Top Tips #10 (First Aid Kit Additions)

30th Aug 2013

Your first aid should contain.....first aid kit! Having said that, as it's something that travels with you on every adventure, it's also a really handy place to carry a few additional items that you never want to be without.
 
In addition to all the dressings and other first aid mumbu jumbo, in our kits we always carry:
 
- a couple of small sachets of suncream (for those days when you forget your main supply)
- a few insect repellent wipes (usually used at crags where the midges have caught up with you!).
- a few energy bars as an extra fuel supply (ideal for when someone in your group runs low on energy and needs a pick up).
- a small selection of repair materials for improvised fixes along the trail.  We carry a few long cable ties, a length of string and some duct tape which should deal with most small repairs.
 
- a small headtorch (the Petzl e+lite is our back up light of choice with a long life battery, good performance and tiny size).  It's good to know you always have a torch with you although this is designed as a back up and shouldn't replace the main torch you always carry.
- we have a whistle attached to the outside of all our first aid kits so we always know where they are.  Our favourite model is the super loud Fox 40.
- lastly, running out of water and getting dehydrated on the trail could be dangerous but unfortunately many of our mountain streams aren't safe to drink from.  We keep a few water purification tablets in our kit to enable us to access safe water if we run low.  Our favoured choice is chlorine dioxide.
 
Of course, many of these items have first aid uses too.  The torch may be useful for casualty assessment, the repair kit can be used for improvised splints and the energy bars could potentially help raise the blood sugar of a hypoglycaemic diabetic.
 
All these additions shouldn't weigh more than a few hundred grams and yet they end up being the most commonly used items in our first aid kits!