First Aid; recommendations, what do you bring along a 4,000 mile trip?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by _lee, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. _lee

    _lee Been here awhile

    Apr 16, 2008
    I want to stock up with the a sufficient amount of first aid for this trip, but need to limit what I bring.

    What do you fine medical folks recommend?
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Jul 10, 2005
    SE Wisconsin
    Much relates to your level of training and whether this is intended for self-aid or in support of others.
  3. Tucson Jim

    Tucson Jim Been here awhile

    Jan 12, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    With space at a premium I carry a military style 3 pocket pouch, and since I'm just basic first aid, more to stabilize until the experts get to the scene, and there will be an infinite number of answers but here is mine:

    Scissors, forceps, bandages (veterinary grade work fine and are cheaper) aluminum splint, cervical collar (fold up plastic) rubber gloves, Tylenol, Benadryl, alcohol wipes, band aids, Neosporin (watch the expire date), eye drops, tweezers, paper towels.

    In addition odds and ends such as some wire, parachute cord, electrical tape that can double as bandage tape, duct tape, safety pins, extra bandana.

    You'd be surprised how much you can fit in this, the heavy duty one is much better than the lighter one I used to have.

    Voodoo tactical is good gear
  4. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Jul 17, 2008
    I've been a Paramedic for too many years now, but I'll try to give a decent answer ;)

    What Cannonshot said is spot on, bring what you can reasonably use (based on your experience and training), but remember first aid isn't just life threatening stuff on a bike. I had all my gear in a backpack on a recent ride when an old rotator cuff injury (from years of pulling really fat people out of really small, really fucked up cars) flared up. If it weren't for some ibuprofen I'd have been stranded. I just couldn't ride safely in that much pain.

    I bring a large abdominal pad for covering up and/or putting pressure on the big and/or spurting wounds, 10 or so 4x4's (their incredibly useful and small), a roll of gauze or kling, A roll of medical tape (for the bike repairs as much as the medical emergencies), Sinus medication, 50 or so Ibuprofen, a roll of antacids (drinking gives me heartburn :D ), trauma shears (again a damn useful tool for bikes and people) and a few band aids.

    You might add to that a tourniquet (back in vogue in medicine after years as a cast off, but you better know when to use it and when not to....and if you do need one they're easy to make with a strap/belt and a stick), a CPR mask/shield and maybe some wound cleaner/antibiotic ointment (on a long ride that knuckle you scraped changing that flat could be a serious problem 2 days from now).

    But that's me.
  5. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Jul 17, 2008
    Not to be a dick because maybe Jim is well trained and has a damn good reason for carrying the stuff he does, but FOR WHERE I RIDE where there's not always cell coverage, but another rider could get to where there is coverage within 30 minutes, I'll critique his load out a bit.

    If you need a splint or a cervical collar you need to wait for medical professionals to get there. No need to carry those, IMHO. They're designed to stabilize an injury for transport. We (as riders) are not transporting a rider that needs either of these.

    Forceps too are IMHO useless. Clamping off a bleeder is a bad idea. Pressure, elevate and a tourniquet if it gets to that point.

    The rest of what you have hear seems quite useful though. Nicely thought out kit. I specifically like the eye drops. A piece of dust/gravel to the eye can end a ride in a hurry. I may add this to my own.
  6. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Sep 25, 2011
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    pretty much the same as if one is taking an extended self contained hike to remote wilderness.

    any meds you normally would need. take prescription eye drops. 100mg (60) Doxycycline for malaria if you are traveling in tropics. Imodium (loperamide) antidiarrheal, Pepto Bismol tablets, aspirin, Ace bandage, cough/cold med, Deet insect, etc. etc.

    visit CDC website for travel kit recommendations. CDC also recommends certain drugs for certain countries. link above for Doxycycline came from CDC.

    normal over the counter drugs may not be so available in other countries. take a mini-sew kit with Leatherman.

    tell your doctor what you are doing. carry prescription drugs in original bottle with your name. you should have a ditty bag just for meds. compacts down very small.

  7. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

    Apr 3, 2010
    Southwest England
    A packet of aspirin, immodium and a few band aid, I travel light.
  8. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

    Jul 21, 2004
    4000 files across Congo is a lot different than 4000 miles on coast to coast interstate.

    Most people don't have the skills to do anything notable, so they just bring convenience items like a whole bunch of bandages, gauze and random ointments that are not going to make any meaningful difference. I don't really bother with any of it. For longer trips, I will bring QuikClot gauze and convenience medicines like Advil, Immodium, and whatever else is recommended for some country.
  9. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Nov 6, 2005
    Westside WA
    Don't bother with a bunch of stuff you're not trained/qualified to use. You do need to bring enough sterile pads/wraps whatever to "stop the bleeding" till pro help arrives. You're not going to fix anybody, just keep'em from bleeding out and going into shock till the pros get there. I also like the blow up splints for an arm or leg. Depends on where you intend to ride and how far/fast real med help is. Again...your NOT going to fix anyone. Best you can do is keep them alive till real med help arrives. I used to do a lot of Atlantic crossings and many days from from help if someone gets hurt and our ships med kit didn't include them but my personal stash included a broad spectrum antibiotic like Cipro. Expensive but usually works and it keeps well.
    If you're going really remote touring, I strongly suggest one of your party spend the money for a basic first aid class. I've taken a few as required by Fed law and they don't make you qualified for zip but will teach you a few things NOT TO DO. Run your plans by the instructor for advice on what to bring along on your specific trip.
  10. lawdogmd

