for someone to find. If it is raining, the baggie protects the note, and if it is nighttime, it can create a reflection for light beams.
insect repellent wipes
small tube of sunscreen
handiwipe towelettes
waterproof watch
survival bracelet--made from para cord, sturdy, useful for a lot of things
fire starter kit
protein snack
lip balm
reflective metallic blanket
water treatment pills
light stick--3 in each pack

My pack also includes:
--my CPR mask
--allergy medicine
I add those in case there is an emergency heart issue or allergy issue.

Once again, I'm sure I am forgetting something, but that is all that is coming to mind. I know that sounds like a lot, but if we all go hiking together, one of us usually takes the actual pack, and the others are responsible for their own water and food. However, I have made sure we each have a pack because I want my children to learn the importance of being prepared to take care of themselves, and I want them to learn NOW that God may put someone in their path for whom they need to take responsibility. We are not on the planet to simply take and build cushy lives. We are on this planet to give, and sometimes, that means giving a water bottle or a pack of peanuts or an ankle wrap or a hand out of a forest. By having packs with real survival and aid supplies, they are learning I know they are capable of doing what is needed to ensure their safety or someone else's safety. I am teaching them NOW that they are capable, strong, and able to make a difference. If they learn that as young people, they will grow into that truth in even more powerful ways as adults.

As I've said before, these are the supplies I have determined work well for us. I have tried to minimize some of the bulk by choosing things that can be used more than one way. I have also chosen to keep these packs to a 24-hour survival maximum mentality. Where we hike, a day hike is about as extensive as it gets, and the trails are pretty well marked. The biggest concern would be getting lost and not getting back to camp before dark, which is why lights to see with, a whistle to scare away critters and indicate location, and protein are good supplies.

Again, this is our list. Take it for what you can get from it. If you need more stuff, add it. If you want to take less, ask yourself what the risks are, how you will handle sprains or breaks, how will you keep the person at a comfortable temperature to slow down shock, what happens if you are running later than expected, and whether you might need some meds in case of being gone too long or running into your favorite allergy source. Also ask yourself: If I am alone, how can I safely address these things? If you are with someone, one of you can probably go for help, but if it is just you, how will you others' attention? How will you give yourself the best chance to get out safely?

I hope this helps. If you have questions, feel free to shoot them my way. I'll answer them if I can, and if I can't, I'll find who can.

Blessings for safety and health...

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