I was thinking about my kit list for this year’s walk when Gordon published his own on his blog. He has managed to get his TGO Challenge kit down to pretty lean figure. One of the items that caught my eye was his first aid kit, which came in at an impressive 60 grams, especially impressive considering that mine, for the Challenge, comes in at 550 grams.
Okay, the bag I put all the kit into weighs 102 grams on its own; It's from a firm called “Lifesystems” and it is quite weighty. However, it has compartments that help organise and protect the contents. I’m happy with that, as it makes life easier on the walk.
This still leaves 448 grams of actual stuff. It all looks like this, laid out:
Missing from the picture are a couple of antiseptic gauze patches to slap on wounds, as they were both torn and muddy from the last outing, so need replacing.
From left to right, by column we have:
Prescription medications (iGA Nephropathy is great fun!) which also includes the brown pill bottle at the top of the next column as well.
Then there’s some Voltarol 75mg, which is probably quite dodgy stuff these days, but is an excellent anti-inflammatory, useful for sprains and any gout attacks. Below this there’s some 30mg Codeine tablets (really good pain killers – though I’m not sure if you can get them over the counter, either), hay fever pills and Anadin (Paracetamol) for run-of-the-mill aches & pains.
Next column: a few blister patches, some ear plugs, (not strictly first aid, but a good place to keep them as I have to take pills last thing at night and so I’ll always find the earplugs then), Immodium (never ever leave home on a long walk without Immodium!) and a couple of packets of Resolve extra, useful if you’ve needed the Immodium, or been to a few parties the night before.
Then the two tubes of Gehwol to keep my tootsies wonderfully refreshed. Then zinc oxide tear-able tape, some Anusol (the clue’s in the name), a tube of antiseptic cream, a small tin of Vaseline, half a dozen ‘steristrips’ useful for closing open wounds, a long strip of plasters that you cut to suit, a few small plasters, a half inch wide roll of Micropore tape, a crepe bandage with safety pin, antihistamine cream, tweezers, sharp scissors, lighter, and a couple of antiseptic wipes (that look a bit dog eared and need replacing)
To this I can also add a couple of buffs that I always take with me that I can use for bandages or tourniquets.
Packed up it looks like this
This very first aid kit helped put my hand back to together again after I had fought a very one sided tussle with a barbed fence in the Borders a couple of years ago. I damaged a nerve and ripped a tendon, the tears having gone down to the bones in my hand. I was lucky to have been patched up by someone I was walking with who, I was told later by the hand surgeon, had done an incredibly good job of it.
Answer yourself this question: Could your own first aid kit have sorted this out? And remember, this is just one injury, to one limb. If you have a tumble in the middle of sod-all, miles from anywhere, you could be splitting open your head and a leg as well.