    lawdogmd Been here awhile

    Aug 26, 2008
    Damascus, MD
    I would agree with most of the above comments. I tend to match my bike kit with what I would carry on extended backcountry hikes. Maybe a bit overkill if a riding partner can access help but you never know. I tend to also carry a small SAM splint. A very versatile and handy item that is light and packs well for me. Second the need for extra pain meds also, back pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, headaches can ruin a day.
  11. bkg123

    bkg123 Yes, that bike makes your ass look fat

    Aug 2, 2009
    West Linn
    I kind of work on the assumption that I just need to get myself fixed enough to get to experts, or home. My kit has the usual stuff, pain (ibuprofin), antibiotics, eye drops (I hate crap in my eye) bandaids and some butterfiys, finger splint, lots of tape, gauze rolls, and 4" pads, and duct tape. Super glue will close a cut real good too. This should get me out.

    It also occurs to me, i keep some basics in my ditty bag too, anti bacterial handsoap, a blister kit, and a few more bandaids.

    Is whiskey first aid?
  12. Eddy Alvarez

    Eddy Alvarez Long timer

    Oct 21, 2008
    Some Motrin, Alka-Selter, Benadryl, Imodium, tweezers, and a SPOT locator. Anything more and you might do more harm than good.
  13. acesandeights

    acesandeights Noob

    Jul 2, 2008
    So. Oregon
    I would start with a Wilderness Medicine Institute First Aid or Advanced First Aid course (higher level if you have the time and inclination). You'll get a good idea of what you need, but you'll also get the training you need to use it. I don't know your level of training, but as stated before, your gear should be relative to your level of training.

    To increase your level of training is better than bringing things you don't know how to use.

    So, I recommend bringing knowledge, skills and abilities.
  14. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Jul 17, 2008
    Good advice here.
  15. charlesdarwin

    charlesdarwin Adventurer

    Oct 13, 2012
    Which 4,000 miles. Most places you are not more than a few miles from a drug store or doctor. Duct tape, tweezers, ibuprofen, Neosporin.
  16. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Jul 31, 2005
    Moscow, Idaho
    I divide my first aid into Trauma and Comfort Kit.

    Trauma is simple, stop bleeding and cover some ugly rash. Abd, 2 Kling, 3' Ace Wrap, a few 4X4's and a couple non stick pads, paper tape,

    Comfort Kit goes mostly in my ditty bag. Meds, a few antacid tabs. bandaids, super glue, nail clippers, floss, lip balm, allergy eye drops for pollen and dry eye. Eye glass repair kit and blunt surgical scissors.
    I usually carry some sunblock and aloe based cream for sun and wind burn.

    Most of this stuff is readily available so I just carry a one time dosage.
  17. Pottz

    Pottz Adventurer

    Jul 18, 2010
    Sunny Coast, Queensland Australia
    Just to add to your kit...I have an Emergency ID Tube cable tied to the handlebar/crossbar. It is white with a red cross and clearly visible - if I ever come off and knocked out, it has all my medical details and doctors contact info etc - both in written form and it is also a USB with the same info in a word doc - it stays on the bike all the time. On long trips, the EPIRB goes in the tank bag...I figure if I am really badly injured and alone, I may be able to drag myself to the stacked bike to set it off. If I am knocked out, I guess I am good tucker for the goannas and drop bears, so it doesn't really matter!!!
  18. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

    Jan 31, 2008
    Decatur, AL
    after a buddy tried to drink a bee and the bee took exception I now carry a few benadryl tablets. Other than that, I carry a few small bandaids for ouchies. And a couple of military compression banadages for serious work.
  19. Swashbuckler

    Swashbuckler Been here awhile

    Jun 25, 2013
    Fort Collins, CO
    Gorilla ductape - superglue - blister bandaids - ibuprofen - benadryl - a couple pepto bismul pills

    This is my hiking kit but I'll throw it on the bike for adventures
  20. Anywhereness

    Anywhereness Been here awhile

    Sep 6, 2009
    Somewhere, Anywhere.
    I don't have my kit with me, but from memory here's the highlights:

    • Variety of Band Aides, big and small
    • Neosporin tube (not squeeze bottle which explodes)
    • Small roll of gauze
    • Medical Tape
    • Butterfly Bandages
    • Bandage "pads" (whatever they are called)
    • Plastic Tweezers
    • Cue tips
    • Ibuprofen IB (with the anti inflammatory) and Asprin packets
    • Nitrile Gloves
    • Antiseptic wipe packets
    • Cellox (one 35g 5x 5g)

    It's in a zippered codura nylon pouch and everything is wrapped tight in a few different ziplock bags. It's about the size of half a pack of Fig Newtons. (the most convenient frame of reference at the moment)

    I ride alone often out in the boonies on a dual sport.

    Related, but in another kit(s):
    Needle, synthetic thread, sunscreen, flask of booze :freaky, small pair of scissors, safety pins, duct tape, bandanas